ABC Blog

HVAC Innovation: Transforming the world one air conditioner at a time.

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We take Air Conditioning For Granted. (Sometimes)

When it comes to purchasing your first home, there are many factors to consider. There’s adjusting your finances, finding the perfect location, selecting the right number of bedrooms for your home. Most first-time homebuyers know these are obvious questions which need to be answered. But what about home features that are often taken for granted?

Living in the United States, many couples shopping for a new home often overlook the comfort of central air conditioning. Especially in cities with scalding summers like Austin, efficient air conditioners are not seen as a luxury, but rather a requirement when purchasing a new home. And though something as common as air conditioning efficiency might not seem like an important factor to consider, it should be.

New technology advances have the ability to provide air conditioning to more individuals around the world. And they can also reduce the costs of … Read Full Post »

Ladybugs: Your Backyard’s Best Friend (And Foe!)

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What’s the first image that comes to mind when thinking of a ladybug? If your answer involves a picture of a grandchild dressing up as one for Halloween, or making a wish on one as a child, you’re not alone.

Ladybugs, unlike other pests, are often paired with positive memories, and typically thought of as harmless creatures. And with their delicate wings and beautiful black-spotted backs, it’s hard to image them as anything other than a pretty creature.

But when it comes to your backyard, these gentle critters can offer more than just good luck. They can help combat destructive pests like aphids, mites, and scale. Here are a few ways you can attract (and keep!) ladybugs in your backyard.

Plenty of Pollen

Like all pests, ladybugs need to eat, and they have their favorite meals. To attract ladybugs to your backyard or garden, consider including a few pollen plants in the area. These … Read Full Post »

What To Do When Your Air Conditioner Freezes Up

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On a hot 95+ degree day, no one wants to deal with melted ice cream. That’s why we have air conditioning!

Hot weather here in Austin means trips to Barton Springs, bike rides, and cookouts on the patio with tall iced beverages. It’s all fun in the sun until your air conditioning goes out.

Below we’ll take a look at some of the most common AC problems and offer some tips for basic air conditioner troubleshooting.

How air conditioners work

Air conditioning systems cool air using an evaporator coil within your inside AC unit. Inside the coil is a refrigerant such as Freon that cools down the coil. The AC unit draws in warm air and blows it over the coil, where the refrigerant absorbs the heat and the newly chilled air is sent back into your home. The hot refrigerant is cycled outside your home to the compressor unit where it transfers the … Read Full Post »

How to handle your neighbor’s overgrown trees

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Large, established trees are a fixture in many older neighborhoods. Think about the new home developments you’ve visited, and they all likely have one thing in common: no established trees! These older trees provide shade on hot summer days, a home and food source for animals, play areas for children, and can even provide energy savings when blocking sunlight from entering a home.

With all of these benefits come several challenges. Property lines in neighborhoods exist in fixed areas, and tree growth of both roots and branches do not conform to any set location. Homeowners commonly run into situations where a tree sits on a property line, or a tree trunk grows in one yard with its branches hanging into another yard.

As a homeowner, what is the best way to deal with a shared tree that requires maintenance?

First, understand that this is a very common issue. The root systems of trees … Read Full Post »

Who Invented the Air Conditioner?

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It’s getting hot in Central Texas.

We’ve been lucky this year in Austin. Due to all the rain, temperatures are still slightly below sweltering!

Now that the warmer temperatures have arrived, everyone is thankful for the modern marvel of air conditioning. It is now possible to be burning up one moment and freezing the next as you move between the outdoors and heavily air conditioned spaces.

Air conditioning is such a part of modern life that we take it for granted.

Until it breaks down and wreaks havoc.

Here’s a little history lesson that will give you an understanding of the myriad ways people attempted to cool down before air conditioners arrived on the market.

Given that the modern air conditioner was not invented until the early 20th century, humans have been experimenting with ways to cool down for centuries.

  • The ancient Egyptians hung reeds in their windows and wet them with a stream of water. Air … Read Full Post »

Why The City of Austin Still Has Water Restrictions

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It seems like Austin has switched places with Portland or Seattle this year. We’ve received record amounts of rainfall. And along with the rains, we’ve enjoyed cooler temperatures and a later summer than normal. You’ve heard it on the news – the lakes are full, hurray!

Despite the rain, the City of Austin is still enforcing water restrictions, and has made some long-term changes to reduce water use in the Central Texas area. So if the lakes are full and our water supply is back to previous levels, why are we still operating under water restrictions?

How Austin-Area Water Sources Work Today

Our primary water source in Austin comes from the Colorado River and the system of Highland Lakes along the river. The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) manages this water source, and the City of Austin is its customer.

There are five dams along the river and six lakes created by those dams.

Lake … Read Full Post »

Pro Pool Tips for your Summer Vacation

follow these pro pool safety for summer in texas

School is out for summer, and we’re ready for a vacation!

Like most families, you’ve probably planned some sort of pool-related fun for the summer. Or maybe you’ve planned an all-out trip to the beach. Either way, we have put together a list of pro-tips for the pool that we’d love to share with our ABC family blog readers. These eight safety measures will ensure that your summer vacation isn’t disturbed by any scraped knees, sunburns, or worse.

Read Full Post »

Introducing Holganix: Our Best Organic Lawn Product

holganix: best organic lawn care product

At ABC Home and Commercial Services in Austin, we’re always on the lookout for the best new products for lawns and landscapes. We recently discovered a great new organic lawn care product called Holganix, and we know you’re going to love it.

Holganix is like yogurt—for your lawn. It injects the soil with all kinds of nutrients and probiotics that will help your lawn grow healthy roots, and is a great addition to all organic lawn maintenance programs.

What are lawn probiotics?

Healthy soil is loaded with microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi. These tiny creatures help to break down organic matter and turn it into food for growing plants while keeping harmful organisms at bay.

Many homeowners may find that it’s hard to get lawns and gardens to flourish. Due to artificial fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, as well as construction and poor maintenance, many soils are deficient in the nutrients plants need. Many of … Read Full Post »

How to Child-Proof Your Swimming Pool

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Having a pool at your home can provide endless entertainment for your family, but there’s also the ever-present danger of injury and drowning, especially for young children. The privilege of a beautiful swimming pool comes with the responsibility of protecting those around you from harm. Adopt these pool safety practices below to ensure the well-being of swimmers of any age.

Follow these steps to keep swimmers safe while they are in the pool:

  • Maintain adult supervision of children in the swimming pool at all times.
  • Store a first aid kit in proximity to the pool for the treatment of minor injuries.
  • Keep life preservers, kickboards, rope, and a pole in the general vicinity of the pool for easy access.
  • Learn CPR, and encourage all adult members of your house to become certified as well. The city of Austin provides training in CPR to residents. Learn more.
  • Create a list of pool safety rules, communicate them to … Read Full Post »

What To Pack For Your Trip to the Swimming Pool

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We’re inching closer to Memorial Day weekend, and pool season is upon us – once the rains subside! Many of us have already been to a swimming pool in between the rain showers, or are ready to visit the public pool once the summer heat hits in earnest. We have a wide variety of neighborhood and municipal pools to choose from here in Austin – don’t forget to check the City of Austin’s website for a massive list of pools and splash pads to plan your trip.

What to Bring to The Pool

Before heading out to take a dip, take a look at our list of what to bring to the pool below. You may not need all of these items, but there are bound to be a few you might want that you didn’t consider bringing.

Standard issue: for a trip to a public pool (or any pool for that matter) … Read Full Post »