ABC Blog

Houston is a Prime Target for Solar Power

During the summer, Houston can hit triple digit temperatures. Homeowners spend hundreds each month cranking up their air conditioners. Instead of purchasing electricity from the power company, homeowners can completely eliminate their utility bills by switching to solar power and upgrading their homes with energy efficient upgrades.

Cheaper Prices and Bigger Savings

Manufacturing costs associated with solar panels are dropping fast, and homeowners are reaping the rewards. Adjusted for inflation solar panels in 1989 cost $8.78 per watt in 2010 dollars, but the average price per solar panel in 2010 dropped to just $2.79, its cheapest price ever. In that same time period, photovoltaic panel shipments increased 100-fold.

Compared to fossil fuels, photovoltaic technologies offer a reliable and future-proof energy source. Since 2002, coal has nearly doubled in price while petroleum costs five times as much. If current trends continue, solar panels will cost about $1.00 per watt by the end of the … Read Full Post »

Houston Commercial HVAC Energy Saving Tips

Houston Commercial HVAC Systems

 A finely tuned commercial HVAC system works more efficiently and can save your Houston business from costly repairs. There are some free and low cost options for saving on energy and bills that you can implement easily into your business or facility. Some of those include:

 

  • Adjust workplace schedules to reduce energy use during the hours when there is most demand for electricity. If employees start work earlier or have lunch during the hottest hour of the day, a company can save on air conditioning, lighting and other electricity use during the hours of peak electricity demand.
  • Prevent solar entry and air-conditioning loss during the summer. Use shades and blinds to keep the sun out. Close doors to the outside to keep in cooler air.
  • Add controls to the exhaust fan. These fans remove air you have already paid to cool. Ask your air conditioning contractor to install timers and … 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 »

Quick Tips to Save Money on Houston 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 Houston 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 thermostat … Read Full Post »

Where to go for the Best Austin Electrical Contractor

Electrical Contractors in Austin

Finding a qualified Austin Electrical Contractor for your residential or commercial needs can be a confusing task.  Most Austin residents find that using the internet for this task is frustrating.  The first page of the search results for the Best Austin Electrical Contractor is filled with paid advertisements, a small list of local contractors that may or may not be close to your location and which you know nothing about, a listing for the Austin Electrical Contractors Association, a listing for the Austin Division of Consumer Affairs a few private companies and some sites that list row after row of paid listings.  You are left with the same problem you started with, “which one of these companies should I choose?”

ABC Home and Commercial Electrical Contractors

ABC Home and Commercial Services has what we think is a much better approach to finding an electrician to fit your individual needs.  We … Read Full Post »

How to Calculate SEER Ratings for Your Austin HVAC System

If you are wondering about the energy efficiency of your Austin HVAC system, here are some things you need to know.

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) is a number that provides the energy-efficiency of an HVAC system. Contrary to an instantaneous energy-efficiency rating, a SEER rating provides the predicted energy efficiency of the HVAC system over an entire Austin cooling season.

The efficiency varies from day-to-day because the efficiency at any point in time depends on the temperature of the indoor and outdoor air. If you are considering HVAC repair, or if you’re upgrading to a unit with a higher SEER value, you can easily calculate your predicted energy savings from making the switch.

Step 1

Review your utility bills to see your current month by month electrical consumption. Air conditioners consume electricity, not gas, so the system will be responsible for part of your electrical bill in the summer months. You want to determine exactly … Read Full Post »

Rewiring Your Home Electrical System

Is rewiring your home electrical system during a remodeling job necessary?  One of the first things you need to consider when planning a home renovation is the existing electrical system. Is the condition of the existing electrical wiring and the capacity (in amps) of the system up to code?

Along with plumbing and heating and cooling systems, updating the electrical system in a house will be one of the most expensive remodeling tasks. Major electrical rewiring will require you to use the services of a Licensed Electrician.

Electrical System Components

There are a few main components of a residential electrical system. The service entrance and the main circuit panel are the most important elements of the system. Depending on the complexity of the wiring circuits, additional auxiliary circuit panels may be required. The current National Electrical Code recommends a minimum 100 amp incoming electrical service. If your service panel provides less, it should … Read Full Post »

Fall & Winter Seasonal Home Maintenance Guide for the South

Certain home maintenance tasks should be completed each season to prevent structural damage, save energy, and keep all your home’s systems running properly. These maintenance tasks are most important for the South in fall and winter.

Key maintenance tasks to perform

• Get your heating system in order. Consider adding programmable thermostats to your home; they can help save around $180 a year on your energy bills. If you have a heat pump, make sure you install a programmable thermostat especially designed for heat pumps. Programmable thermostats for heat pumps are specially designed to keep these systems working at peak efficiency. Schedule your fall HVAC checkup promptly. Make sure you have all electrical connections checked, all moving parts lubricated if necessary, and the condensate drain and trap inspected.

• Clean your gutters. In the South, you’re less likely to have ice form in your gutters than in other parts of the country. Nevertheless, debris in your gutters can … Read Full Post »

Should You Upgrade Your Breaker Box?

Whether or not to change out the breaker box is a question many homeowners have faced. Age, period built, brand, maintenance, environment, and cost are just some of the factors to consider when making this decision. There are a few options for any upgrade, but it really comes down to the needs of the individual breaker box.

In order to understand the needs for a service change, there are a few items within the service that need to be defined. An electrical service generally includes four major parts: the weatherhead with associated wire (which may be underground), the meter base and enclosure, the service feeder to the breaker box, and the breaker box itself.

The weatherhead is where the utility connects to your service. The associated wiring and conduit is generally governed by the utility, even though the homeowner is normally responsible for its parts and installation. The meter base is where … Read Full Post »

How Energy Efficient Are Solar Screens?

 

Solar screens are the most effective window treatments that you can apply to your home. They are great for lowering energy bills by stopping the heat transfer through your windows and doors while still maintaining your view. Window film, interior products, or awnings cannot compete with the energy efficiency of solar shade screens. The best product to install is the 90% shade factor solar screens which are and incredibly pet resistant pvc coated polyester material. What color of solar screen should you choose? The darker colors are more efficient and also have the best view. However there are many different colors and you should pick the color you will be most happy with. Remember, the darker the color the better the view.

Which windows or doors on my house should you do? Many companies will tell you for maximum energy efficiency, solar screens should protect all windows and doors. This is … Read Full Post »