19 February 2018
Is Your Home as Smart as It Can Be?
Make your home smart


In 1962 the Jetson's cartoon imagined what our homes would look like in the year 2062.  Their future included conveyor belts in the home, automated breakfast stations, big screen TV's and video calling.  While some of these features have not been realized, it's fascinating to see the evolution of technology in the home.  

What does the term Smart Home mean?   In layman's terms, it is the ability to control lighting, heating and electronic devices remotely from a phone or computer.  If you have been thinking of adding some of these features to your home, let's explore the most common ones and the benefits they may add to your house and lifestyle. 


Programmable/Smart Thermostats


A programmable thermostat allows the home owner to regulate the heat or air conditioning of their home when they are not in it.  Utilizing this feature helps cut down on energy bills and in turn saves you money.  It also cuts down on human error, like when you are half way to work and realize you forgot to turn down the heat.  The ease of reading a digital display means you don't have to pull out a magnifying glass to see those small tick marks.  A smart thermostat usually pairs with an app that allows you to make changes remotely.  Some smart models learn as they go, memorizing your desired temperatures and can even alert you to needed maintenance.  

Alarm Systems/Security Cameras

Making sure your home is secure while you are away is a priority to every home owner. Monitors and cameras, coupled with an app, allow you view anyone that approaches your front door.  Imagine being able to alert a trusted neighbor to retrieve that latest Amazon order from your front porch!  Some apps can let you know if an alarm has been set off or can sense heat to alert you to a potential fire. Lighting can also be controlled to give the illusion you are home. Date nights become more enjoyable knowing the sitter and children are secure in the home. 


Garage Doors


One device that is gaining popularity in the smart tech arena is garage doors.
Most people use their garage door as a primary entrance to their home, that's a lot of opportunity to leave it open by accident.  Having the ability to check on it and close it remotely lessens the chance of theft and break-ins to the home.  If you have multiple car drivers in the family, this eliminates the need for extra remotes.  If a delivery needs to be made or a family member is locked out, a quick push on your phone allows for easy entry.   A.B.E. is excited to offer smart garage door openers and recommends the MyQ app.  Let us know if we can tell you more about these products.
The growing popularity of digital assistants in the home brings things like trivia, news, sports and music to life with a simple command.  When used together with music or movie streaming apps, one command can have you watching the latest episode of Stranger Things on your TV or keeping the party rocking with all your favorite BeeGee's hits.  These devices can also control audio systems, make a grocery list and set your morning alarm. 
Shop Smart


Do a bit of research to see what smart device would benefit you and your home the most.  The real estate market is just now weighing in on the impact of smart homes and resale value.  Employ a reputable company if you are doing a major upgrade.  The programming of these devices can be a bit complicated.  Once installed, these clever gadgets can help make your day a little less hectic and a lot more fun.   

04 December 2017
An Individualized Touch That Can’t Be Purchased Online!
An Individualized Touch That Can’t Be Purchased Online!

The hustle and bustle of getting ready for the holiday season is upon us—the endless lists of things to do and limited amount of time to complete them.  Many of us seek the internet to solve our problems by saving time and money, but what you aren’t purchasing is an individualized touch.   

Throughout my experiences as the office manager, I have seen too many times a customer walk through our door needing assistance with a garage door or operator part.  They had purchased the part online that was listed on Amazon or Ebay to name a few common sites.  This seemed to be their “jackpot.”  Pay for the part online and have it shipped directly to them within 24 hours.  SOLD!    Only to receive the part and deal with the disappointment and frustration that it does not work.  Now what?  It’s not like you can call the internet and talk to a person to help you.


This is where we have an advantage over an online store.  The office staff can help you diagnose the problem and supply you with the correct part.  Garage door operator technology has changed so much in the past twenty years.  Manufacturers discontinue parts or replace them with universal models that accommodate many products.  The next time that you need help with a part, instead of reaching out to Google, call me directly at 610-398-2430, extension 115 or stop by the showroom location.  The staff is always available to offer you the “Gift of Giving.”


Happy Holidays, 


Shannon Seng

Office Manager 


15 November 2017
Chilly Air, We Don't Care: Tips to keep your home warm this winter.
Chilly Air, We Don't Care: Tips to keep your home warm this winter.

Bundle up!  Right now, many of us are taking the necessary steps to prepare for the colder weather ahead.   Winter clothes are coming out of storage, heavier blankets are on our beds and hot cocoa packets are at the ready to warm us up.  Besides keeping ourselves warm, now is the time to make sure our homes are ready for those blasts of cold air.  Let's take a look at your doors and windows and help you make practical fixes to areas that may be letting old man winter in.

Begin by working from the outside in to address areas that may be letting cold air through. 

Check the caulk around windows and doors.   Over time, caulk can wear and peel away leaving small gaps.  As a part of your Fall maintenance, inspect the caulk and replace it or add a new line to repair it. 

The North face of your home could benefit from wind blocking features.  A decorative fence panel or tall dense shrubs are excellent at deflecting colder air gusts.  If changing some landscaping is on the docket for next spring, perhaps consider planting a tree in that area.


 Functional shutters for your windows can benefit you all year round.  Consider the hardworking Bermuda style, which can protect against the rain and wind in winter and provide shade and allow a cool breeze in summer. The addition of an awning can also assist in deflecting winter gusts.


Moving on to your entryway, let's inspect the following areas of your door for problem spots. 


Examine your weather stripping, door sweep and threshold for signs of wear or damage.  Your local hardware store can provide new materials, such as foam adhesive strips, that are easily installed and cost effective.  Door snakes are another functional, decorative way to block drafts from doors that may not see much use, but still allow a bit of cold air to enter the home, like the basement door.


Most drafts are seen around your windows, but preventing them is easy by trying these simple solutions. 

Layering your windows with blinds or shades and then a heavier drape is an effective way to keep rooms warmer.  Velvet fabric is a smart choice to use in the winter months.  Cotton or linen fabrics with the addition of a lining can also provide an efficient barrier against the wind.  

Products like weather stripping and caulk can help create a tight seal between the window and frame. Always inspect and clean the areas to insure a smooth, effective application.  

Film insulation kits are easy to use and only require a few additional tools.  Kits come with special two- sided tape and a plastic film that covers the window frame creating an airtight seal.  This method works well on all shapes and sizes.  When winter is over, the plastic film and tape are easy to remove so you can start to enjoy those spring breezes.



If the above solutions have not stopped the drafty areas, then perhaps it's time to consider replacement.  Our staff is on hand to discuss door and window options that fit into your budget. We want to help you and your home stay warm this winter season.

<< March, 2018