Monthly Archives: December 2014

Ductless Heating and Cooling System Benefits

Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. and HeatingIf you’re planning to renovate an attic or porch, or create a new addition to your home, consider using a ductless heating and cooling system for maximum comfort and energy efficiency. These systems, also called mini-splits, are heat pumps that don’t require any ductwork to distribute the conditioned air. Heat pumps are ideal HVAC appliances in this mild winter climate.

Like HVAC systems, a ductless heating and cooling system uses an outdoor condenser and an indoor air handler. A narrow conduit connects the two and delivers the power, refrigerant and the drain line. The condenser can either rest on a pad outside or hang from the exterior wall. The conduit comes in a variety of lengths. The air handlers can hang on the wall, from the ceiling, or sit on the floor.

Energy Efficiency

Ductless air handlers deliver the air directly into the room, so there are no air or thermal losses that normally occur in a central HVAC system. Ductless systems also must meet the same minimum standards for central air conditioning systems and heat pumps. Ductless Mini-splits often have their own thermostat, so when you’re not using the area, you can turn it off, which offers greater energy savings, just like a central zoning system does.


Ductless systems require a professional HVAC contractor for installation. Once you decide where to place the air handler and the condenser, the technician will drills a three inch hole to run the conduit to connect the two. The refrigerant product for a ductless unit is installed at the factory. Once installation is complete, the technician will check the level and verify all the electrical components perform according to specification.

To learn more about the advantages of ductless heating and cooling systems, contact Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. We’ve provided outstanding HVAC services for Baldwin County homeowners since 1964.

Troubleshooting Your Heat Pump in the Winter

Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. Heat PumpIf you use a heat pump for heating in the winter, you’ve likely seen it ice up. If the heating system is working properly, the heat pump should eventually kick into a defrost cycle to melt the ice on the coil. However, an iced-over system can waste energy and eventually damage your equipment.

Why Is Your Heat Pump Icing Up?

The defrost cycle malfunctioning in some manner is the likely culprit. When air-source heat pumps get an electronic cue to defrost during their heating mode, a reversing valve should switch these appliances into air-conditioning mode, and the outside fan should shut off. Now in A/C mode, the refrigerant in the outside coil should heat up and melt the frost from the coil. After a short period of time, the system should return to normal heating mode, awaiting the next signal to defrost the coil.

This process has several steps and multiple components. If any one of them – whether reversing valve, sensors, refrigerant, timer, etc. – malfunctions, this can result in your heat pump icing up and staying that way.

What Can You Do About It?

In most cases, you’ll want a reliable HVAC technician to look at the system and address the icing issue. However, there’s plenty a homeowner can do to minimize the chances of the heat pump icing up. If the top of the outside unit is covered in ice, turn the system off and carefully remove the ice, but not with sharp objects. Don’t allow leaky rain gutters or melting icicles to drip on the outside unit, and push snow, leaves and other debris away from it. Most importantly, you can prevent icing by ensuring the HVAC system gets an annual maintenance check.

For more information on how to de-ice a heat pump in your Mobile area home, please contact us at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc.