Monthly Archives: March 2018

Spring four leaf clovers | Hvac maintenance plan | Keith Air Conditioning

Stop Banking on Luck, Get an HVAC Maintenance Plan

When it comes to HVAC systems, some homeowners bank on luck, simply hoping their systems won’t run into any issues or need costly repairs. However, skipping regular maintenance of your HVAC system guarantees your luck will run out and neglect can lead to expensive repairs. If you don’t want to break your budget, play it smart by investing in an HVAC maintenance plan to catch little issues before they become expensive emergencies.

Through an HVAC maintenance plan with Keith Air Conditioning, you get two complete inspections each year for one low price. Homeowners love locking in a fixed cost! We recommend two inspections each year in order to inspect your air conditioner in the spring and inspect your furnace in the fall. If you use a heat pump, twice a year is recommended as well, because it runs year round and doesn’t get a break in between seasons.

During your scheduled appointment, one of our NATE-certified HVAC professionals will clean and inspect your HVAC system to determine if it’s in need of a repair. What’s NATE? It stands for North American Technician Excellence, and when an HVAC technician is NATE-certified, it means he or she have surpassed rigorous requirements for excellence in HVAC maintenance, repairs and installation of all types of HVAC systems.

Should you need a repair, your membership in the Keith Air plan will put you at the top of the priority list and you receive 24/7/365 emergency air conditioner and heating repair services when needed at no additional charge. You also receive a 15 percent repair discount on all parts and a one-year guarantee, plus priority service on the installation of a new system if ever needed.

HVAC systems are expensive, so investing in an HVAC maintenance plan is really an investment in the life of your system. When you have preventative HVAC maintenance done, your system will last longer and will run more efficiently. A properly serviced air conditioner can last approximately 14 years while a furnace can last 15-20 years.

Having an HVAC maintenance plan also means you don’t have to remember to schedule your maintenance appointments twice a year. We’re all busy people with busy personal and professional lives, so having pre-scheduled appointments takes one less thing off your list of things to remember to do.

Plus, with preventative HVAC maintenance, you’ll love the peace of mind you have, knowing your system has been taken care of, so you and your family aren’t at risk for an emergency situation. Aside from the discomfort of a system breakdown, a struggling or compromised system leaves you vulnerable to a house fire or at risk for a carbon monoxide leak. You also lower your energy bill when your HVAC system is running efficiently. When you know your HVAC system is working properly and efficiently, it ensures continual comfort and safety for your family.

Contact Keith Air Conditioning at 251-517-4437 to sign up for your HVAC maintenance plan and schedule your next HVAC maintenance appointment, so your system is good to go.

Allergy Season Ahead | Indoor Air Quality | Allergy | Allergies | Allergens

Spring has Sprung: 4 HVAC Tips for Allergy Season

Spring has sprung! While many people look forward to welcoming this season after a dreary winter, many do not. Why? Well, what else comes along with spring? Seasonal allergies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. If you or one of your loved ones is counted among them, we have four tips for your HVAC system to help you through allergy season and improve your indoor air quality (IAQ).

  • Change your air filter on a regular basis
    If you suffer from allergies, changing your air filter is one of the easiest things you can do to alleviate your symptoms and improve your indoor air quality. A clean air filter helps your HVAC system work properly, efficiently and safely while helping keep your system and ductwork clean. A dirty air filter restricts airflow and makes your HVAC system work harder, which means it is harder to trap airborne pollutants from your home’s indoor air –  dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, viruses and more. Yuck! We recommend using a high-quality, high-efficiency air filter and replacing it once a month to alleviate your allergy symptoms. (For a washable air filter, clean it monthly during heavy use times).
  • Use an air purifier
    Many allergy sufferers find relief by using air purifiers. They help improve indoor air quality by neutralizing pollen, pet dander, viruses, bacteria, mold spores, smoke and chemical odors, so you breathe in cleaner air. Your options include a stand-alone unit from a home improvement store or you can install a whole house purifier to cleanse your air more thoroughly. Call Keith Air to discuss which is best for you.
  • Regularly clean your home
    Mom was right – a clean home means clean air. Vacuuming, dusting, mopping and washing laundry all help remove allergens we track into our homes each day, from our shoes to our pets. Further, improve your home’s indoor air quality by using natural or fragrance-free products when cleaning. Keep your windows and doors shut to prevent outdoor allergens from entering. Clean your air vents and grilles for better airflow and less dust in your air. Turn off your HVAC system first, then remove any dirty vent covers or grilles and use a soft cloth, duster, brush or vacuum hose to clean them.
  • Schedule HVAC maintenance appointments regularly
    We recommend having your HVAC system professionally serviced twice a year, especially if you’re an allergy sufferer. Make sure your system is working as efficiently as possible and is clear of mold, mildew, dust and other contaminants affecting your indoor air quality. You can consult your Keith Air HVAC professional if they recommend having your ducts cleaned to further improve your indoor air quality.

These four tips are good for all homeowners to follow, and they are especially critical for those battling seasonal allergies. For more tips on improving indoor air quality, check out this information from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Your home’s indoor air quality is important to us! Keith Air Conditioning can assess your home’s indoor air quality, discuss air filters and air purifiers with you, perform a maintenance check up on your HVAC system and conduct duct cleaning if needed. Contact us at 251-517-4437 for more information and to get started today.

Seer Rating for Air conditioning units | Keith Air Conditioning

How the SEER Rating Affects Your Bottom Line

Have you ever wondered what a SEER rating is and how it affects you? Learn more about this energy efficiency rating and how it pertains to your house and your budget.

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and it rates the efficiency of central air conditioners. “SEER indicates the relative amount of energy needed to provide a specific cooling output,” according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Specifically, it is the ratio of the cooling output over a typical cooling season divided by the energy consumed in watt-hours. This average is calculated over an entire cooling season using a constant indoor temperature and a variety of outdoor temperatures (ranging from the 60s to the 100s).

The U.S. Department of Energy says many older systems have SEER ratings of 6 or less. However, today’s air conditioners can have SEER ratings ranging from as low as 13 to as high as 25. Some states also have minimum SEER rating requirements; for example, Alabama’s minimum SEER requirement is 14.

The SEER rating also varies because it is a maximum efficiency rating, meaning the unit’s rating can be as high as whatever the SEER rating is; it doesn’t mean it’s always the same SEER rating. It is your unit’s maximum potential and can vary based on if you change the temperature in your home frequently or if the outdoor temperatures vary widely during the day, such as hot during the day and cooler at night.

In theory, the higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the air conditioner performs. The more energy efficient it is, the more you can potentially save on your energy bill. For example, if your current air conditioner unit’s SEER rating is 9 and you upgrade to a unit with a SEER rating of 13, the amount of power consumption could be reduced by 30% (1 – 9/13) and could save you up to a few hundred dollars a year.

Several factors go into the potential energy consumption and savings, including the type of HVAC system you have, what state you live in and the weather there during the year, the size of your home, your ductwork, how much shade your home gets, if you have a basement or slab, the color of your roof and more. Whew! That’s quite a list. You must consider all of these questions and do your research when deciding what SEER rating is best for your home. Don’t worry, the HVAC professionals at Keith Air Conditioning can help you with this.

Another way to determine energy efficiency is the EER rating or Energy Efficiency Ratio. The difference with EER is it calculates a room air conditioner unit’s efficiency and is calculated using a constant temperature and controlled environment, unlike SEER which accounts for seasonal variations. Some experts say the EER rating is a more accurate way to rate energy efficiency. Why? Because how a SEER-rated air conditioner works in the heat of summer in one part of the country will vary from how it performs in another part of the country with a different climate and weather conditions.

EER uses 95 degrees as the constant outdoor temperature, 80 degrees as the constant indoor temperature and 50% humidity. Because EER is a constant, objective standard, you can use it to compare two air conditioners without needing to worry about seasonal changes. (If you’re looking to buy a new air conditioner, check out our three tips.)

Keith Air Conditioning is here to help you sort through SEER and EER ratings and help you decide what is best for your home. Contact us at 251-517-4437 to talk through your questions today.

New home and HVAC systems | Keith Air Conditioning

Thinking about Selling Your Home? What You Need to Know

Are you thinking about selling your home? If so, is the condition of your HVAC system helping or hurting your chance of a sale? If it is in need of a repair or even replacement, what should you do? To determine your best course of action, here’s what you need to know about your HVAC system before listing your home for resale.

When you’re selling your home, it’s important to think through and make wise decisions before spending money on any renovations or upgrades to the home. You want to get the most bang for your buck!

When it comes to your HVAC system, if any components (thermostat, air conditioner, furnace and their related parts) are reaching the end of their life, you could consider updating the necessary components to maintain your family’s comfort level while still living in the home, keep energy bills in order and maintain the value of the home when selling.

The best way to determine the condition of your HVAC system is to schedule a maintenance appointment. When the HVAC professional cleans and inspects your system, he or she can inform you about your system’s condition and the expected lifespan of the components. Then you can make an informed decision about repairing or replacing anything before you sell your home.

Upgrades made to your home have various outcomes on the home’s value. Some upgrades increase the value of the home by the full amount of the upgrade cost. Others increase the home’s value by a portion of the amount spent to upgrade while others are simply maintenance type of upgrades.

Let’s look at installing a new furnace, for example. The average cost of a new furnace can be anywhere between $2,500 to $6,000 installed. Most buyers looking for a new home simply expect to find the furnace in good and safe working order. If your home is inspected and the furnace is advanced in age, a recommendation to replace it will likely be noted in the inspection report. Not replacing it could prevent some buyers from making an offer on your house or they may ask you to lower your asking price.

Something else to consider is the type of buyer. If your home has been renovated and features many improvements but the HVAC system is old, it will stick out to a potential buyer more because your home is one needing work vs. one move-in ready. However, if your home is a fixer-upper and needs work in several areas, then an old HVAC system won’t be as much of a concern to buyers looking to make a lot of changes.

Even though updating the HVAC system may or may not significantly increase your home’s value, it has several benefits. If a buyer is looking a similar home with a new system, they could easily choose the other house. Eliminating it as a factor. It makes your home as attractive as possible to buyers as well as helps lower your energy bills while you’re still living there. Some homeowners decide to replace their HVAC system a few years before they plan to sell, so they can take advantage of having the new system for a while and then when the time comes to sell, the home still has a relatively new system for the next owners. You could also take advantage of federal tax credits and rebates as well as rebates offered by utility companies and manufacturers.

There are many areas to think through and decisions to make when selling your home, and your HVAC system is an important one. Keith Air Conditioning can inspect your HVAC system and give a professional assessment on its current condition and the expected lifespan of the components, so you can make an informed decision about repairing or replacing it before you sell your home. Contact us at 251-517-4437 to discuss your questions and schedule an HVAC maintenance appointment.