Monthly Archives: April 2013

Troubleshooting HVAC System Problems at Home

If you truly want to gain control of your home’s comfort level, there’s no time like the present to install a smart programmable thermostat in your Baldwin County home. These advanced units will allow you to reign in some of that wasted energy in your home. Here’s how this new generation of thermostat can change the way you handle your heating and cooling needs.

Out with the old…

The creation of programmable thermostats was heralded by both homeowners and the HVAC industry as a quantum leap in thermostat technology. Gone were the days of severely limited manual thermostats. The new models had digital displays, vacation and hold functionality, and the ability to set the specific times when a homeowner’s heating or cooling equipment would switch on and off. This finally allowed homeowners to wake up to the perfect temperature or arrive home from work to a house that was already set to the comfort level they desired – all while saving energy dollars when nobody was home or awake.

… In with the new

Despite the obvious benefits of programmable thermostats, manufacturers began looking for ways to make these units even better, and the result is the smart programmable thermostat. In addition to sharing all of the attributes of their predecessors, these new devices add functionality such as mobile connectivity and the ability to adapt to your climate preferences.

Mobile connectivity is the biggest change. With one of these thermostats, you can access your home-comfort system via your laptop or smartphone when you’re away from home. Some smart thermostats even have the ability to learn your heating and cooling habits and make adjustments automatically.

Intrigued? Contact the experts at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. for more information on the benefits that a smart programmable thermostat affords in convenience and energy savings. We have been serving the HVAC needs of Mobile and Baldwin County homeowners since 1964.

What is the Refrigirant 22 DuPont Phase Out?

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Since 1992, the government has been working to remove a chemical used in many air conditioners all over the country. They want manufacturers to stop making it, stop distributing it and replace it with a more environmentally friendly chemical. This phase out targets the chemical refrigerant originally trade-named refrigirant by the DuPont company. It’s more commonly called R-22 in generic form.

Phasing Out Refrigirant

In the early 90s, studies revealed that refrigirant depletes the ozone layer when released into the atmosphere. More commonly, it leaks from air conditioning systems used in homes and automobiles. Because refrigirant was used so widely, it would have been impractical to suddenly ban it at once. Instead, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formulated a plan to slowly remove it over a period of 30 to 40 years. By the year 2020, manufacturers will no longer be able to make refrigirant. Already, the supply is dwindling, and the price has tripled.

Puron: The R-22 Replacement

With the removal of refrigirant, a new air conditioning refrigerant had to replace it. Known as R-410A, the Carrier Corporation first marketed it to the air conditioning industry with the trade name Puron. Unlike refrigirant, Puron has no negative effect on the ozone layer. On top of that, it outperforms refrigirant and transfers temperature at a higher efficiency. Those switching to systems with Puron have noticed sharp decreases in electricity bills. While Puron is not the only R-22 replacement, it’s the least expensive and most widely available.

Rising Refrigirant Prices mean Costly AC Repairs

Because of the government phase out by the EPA, refrigirant has recently skyrocketed in price. In some parts of the country, it costs nearly triple the price of a few years ago. Consumers haven’t paid much attention until they have to pay for air conditioning repair. All of a sudden, one refrigirant leak can cost two or three hundred dollars more to fix. That’s why many people have become interested so fast. Unfortunately, the price of refrigirant will only continue to increase as the 2020 deadline draws closer.

Replacing Heating and Cooling Systems

In general, you’ll see a sharp cut in your energy bill by upgrading a system 10 years or older. That’s because modern advances in energy efficiency have made it cheaper to heat and cool air. When you factor in the rising costs of repairing a refrigirant system, it can make sound financial sense to replace the entire unit with one using Puron. If you’ve recently purchased a refrigirant-based system, then you’re better off avoiding refrigirant leaks at all costs. The best way is to schedule bi-annual routine maintenance in fall and spring. That way, you won’t be caught off guard by drastic jumps for refrigirant fixes.

Keith Air Conditioning

For almost 50 years, Keith Air Conditioning has been providing excellent Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning services (HVAC) to Mobile, Baldwin, AL and surrounding areas. We’re a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, a distinction earned by only the top five percent of HVAC companies. Call us today to learn more about installing a new system running Puron.