ABC Blog

Your Guide To Trimming Fruit Trees

a lemon tree bearing lots of fruit

When fruit trees are well cared for, they can make a gorgeous addition to your yard. Fruit trees also bring pleasure year after year as they bear flowers followed by delicious fruits. If they aren’t cared for in the right ways and at the right times, however, they can have trouble growing fruit. They might even wind up looking scraggly and stunted after a few short years. Fortunately, trimming fruit trees is easy enough to do yourself, as long as you have the time, tools and knowledge needed to do it right.

Trimming fruit trees increases both sunlight and air flow among the tree’s strongest and healthiest branches. This extra sunlight and air flow stimulates their growth. If you’ve planted a young fruit tree, expect to trim pretty aggressively for several years to stimulate growth. Don’t expect the tree to bear fruit for the first few years. Just concentrate on trimming … Read Full Post »

My Fridge Isn’t Cold but the Freezer Is

a stainless steel fridge in a white kitchen

It is so frustrating and confusing when your freezer is working, but your fridge won’t get cold. How is this even possible? Well, a few different things might lead to this stressful situation.

Some of the simpler issues that might be causing this problem are things that can happen in any household. For example, if someone left the refrigerator door open. This can cause the vent between the freezer and fridge to freeze over. If this happens, you can take your food out of your fridge and freezer, unplug the unit overnight and then plug it back in. If the door being open was what was keeping your fridge from cooling, then this process should fix your issue.

Something else that might be causing the issue is overloading. Putting too much in your fridge can block the vents and keep the cool air from circulating as it should. It’s pretty rare for … Read Full Post »

My Air Conditioner Is Making a Pulsating Noise

a white kitchen where you can hear the air conditioner unit making a pulsating noise

When you turn on your AC unit, you expect to hear a soft hum that lets you know your house will cool down in no time. So, when you turn on your unit and hear an odd pulsating sound, you naturally become worried. What is going on?

If your air conditioner is making a rhythmic or pulsating sound, there could be a number of issues going on. The complexity of these issues ranges from a quick fix to a much more complicated problem. While you can investigate on your own, the best way to deal with this kind of issue is to reach out to a professional.

Figuring out why your unit is making noises will involve removing panels to examine the problem further. This can be a complicated process and can lead to even larger issues if you don’t have the training or tools needed for the job. However, if you … Read Full Post »

How to Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Deck

a deck next to a pool with lots of mosquitoes buzzing around

When the weather is warm, your yard is green and everything is in bloom, there’s nothing more tempting than hanging out on your deck—unless you’re plagued by mosquitoes the minute you head outside. These thirsty bloodsuckers can ruin a space that should be your peaceful refuge. If you’re wondering how to keep mosquitoes away from your deck, prepare for it to take time and vigilance on your part to make a dent in their numbers. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep mosquito populations low in your yard.

Dump or Clear Out Standing Water

The first thing to know about mosquitoes is that they need water to breed. Making sure there is no standing water on your deck or anywhere nearby is key to keeping mosquitoes away. If there’s even a bit of water left over after a rain, or after watering your grass or potted plants, it’s enough for … Read Full Post »

How Long Do Water Softeners Last?

a kitchen with white cabinets

Softening water can help prolong the life of your home’s pipes, water heater and other appliances. Plus, it can make your water easier on your skin and hair. This is because hard water not only dries out people’s skin, but the sediment in hard water can also build up in your plumbing.

Water softeners work for about 10 to 15 years, but a variety of factors can affect how long the equipment lasts. For one, the quality and type of water softener that you own matters. This is because some types of water softeners can degrade more quickly. For instance, water softeners that run on a timer system instead of on-demand may run through water and regenerate more often than needed. These systems replenish salt based on a set schedule, even if you haven’t been using much water. This can make the system work much harder than it needs to and … Read Full Post »

Common Zoysia Grass Problems

zoysia grass that is turning yellow

Many types of grass go through seasons when they are greener and others when they are brown and dormant. Zoysia grass is a versatile type of grass that homeowners can use in a variety of different climates and soils. This means that while zoysia grass will usually go dormant in drier and cooler periods, it should perk up again when seasons change.

However, if you have zoysia grass and your lawn has turned completely brown, has some dead spots or is starting to thin out, then you might have a problem. Here are some of the most common issues homeowners with zoysia grass may come across.

Fungal Diseases

Zoysia grass is typically less vulnerable to diseases than some other types of grass. However, it can sometimes fall prey to fungal diseases like “large patch.” This kind of disease is most common in the spring, but it can also happen in the fall when … Read Full Post »

How To Spot Signs of Termites in Your House

winged termites which are a sign of termites in the house

The thought of having termites on your property is alarming. After all, these pests are extremely destructive. So, what are the signs of termites, and how can you catch these earlier, rather than later?

It starts with knowing the different kinds of termites you may find on your property. In the United States, there are three main varieties of termites: the subterranean termite, the drywood termite and the dampwood termite. It’s unlikely you’ll find dampwood termites on your property, as this species prefers wet, decaying wood and must maintain close contact with water. Typically, dampwood termites are found in subtropical woodlands or mangrove forests—probably not the environment homeowners in the United States have in their backyard.

If there are termites on your property, they are most likely either drywood termites or subterranean termites. The names of these termites give you some information about where you might find them. Drywood termites prefer to … Read Full Post »

My Heater Is Making Noises: What Is Going On?

a home where the heater is making noises

Heater making noise? If so, it may or may not signal a problem that needs attention from a heating and cooling specialist. Heaters can make all kinds of funny, unexpected sounds in the winter, like rattling, whistling, humming, chirping or banging noises. If your heater starts making a strange sound, what might it mean?

Any strange noise coming from your heater should be investigated since there’s a chance that it means something is wrong. If you wait instead of having the issue diagnosed, it could become a bigger and more expensive problem down the line. To avoid this, it’s almost always best to go ahead and address the issue as soon as possible.

Here’s what may be happening when your heater is making unusual noises.

A Rattling, Clanking, Knocking or Banging Sound

Rattling, clanking, knocking or banging sounds can indicate a loose or broken part somewhere in the heating system. A loud banging sound … Read Full Post »

What Causes Power Surges in a House?

a lightning storm which can cause a power surge

A power surge in a house is a spike of high voltage. These surges last for only a short amount of time. But, they can ruin your electrical appliances and parts of your electrical system. Electronics can handle a specific amount of voltage and can only manage slight changes in voltage. For example, appliances in the U.S. are usually rated to run off of 120 volts of power. Power surges can deliver many more volts than most household equipment can stand.

Power surges in your home can happen due to internal factors, such as from the appliances in your home. They can also happen from external factors, such as when there’s a lightning storm. Let’s dive in a little deeper.

Power Surges From Inside Your Home

Situations inside a home cause around 60% to 80% of power surges in a house. One of the most common causes is any device that switches on … Read Full Post »

Tankless Water Heaters vs. Tank: Which is Best?

tank water heater

When your water heater starts making knocking noises or stops providing adequate hot water for your home—or, worse, it bursts—it’s time to decide on a replacement model that will best fit your needs. When you start looking into the options, however, you might feel overwhelmed by all the choices that are available. Which are better—tankless water heaters or tank water heaters? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type, and which kind is right for your particular home?

If you’re considering making the switch from a traditional tank model to a tankless water heater, it could seem especially daunting to decide whether this is the right move. Tankless heaters typically have higher price tags than tank heaters, though their operating costs over time are lower. Even knowing they’ll likely save money over time, many people balk at the prospect of spending so much money up front.

Of course, there are other … Read Full Post »