Monthly Archives: April 2015

5 Energy Saving Rules of Ductwork Design

Keith Air ConditioningThe New Buzz in Energy Efficient Homes

Are you considering a home renovation or even building an addition? One of the keys to your whole home energy use is your HVAC ductwork design. It is essential to make sure your ducts are installed in the walls, ceilings and floors correctly. Here are 5 basic principles of home ductwork design to keep in mind when installing new ducts.

Identifying a Quality Design

  1. Sizing – What kind of heating or cooling load is required to make your house comfortable, and what size ducts will you need to accommodate it? This varies from house to house, depending on square footage, how much sunlight it gets, and a variety of other factors. The wrong size ducts will put extra strain on the HVAC system, wasting energy. Your contractor will use Manual J, the HVAC load calculation manual, to find the ideal size ductwork for your home.
  2. Building – Ducts should be made of strong, lasting materials, such as metal or fiberglass. Additionally, all ductwork should be properly insulated to maintain the temperature of the air as it passes through the ducts.
  3. Adjusting – Each room’s duct branch should have a damper to adjust the flow of air for that particular room and make sure it gets the amount it needs. Once that level has been found, the damper should be permanently secured in that position to prevent gradual air loss or gain over time.
  4. Balancing – To keep airflow balanced, home ductwork design should have a return duct in every room, in addition to a supply duct, but this isn’t always practical. A single, central return duct may be installed instead, with additional ducts and vents added to ensure air is able to reach the duct effectively.
  5. Testing – Once the ductwork is installed, it needs to be tested to make sure it’s functioning properly. Your HVAC technician should conduct a blower door test, to make sure your ducts were installed securely and that there are no leaks.

Learn more about home ductwork design from the home comfort pros at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. or contact us today at 251-476-3610.

Greener, Smarter HVAC Systems Are Hotter Than Ever

Keith Air ConditioningThe world of home comfort is changing and greener, smarter HVAC systems are taking over the market. Check out these big changes.

Greenspeed Intelligence for HVAC Systems

Greenspeed Intelligence is achieved by pairing a compatible Infinity gas furnace or heat pump with the Infinity control system. Together, these features provide adaptable-speed control. This allows your furnace or heat pump to operate anywhere between 40 and 100 percent capacity to suit your home’s needs. The system automatically selects the capacity that’s most energy efficient while still meeting your comfort needs.

These systems operate longer but use lower and steadier capacities to maximize energy efficiency. Using this technology, the Infinity 20 heat pump is as much as 69 percent more efficient than other 3-ton ducted air source heat pumps.

Infinity Thermostat Controls Provide In-Depth Control

Infinity thermostats take smart home climate control to a new level. These sleek thermostats control up to eight different zones in your home, so you don’t waste energy heating and cooling unused spaces. Maintain the ideal comfort levels in every area, and change those temperatures as needed throughout the day. These thermostats offer 7-day programming so you can set your home to automatically adjust with your schedule.

This smart system offers a wealth of information, including:

  • 5-day weather forecast
  • Energy use in real time
  • Indoor air quality monitors
  • Airflow percentages for each zone
  • Four adjustable programming periods throughout the day
  • Filter replacement reminders
  • Maintenance reminders

WiFi capability allows you to control the system from the Internet. Control your HVAC settings from the comfort of your bed or the convenience of your office. These greener, smarter HVAC systems give you supreme control.

Geothermal Systems Are Harnessing New Energy Sources

Geothermal energy is a clean and renewable energy source that comes from heat stored beneath the earth’s surface. Geothermal energy can be sourced from water and ground. Geothermal heat pumps channel the earth’s consistent warmth as an energy source. Even when temperatures are cold above ground, geothermal energy remains fairly consistent.

Geothermal heat pumps use a ground heat exchanger to supply homes with warm air and even hot water in winter. In summer, the system works in reverse, removing heat from indoor air and sending it through the heat exchanger. This heat can even be used to provide hot water to the home in warm weather months.

Environmentally Friendly Refrigerants Rule

The industry standard in refrigerants was once R-22. Unfortunately, R-22 is hazardous to the environment. The Clean Air Act prohibited the manufacture of new systems that use R-22 in 2010, so today’s new installations are all greener, smarter HVAC systems. By 2020, the production of R-22 will cease so dated systems that still rely this particular refrigerant will have to be upgraded.

Products receive two important ratings that will help you understand their environmental impact. The Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) explains a product’s impact on the ozone layer. The lower this number, the better. Look for refrigerants with an ODP of less than 1.

The Global Warming Potential (GWP) measures the impact the refrigerant has on global warming. This is usually calculated over a 100-year period. The lower the GWP, the better.

Maintenance for Energy Efficiency

Maintenance is essential to maximize energy efficiency with any system. Smart systems can assist by reminding you when it’s time for routine maintenance, but every product needs a little help from an HVAC professional.

Changing the air filter in your HVAC system is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to improve efficiency. No matter what type of filter you have, clean or change it at least every three months and usually once a month for best results.

A smart thermostat will help you minimize energy usage, but this system only works when you take the time to program it correctly. Set your thermostat to coincide with your schedule so your home uses less heating and cooling while you’re away. Remember to update your setting seasonally, keeping the home slightly warmer in summer and cooler in winter.

Learn more about greener, smart HVAC systems available at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. or contact us today at 251-476-3610 to schedule an appointment for your Mobile home!