Monthly Archives: December 2017

Green Innovations For You | Keith Air Conditioning

3 Green Innovations Changing the HVAC Industry

Incorporating daily changes makes a difference when it comes to the health of our planet. Recycling and repurposing have grown in importance, along with using eco-friendly products and technologies. Perhaps you’re thinking about which changes you can make in your Loxley, Alabama, home to make it greener. Check out these green innovations in the HVAC industry that will change the face of home heating and cooling.

Green Innovations in Air Conditioning

It’s not currently available for homes, but a company based in California created an ice-powered air conditioner. Water is frozen in a huge tank overnight, cooling air that circulates over the ice during the day. When the ice melts, the traditional air conditioning system kicks in. This system can cool a large building for six hours from the ice alone.

Chromasun, an Australian company, recently invented thermally driven air conditioning. Rather than solely using electric fuel, thermally driven systems generate power from solar panels and gas. When the solar energy gets depleted, these units use natural gas to create energy.

Ductless air conditioning is one of the greenest cooling systems on the market today. Instead of guzzling electricity through a large outdoor unit, compact units cool the air using a reverse heat pump method. A small outdoor unit pumps a more eco-friendly refrigerant through your home. This liquid picks up heat and releases it outside. Then, the cooler liquid comes in and cools the air through individual indoor units.

Ductless systems also allow you to control your home’s temperature in zones. As a result, you save more energy because you avoid cooling unoccupied or unused areas in your home.

Green Innovations in Heating

Hybrid heating provides warmth through one of the most energy-efficient heating options today. Hybrid heat pumps use electricity and gas heat. These units generate warmth with electricity on days when the outdoor air is chilly.

When temperatures drop to frigid levels, the system switches over to gas heat. Gas heat creates warmth faster without burning as much fuel. Hybrid systems automatically change fuel types based on which fuel is more efficient to create the heat you need.

Geothermal heating has been around for a while. It’s gaining popularity because it’s quite eco-friendly and has a long lifespan.

A pump inside your home moves water through pipes underground and warms it. When the warm water comes inside, the heat exchanger pulls the heat from the water into the air inside. Then, it moves the cooled water back through the pipes.

These units only use electricity to run the pump, exchanger and fan, which is a fraction of what a traditional heating system uses. Geothermal systems last up to 30 years with regular maintenance.

Radiant floor heat works similar to geothermal heat. Instead of warm air blowing through vents, the system pumps hot water beneath the floor. Heat radiates upward from the floor and subsequently warms the entire room.

Green Innovations in Other Areas of HVAC

You waste a lot of cold water while you wait for it to become hot. With an on-demand hot water recirculator, you won’t have to worry about this wastage. With this invention, cold water goes back to the water heater through a designated water line, and it’s heated for later use.

Energy analysis software helps service technicians recommend the most energy-efficient systems for new homes and during replacement. This software projects your home’s energy consumption while accounting for any energy saving measures you’ve taken, helping you make the most eco-friendly choice.

At Keith Air Conditioning, Inc., we offer several green products to help decrease your home’s energy consumption. From ductless air conditioners to programmable, wireless thermostats, we’ve got you covered. Contact us at 251-476-3610 if you have concerns about your home’s heating system.


Heating an old southern home | Keith Air Conditioning

9 Steps to Heat Your Older Home

For many people, older homes are quaint and charming. What’s not charming is higher energy bills from heating an older home. It’s true, there are unique challenges to keeping an older home heated, and here are nine steps to take with your older home in order to keep it warm inside.

  • Use a programmable thermostat
    Save money on your energy bill by using a programmable thermostat. You can conveniently schedule temperature adjustments while you are out of the house during the day and when you return home as well as when you sleep at night and wake up in the morning. Your HVAC system will run as efficiently as possible, and your overall energy use in your older home will be lower. Read more about the benefits of using a programmable thermostat and what models are available here.
  • Seal off air leaks
    Walk around your house and see if you notice a draft coming from any windows or doors. If so, seal those off to avoid cold air from coming into your house and warm air from going out. Your furnace will run better, and the heating bill for your older home will be lower. You can seal off air leaks yourself pretty easily using caulk and weatherstripping. Or for doors, you can install a door sweep or door snake to block drafts. Check out more tips for sealing air leaks.
  • Close your fireplace flue
    Just like air leaks from your windows or doors, an open fireplace flue can bring in cold air and let warm air escape your older home. If you’re not using the fireplace, make sure to close the flue. And if your fireplace doesn’t have glass doors, consider adding those as well.
  • Rotate ceiling fans properly
    In the winter, check your ceiling fans to be sure they are running in the right direction. Heat rises, so ceiling fans should run clockwise to bring down the warm air that has risen. It also keeps air circulating in your older home, helping your HVAC system to not work as hard.
  • Check your air vents and doors
    Make sure furniture isn’t blocking any vents, preventing rooms from being heated properly. Also, it is a myth to close air vents and doors in your house in order to lower your energy bill. In actuality, it causes your HVAC system to work harder when trying to circulate air throughout your house, which means a higher energy bill and strained equipment.
  • Inspect your windows
    Your older home may have older windows. Maybe they’re drafty or not energy-efficient. Perhaps they’re leaky or you’d like to update their look aesthetically. Or maybe you’re concerned about lead paint. Whatever the reason, consider having your windows inspected to see if they need to be repaired or replaced. Also, on sunny days, take advantage of opening your blinds and curtains to let the sun warm up your rooms naturally. Then, when the sun goes down, close your blinds and curtains to help prevent the outdoor cold temperatures from cooling down your rooms.
  • Lower the temperature two places
    By lowering the temperature on your thermostat, even one or two degrees, you will save money. Plus, you can always use blankets or an extra layer of clothing if needed. You can also reduce your energy bill by lowering your water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Clean or replace your air filter
    Our recommendation is to replace your air filter at least once a month, although some filters can last two to three months. What’s important is to remember to check it regularly and replace it when needed. For washable air filters, we recommend cleaning them once a month, especially during periods of heavy use. This simple step helps your furnace function properly and improves the indoor air quality in your older home.
  • Inspect your insulation
    To save money and energy, make sure your older home’s walls, attic and basement are well-insulated and consider adding more if needed.

An older home doesn’t have to mean a higher heating bill. These nine steps will go a long way to keeping your home warmer in the wintertime. Contact Keith Air Conditioning at 251-517-4437 for more HVAC tips for older homes or to schedule an HVAC maintenance appointment.

Improve Indoor Air | Keith Air Conditioning

3 Ways to Improve Indoor Air This Winter

It’s winter in Mobile, Alabama, and you’ve got your home tightly sealed to keep the chill at bay. As the winter months progress, your tightly sealed home lowers indoor air quality as the lack of fresh air causes the level of allergens and irritants to increase. Fortunately, there are several simple tasks you can complete to drastically improve your indoor air quality this winter.

Change the Filters

Dirty air filters don’t pick up particles well, and they cause your heating system to work overtime. You should change filters at least once a month.

Choose a filter that catches pollutants that are 0.3 microns or larger to catch most irritants. Check filters weekly and change when needed to keep indoor air quality higher.

Install Indoor Air Quality Products

There are several types of whole-home purifiers on the market. Some purifiers catch particles with electrostatic mechanisms, and others add another level of filtration. A UV light will kill bacteria, mold and viruses that circulate in your home, helping reduce illnesses.

It’s no secret that your home gets dry because of drier winter air and heating. Dry air causes coughs, creates sinus issues and can exacerbate breathing problems. Having a whole-home humidifier reduces issues from dry air, cutting down the amount of bacteria and viruses floating in your home.

Consider a home ventilation system that helps keep the air inside your home fresh by bringing in outside air. Energy-recovery ventilators pump out stale air from inside while bringing in outdoor air without using much electricity.

Schedule a Tune-up

Don’t forget to have your HVAC system tuned up regularly. During a tuneup, a skilled service technician will clean parts inside your system that might contain mold and dirt. Not only does regular service improve indoor air quality but it also boosts your system’s efficiency.

At Keith Air Conditioning, we offer several indoor air quality products. Our service technicians will help you choose the best solutions for your family. From purifiers and humidifiers to regular maintenance, we’re here to help. Call 251-476-3610 today to schedule a consultation or maintenance appointment today.

Smart Thermostat Technology | Keith Air Conditioning

5 Reasons Why You Need a Programmable Thermostat

Are you away from your home every day at specific times? If so, a programmable thermostat is a great way for you to start saving money on your energy bill and enjoy the convenience of scheduling what you want your HVAC system to do and when. Here are five reasons why programmable thermostats are a great solution for your home.

  • Save money
    You can save money on your energy bill by programming your thermostat to adjust its temperature settings while you are asleep and then automatically adjust again when you wake up. Think about the typical times you go to bed at night and get up each morning. Schedule the temperature adjustments to start just before you go to bed and just before you wake up.

    You can also do this for the times of the day when you and your family are away from home (for instance, at work or at school). If your house is empty for eight hours of the day, why not adjust the temperature during this time?
  • Convenience
    You can save and repeat these temperature settings each day in a pre-set schedule for your convenience, so you don’t have to remember to change the temperature before leaving the house. Some units allow you to have different settings each day or during the weekend.

    With a smart thermostat, you can even make changes remotely from anywhere using Wi-Fi on your smartphone, tablet or computer.
  • Consistent comfort
    Programmable thermostats help maintain a consistent comfort level and temperature throughout your house, so you aren’t constantly adjusting the temperature in response to hot or cold temperatures outside.
  • Energy efficiency
    Make your home more energy efficient by ensuring your HVAC system runs as efficiently as possible and at a lower level when you’re not home, reducing your overall energy usage.
  • Individual temperature settings
    If you have a zoned HVAC system (where your home is divided into multiple zones), you can use your programmable thermostat to customize the temperature in each zone, truly maximizing this setup in your home for those zones that have similar heating and cooling needs.

There are several models of programmable thermostats to choose from:

  • 7-day models give you the flexibility to have different settings for each day of the week.
  • 5+2-day models are good if you have the same schedule during weekdays and another schedule during weekends.
  • 5-1-1 models are good if you have the same schedule Monday through Friday, a different schedule Saturdays and a different schedule Sundays.

For more information on how to use a programmable thermostat properly, check out “A Guide to Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling” from ENERGY STAR. In addition to checking your programmable thermostat’s owner’s manual, ask your HVAC contractor how the thermostat works and for recommendations for the best settings.

Keith Air Conditioning is a Factory Authorized Carrier dealer with a range of programmable thermostats for you to choose from. Learn more or set up an appointment by calling 251-517-4437.

Cut Heating Costs | Keith Air Conditioning

4 Ways to Cut Heating Costs

The chilly weather is coming to Daphne, Alabama. But you may not want to use your furnace just yet, because you’re dreading the higher utility bill that follows. There are several easy steps you can take to cut heating costs this winter.

Dress Warmly

Learn to love socks. When your feet get cold, the rest of your body will feel the same. Wear warm socks or slippers to keep your toes feeling toasty. Wear layers and long sleeves in the house. You’ll be warmer without needing to bump up the thermostat.

Invest in insulated drapes for your windows to keep the warm air in, especially at night. If you have wood or tile floors, buy some rugs to keep the floors from getting cold.

Keep the Heat Inside

Lock all windows and patio doors to get a better seal. Cover them with plastic to prevent drafts. Open window coverings during the day to take advantage of the sun’s warmth, and close them at night to keep the warmth inside.

Look for light between doors and their frames. Replace worn weatherstripping where light leaks in. If you have a fireplace, close the flue when you aren’t using it.

Watch the Thermostat

Lowering your thermostat by a few degrees can result in huge savings. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to save even more. These units adjust the temperature automatically when you’re away and asleep.

Smart thermostats allow you to make changes remotely, no matter how far away you are from your home. They also provide recommendations to help lower energy use.

Service the Heater

One of the easiest ways to cut heating costs is by maintaining your heating system. Think about enrolling in a preventative maintenance plan for regular maintenance and service that will keep your system running in tip-top shape all year.

At Keith Air Conditioning, Inc., we offer preventative maintenance agreements and are glad to repair or replace your aging system. Call us at 251-476-3610 for expert service with a smile.

Heat Pumps | Keith Air Conditioning

3 Steps to Prepare Your Furnace for Winter Break

As schools closed for winter break, your home filled with your kids, their friends, your relatives, your friends, pets and more, celebrating the holidays and time away from school and work. There’s no better time than now to make sure your furnace stays in good shape! Here are three steps to take to prepare your furnace for this busy time of year.

  • Change your air filter
    Maintaining your furnace is critical to keep it functioning properly and safely, and changing your air filter is one of the easiest things you can do to take good care of your furnace. Air filters help keep your system and ductwork clean, and they can improve indoor air quality by trapping airborne particles like dust. For optimal efficiency and filtration, we recommend replacing your air filter at least once a month. (If you use a washable air filter, clean it once a month during periods of heavy use.) You can change your air filter yourself very easily, or you can ask our HVAC contractor at your next furnace maintenance appointment to change it for you and show you how to change the air filter the next time you need to.
  • Schedule a furnace maintenance appointment
    Your furnace works very hard to keep you and your family warm during the colder months. By scheduling regular maintenance, you can help keep your furnace in prime condition, maximizing the life of the unit and minimizing repair needs. Preventive maintenance inspections in the spring for your air conditioner and the fall for your furnace can uncover leaks, rust, rot, soot, frayed wires and corroded electrical contacts. During your furnace maintenance appointment, our HVAC contractor will clean and inspect the unit thoroughly. Inspections on boilers and furnaces include ductwork, pipes, dampers, valves, the chimney, registers, radiators, pumps, blowers, fuel lines and the oil tank. Heat pump and air conditioning unit inspections include an examination of the fan, compressor, indoor coils, outdoor coils and refrigerant lines as well.
  • Sign up for an HVAC maintenance plan
    Consider investing in an HVAC maintenance plan to avoid missing your maintenance appointments ever again and make your annual maintenance as easy as can be. Our plan includes two complete inspections each year for one low price. With a Keith Air Conditioning maintenance agreement, your HVAC system will receive the best service from a NATE-certified professional (North American Technician Excellence). This certification means the HVAC professional has surpassed rigorous requirements for excellence in HVAC maintenance, repairs and installation of all types of heating and cooling systems. Should you need a repair, you will be at the top of our priority list, and you can receive 24/7/365 emergency air conditioner and heating repair services at no additional charge. You receive a 15 percent repair discount on all parts and a one year guarantee as a maintenance plan participant, and you will receive priority service on the installation of a new system if ever needed.

Don’t be stuck with a cold home when winter break starts! Follow these steps to make sure your furnace is good to go. Contact Keith Air Conditioning at 251-517-4437 to schedule a furnace maintenance appointment or to sign up for an HVAC maintenance plan.