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Some of us are hanging on to summer for dear life while others are welcoming the start of the new season with open arms. No matter which category you fall into, you might be wondering what to do about your air conditioning system this time of year. See below to find out some of the common questions we get about A/C during the final few weeks of summer - you might have the same ones!

Can I turn off the A/C and use my ceiling fans instead?

You sure can. That is, if you can keep cool and comfortable without the use of your air conditioner. While temperatures are still warm, we recommend turning up the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees and running your ceiling fans at the same time. This way, your system won’t need to work as hard to keep the house cool.

What should I do in order to properly shut the system down?

We strongly recommend cleaning or changing the filter and clearing debris from the outdoor condenser unit. Wind, storms and other activities like mowing the lawn and gardening can cause dirt and debris to build up and restrict airflow during the summer. And if you haven’t paid any attention to the filter, now is the time do so.

Should I cover the outdoor unit?

The choice is yours when it comes to covering the outdoor condenser. Keeping it covered helps protect the equipment from ice, snow and all other types of weather during the fall and winter however, it can be seen as a cozy place for animals for make their home.

Should I schedule maintenance?

Absolutely. Having an expert come in to check your air conditioning system before it is shut down for good is always an excellent idea. We also recommend having a professional perform furnace maintenance to make sure your home’s heating system will be ready to go once cooler temperatures settle in.

For more information about taking care of your home’s HVAC equipment, contact the experts at ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric today!
Published in Air Conditioning
Thursday, 11 August 2016 14:29

Aeroseal - The Solution For Leaky Air Ducts

Did you know that you could be wasting hundreds of dollars on energy bills via leaky ducts? If air is escaping through cracks or gaps you might as well be throwing dollar bills right out the window. Any duct leakage translates into extra air that must be supplied so sufficient heating or cooling reaches the conditioned space. So how can you prevent this problem from taking place? Find out below:

Introducing Aeroseal – A Revolutionary New Technology For Duct Sealing

Your home’s HVAC equipment is a complex network of ducts and joints connected and sealed with tapes and adhesives. But even with all of that, the air loss around seams and joints can be significant and that only leads to higher energy bills for homeowners.

Aeroseal Duct Sealing is a patented technology that tackles leaks from the inside out. Aeroseal software allows your ABC HVAC technician to accurately measure the duct leakage in the home. To seal leaks in the air ducts, the Aeroseal process puts escaping air under pressure, causes polymer particles to stick to the edges of a leak, then to each other until the leak is completely sealed off. Say goodbye to leaks and say hello to lower energy bills.

In addition to the annual cost savings you'll enjoy greater comfort and improved indoor air quality and let’s face it, we could all use a little more of that! Rooms that were hard to heat or cool will have more even temperatures and be more comfortable, while dust and fumes from once leaking return air ducts will no longer be drawn back into the fresh air supply.

Interested in learning more about how duct sealing with Aeroseal can help insulate your home from the high cost of heating and cooling? Call ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric for complete details.
Published in Air Conditioning
While it sounds like a simple question, setting your thermostat too high when you leave for summer vacation could actually end up saving you nothing. The reason is, if the house is allowed to get too hot the air conditioner will have to work overtime when you return to restore the temperature to a comfortable range, negating much of the energy savings. Turning the temperature up too high can also cause problems with excess humidity, which can damage furnishings and cause mold and mildew to grow.

So what is the best temperature? We recommend setting the temperature 4-5 degrees higher than the normal setting to save energy and keep your house safe from excess heat and humidity.  If you normally set your temperature to 72, turn it up to a maximum of 77 degrees.

Have questions about your air conditioner? Call ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, we're here to help.
Published in Air Conditioning
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 18:19

6 Ways To Stay Cool Without AC

Your home’s cooling system has been running ‘round the clock for a few months now and let’s face it, it could use a rest. One of the top reasons for air conditioner breakdowns during the summer is overuse and the hot weather doesn’t make things any easier. But aside from all that, giving your system a break could also lead to lower energy bills this season.

We know what you’re thinking, “how can I stay cool if I turn my air conditioner off?” Believe it or not, you can keep cool even on the hottest days using the simple steps below:

  1. Pay close attention to the temperature outside and when it cools down, open up windows and doors. Tip: open windows on opposite sides of the house to create a cross-breeze.
  2. Fans are your friends. They cost much less to operate than central air systems and they can help make the room you’re in feel cooler rather than chilling the whole house.
  3. Too much humidity inside the house can make it feel warmer. Run a dehumidifier and keep midday washing (yourself and your clothes) to a minimum.
  4. Keep the cool air inside. Take a look around your windows and doors and if you notice any gaps or cracks in the caulking, fill them immediately. We also recommend adding weatherstripping to cut back on the transfer of air.
  5. Keep blinds drawn during the day. This will help keep the sun’s warm rays out and will leave you with a cooler home while the sun’s out.
  6. Spend more time on the lower levels of your house. Hot air rises and tends to make rooms upstairs warmer than the ones in the basement or on the first floor.
Keep your cooling system operating at peak efficiency and correct problems before they become costly emergencies is to have ABC perform an annual system tune-up and safety inspection. This will help prevent against breakdowns when you least expect it! Call us today at 888-903-4070 to schedule an appointment and don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook!
Published in Air Conditioning
Picture this: Illinois is smack dab in the middle of a summer heatwave and your home’s air conditioning system decides to break down. Sounds like your worst nightmare, right? Well, while this definitely doesn’t sound like an opportune time for your cooling system to fail, there’s no reason get all hot and bothered. Here are a few things you can do to keep cool until the air conditioning repair company arrives:
  1. Go for a swim! There’s no better way to cool off on a hot day than by taking a dip in the pool. Not only can a pool help you cool off, it’s also a great way to clear your mind!
  2. Hungry? Avoid turning on the stove or the oven to cook your meal as these are both major heat-producers in your home. Go out to eat or grill up your favorite meats and vegetables outside.
  3. Turn on your ceiling fans in order to keep air circulating throughout your home. Although ceiling fans don’t actually generate cold air, they can help make your skin feel cooler. We also recommend placing box fans in the windows at night to draw cool air in from the outside.
We understand that air conditioning problems don’t happen between 9 and 5. We’re here for you 24-hours day and that includes weekends and holidays. At ABC we make repairs easy and we’ll keep you and your family cool and comfortable all summer long.
Published in Air Conditioning
Have you ever been caught up in the family "thermostat wars?" Or maybe you have unoccupied areas that do not need heating or cooling? Zoning a heating and cooling allows you to divide your home into separate areas, giving you the comfort and control you've always wanted.

The benefits of zoning include:

Comfort

Zoning meets the specific temperature and airflow requirements of one area, without affecting other areas.

Efficiency

A properly designed zoning system can save you hundreds of dollars in energy costs each year.

Control

Zoning divides the home into different areas and comfort into different levels, giving you more choices and control than ever before.

Quiet Performance

When combined with a variable speed and/or two-stage HVAC systems, zoning allows your heating and cooling equipment to deliver peak performance and efficiency without continually operating at peak capacity. Lower speeds also mean lower sound levels.

Have questions about zoning your home's heating or cooling system? Call ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric. We're here to help.
Published in Air Conditioning
For many homeowners, the outside part of the central air conditioner is not a feature of their home they want to show off.  With a little planning and time you can landscape around your air conditioner to conceal it from view while also ensuring that it can still operate without interference.

One easy way to conceal your air conditioner is to build a fence around the unit. The fence can be painted to match the trim of the house or an existing fence.

Planting evergreens as hedge rows is another great way to have year-round concealment. Avoid plants or trees that lose their leaves or drop seeds. These can get inside the air conditioner and make cleaning and maintenance a chore.

Whatever method you use to hide your air conditioner, ensure there is plenty of room around the unit for it to operate with enough ventilation. Plants and shrubs should be trimmed back as needed. Always ensure there are no obstructions directly above the unit.
Published in Air Conditioning
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 10:02

Garage Makeover Ideas

For many homeowners a garage is more than just a place to park a couple of cars, it's a place to spend time enjoying a hobby, like restoring a classic car or motorcycle, or organizing collectables. Here are some ideas to make your garage a more comfortable and enjoyable place to spend time.

Garage Heating & Cooling

When most homes are built the garage is given minimal insulation and is not connected to the HVAC system. Before adding any supplemental heating or cooling, exterior walls, doors, windows and attics should be properly weather sealed and insulated to avoid wasting energy.

In some cases you may be able to connect the garage to the home's main HVAC system by adding an additional zone that's controlled by its own thermostat. If zoning is not an option, there are a few other choices, including:
  • Wall mounted gas or electric heaters
  • Portable air conditioning units
  • Ductless or “mini-split” heating and cooling systems
A ductless system is often the easiest way to add both heating and cooling to a garage. Ductless systems are compact, can be mounted out of the way near the ceiling, are energy efficient, and offer advanced remote controls.

Lighting & Electrical

Most garages are built with a basic incandescent light fixture above each stall. Adding additional electrical circuits will allow you to upgrade to additional fixtures like flush-mounted, energy-efficient fluorescent fixtures. For workspaces and under cabinet lighting, LED lighting provides bright, color balanced light that won't overheat.

With a little planning you can ensure that you have sufficient outlets and receptacles to power all the appliances and tools you need. When upgrading the electrical panel, consider installing 220 circuits and outlets for appliances and large power tools.

Plumbing

Having a large utility sink and faucet in a garage is a great convenience. Sinks don't have to be basic either. Stainless steel sinks built into countertops give a clean, finished look that adds value to your home. Adding a hose reel under the sink enclosure make it easier to store hoses when not in use.

For all your plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical needs, ABC is the only call you need to make.
Published in Electric
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 16:14

Check Your Air Conditioner For Mold

When an air conditioner is running, the condenser, located inside the home, creates condensation that accumulates into a pan before emptying down a condensation drain tube. If the tube becomes clogged, water can accumulate in the pan, allowing unhealthy mold and mildew to grow. By checking the drain pain occasionally and taking some basic maintenance steps you can prevent mold from growing.

Important: Before doing any work near the air conditioner always turn off the power first.
  1. If you notice water accumulating in the evaporator pan, check to see if the drain line is obstructed with debris. Use a wire to clear the tub if needed.
  2. Clean out the evaporator pan with hot soapy water, a small amount of bleach, and a sponge.
  3. Pour bleach through the pan's condensate tube to kill mold and algae, which can clog the tube and cause the pan to overflow. Check the tube's outside end to make sure it's draining freely.
  4. To prevent future mold and algae growth, place a chlorine tablet, the kind used for hot tubs, in the evaporator pan.
Have questions about maintaining your air conditioner? Give us a call, we're here to help.
Published in Indoor Air Quality
When it comes to keeping your home cool this season the more efficient your air conditioner is, the more you’ll save on energy bills. Simple concept, right? Although it may seem easy to understand, lots of homeowners aren’t getting the most bang for their buck. See the tips below to find out how to save this summer.

Air conditioner efficiency is measured by its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER Rating. Keep this in mind while shopping - it will make all the difference. Think about a SEER rating like the gas mileage you get in your car. The higher the miles per gallon, the more efficient the car, right?

The same goes for air conditioners. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system. The same goes for air conditioners. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system. And if you’re having a new system installed, a higher SEER rating may qualify you for additional rebates from your energy provider. It’s also important to understand that the SEER rating on one brand, is exactly the same as the SEER rating on any other brand.

We know how devastating energy bills can be and that’s why we’re here to help. Contact the AC experts at ABC today. Our techs will gladly help explain the differences between models and help you choose the perfect system for your home.
Published in Air Conditioning
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ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric • 220 W Campus Dr, Arlington Heights, IL • 60004 • 888-903-4070 • State of Illinois Plumbing License Number 055-013536

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