22 February 2013
A Garage-Door Spring Maintenance Checkup

Regardless of what a groundhog in western Pennsylvania might think, the calendar shows that winter will be with us until late March. It's really not that long until spring - so it's not too soon to think about what kinds of garage-door maintenance are appropriate with warmer weather on the way. Here are some tips.

1. Inspect. It's surprising how many garage-door problems are obvious at a glance. Just give the door (inside and out) and the operating mechanism a careful once-over. If something appears to be loose, broken or somehow just not right, have it taken care of right away.

2. Lubricate. A good lube spray should be applied periodically to the moving parts of the garage door. Make this part of your spring maintenance routine. Remember, though - don't spray it on plastic parts of the door. It's a good idea to check your owner's manual first.

3. Balance. Making sure the door's properly balanced can avoid serious mechanical problems later on. Start with the door closed. If it has an automatic opener, use the release mechanism so you can move it by hand for this test. You should be able to lift it smoothly, with little resistance, and it should stay open by itself three or four feet above the floor. If not, it's improperly adjusted - something ABE Doors & Windows can fix for you.

4. Check force setting. To make sure the operating force of your door is properly set, hold on to the bottom of the door while it's closing. It should reverse direction easily. If not, see the owner's manual for how to change the setting. You can usually take care of this one yourself.

5. Reversal. This test should really be done monthly, but you can start now if you haven't been doing it. (Be sure that you've taken care of step 4 above before you do this. Trying this test if the force setting is wrong could damage the door.) Open the door all the way, put a length of 2X4 on the floor below it, and lower the door onto the wood. If it's working properly, the door will change directions when it makes contact. If not, you'll want to have a qualified technician service it immediately.

6. Check additional safety devices. Take just a minute more to examine safety devices such as photo eyes or edge sensors. If they're not working, it should be clear after even a quick check.

If your maintenance checkup reveals anything that needs attention, the first call to make is to ABE Doors & Windows: (610) 398-2430. Our expert techs will put things right for you in short order.

 

 

19 February 2013
ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2013 Program

A.B.E. Doors & Windows is proud to carry a quality product that is recognized time and time again for its superior design.  Soft-Lite Windows have been awarded the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient mark in 2013.  This program is an extension of ENERGY STAR that is designed to recognize the most energy efficient products within their category . To comply, windows must meed a u-value rating of < or equal to a .20.  Soft-Lite's Elements, Pro, and Barrington windows were all recognized as meeting these ratings.

What does this mean to a homeowner who is looking to replace their windows?  Soft-Lite's windows are thermally efficient and have been proven to be very effective at increasing energy efficiency and reducing air infliltration.  THis gives you the peace of mind that you have one of the most efficient windows made on the market today.

For more information on Soft-Lite and their ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2013 products, please visit www.energystar.gov/mostefficient.

 

08 February 2013
Meet Shannon Seng

 A big source of pride at A.B.E. Doors & Windows - and, we think, a key part of our success - is the strength of our staff. To let our readers know more about this, we will occasionally profile employees in this blog. We hope in this way to introduce the people who do so much for our customers.

This month, we honor our office manager, Shannon Seng. In April, Shannon will be observing her 16th anniversary with the company. She started here as an inside sales consultant - and today she is among the employees who do a lot to make ABE go, a key member of our managment team.

Some of Shannon's work is what you'd expect from her job title. She manages a staff of three, making sure that all the paperwork in this busy office is done in a correct, expedited way - accounts receivable, accounts payable, and the rest of the bookkeeping tasks.

But this special employee handles a lot more than that. When new rules were put forth concerning lead paint issues, Shannon took charge of the recordkeeping and other requirements needed to keep us in full compliance. Dating to her time in sales, Shannon has always maintained excellent product knowledge, so she's always ready to help when walk-in customers arrive at our Trexlertown office.

She's the front-line person on many customer calls. Shannon is not just knowledgeable, but also polite and tactful. She follows a service ethic that helps us make sure our customers are satisfied, with any possible issues taken care of.

Shannon and her family - husband Dave and daughters Makena and Amanda - live in Breinigsville. We consider her not just an exemplary employee, but also the kind of citizen that contributes to making any town a good place to live.

06 February 2013
Energy Efficiency Tax Credits for 2012

We are pleased to announce that energy efficiency tax credits on windows, entrance doors, and patio doors are available again.  As of January 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 has been reenacted to allow homeownersto claim up to $200.00 for windows and up to $500.00 for entrance doors/patio doors.  Window & Door Magazine, a publication of The National Glass Association, stated that "the bill reinstates the 25c tax credits that expired at the end of 2011 and extends them through the end of 2013."  Homeowners are allowed to claim 10 percent of the total cost of the prorduct (not including labor) and can only receive a lifetime tax credit limit of $1,500.00.

This blog is not to be considered legal or tax advice; it is for awareness purposes only.  For more information on the requirements of applying and filing a 2012 Residential Energy Credits Form 5695, pleas visit Energy Star's website at http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index, or contact your tax professonal.