ABC Blog

Are AC Units the Newest Target for Neighborhood Thieves?

Protect your HVAC system from unscrupulous folks

Some news items just make you want to shake your head. Something we heard the other day certainly fits this bill: Apparently, homeowners across Texas are waking up to find that thieves have stolen their HVAC systems in the night! It appears that a few homeowners have even caught these unscrupulous bandits in the act. Since cool air is a basic necessity during the long, hot Texas summer, you need to know how to protect your home from AC thieves.

They Steal WHAT?!

According to a recent news report, a family in the Houston suburb of Katy recently got an unpleasant surprise: They awoke to find that their entire air conditioning unit was missing. Although they were fortunate not to catch the potentially dangerous thieves in the act, they lamented the loss of an essential piece of residential equipment. Since AC units are heavy and have … Read Full Post »

The Best Thermostat Settings for Summertime Energy Savings

Dial up the temperature to dial down your costs

Everyone wants to keep cool all summer long, but there’s no need to pay extra for that privilege. There’s plenty you can do to cut the energy usage of your air conditioning system without compromising comfort, and probably the simplest way is to just adjust your thermostat.

The rule of thumb for summer thermostat settings is to set it as high as you can without becoming uncomfortable. For most people, that’s somewhere in the 76-79 degrees Fahrenheit range. Turning your thermostat up by one degree cuts your energy usage by about 8%, so it pays to make that adjustment even if it’s just from 72 to 73. Experiment with different settings and find your family’s sweet spot.

One way to make it easier to set your thermostat higher is to invest in ceiling fans. Fans make the air feel cooler by producing a breeze … Read Full Post »

Choosing a Thermostat? Don’t Make These Mistakes

Why a thermostat is one of the most important investments in your home

As summer days heat up throughout San Antonio, you rely more and more on your home’s HVAC system to keep you cool. A well-maintained air conditioner or heat pump can help you beat soaring temperatures and stay comfortable in your own home. You can make the most of your AC unit’s potential by choosing a thermostat that’s prepared to meet your comfort demands.

Thermostat Basics: More Than Temperature Control

Also known as comfort controls, thermostats allow you to monitor and control the operation of your HVAC system. A wide variety of thermostats are available to residential and commercial customers. Both central air and ductless cooling systems rely on comfort controls.

Many homeowners don’t put much thought into choosing a thermostat for their San Antonio AC unit. You might think that all thermostats are alike or that a thermostat can’t have a … Read Full Post »

How To Lower Humidity In A House During The Summer

How To Lower Humidity In House

If you live in Texas, you know the summers can be unbearably humid. You expect humidity when you go outside, but it’s a miserable experience to come home and have to deal with the humidity indoors, as well.

On top of just being uncomfortable, humidity negatively impacts several parts of your home. High humidity contributes to the growth of mold and mildew, damages the wood and paint on your home’s interior and even reduces the energy efficiency of your air conditioner. If you’re tired of your home feeling balmy and unpleasant, taking extra steps towards reducing the humidity in your home is worth it. It will save you money, too! Read on for tips on how to lower humidity in a house during the summer.

Use A Dehumidifier

Wondering how to control humidity? One popular method is by introducing a dehumidifier into your home. You can find portable dehumidifiers at most hardware or appliance … Read Full Post »

How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Smoothly All Summer

You work hard all day. You come home after sitting in traffic and…your house is a hot, steaming mess! The air conditioner isn’t working. This is one of the worst things that can happen to Houston residents during the summer.

But it can be prevented.

All you need to do is give your air conditioning unit a little Texas love and hospitality.

 

Houston, We Have a Problem. Don’t Take Your Air Conditioner for Granted.

Texans love air-conditioning in summer, so it’s important to perform regular maintenance. Don’t forget that your AC system has working parts that need attention.

Many people forget about the AC filter. Your AC filter needs to be changed every three months for your unit to work optimally (which saves energy costs!).

It’s just like an oil change for your car. In fact, it’s wise to just do both at the same time. That’ll help you remember.

A lot of people also forget that … Read Full Post »

We’re One of Only Eight AC Contractors in Austin to Receive the Energy Star Century Club Award

Prestigious award announced by the U.S. Department of Energy

ABC Home & Commercial Services in Austin has been providing our valued customers with HVAC repairs and a diverse selection of other services since 1949, and we’re pleased to be one of the recipients of the 2013 Century Club Award. This award is indicative of our dedication to providing our clients with the absolute best eco-friendly options. We believe that educating our customers about Energy Star-rated AC products is a critical aspect of enabling them to save money and reduce their negative impact on the environment.

What Is the Century Club Award?

The Century Club Award is intended to honor businesses that meet specific criteria established by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Home Performance with Energy Star Program. In order to qualify for this award, ABC Austin needed to be able to demonstrate that we had improved … Read Full Post »

Austin’s Climate Affects Your Budget in a Big Way

Hot summer days bring oppressive electric bills

The city of Austin is known for its beautiful parks, thriving economy and exciting music events. Unfortunately, it also has a seasonal climate that produces costly and unpredictable utility bills. High temperatures regularly exceed 100 degrees during the summer, yet they can fall below freezing in December and January.

Hot Weather

Austin’s lengthy summer persuades just about everyone to use air conditioning. During 2011, some parts of the state capital reached 100 degrees on 90 separate days. Extremely hot weather seldom occurs before June or after September. Nonetheless, the Bergstrom International Airport once reported a 100-degree reading in February!

Central Texas summers aren’t just hot. This area also endures greater humidity than the Lone Star State’s more arid locales, such as El Paso and Lubbock. Austin’s skies often remain clear in July and August, adding extra heat to the upper floors of many buildings. The local power … Read Full Post »

What to Consider When Making Energy-Efficient Cooling Updates

Keeping your San Antonio home cool during the hot summer months can be a real challenge. Like many homeowners, you might worry that keeping your cool will simply cost too much. Thankfully, new options in energy-efficient cooling can help you stay comfortable all summer without breaking the bank.

Understanding Your Energy-Efficient Cooling Options

When it comes to energy-efficient heating and cooling options, you have several types of systems from which to choose. Before you start shopping for a new system, you’ll need to understand that you can choose from:

• Ductless systems, which rely on outdoor HVAC units connected to indoor air handlers via a small refrigerant line.

• Central air systems, which use HVAC units paired with ductwork to move treated air throughout a home.

An HVAC specialist can help you decide which type of system is best suited to your needs. Many homeowners now prefer ductless systems because they don’t require any structural … Read Full Post »

Chill More, Pay Less: How AC Maintenance Can Help You Save

Without your air conditioning system, you’d be stuck suffering through the extreme heat of Austin summers without any relief. Your AC unit goes a long way toward keeping you comfortable and sane during warmer months when you rely on it to provide efficient, effective service. One of the best ways to ensure that you can always stay cool inside is to take care of regular AC maintenance tasks. Keeping up on maintenance helps protect your system and boost its efficiency so that you can enjoy cooler temperatures and lower utility bills.

Is HVAC Maintenance Really Important?

When you first purchased your air conditioning system, it was calibrated to provide for the very best service possible. Ensuring that your system provides for the same level of service as it did when you first had it installed means tackling maintenance tasks. Much like your personal vehicle, your AC unit needs to be cleaned, lubed … Read Full Post »

Landscaping Tips To Help Lower Your AC Bills This Summer

It’s summertime in Houston, so the list of survival essentials looks something like this: 1.) water, 2.) food, 3.) air conditioning … and after that, not much else matters. So, how do you keep your AC running efficiently and minimize the chance that it breaks during the hottest day of the year?

Starting outside with the AC condenser
There are several things homeowners can do to maintain their central ac system, but one of the easiest is to start outside. The condenser unit is the big box (some are round) outside that is loud and can be obtrusive, so a lot of people like to landscape around it to hide it from view and cut down on the noise it produces.

The condenser’’s job is to cool down the refrigerant in the system and turn it from a hot vapor back into a cool liquid. The more quickly and completely your … Read Full Post »