ABC Blog

Bugs and Ball Games Don’t Mix

Is your child too busy swatting at insects to focus on scoring goals on the soccer field? Does your weekly touch football game usually end with bug bites on your ankles? If so, your playing fields could benefit from San Antonio lawn services and pest control from ABC. While bugs can destroy the beauty of your lawn, business landscaping or sports field, they can also put a damper on your favorite outdoor activities by swarming, biting and stinging.

Pests That Can Ruin Your Game

Most of the time the insect world goes largely unnoticed, and we live in harmony with bugs when their populations are kept under control. The occasional mosquito or chigger isn’t going to disrupt your athletic focus, but an infestation of them on your playing field or golf course can turn a pleasant game into an afternoon of scratching and clawing at your itchy skin. Our San Antonio lawn … Read Full Post »

Garbage Disposal Maintenance: Do’s and Don’ts

Garbage disposals can simplify life by reducing overall household waste. However, if they are not properly maintained, garbage disposals can easily malfunction, leading to drain blockages as well as a host of other plumbing nightmares.

Results of improperly maintained garbage disposals include clogged pipes, damaged wires and loose blades. Installing and repairing a garbage disposal is not the best choice for a DIY project as many things can, and often do, go wrong. The experts at ABC Home & Commercial Services, your San Antonio plumbing specialists, can solve all of your drain dilemmas.

By following these simple steps, you can prolong the life of your garbage disposal and save hundreds of dollars on replacement costs.

Do’s of Disposal Maintenance:

  • Keep your disposal clean by flushing it out with a small amount of dish soap and cold running water after you wash dishes.
  • Every week, fill the disposal with ice cubes and run cold water for … Read Full Post »

What Type of Maintenance Does My Heating and Cooling System Need?

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency and its affiliated programs, the average American household pays approximately $2,200 per year on energy. Nearly half of this amount, they report, is put toward the cost of heating and cooling homes. That unbelievable number, however, can be significantly lowered with proper HVAC maintenance and service throughout the year.

Higher energy bills aren’t the only consequence of infrequent maintenance work. The primary cause of equipment failure and diminished performance in heating and cooling systems is neglect. The buildup of dust and fine particles of debris that gather within ducts and equipment can cause irreparable damage to the entire system. Changing your unit’s filter regularly, particularly during the winter and summer, can help to prevent this type of damage, but filter replacement is never intended to stand in the place of professional checkups and maintenance.

Hiring an experienced San Antonio HVAC specialist is the first … Read Full Post »

A Quick Guide to Year-round Edible Gardening in San Antonio

There’s nothing quite like a fresh salad of homegrown, handpicked vegetables or a main dish sprinkled with fresh herbs just cut from the garden. One of the benefits of living in San Antonio is that there are edible plants that can be grown at any time of the year. Knowing what to grow and when to grow it is a matter of doing some research on gardening in the region.

San Antonio is considered to be in Hardiness Zone 8 according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. The information listed below is based on the season during which the plant will be ready for harvesting.

Spring

  • Broccoli can be started in the winter and transplanted to the garden by February. The timing of the planting season for broccoli makes it the perfect vegetable to be enjoyed in the spring.
  • Cucumbers are sown in warm weather and harvested quickly. If you start as soon as frost … Read Full Post »

Beat the Heat and Cold with San Antonio Landscaping Choices

You may know of ways to use windows, drapery and insulation to boost heat in the winter and keep the home cool in the summer, but did you know that you can heat and cool the inside of your home with the help of outdoor landscaping?

Methods of Cooling with Landscaping

Placing trees and other plants in the right location around your home could help shield your home from the sun during summer months. Keeping out harsh rays while the weather is warm means that your home will stay cooler and your air conditioning bills could be lower.

Use tall trees that lose leaves during cooler months to shade windows during the summer. Although the majority of heat that enters a home can be attributed to the beating of the sun’s rays through uncovered windows, a significant amount of the heat that is absorbed by a home when the weather is warm enters … Read Full Post »

Pet-Safe Gardening Tips for Landscaping in San Antonio

For many years, cocoa mulch has been a popular choice for landscaping. Recently, pet owners across the nation have been warned against using this long-lasting mulch. Although most people are aware that chocolate is toxic to dogs, few people know about the dangers of cocoa mulch.

According to the ASPCA, cocoa bean shells, which are a by-product of chocolate processing, contain up to 3% theobromine and approximately .36 % caffeine. Both of these compounds can compromise the health of dogs. A number of pet owners have seen their family dogs become sick after eating large quantities of this enticing cocoa-scented mulch.

San Antonio lawn care service providers at ABC Home & Commercial routinely replace cocoa mulch with other alternatives, such as crushed stone, pine straw and cedar bark. These materials help prevent weeds, and they retain soil moisture without endangering pets. Pet owners may also consider installing protective fencing to prevent pets … Read Full Post »

Don’t Let Faulty Sprinklers Get You Down

If the grass looks green, most people assume their sprinklers are doing a good job. However, even faulty sprinklers can still contribute to a green lawn. To prevent some dangerous and costly mistakes, it is important to check sprinklers regularly for leaks.

Problem: Higher Water Bills

Water leaking from a sprinkler will contribute to a higher monthly water bill. When a sprinkler develops a leak, the problem may worsen quickly due to water pressure.

Problem: Mosquitoes

When water leaks from the sprinkler’s head, it pools up in the surrounding area of the lawn. This creates standing water, which is a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes. During the summer months, the added humidity and heat create optimal conditions for mosquito infestations. These pests carry several harmful diseases, so if your sprinkler system is fault, your best bet is to contact a San Antonio irrigation and lawn service company.

Problem: Uneven Appearance

If a leak gets worsens, the … Read Full Post »

Striped Bark Scorpions High in Numbers

Some unwanted guests are making frequent appearances in San Antonio due to this past summer’s heat: striped bark scorpions. They are the most common type of scorpion found in Texas, but San Antonio residents do not want these creepy critters taking up residence in their homes. Knowing more about these arthropods will help you avoid a direct encounter with them.

Where to Find Striped Bark Scorpions

Striped bark scorpions prefer cool, dark places. In outdoor locations, they can be found in crevices around buildings, under rocks and even under water dishes for pets. Unfortunately, they can easily get into homes through small cracks. Caulking around windows is important. Make sure doors have weather stripping to prevent spaces underneath. If there are any other unsealed openings into the home, seal them well. Keep in mind—scorpions can climb. When they do get into homes, they tend to hide in or under furniture, in shoes … Read Full Post »

Easy Ways to Avoid San Antonio HVAC Maintenance

As energy bills rise, it’s tempting to look for the single solution that will shave off a large part of your heating bill, but there are numerous ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home. With these simple and inexpensive San Antonio HVAC maintenance solutions, you can keep those heating bills from rising – even in the cold holiday season!

 

ADJUST THE THERMOSTAT

The most obvious way to reduce your fuel use is to turn down the thermostat. Think of it as a valve between your fuel supplier and your wallet. For every degree you turn it down, you will use up to 3 percent less heating energy. A 10-degree setback overnight or while you’re at work will cut your heating bill by up to 10 percent. Keep in mind that it doesn’t take long to heat your home to a comfortable level – only about 15 minutes. Never adjust the … Read Full Post »

Simple Ways to Avoid Needing Appliance Repair in San Antonio?

When something’s not broke, why fix it – right? In the case of your appliance, repair can be avoided with just a little tender loving care. Simple maintenance can prolong the life of your dishwasher long after its sticker date.

According to DIYlife.com, here are a few easy tips for keeping your dishwasher in top shape:

Keep your hot water heater set to the recommended temperature
Your dishwasher’s manufacturer has determined the optimal degrees, which you can locate in your user manual. Forgotten where you stashed that old manual? Try searching Google for the model number of your appliance; many manufacturers post manuals online.

Run a monthly cleanse-cycle on your dishwasher
Simply empty a packet of sugar-free lemonade where you normally place detergent and run the dishwasher through a normal cycle.

Check the interior racks of your dishwasher
If the paint is wearing off, consider investing in a dishwasher repair kit to prevent scratches on your pots … Read Full Post »