ABC Blog

Southern House Spider: Identification Tips

a southern house spider climbing up a wall

There are more than 45,000 different kinds of spiders that live in areas across the world. Fortunately, most of the spiders in the U.S. are not dangerous to humans.

One common spider in this part of the world is the southern house spider (Kukulcania hibernalis). This spider is sometimes also referred to as a southern crevice spider. As their name implies, these spiders live in Texas, Florida and other southern states. They are typically found in a variety of manmade structures, including houses, bridges and barns. They like to live in dark, sheltered spaces of a structure, such as in the crevices of windowsills and overhangs of a home.

Identifying Male Versus Female Southern House Spiders

Interestingly, male and female southern house spiders look very different from one another. The females are about half an inch to three-quarters of an inch long. Females are a charcoal gray color with dark patches. The end … Read Full Post »

My Thermostat Is Not Working: What’s Going On?

a thermostat not reaching the set temperature

Imagine that your air conditioning unit stops working just after your family has arrived for a visit in the middle of summer. Or, that your heater breaks down right at the coldest point of winter. Few things are more frustrating than you and your family having to deal with these extreme temperatures. Plus, it is stressful not knowing what might be the problem or how to fix it.

If you are noticing heating or cooling issues, this might mean that your thermostat is not working. One sign that might point to an issue with your thermostat is if your air conditioning unit is not reaching the set temperature. Similarly, if the unit keeps shutting off early or it is running all the time, then your thermostat might be the problem. Another common sign is if the display on the thermostat is blank.

Sometimes, homeowners can fix these kinds of problems by doing … Read Full Post »

What if My Toilet Won’t Flush All the Way?

a toilet that won't flush all the way

It’s annoying when your toilet won’t flush all the way. This problem is already bad enough if it’s just you in the house, but it’s especially frustrating if it happens when family is visiting or you’re hosting a gathering. Not only is it gross when the contents of your toilet bowl don’t completely empty when you flush, but it’s also concerning. This could be an initial sign of a larger issue that could lead to messy and expensive problems.

When you push the handle on your toilet, this should start a chain reaction. The handle should lift a stopper, which should then allow water to flow into the toilet bowl. Then, all the contents flow out through the drain in the bottom. However, this process doesn’t always work, which means that the contents in the bowl might get left behind. There are a few different reasons why you may be having … Read Full Post »

If One Room Has Bed Bugs, Do They All?

a bed bug crawling up a wall

If you’re like most people, discovering bed bugs in your home is nothing short of a nightmare. Maybe you brought them back home after traveling, or they hitchhiked in on some used furniture picked up at a yard sale. However they arrived in your home, bed bugs multiply quickly, so they need to be eliminated fast, before their population explodes. But how difficult will it be to get rid of them? If one room has bed bugs, do they all?

The short answer is that it’s possible there are bed bugs in more than one room in your house. It depends on your living habits, how long the bed bugs have been there, how extensive the infestation is and how you respond to their presence once you find out about them. Let’s learn more about these pests, including signs of you might have a problem, ways to get rid of them … Read Full Post »

How to Save on Your Heating Bill

a homeowner looking at an energy bill wondering how to save on the heating bill

It’s a fact of life: As winter approaches and outdoor temperatures start to drop, our heating bills start to rise. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank by spring just to stay warm. There are several ways to keep your home comfortable without the high energy bill. Even small acts can go a long way toward saving money over the long winter months. For example, adjusting the thermostat when you’re away may not seem like a big deal, but it can make a difference over the course of a month.

Saving on your heating bill really means finding ways to reduce your energy usage all while still keeping your home warm and comfortable. A good place to start for most homeowners is taking advantage of nature’s heater—the sun. During the daytime, open the blinds or curtains on the windows located on the south side of your home to let the … Read Full Post »

My Heater Smells: What’s Going On?

a light colored living room where the heater is blowing smelly air

If your heater has started smelling, all sorts of things could be going on. It could range from a simple issue to a more severe problem. It might mean that your heater needs a tune-up, or it could be something larger like a cracked heat exchanger.

Common heater odors include a burnt dust smell, a musty smell, an oily smell and an electrical burning smell.

If It’s a Burnt Dust Smell

This is one of the most common smells that homeowners notice coming from their heater. It often happens the first cold day or night of the season, when you turn on your furnace after it’s been off for a while.

What causes the smell is usually the burning of dust that has settled on the heater. It typically wears off after the furnace runs for a few hours and the dust has burned off. However, if the smell doesn’t go away, then something … Read Full Post »

Causes of Low Water Pressure in Kitchen Sink

low water pressure in a kitchen sink

If you begin noticing that the water coming out of your kitchen faucet doesn’t have as much pressure as it should, the first thing to check is whether it’s a whole-house issue. Are all the taps affected, or only the kitchen sink? If the kitchen is the only tap with low pressure, it’s time to consider the potential causes of low water pressure in a kitchen sink so you can determine what might be causing it, and fix it.

The most common causes of low water pressure in a kitchen sink are a clogged aerator or a clogged cartridge. The aerator is the part of the faucet that is at the very end of the spout; it is the last thing the water touches before it comes out into the sink. Most aerators become clogged over time due to mineral deposits in hard water. Fortunately, they are simple to clean when … Read Full Post »

Heater Is Not Turning On: Troubleshooting Tips

A chilly, white kitchen because the heater is not turning on

Heater not turning on, no matter what you do to try to get it to work? On a cold day, it can be worrisome to crank up the heat in your home, only to find you’re still feeling chilly. Fortunately, there are a few things a homeowner can do to try to figure out what’s gone wrong. Be forewarned, however—chances are, the problem may be too involved for a simple fix. When this happens, it may be necessary to call in a professional who can diagnose the issue and determine the right way to resolve it. It may turn out to be a small repair, such as a broken part that can be replaced. If it’s a more extensive problem, the entire heater may need replacing, especially if yours is an older model.

When your heater is not turning on, the first thing to check is whether the thermostat on the … Read Full Post »

How Long Do Christmas Lights Last?

Old christmas lights that has led a homeowner to wonder how long christmas lights last

While technology has improved over the years, unfortunately, all Christmas lights need to be replaced at some point. No matter how many times you replace individual bulbs, the wiring on your strings of lights and other essential components that make the lights work will eventually wear out.

The timeline for giving your lights the boot isn’t set in stone. In general, homeowners can keep using their lights as long as they’re still working. However, if you wait too long to replace Christmas lights, they might suddenly shut off in the middle of the holiday season, or you might encounter more serious problems like electrocution and fires.

The lifespan of Christmas lighting typically depends on the kind of lights you have and how you use them. For example, traditional incandescent lights usually have a lifespan of around four to six years, while newer LED lights often last anywhere from seven to ten years. … Read Full Post »

How To Hang Christmas Lights On A Metal Roof

Lights laid out for holiday decorating, which has led a homeowner to wonder how to hang Christmas lights on a metal roof

Homeowners with a metal roof don’t have to worry when the holiday season comes around. Even though many outdoor lighting systems are designed for typical shingles or gutters, it’s still possible to hang Christmas lights on a metal roof if you do your research and learn what works and what doesn’t.

Before you get started, you’ll need to gather all the tools you’ll need to hang your lights, so you can avoid having to constantly stop and restart to find another essential item. Here are the main steps involved in getting your home adorned with festive holiday lighting:

  • Gather your strands of lights, as well as other electronic items you might need, such as extension cords and timers.
  • Test each string of lights to make sure they’re working before you start hanging them. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours putting up lights, only to find that a bulb is out in the … Read Full Post »