ABC Blog

When To Replace An Air Conditioner

a homeowner calculating if it's worth it to replace their air conditioner

The worst time to discover your air conditioner is failing is when the sun is blazing, there is no breeze and you need some cool air right away. In order to avoid sweating inside your home, waiting for the repair person to save everyone, you will want to know how to tell when your AC is failing so you can be proactive. If you notice any of the following, it’s best to call in a licensed professional to find out exactly what is going on.

  • Loud or increasing noise or vibrations.
  • You notice more dust on your furniture. Your vents could be clogging up.
  • You start to smell a moldy or burning odor from around the AC unit itself, if it is easily accessible. That could mean too much moisture or a problem with wiring.
  • Energy bills spike up suddenly, with no other electrical or gas issues.
  • Nothing happens when you flip on the unit, … Read Full Post »

The Signs Your Water Heater Is Going Bad

a water heater

The middle of a shower or load of dishes is a bad time to learn your water heater has stopped working. As unpleasant as that would be, the reality is that a water heater gives signals before it quits working altogether. It’s a good idea to know the signs that your water heater is going bad.

Not Enough Hot Water

If you start having to plan showers around whether you also need to get hot water for other tasks soon after, you probably already know your water heater isn’t producing enough of the hot stuff. The problem might be as simple as a need to turn up the temperature a bit, which you can do and then see if that helps.

If you’re still running out of hot water faster than before, your tank might have a sediment buildup. This often happens in areas where the water contains a large amount of sediment. … Read Full Post »

What Is a HEPA Air Filter?

a homeowner changing out a hepa filter

Studies show that the air inside our homes is often much more polluted than the air outside. That is why many people have started turning to air purifiers to help make the air in their home healthier. However, not all air filtration systems are the same. Some offer a much higher level of protection.

HEPA air purifiers offer one of the highest levels of protection available to homeowners. HEPA stands for “high efficiency particulate air,” and it indicates the product uses a certain type of air filter. For a product to say it is a HEPA air purifier or HEPA air filter, it must meet the standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy.

This means that anything labeled as a HEPA filter must remove at least 99.97% of particles from the air that are just 0.3 microns in diameter. A micron is a unit of measurement used to determine the size … Read Full Post »

Air Conditioning Preventive Maintenance

an AC vent

Anyone living in central Texas knows the importance of having a good, working heating and cooling system. That goes for winter as well as summer. As blazingly hot as it can get outside in July and August, it can get just as bitterly cold during the winter months. But did you know that regular air conditioning preventative maintenance can keep your AC working efficiently for many years?

An efficient AC system uses less energy and fuel to run. That’s better for the environment, and also for your bank account. Regular checkups from an HVAC professional can save you money on your utility bills. Checkups also save you money over the long term by extending the life of your air conditioning system. If you have a home warranty, annual AC maintenance check-ups may even be a requirement for staying covered.

Furthermore, your family will be safer, healthier and more comfortable in your home … Read Full Post »

Ever Heard of Dirty Sock Syndrome?

a vent with an ac that has dirty sock syndrome

It’s never a good thing to catch a whiff of a foul smell coming from your home. It’s even worse when you can’t name it or find it. It seems familiar, like gym socks that fell behind the washing machine. But that isn’t quite it. A quick check of the laundry room finds everything in order.

You know when the cat’s litter box needs changing, or if the laundry has been sitting in the hamper too long. A fragrant trash bin is easily identified. Maybe the house just needs a good cleaning? No, even after the kitchen, bathroom and floors get a good scrubbing, the off-putting scent lingers.

Once you have run through the list of usual suspects and still haven’t discovered the source, you might want to zero in on your HVAC system. Your house might have caught a case of dirty sock syndrome!

Why Is the House So Smelly?

Your home’s heating … Read Full Post »

San Antonio River Walk Christmas Events

the san antonio river walk at christmas time

Looking for San Antonio River Walk Christmas events to enjoy with your family and friends this holiday season? Look no further! Here is your definitive list of all the most fun, festive, heartwarming and twinkly things to enjoy in San Antonio. This list includes activities along the city’s famed central attraction, its beautiful downtown River Walk.

San Antonio is beloved by residents and tourists alike for its rich history, its colorful blend of cultures and cuisines, and its lively sense of fun. All these elements truly come to life during the holidays. It’s not hard to find incredible lights displays and fun Christmas events in San Antonio.

And nowhere in San Antonio is merrier or brighter during the holidays than at the River Walk. The popular area is a beautiful place to visit on any day of the year. But, when millions of colorful holiday lights cascade from the trees and reflect … Read Full Post »

Do Roaches Come Back After Extermination?

A cockroach on a person's skin.

If you’ve ever successfully treated a roach problem, you’ve probably wondered to yourself, do roaches come back after extermination? It’s a valid question if you are starting to see these nasty pests again after having your house treated. The short answer is, yes, roaches can come back after extermination even after professional treatment. Eradicating the roaches is only one part of an effective pest control plan.

A proficient pest control plan should include treating thoroughly for roaches, but it should also cover preventative measures like blocking roach access to your home from the outdoors. Many roaches that people see inside their homes came in from outside. Oriental and American cockroaches are easily identifiable and are two varieties that often make their way inside. These cockroaches are brown or black, grow from 1.5 to 2 inches long, and are about a half-inch wide. They typically live outside and create nests in damp … Read Full Post »

Are There Squirrels or Rats in My House?

a squirrel on a wooden fence

Squirrels may be cute to some, but they can also cause as much damage as many other pests. Like rats, squirrels are also rodents. Both animals are clever and enjoy chewing on a variety of items. This also means both creatures can leave quite a mess if they get into your home. Nonetheless, there are some differences you can look out for to help determine whether you have a squirrel problem versus a rat problem.

Appearance

While they are both small, furry, brownish or grey-colored animals that have small ears, there are a few differences. Squirrels are generally a bit larger than rats, and their eyes are usually a bit bigger. Squirrels also usually have a more distinct division between their heads and bodies than rats do.

The types of squirrels that are most often found in neighborhoods can grow to around 18 inches to over 2 feet long, on average. Meanwhile, most … Read Full Post »

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

a shower that has been turned on with hot water coming from a tankless water heater

You might have heard your friends and family talk a lot about tankless water heaters lately. These are a newer type of appliance that can have many benefits for your household. But, before you decide to convert to a tankless water heater, it is good to know what you are getting into.

Regular water heaters work by heating water and then storing it until you are ready to use it. Tankless water heaters also heat up your water, but they work a little differently. These appliances are also called instantaneous or demand-type water heaters.

With a tankless water heater, the heating process happens when you turn on the tap. It is at this moment that cold water starts to flow through your home’s pipes to the water heater. This heater is typically located close to the place where you use it, such as near the sink. When water reaches the appliance, it … Read Full Post »

Toilet Tank Not Filling but Water Is Running

a toilet tank that isn't filling but the water is running

It can be confusing to find your toilet tank not filling but water is running. Why wouldn’t the tank fill up when the water is running like it’s supposed to? This is a problem because when the tank doesn’t fill, the toilet can’t flush. If you live in a house with other people, that’s a situation that needs fixing fast. Fortunately, it can be easy to diagnose this type of problem if you have basic plumbing knowledge.

This problem could involve one or several different components. Here are the different components of your toilet that could malfunction and cause this problem.

The Water Supply Line

If there’s a leak in the water supply line that runs to your toilet, the tank will still fill, just slowly. If the leak isn’t fixed, however, the tank will start filling more and more slowly over time. This is something that a plumber should look at as … Read Full Post »