Monthly Archives: January 2018

Ductless heating and air | Keith Air Conditioning

Ductless Mini-Split Technology: 6 Pros and 5 Cons

Is it colder than normal in your home? If so, consider a trending option in the HVAC industry, Ductless mini-split technology Why? Most homes have ductwork for their HVAC systems; which can consistently lose energy because of how heat circulates throughout the home. A ductless heating system (or mini-split) can help reduce that loss of heat and energy. Here are the pros and cons of ductless mini-split technology, so you can decide if it is right for your home and family.

Mini-splits are a good retrofit add-on for houses with “non-ducted” heating systems as well as for room additions where you can’t extend or install ductwork, says the U.S. Department of Energy. “Like standard air-source heat pumps, mini-splits have two main components – an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling unit. A conduit, which houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing and a condensate drain, links the outdoor and indoor units.”

Pros of ductless mini-split technology:

  1. Mini-splits are small in size.
  2. Mini-splits can heat and cool individual rooms (zoning), saving energy and money.
  3. They are easier to install than other space conditioning systems.
  4. Mini-splits help reduce the loss of heat and energy that comes with ductwork because they do not use ducts.
  5. They are more versatile than other add-on systems when it comes to indoor placement. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “the indoor air handlers can be suspended from a ceiling, mounted flush into a drop ceiling or hung on a wall. Floor-standing models are also available…many offer a remote control to turn the system on and off when it’s positioned high on a wall or suspended from a ceiling.”
  6. Intruders can’t access your home through the small hole in the wall for mini-splits, unlike air conditioners that are wall or window-mounted.

Cons of ductless mini-split technology:

  1. Although the cost to operate is lower and rebates/incentives may be available, mini-splits may have a higher installation cost than some systems.
  2. Size and location matter when it comes to the size of each unit and the best location to install it to prevent wasting energy, having a lack of temperature or humidity control and spending more money on a system that is too big.
  3. Some homeowners may prefer the aesthetics of a built-in central system versus the indoor unit.
  4. A place to drain water near the outside unit is necessary.
  5. Installation requires a qualified HVAC professional.

Based on the pros and cons of ductless mini-split technology, is it the right choice for your home? Keith Air Conditioning’s qualified HVAC team can help you make this important decision and professionally install the system. Contact us at 251-517-4437 to discuss your options today.

HVAC Tech Checking System | Keith Air Conditioning

5 Ways to Troubleshoot Your Heat Pump

Instead of generating heat, heat pumps move heat, so they can heat and cool for less money than a furnace or air conditioner. There are three main types of heat pumps: air-source heat pumps, split-ductless heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps (ground-source or water-source). Check this out to determine which one is right for your home.

An HVAC professional should install your heat pump, so they can determine the right size and the type of heat pump for your home. They will assess the correct size with an industry protocol called a Manual J calculation, that considers many factors, such as your home’s foundation, thickness of walls, windows, insulation and air filtration.

But what if your heat pump is not working properly? Here are five ways to troubleshoot, so you can get your heat pump working again for your home and family.

  1. Check the thermostat.
    Make sure the thermostat is turned on and set to heat. Then try adjusting the temperature, so it is two to four degrees above room temperature. If in cooling mode, adjust the temperature two to four degrees below room temperature.
  2. Turn the fan on.

    If the fan doesn’t turn on, check your fuses and breakers. You may need to replace the fuse or close the circuit breaker. 

  3. Check the wiring.
    If a fuse didn’t blow and the circuit breaker wasn’t tripped, then you may have old or worn-out heat pump wiring. The wiring will need to be repaired or the loose terminals tightened. You might also have a faulty thermostat or a stuck fan relay.
  4. Check the vents.
    If you feel cold air when the fan is running at the normal setting, set the thermostat at least five degrees above room temperature and then check the vents for warm air. The issue is the outdoor unit if you feel warm air, and if you don’t feel warm air, it could be a faulty thermostat or air handler.
  5. Check the outdoor unit.
    Make sure the thermostat is set to normal and wait a few minutes before examining the outdoor unit. Check the outdoor coil for ice or frost, which could mean you have a defective defrost timer or control module, or your unit needs more refrigerant. Also, be sure the unit’s airflow is clear of any debris, such as leaves, grass, sticks and weeds, which can restrict air flow. Finally, is the outdoor fan running? If not, it could be an issue with wiring, the fan motor or the compressor run capacitor.

For professional assistance, contact Keith Air Conditioning at 251-517-4437. We’re happy to address any of these issues for you, so your heat pump is good to go, and comfort is quickly restored in your home.

For more information on innovations that are improving heat pump performance, check out this article from the U.S. Department of Energy.

HVAC System Lifespan | Keith Air Conditioning

3 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your HVAC System

With a new year comes new commitments to improve things in your life. Maybe your New Year’s resolution was to improve your eating habits or to get more daily exercise. Perhaps you want to spend more time reading and reduce your use of electronic devices. What about taking better care of your home’s heating and cooling system? Now that is a resolution we can definitely accomplish this year!

A few ways to take good care of your HVAC system and prolong its life as long as possible include:

  1. Changing the air filter regularly – We recommend changing your air filter at least once a month for optimal efficiency and filtration. Dirty air filters impede the HVAC system from working efficiently and properly, which only strains the equipment. This is especially important if you live in an area with high pollen counts or have family members with allergies.
  2. Scheduling regular maintenance appointments – We recommend two maintenance appointments each year, one in the spring for your air conditioner and one in the fall for your furnace. Our HVAC contractor cleans and inspects the unit to ensure it is working properly and to assess the need for any repairs.
  3. Investing in an HVAC maintenance plan – With our HVAC maintenance plans, you receive two inspections per year at a fixed price. You are given priority service in the event of a repair and you have access to emergency air conditioner and heating repair services at no additional charge. Additional features include a 15 percent repair discount on all parts and a one-year guarantee, plus priority service on new system installation if ever needed. This is a great investment for your budget, the integrity of your home and your peace of mind!

With regular maintenance and care, most HVAC systems can last 10-20 years. On average, furnaces tend to last longer (between 15-20 years) than air conditioners (10-15 years).

Even with proper maintenance and care, all HVAC systems are in need of repairs at some point. That is when you have to weigh the cost of the repair versus the cost of replacement and consider what is best for your family and budget. Sometimes pouring money into an old system just isn’t worth it, and the benefits of a new technologically advanced HVAC system, such as efficiency, lower bills and safety, far outweigh the cost of replacement in the long run.

So how do you know when it is time to replace? ENERGY STAR has a helpful list. A few of the telltale signs include:

  • Your HVAC system’s age – Again, most HVAC systems last 10-20 years if properly maintained. If your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old and/or your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old, it is time to consider replacing them. The good news is you will gain more efficiency with new units.
  • Your equipment needs to be repaired often – As the HVAC system gets older, the more repairs it will need. When faced with a repair, make sure you understand how long the repair will last, if you will likely need to have it repaired again for this issue and what it will do to your monthly energy bills. At some point, you will determine that the cost of repairs is not worth it compared to upgrading to a new system. When considering replacement, find out how much you will save on your monthly energy bills and have a clear understanding of what the warranty covers and for how long.
  • Higher energy bills – Older HVAC systems are less efficient, so they end up costing you more in your monthly energy bills.

These are just a few of the telltale signs that it is time to replace your HVAC system. Check out the rest on ENERGY STAR’s list.

Whether you are in need of regular maintenance for your HVAC system, a repair or a replacement, Keith Air Conditioning is your go-to resource for all things HVAC. Contact us at 251-517-4437 to discuss your needs today.

Heat pump maintenance | Keith Air Conditioning

Which Heat Pump is Right for Your Home?

Did you know your home’s HVAC system could be more efficient with the right heat pump? Here’s what you need to know about heat pumps, including the three main types available, and how to choose the right one for your home.

First of all, what is a heat pump? The easiest way to think about a heat pump is it moves heat; it doesn’t generate heat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house, and during the cooling season, heat pumps move heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors.” Because heat pumps move heat instead of generate it, they can heat and cool for less money than a furnace or air conditioner.

There are three main types of heat pumps:

Air-source heat pump

  • This is the most common type of heat pump installed in homes


  • The U.S. Department of Energy says it can reduce your heating costs by approximately 50 percent, compared to electric furnace and baseboard heaters
  • It dehumidifies better than standard central air conditioners
  • Advances in technology mean air-source heat pumps can now be used in colder regions as well as those with warmer climates

Split-ductless heat pump

  • features two main components, an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling unit, and refrigerant circulates through tubing between the indoor and outdoor components
  • It is good for one-room additions to homes or homes without ducts
  • Advantages include their small size and flexibility for heating and cooling individual rooms
  • Installation can cost more than other systems

Geothermal heat pump (ground-source or water-source)


  • Heat is moved through pipes buried outside, transferring heat between your house and the relatively constant temperatures of the ground or nearby water
  • Installation can cost more than other systems, but they have lower operating costs
  • It can reduce your home’s energy usage by 25-60 percent
  • It lasts a long time, runs quietly, requires little maintenance and is good in extreme climates

Heat pumps have evolved and are performing even better, thanks to many innovations. For example, many high-efficiency heat pumps feature a desuperheater to recover waste heat and use it to heat water two to three times more efficiently than a regular water heater. Some heat pump models have variable-speed or dual-speed motors to keep air moving, minimizing cool drafts and maximizing electrical savings. You can read more from the U.S. Department of Energy about the number of innovations that are improving how heat pumps perform.

Heat pumps should be installed by an HVAC professional who will determine the right size and the best type of heat pump for your home and your family’s needs. This is important because a heat pump that is too big or too small will actually raise your energy bills because it won’t heat or cool effectively. The HVAC professional will calculate the right size for your home using a Manual J calculation, which considers many factors including your home’s foundation, insulation, thickness of walls, windows, air filtration and more.


If you already have a heat pump but have run into an issue, check out these three ways to troubleshoot common heat pump problems, so you can quickly restore comfort in your home.

Contact Keith Air Conditioning at 251-517-4437 to speak to our heat pump experts today. We can help you decide if a heat pump is the right choice for your home, select the best one and then install it properly.