ABC Blog

Is Your Air Conditioner Running Constantly?

air conditioner running constantly

If your air conditioner is working hard all the time, chances are that you are wasting money, that you will need regular repairs and that your AC’s lifespan will be shorter than it should be.

Contrary to popular belief, shutting down your air conditioner or heater during the day is not the best way to save energy. In this post, we’ll discuss how to balance energy efficiency, the desire for comfort and costs to help you decide how often you’ll want your AC to be running during the day.

Should I Turn My Air Conditioner Off During The Day?

When you leave your air conditioner off during the day, you would imagine that the entire system doesn’t have to do any work, which would save you money in the long run. The problem with this conclusion is that your air conditioner actually works harder to bring your indoor temperature to a desired level … Read Full Post »

6 Ways San Antonio Residents Can Lower CPS Energy Bills

home automation can save texans energy

Did Your CPS Bill Go Up?

Everyone expects a utility bill spike in the summer, but it isn’t entirely uncommon to notice alarming rates in the winter, too. Even in the mildest of winter seasons, it is important to remember that old homes have old furnaces and old furnaces aren’t the most efficient. We love giving our customers insider tips when we can. Read through the following ideas so that you won’t waste a cent on your future CPS bills.

1. Plan Your Budget with CPS’s Help

CPS Energy has begun offering a Budget Payment Plan. The utility provider charges the enrolled customer an average of their previous bills’ amounts, plus a fee for environmental factors. There is an application and approval process. Currently, CPS requires you to call them by phone to sign up. The jury is still out on how useful this option is, but we’re very interested!

2. Learn About CPS … Read Full Post »

6 Tips to Lower Your Austin Energy Bill

Is your Austin Energy Bill to high?

Wondering Why your Austin Energy Bill is so High in the Winter?

Our customers have been fielding us with lots of questions about their Austin Energy bills over the last few months, and we are just as concerned as they are. Across the board, it seems as though our customers’ utilities are getting more expensive. KXAN investigated reports of abnormally high water bills back in the fall of 2015. Now that it’s winter, we’re getting calls about higher-than-average winter utility bills. And we think we know why.

Because Austin doesn’t reach freezing temps very often, most homeowners don’t think their heaters need as much attention as their air conditioners. But if your winter bills are sky-high, an old heater is the likely culprit.

You shouldn’t have to waste a penny to keep your family comfortable. Here are a few tips for general energy-monitoring and winter-specific ideas to lower those energy bills.

1. Take Advantage … Read Full Post »

Is Your House Haunted? No, It’s Just Your Heater.

abc will fix the crazy noises your heater makes

We’ve all heard the ghost stories; a loud pop comes out of nowhere; there’s a gusty breeze inside the home; you hear what sounds like whining and hissing. San Antonio is full of spooky old homes, some of which might even be haunted. If you hear the ghastly rumblings of a poltergeist in your house, stay calm. It’s probably not a ghost. More than likely, it’s just your heater.

We’re not paranormal experts over here at ABC Home & Commercial Services, but we are HVAC experts, and we have heard all sorts of noises coming from our customers’ heating systems.

The Sounds Old Furnaces Make, And Why

We’ve put together a list of common noises you heater might make. Take a look and see if anything sounds familiar.

Popping and Clicking Sounds

You’re drifting off into an evening nap in the middle of winter, and suddenly you’re startled awake by a loud ‘POP’ followed by that … Read Full Post »

Heater Blowing Cold Air? How To Solve This Problem

Heater Blowing Cold Air

If your heater is on and blowing cold air, it is most likely an issue with either your thermostat or your ductwork, but the complexity of heating systems opens up multiple possibilities. We’ll explore some of the more common reasons heaters blow cold air so that have so that you have the information you need to contact a trusted HVAC repair professional to get needed repairs done.

Heater Is Still Warming Up

Whether your heater is electric or gas, heat exchange is not an instant process. It will take a while after turning your heater on to initiate all of the processes involved in creating and moving heated air throughout your home.

Your heater has to first collect and compress the air in your home, then heat it and expel the cold air. Heating systems work by heat exchange, which means that your HVAC system returns the cold air to the outside of … Read Full Post »

Can Carbon Monoxide Leak If The Furnace Is Off?

Can Carbon Monoxide Leak If Furnace Is Off

Understanding how HVAC systems work and having an HVAC maintenance checklist can be helpful to avoid potential dangers from these appliances that many of us don’t completely understand nor have the knowledge to repair.

The main cause of carbon monoxide in homes is heating, although chimneys, space heaters, dryers, cars, generators, grills, stoves, ovens and tools can also generate this byproduct. Your heating and cooling system burns fuel to create cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter. Any time fuel is burned, the chemical processes create a byproduct called carbon monoxide, or CO. Cracks and leaks, obstructions and general malfunctions in your heating and cooling system can cause your exhaust system to fail and allow CO to seep into your home. When and if this happens, the consequences can be extremely serious.

Can carbon monoxide leak if a furnace is off? Technically, your system won’t produce carbon monoxide if your furnace … Read Full Post »

Is Your AC System Asking for Help?

7 Signs It’s Time to Service or Replace Your Unit

Austin’s hot summer climate means a serious workout for your air conditioning unit. Just like a football star playing hard in the heat, your AC unit may struggle to keep up with your demands. If you’re worried that your AC can’t keep up, it’s time to study the signs that your unit is in trouble.

Four Indicators That It’s Time to Service Your System

Sometimes, all your AC system needs in order to work well is a little time and attention. Keep in mind that your unit might need service or repair at times other than you expect. Call a pro if any of the four following symptoms sound familiar to you.

The flow of cold air seems weak. Your AC unit comes on and produces cool air, but it doesn’t seem to be circulating throughout your home. This could point to HVAC or … Read Full Post »

How Often Should You Clean Your Air Ducts?

how often should you clean your air ducts

Many homeowners are curious about the maintenance of their HVAC system’s ductwork. In particular, they wonder if the ducts need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Although you may not need to have a scheduled routine duct cleaning every year, there are some circumstances that may be improved through an air duct cleaning.

If you live in a home with smokers, people suffering from asthma or have pets with lots of dander or shedding, you may experience improved air quality with cleaner ducts. In addition, if your home has suffered water damage or undergone recent remodeling, you may want to have an HVAC professional inspect your ductwork to make sure there is no clogging or damage to the system.

It’s not uncommon or dangerous for air ducts to collect some dirt and debris over time. But if this amount becomes excessive, it can affect your home’s air quality. According to the … Read Full Post »

The Best Way To Heat A House During The Winter

Best Way To Heat A House

Winters in San Antonio aren’t too severe, but temperatures can drop to frigid lows quite suddenly. It’s hard to get out of bed when you’re waking up to a freezing house. For most of us, our home heating system is our saving grace from late December to February. The last thing you need on an icy night is a broken heater. Follow these three simple guidelines for helpful ways to save on heating costs and to find out the best way to heat a house during the winter.

Find And Seal Leaks

A tiny draft can turn into a big problem when you’re trying to stay warm. Chilly air from outside usually gets in through gaps in your windows and doors. Weatherstripping around your doors and windows will keep warm air from escaping. It’s an easy “do it yourself” job; kits are inexpensive and available at any home improvement store. For a heavier … Read Full Post »

Brr! 4 Tips for a More Efficient Heating System This Winter

Mild year-long climate is one of the biggest benefits to living in sunny San Antonio, but even South Texas isn’t immune to occasional cold spells. Being far more used to complaining about unbearable heat than chilly temperatures, it’s no surprise that most of us aren’t prepared when the temperatures outside dip below the average. While getting through a few weeks of sweater weather is no big deal, putting your home’s heating system into high gear without notice is a sure way to push up your monthly energy bill. To avoid the unexpected expense this winter, copy our neighbors to the north by following the four easy energy-saving tips below:

1. Fatten up the insulation. Whether your home’s insulation is too thin or too old, it never hurts to give it a quick update before some of the coldest weeks of the year make a comeback. When you’re ready to get started, … Read Full Post »