ABC Blog

Maintaining an AC Unit in a Coastal Climate

beach living is hard on your HVAC unit

Living in Corpus Christi means you have easy access to the Gulf Coast. With the ocean so close by, you can enjoy the day on a boat, walk along the beach, surf, or go fishing. However, living near the beach means the salt air can cause damage to your home including your air conditioning unit.

What’s the problem?

Living near the ocean causes a few problems unique to the region.

Salt air corrodes machinery, in part by attracting moisture. This moisture, in turn, contributes to the early deterioration of the coils and other components within the HVAC system. Studies show that aluminum and steel corrode significantly faster in the salty air, significantly shortening the lifespan of most outdoor metals.

In air conditioning units, condenser coils are typically made of copper tubes with aluminum fins that disperse heat quickly. Because of the salt air, these fins degrade quickly in coastal climates. The closer you are … Read Full Post »

Check The HVAC Unit Before You Buy The Home

buying a new home in Texas

Are you buying a new home? When you’re shopping around for a new house, be sure to consider a home’s HVAC system.

Because heating and air conditioning make up half of your energy costs, and faulty equipment can lead to expensive repairs, it’s a great idea to spend a little time checking the unit before making an offer on your dream home.

HVAC New Home Checklist:

Below we offer a basic checklist for potential home buyers. By reviewing these items, you can get a better sense for whether or not the previous owner properly maintained the unit.

Thermostat

  • Does it turn on and off, and if it’s digital, can you adjust the settings?
  • Turn the unit on and test the temperature against the thermostat settings.

Outside compressor unit

  • There should be no shrubs, vines, or other plants within two feet of the HVAC unit.
  • Check that the unit is level, as a tilt will hurt … Read Full Post »

HVAC Innovation: Transforming the world one air conditioner at a time.

air conditioners in china

We take Air Conditioning For Granted. (Sometimes)

When it comes to purchasing your first home, there are many factors to consider. There’s adjusting your finances, finding the perfect location, selecting the right number of bedrooms for your home. Most first-time homebuyers know these are obvious questions which need to be answered. But what about home features that are often taken for granted?

Living in the United States, many couples shopping for a new home often overlook the comfort of central air conditioning. Especially in cities with scalding summers like Austin, efficient air conditioners are not seen as a luxury, but rather a requirement when purchasing a new home. And though something as common as air conditioning efficiency might not seem like an important factor to consider, it should be.

New technology advances have the ability to provide air conditioning to more individuals around the world. And they can also reduce the costs of … 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 »

5 Money-Saving Secrets to Lowering Energy Costs

In an economy that begs you to save money wherever you can, you should strongly consider ways to become more efficient with your use of energy. By making a few small tweaks, you can save a considerable amount of money going forward. Here are five money-saving secrets that will have you reaping the financial benefits all year long.

1. Use a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats will enable you to save money in a few crucial ways. Because these thermostats are designed to turn on or off automatically, you will not have to worry about running your heating and cooling systems for extended periods of time. To reduce your utility bills even more, try to set your thermostat a bit cooler during the winter. A difference of a few degrees can lead to extra cash each month.

2. Subscribe to a Maintenance Plan

To maximize the efficiency of your home heating system, you should subscribe … Read Full Post »

Hello, Sunshine! Five Perks of Going Solar

If you’re a homeowner who harnesses our warm Houston sunshine, you can revel in the five perks (six if you include the bragging rights) of solar power.

1. Less Dependence on Utility Companies

When you harness solar power, you use less energy from utility companies. Solar panels may not provide all the energy you require, but they provide a significant amount and lessen the likelihood that you’ll suffer a complete loss of power during blackouts or brownouts.

Common sense tells you that reduced fossil fuel use reduces your utility bills; however, it could also put spare cash into your pocket. If solar power produces more energy than you use, Houston utility companies could buy the extra power from you. You win twice over.

2. Cash Incentive

Who doesn’t like tax credits? Government at federal and state levels want you to reduce your use of fossil fuels, so they offer incentive in the form of tax … Read Full Post »

Is it Worth Switching to a Tankless Water Heater?

Average Cost of Heating Water

Expenses for air conditioning and heating in San Antonio can be costly and the energy used to heat water can be expensive as well. About 20% of an average family’s energy consumption goes to heating water for household activities like dishwashing, clothes washing, showering, and bathing. Traditional water heaters that store water can cost around $450 to operate every year and about 20% of that cost goes to waste year after year. Those conventional water heaters waste energy because they keep heating water in storage tanks even when nobody is using the water.

Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

  • You may qualify for a tax credit if you install an efficient water heater in your home.
  • When you turn on a tap, a tankless unit will supply hot water within five seconds.
  • You never run out of hot water with a tankless heater.
  • A tankless heater requires much less space and … Read Full Post »