ABC Blog

Roof Rat vs. Norway Rat: How Are They Different?

Roof rat vs. Norway rat

There are few pests which homeowners dislike as much as rats.

It’s easy to see why these furry creatures evoke such negative feelings. In addition to carrying diseases, rats can destroy your property by chewing and gnawing on wires, pipes, water hoses, wood doors, floors, walls, clothing, furniture, cement and more. These rodents can consume and contaminate your food, go through your trash and make a huge mess. Rats can also destroy crops.

To take care of a rat problem, you have to know which species of rat you are dealing with. There are over 50 species of rats, but only a few we are likely to see in and around our homes.

The roof rat (which has an almost comical scientific name: Rattus rattus) likes to be up high like its name suggests and usually nests in walls and attics. In the wild, these animals can be found in trees, among vines … Read Full Post »

Your San Antonio Christmas Events 2017 Guide

San Antonio Christmas Events 2017

Whether you just want to be a tourist in your own city or entertain your out-of-town guests or kids for winter break, San Antonio has a variety of Christmas events throughout the holidays which are sure to make everyone happy.

In addition to simply strolling along the beautiful River Walk, you and your family can enjoy a festive experience when San Antonio’s quintessential tourist stop will be lit up with more than 2,000 luminarias between December 1 and 17 on weekend nights. The traditional Mexican Christmas lantern tradition begins at dusk on Fridays and brings a soft glow to the river. In addition to luminarias, The River Walk will be decorated with 122,000 lights draped over the bald cypress trees along the river the day after Thanksgiving until the new year. In addition, the San Antonio River Authority covers the path along the river between Grayson Street and Lexington Avenue … Read Full Post »

Clogged Filter? Furnace Filter Symptoms Of Heating Problems

Clogged Filter Furnace and Filter Symptoms

Remembering to change your furnace filter can be a tall order since it isn’t something you see or notice. The adage “out of sight, out of mind” seems well-suited for this routine task.

But clogged furnace air filters can spell big problems not only for your electric bill but for your furnace itself. 

We know what you might be thinking. “What? There’s another filter in my home?”

Well, it depends. Here in Texas, the filter that’s working during the winter months is typically just your air duct return air filter, the same one you regularly change for your air conditioner. What you might not realize is that it is just as important to change this filter when you turn on the heater in your home as during the summer months.

In colder parts of the country, some homes may have a warm air furnace. In these units, a dedicated furnace filter is typically … Read Full Post »

Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?

Do I need to upgrade my electrical panel

Owning a home has many benefits. Unfortunately, one of the disadvantages is that things break. Sometimes, you have no clue why something isn’t working. Diagnosing the problem is only half the battle. When it comes to electrical issues, most homeowners have little idea what exactly the problem is, much less how to fix it.

If you’ve had trouble with electricity or appliances working properly, this post will shed some light on if you need to upgrade your electrical panel, how to determine your panel’s capacity, how you can change your electrical panel yourself if you so desire and why hiring an electrician is probably the best way to go.

What Is a Breaker Panel?

Before we discuss how and why your electrical panel might not be working, let’s talk about the breaker panel itself. An electrical panel is the central point that connects the wires from outside to the wires inside your home … Read Full Post »

The Best Time To Prune Trees in Texas

best time to prune trees in Texas

There are many reasons why trees, especially mature trees, raise the property value of your home. Trees provide majestic beauty and undeniable curb appeal, along with much-needed shade in the Texas heat. They enable us to stay out of the sun as we relax outdoors, and they also provide both shelter and food for many varieties of animals and insects.

Trees that aren’t well maintained, however, can become not only an eyesore, but also an actual liability. Homeowners who don’t maintain their trees risk injury and property damage due to fallen limbs, termites, tree diseases and other hazards. That’s why pruning your trees—trimming away dead or overgrown branches—is essential to maintaining the trees’ longevity, beauty and value.

Pruning trees isn’t only for purposes of increased safety, health or value, either. While pruning branches helps to prevent the overgrowth of tree limbs, it also improves the overall health of the tree by encouraging … Read Full Post »

Heat Tolerant Plants for Texas

Heat Tolerant Plants for Texas

Living in Texas is wonderful most of the year. Enjoying time in the garden in the spring and fall and having flowers blooming all year round make Texas yards the envy of those living elsewhere.

With all the advantages of living in Texas, there is one undeniable fact–it can be very hot, especially during the summer. When there are long stretches of warm weather, it can be harder to keep your yard looking nice, especially when there’s little or no rain for long stretches of time.

You’ve spent a lot of time, energy and money on your lawn and garden, though, so you don’t want your plants to suffer in the relentless Texas heat. What types of plants should you have in your yard that will survive a Texas summer? Are there particular flowers and grasses that are drought and heat-resistant? What steps should you take to make sure these species last the … Read Full Post »

Smart Home Services Help Manage Your Home Virtually

Many of us have grown to depend on our mobile devices. Whether it’s to help us get to where we need to go, to remind us to pick up milk on the way home from work or to track our steps, our phones and tablets are with us a majority of the day.

Now, homeowners have a new way to use our digital devices to make life easier: by turning our houses into “smart homes”.

Home automation can seem intimidating, even for the most tech-savvy among us. If you are wondering whether you would benefit from a Smart Home system, know that you can count on ABC Home & Commercial Services to help you understand, install and integrate Smart Home features into your Austin, San Antonio and Corpus Christi home.

What is a Smart Home, Exactly?

We all know what a smart phone is, but what’s a smart home?

As technology provided … Read Full Post »

Common Air Conditioner Problems: Not Cooling

Common Air Conditioner Problems Not Cooling

Naturally, when the temperatures climb, we tend to stay indoors, enjoying the benefits of our air conditioned homes. But what happens when your air conditioning isn’t working to your satisfaction? What if it appears to be working but it simply isn’t cooling your home? Where do you go to spend the day? How will you fix it? Unfortunately, air conditioners can sometimes stop cooling. So when it does, it’s best to be prepared.

Common Air Conditioner Problems: Not Cooling

In this post, we’ll discuss what might be happening if your air conditioner isn’t cooling your home to your satisfaction. We’ll also provide an explanation for how an air conditioner unit works and what you need to know to ensure it’s working properly. Finally, we’ll dive a bit deeper to examine what steps you can take to fix it at home and what steps are best left to the professionals.

Central Air Conditioner Problems: … Read Full Post »

Grass Mites on Humans: Are They a Problem?

grass mites on humans

Grass mites are tiny lawn pests that can difficult to see with the naked eye. Mite is actually a collective term, as there are many variations of this insect-like organism, some of which are known to feed on wild and domestic animals, including humans. Homeowners may know mites as tiny creatures that can feed on plants, but are grass mites on humans a problem? Let’s take a deeper look into these microscopic bugs to learn more about them and how they might impact you.

Grass Mites On Humans: Are They A Problem?

There are a variety of mite species that might be on your property, but the types of mites most likely to bite humans are more commonly known as chiggers. Although these species of mites live in grass and are sometimes lumped together with other bugs that are called grass mites, these animals do not feed on plant matter and are … Read Full Post »

5 Air Conditioning Problems and Solutions

Air conditioning problems and solutions

In the southern parts of the U.S., there’s really no escaping the heat. You either find a place to cool off or you learn to deal with it. Thankfully, many of us can relax in our homes, which provide a safe haven with a cool, comfortable temperature. When something goes wrong, however, our living environment (and mood) can quickly change. 

5 Air Conditioning Problems and Solutions

Air conditioners use about 6% of all the electricity produced in the U.S., which represents over $11 billion in energy costs nationwide. This means that problems with a failing air conditioner could cause you not only the annoyance of uncomfortable living conditions, but also more money in the long run if you have to deal with unexpected repairs. Do you know what the most common AC problems and solutions are? The good news is that every problem has a solution, so let’s take a deeper look … Read Full Post »