Monthly Archives: April 2014

Spring Means It’s Time for an A/C Tune-Up in Baldwin County

ac hvac repairThe hot Alabama summer is on its way, and that means your energy bill is going to start showing the cooling costs of your home. But before you switch on your A/C for good, you should treat it to an A/C tune-up. Not only will you catch any problems before they cause you to endure days without cooling, but a tune-up means a higher operating efficiency and lowers energy bills throughout the cooling season.

Do-It-Yourself Maintenance

Before you schedule a professional A/C tune-up there are a few things you can do yourself:

  • Vacuum the air conditioner grills and vents.
  • Replace the air filter. You should be in the habit of doing this every month so that air can continue to flow through the filter and circulate through your home.
  • Clean the evaporator fins or coils with warm, soapy water. Gently straighten any bent fins with a putty knife or similar implement.
  • Check the condensate drain, and note any indications that water isn’t draining properly, such as puddles or a musty smell.
  • Check the outdoor portion of the unit. Ideally, it should be shaded, with any vegetation or awnings at least two feet away.

Professional A/C Tune-Up

Your HVAC professional will give a more technical examination to your unit, focusing on topics like the following:

  • Is the thermostat correctly regulating temperature?
  • Are there any problems with the electrical connections?
  • How much is the unit cooling the air it brings in?
  • Is the wiring functioning properly?
  • Are the blower fan and motor in good shape, and delivering the correct volume of air?
  • How is the system’s overall operation?

An A/C tune-up is a great investment for your home comfort throughout the summer. To learn more or schedule your A/C tune-up today, contact us at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc.

Get the Most Bang for Your Energy Buck

Energy bills are pretty much unavoidable. While there are ways to “go off the grid,” most people must rely on natural gas, electricity and other forms of energy to keep their homes comfortable. While you can’t avoid energy bills, there are plenty of ways to keep them in check. In most homes, HVAC equipment accounts for more than 50 percent of the energy that is consumed. With that in mind, it pays to take steps to use your equipment as efficiently as possible.

Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling Equipment

Without a doubt, one of the best ways to slash energy costs and save money is by upgrading to air conditioners, furnaces and heat pumps that are more efficient. With every passing year, major advances are made in the world of HVAC. Manufacturers are constantly making improvements, so replacing equipment that’s more than five years old is often justifiable. Of course, most people prefer to squeeze as much use out of their equipment as possible. In the meantime, there are other ways to slash energy costs. When the time comes, though, it’s well worth it to buy highly efficient HVAC equipment. The following ratings should steer you in the right direction:

  • SEER – A SEER rating, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio rating, is used to gauge how efficient an air conditioner is. It’s well worth it to buy equipment that has the highest SEER rating possible. The higher the rating, the less energy it will need to keep your home comfortably cool. An experienced HVAC contractor can help you zero in on an air conditioning system with an exceptional SEER rating and a reasonable price tag. Furthermore, a contractor will use sophisticated calculations to ensure that the right capacity is used, which has a major impact on how efficient this type of equipment operates as well. In the U.S., the minimum allowable SEER rating is 13.
  • AFUE – When the time comes to replace an old furnace, you may want to consider a heat pump instead. If you do decide to buy a furnace, keep an eye on its AFUE rating, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating. This rating reflects the amount of heat that is generated versus the amount of fuel that is used. The U.S. Department of Energy requires all heaters and furnaces to have AFUE ratings of at least 78 percent. However, you should try to get a model with a much higher rating than that.
  • HSPF – Heat pumps are more popular than ever, especially in places that enjoy relatively mild winters. By switching to a heat pump, you can save money and enjoy superior year-round comfort. As with other types of HVAC equipment, heat pumps are rated based on how efficient they are. The rating that is used is called a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF. It is equal to the seasonal heating output of a heat pump in BTUs divided by the amount of energy that’s generated in watt-hours. Higher ratings equal more efficient operation.

Insulation and Ductwork

Let’s say you upgrade to more efficient HVAC equipment. That’s a great start, but you’ll still waste a lot of energy if your home isn’t properly insulated. You’re probably familiar with the importance of insulating ceilings and exterior walls, but what about the ducts in your home? A huge amount of heated and cooled air can be lost through tiny cracks, holes and gaps in a home’s ducts. An HVAC contractor can insulate your ducts to minimize wastage. This is a great way to get as much comfort for as little money as possible.


Even after insulating your home and upgrading to energy efficient equipment, your bills may let you down over time. This typically happens when people fail to have their equipment tuned up regularly. As with other forms of equipment, air conditioners, furnaces and heat pumps become less efficient as they get dirty or as small issues arise. As long as you have an HVAC contractor perform routine maintenance on a regular basis, however, this shouldn’t be an issue at all.

During a tune-up, an HVAC company will carefully inspect your home’s heating and cooling system. The technician will clean the equipment to ensure that it operates in the most efficient way possible. While inspecting the equipment, minor issues may be detected. Whether they are loose connections or damaged fan blades, quick fixes can go a long way toward keeping furnaces, heat pumps and air conditioners as efficient as can be. This work has the added bonus of helping you avoid costly repairs and replacements later.

HVAC Maintenance, Repairs and Installations in Mobile, AL

If you live in or near Mobile and would like to keep your energy costs in check, routine maintenance by Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. can help. As a Carrier factory authorized dealer, we have access to a vast inventory of high-quality parts and equipment. Our NATE-certified technicians receive ongoing training, and we must adhere to rigid standards in order to maintain our designation as an authorized dealer. For you, that means affordable, high-quality service. We are experts in the latest energy efficient HVAC equipment as well, and we can help you select the perfect solution for your home. Contact us now to get started.

Make These Energy-Saving Tips Part of Your Regular Routine

Saving energy on a daily basis isn’t really that tough; it simply takes some commitment. To give you a head start, we’ve put together some energy-saving tips that you can get started on today. Try these out for size.

9 Energy-Saving Tips

  • Replace your outdated light bulbs — Stop holding onto the past and replace your incandescent bulbs with ones that are more energy-efficient like CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps).
  • Unplug energy vampires — Many electronic devices like cell phone chargers and DVD players continue to drain a small amount of power when they’re switched off. To counteract this, unplug electronic devices from the wall.
  • Use a surge protector — An alternative to unplugging everything is to use a surge protector and turn the entire unit off, which will cut all power from the devices.
  • Tune-up your HVAC system — If your heating or cooling system isn’t operating at peak efficiency, it will drain more energy than it needs. Hire a technician to give it a tune-up once a year.
  • Change your system’s air filter — A dirty filter is an inefficient filter. Replace your filter once every 1-3 months, depending on the dust and debris buildup.
  • Air dry your dishes — Using the dishwasher to dry your dishes wastes a lot of energy and money, especially considering that there’s a free alternative available.
  • Turn off the lights — When you leave a room, all lights and electronics should be turned off in order to conserve power.
  • Replace an old HVAC system — When a system is on its last legs, your home’s energy efficiency suffers. It may be time to bite the bullet and seek out a replacement.
  • Look for the Energy Star label — When replacing or purchasing any type of HVAC system or electronic equipment, make sure it has the Energy Star label attached to it. The new Most Efficient label is even better, as it indicates equipment that has achieved the highest level of energy efficiency.

For more expert energy-saving tips or other home comfort issues, contact the HVAC professionals at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. We’ve been serving the good people of Mobile and the surrounding areas since 1964.