ABC Blog

My AC Is Not Turning On: What’s Wrong

An AC vent that won't turn on

For a homeowner, there are few things as distressing as turning on your air conditioner and nothing happening. This holds especially true when the temperatures start climbing to triple digits. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can check yourself to get that cool air flowing again.

Some Easier Fixes

Let’s start with the basics. Your air conditioner might not be getting any juice. Take a look at your breaker box and see if there is a tripped fuse or a breaker has blown. Those are easy fixes that might get your system up and running.

Ductwork Issues

On the system’s outside unit, you have a condenser that takes the warmer air from your home, cools it and sends it back through your home’s air ducts. It is possible that rodents have chewed through the cord that links your outdoor unit to your home’s electrical system. If rodents are your problem, you may … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Pool Pump Leaking From the Top?

a pool pump leaking from the top

“Why is my pool pump leaking from the top?” This is a question many homeowners with pools ask certified pool professionals when they find their pool pump is leaking. Discovering a leak in your pool pump can be frustrating, but these leaks are actually very common.

Pool pumps have many different components, including a motor and housing as well as various gaskets, clamps and o-rings. If any of these parts breaks or wears out, it can cause a leak. Having too little water in your pool can also lead to a leak, since it can allow air into the pump. Of course, low water levels in the pool can also be the result of a pump leak, not the cause of it. In these cases, it can be helpful to learn your pool’s evaporation rate.

Whatever is causing the leak needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Some pump leaks can … Read Full Post »

Hammerhead Worm in Texas

a hammerhead worm on a driveway

You’re digging in your garden or spending time on the patio, and you spot what looks like a long, weird earthworm. Its head is reminiscent of a hammerhead shark, which is where it got its name. What you have spotted is actually a hammerhead worm. Finding a hammerhead worm in Texas is unfortunate because these pests prey on beneficial earthworms. They can also be tough to eliminate. So what should you do if you find one?

The first thing to know is that you should not try to kill it by chopping it in half with a shovel. It may sound like science fiction, but it’s real: When the body of a hammerhead worm is divided, it will regenerate into separate living worms. This is called fragmentation, and it is actually how this species reproduces. Its numbers multiply when it is cut into pieces.

Another important thing to know is that you … Read Full Post »

Where Do Roaches Come From?

an American cockroach in a home

If you turn on a light in the middle of the night and see a cockroach scurrying out of sight, you may be wondering: where do roaches come from? Why is this pest in my home? Is this a sign of an infestation?

To answer these questions, we must first determine which type of roach is in your home. While there are over 70 species of cockroaches that live in America, there are two types that you’re likely to see in your home. On your property, you’ll most likely see American cockroaches and German cockroaches.

The American Cockroach

The reddish-brown adult American cockroach, which is pictured above, averages a body length of around two inches. This roach has lighter-colored edges along the pronotum. Males tend to appear larger than females. But, this is most often due to the fact that the male’s wings extend past their abdomen while the female’s wings do not.

American … Read Full Post »

My Toilet Won’t Flush: What’s Going On?

a toilet that won't flush

Panic can quickly set in when your toilet won’t flush. What could have gone wrong and is there anything you can do to fix it?

Fortunately, there are some easy fixes for this problem. Unfortunately, others will require the help of a licensed plumber.

Let’s dive into these common issues and their fixes.

The Water Shut-off Valve Is Turned Off

In order for the toilet to flush, the water shut-off valve that feeds water into the tank of a toilet has to be on. Occasionally, something can hit the shut-off valve or it can get adjusted while cleaning. When this happens, the toilet only has one or two flushes before it runs out of water.

To check if this is your issue, look behind the base of the toilet. Your shut-off valve should be a few inches off the floor. Make sure the valve is turned all the way to the left. If it’s not, … Read Full Post »

Pharaoh Ants: Identification & Control Guide

The pharaoh ant is a common household ant that is thought to have originated from Africa. Some scholars speculate that the ant earned its name from a mistaken idea that it was one of the plagues that hit ancient Egypt. Wherever the name began, it is a nuisance that can seem like a plague to people living in the many areas this ant frequents.

The pharaoh ant is found in every inhabited region on the planet, and it nests outside only in places below the equator. However, it has adapted to some of the southern United States. That is because the ant’s favorite home is in places where it is between 80 to 86 degrees, humid (80 percent or more) and is close to food and water.

But that definitely does not mean the pharaoh ant is only in the southern area of the United States. The pharaoh ant has adapted to … Read Full Post »

My Air Conditioner Smells: What’s Wrong?

an air conditioning vent that is blowing smelly air through the home

If your air conditioner smells when it runs, there is a good chance that something within the system is broken and needs to be fixed. In some cases, it’s actually a sign of a problem that could be making your health worse. There’s also a chance that it’s something simple you can resolve on your own. Either way, it’s important to do some investigation and troubleshooting. The best option is always to have your AC system checked out by a heating and cooling specialist, to make sure everything is working as it should.

Musty or Moldy Smells Coming From the AC

Humidity within the AC system is one of the most common causes of bad smells coming from the AC when it runs. Many people don’t realize that the AC doesn’t just cool the air in your home on a hot day. It also removes humidity. When there’s too much moisture in … Read Full Post »

Does Fire Keep Mosquitoes Away?

Fending off mosquitoes is a ritual of both spring and summer—sometimes year-round depending on the weather and location. People try just about everything to keep these pesky, annoying little pests away, from sprays to candles to home remedies. Some people even try to eat certain foods to keep mosquitoes away. None of these options are particularly effective, however.

Mosquitoes aren’t just a nuisance. They can also carry a variety of diseases, including Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue and malaria. These aren’t things you want to mess around with!

Many people believe that mosquitoes only come out and bite at night, but that isn’t the case. Though it is true that the variety that carries the West Nile virus is more active from dusk until dawn, other types keep a different schedule. During the day, in shaded areas, you can find active mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus and chikungunya. … Read Full Post »

Are Roaches Attracted to Light?

a cockroach on a white wall

Many homeowners have a fear of discovering cockroaches in their house. You may have turned on a light in your kitchen or bathroom and spotted roaches climbing up the walls or walking across the floors.

If this has happened to you, don’t panic. Dealing with a cockroach infestation is a very common problem that homeowners face, especially in the southern United States. Having roaches in your home is not evidence that you are unclean or bad at taking care of your house.

If you have seen roaches inside your home, you may be wondering if roaches are attracted to light or if they prefer the dark. Getting clear about what attracts roaches and where they like to hide will help in keeping roaches out.

You might also be curious about whether there are cockroaches hiding in your home, especially inside your walls. And if they are, how would you find them? If you … Read Full Post »

What Do Cat Fleas Look Like?

a cat flea on a human

If you have cats, you have probably noticed them using their feet to scratch an itchy spot or two. However if your kitty is scratching more than usual or licking and biting at their skin, they might have fleas. While some flea problems can be isolated to your pet, fleas are prolific breeders. And, as your cat walks around your home, they can deposit flea eggs wherever they go. Unfortunately, this can lead to a flea infestation throughout your home.

Cat fleas are the most common type of flea. They live all over the United States and around the world and mostly feed on dogs and cats, but will feed on other animals too. Cat fleas are tiny, coming in at about an eighth of an inch in length. They are brownish-black in color, but can appear red if they have recently fed. These pests are flat and wingless with 6 … Read Full Post »