Monthly Archives: April 2018

Trees in the park with a path | Keith Air Conditioning | Arbor Day

4 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day

In the U.S., Arbor Day is celebrated every year on the last Friday in April. In 2018, it falls on April 27. It is customary to plant a tree in honor of Arbor Day, and every year, people in countries all around the world participate. Planting and caring for trees is important because trees offer so much to us. Trees clean our air, supply oxygen, offer shade to keep us and our homes cooler, conserve energy, yield food, provide homes for wildlife and so much more. In addition to planting a tree in honor of Arbor Day, here are three more ways to celebrate the holiday around your home.

  • Consider your home’s indoor greenery
    Houseplants offer more than just pretty decoration in our homes. They’ve been shown to reduce stress and create tranquil environments for us. Plants help improve indoor air quality by reducing carbon dioxide, pollutants and dust. In a workplace setting with plants, employees are more productive, feel happier and get sick less often. Hospital patients can benefit from having a plant too – they recover faster, experience less fatigue and anxiety and have lower blood pressure, among other benefits. Walk around your home and consider where you could add greenery. (For more information on indoor air quality, see this “Care for Your Air” guide from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).)
  • Assess your home’s landscaping
    There are many benefits to landscaping around your home. For one, a beautifully landscaped home will increase your home’s curb appeal and market value. In addition, grass and trees yield cooler temperatures around your home, providing shade from the heat, lowering your air conditioning needs and reducing glare through your windows. Grass and trees remove carbon dioxide from the air, and trees supply oxygen for us every day. Outdoor living areas and landscaping have been shown to improve our quality of life, reduce blood pressure, improve our attention spans and memories, lower stress and lower healthcare costs. All in all, landscaping is a vital component of a healthy mind and body, so walk around the exterior of your home and consider where you can add perennial landscaping or improve existing landscaping.
  • Evaluate your home’s energy efficiency
    One downside to having an older HVAC system is it is less efficient, so it ends up costing you more in your monthly energy bills. The best way to ascertain the energy efficiency of your HVAC system is to schedule a maintenance appointment. After our HVAC professional cleans and inspects your system, they can provide a professional assessment of its current condition and its energy efficiency as well as recommendations for repairing or replacing your unit if needed.

For example, do you know the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of your furnace? ( It measures how efficiently a gas furnace converts fuel into energy. The higher the AFUE rating, the more energy efficient a furnace is, and the more you will save on your energy bill. Since 1992, the minimum AFUE rating of furnaces has been 78 percent. For furnaces sold after September 2015, the new minimum AFUE rating is between 80-83 percent, depending on the furnace type. The most efficient models rate between 95-98 percent.  If your furnace has an AFUE rating of 80 percent or below, you should consider a replacement to save money on your energy bill.

You can also talk to your Keith Air Conditioning professional about your Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating , which rates the efficiency of central air conditioners. Many older systems have SEER ratings of 6 or less. However, today’s air conditioners can have SEER ratings ranging from 13 to 25. And some states have minimum SEER rating requirements; for example, Alabama’s minimum SEER requirement is 14.

Several factors go into your home’s potential energy consumption and savings, including the type of HVAC system you have, the age of your system, 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. The HVAC professionals at Keith Air Conditioning can help you assess the energy efficiency of your current system and the potential for improvement. (For more tips on how to save money and energy in your home, check out this “Energy Savers” guide from the U.S. Department of Energy).

Contact Keith Air Conditioning at 251-517-4437 to schedule an HVAC maintenance appointment. We can help determine your system’s efficiency and ways you can improve it.

Woman on couch next to a ductless air conditioning system | Keith Air Conditioning

How Does a Ductless Air Conditioner Contribute to Better Air Quality?

Did you know the air inside your home could be worse than the air outside your home? If you’re an allergy sufferer, sorry for the bad news. Thankfully, relief is on the way.

Air Quality Awareness Week 2018 is April 30-May 4, and this year’s theme is “Air Quality Where You Are.” The goal is to increase air quality awareness and inspire people to take steps, no matter how large or small, to reduce their contribution to air pollution. In the spirit of air quality awareness, here are four HVAC tips including information about emerging ductless air conditioning technology to improve your indoor air quality (IAQ).

  • Change your air filter regularly
    For allergy sufferers, changing your air filter is a simple step you can take to alleviate your symptoms and improve your indoor air quality. When your air filter is dirty, it restricts airflow, and your HVAC system has to work harder to trap airborne pollutants from your home’s indoor air – allergens, dust mites, pet dander, dead skin, mold, viruses and more. When your air filter is clean, it helps your HVAC system work properly, efficiently and safely while helping to keep your system and your ductwork clean. To alleviate your allergy symptoms, we recommend using a high-quality, high-efficiency air filter and replacing it once a month. If your unit uses washable air filters, clean them once a month during heavy use times. If you have pets or live in an area with a high pollen count, be especially mindful. Unsure if yours is disposable or washable? Call Keith Air Conditioning at 251-220-5630.
  • Use an air purifier
    Air purifiers bring relief for many allergy sufferers. How? Air purifiers help improve indoor air quality by neutralizing pollen, pet dander, bacteria, viruses, mold spores, smoke and chemical odors, so you breathe in clean air. Air purifiers come in many forms; consult with your NATE-certified HVAC professional to discuss whole house options, such as Media Air Cleaners or UltraViolet Air Purifiers for the ultimate benefit.
  • Have regular HVAC maintenance performed
    You should have your HVAC system professionally serviced twice a year (your air conditioner in the spring and your furnace in the fall), especially if you’re an allergy sufferer. If you use a heat pump, you should schedule service twice a year, prior to each season as well. Heat pumps rarely get a rest, like air conditioners and furnaces do and may experience more wear and tear. With an HVAC maintenance appointment, you ensure your system is working properly and efficiently and is clear of mold, mildew, dust and other contaminants affecting your indoor air quality.
  • Consider a ductless air conditioner
    Changing your air filter and using an air purifier traps airborne pollutants from your home’s indoor air. What if you could remove the hideout of these pollutants? A major benefit to a ductless air conditioner is no ductwork for pollutants to gather Instead, air conditioning comes through wall-mount air handlers connected to an outside unit. Without ducts, there is no place for the pollutants to build up, and allergens in your home’s air drop significantly. Ductless systems are quiet, energy-efficient and can save you money too.

For more information about the pros and cons of ductless systems, check out this blog post.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. During Air Quality Awareness Week and every week, Keith Air Conditioning is your go-to resource for indoor air quality. We can assess your home’s indoor air quality needs and concerns, perform a maintenance check up on your HVAC system and answer all of your air filters, air purifiers and ductless systems questions. Contact us at 251-517-4437 to get started today.

Father and son camping in backyard | Air Conditioner | Keith Air Conditioning

Swap Pricey Vacation for a New Air Conditioner and a Staycation

No plans for summer travel? No problem! Too often, we forget about the wonderful recreational opportunities right in our own Alabama backyard. You can stay home this summer and still have fun locally. If you’re planning a staycation this summer, you’re saving some money because gas prices are predicted to rise again, according to petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan in the Wall Street Journal (April 9, 2018). What better investment could you make than investing in something the whole family can enjoy for months to come? An upgraded air conditioning system – that’s the ticket!

With regular maintenance and care, most air conditioners can last up to 10-15 years on average. To take good care of your air conditioner and prolong its life as long as you can, our top three recommendations are:

  1. Air filter vigilance – Change or clean (depending on the model) the air filter at least once a month for optimal efficiency and filtration.
  2. Regular maintenance – Schedule two maintenance appointments each year (AC in the spring, furnace in the fall or before each season if you have a heat pump) to have your unit cleaned and inspected for best performance and any repair needs.
  3. Maintenance plan – An HVAC maintenance plan with Keith Air comes with two maintenance appointments each year at a fixed price as well as priority repair service, emergency repair service, a 15 percent repair discount on all parts, a one-year guarantee and priority installation service.

Even with regular maintenance and care, sooner or later, your air conditioner will need repair service. Weigh the cost of the repair versus the cost of replacement, so you can decide what is best for your family and budget. (With a repair, find out how long the repair will last if you will likely need to have it repaired again for this issue and what will happen to your monthly energy bills.) Feel free to use this example next time your children complain about the pointlessness of math story problem homework.

Eventually, you’ll reach a point where pouring money into an older air conditioner isn’t worth it, and the benefits of a new unit (like greater efficiency, lower bills and safety) far outweigh the cost of a replacement. (When considering a replacement, find out how much you will save on your monthly energy bills and be sure you know what the warranty covers and for how long).

ENERGY STAR has a great list of telltale signs it’s time to replace your air conditioner, including the age of the unit, if your unit needs to be repaired often and if your energy bills are higher than they could be with an energy-efficient unit.

If you decide to replace your air conditioner and upgrade to a better unit, Keith Air offers financing options to support a steady household budget while helping you have a cool place to relax this summer. We offer:

  • Flexible financing with approved credit
  • Special interest financing and
  • 60 months special financing.

With financing through Wells Fargo, you can finance a new air conditioner installation with:

  • Convenient monthly payments
  • Flexible financing options
  • Everyday purchase convenience – all major credit cards accepted
  • Special terms promotional offers
  • An easy-to-use online bill payment option
  • In-store or online application

Contact Keith Air Conditioning at 251-517-4437 to schedule an appointment. We can assess your air conditioner and our NATE-certified professionals can offer recommendations for your next steps.

Rainy weather with condensation and water on window | Humidity | Air Conditioning | Keith Air Conditioning

How to Combat Humidity in Your Home

We all look forward to spring after a long winter, don’t we? However, one downside to the spring is a lot of rain often comes with it. Too much of anything is not a good thing, and the same goes for rain. Heavy rain and thunderstorms can lead to all sorts of problems for homeowners, from flooding and mold growth to humidity and overworked HVAC systems.

Humidity is uncomfortable, plain and simple. With high humidity, your home’s air feels damp. The amount of moisture in the air affects your perception of how cold or warm you feel and how much heating or cooling you need to feel comfortable. Because the air is exceptionally moist, you can run into issues with mold and mildew in your home, which affects your clothes, furniture, electronics and other possessions. Bugs and dust mites also love humid conditions. High humidity can even affect your health, and it makes your air conditioner work harder to keep your home cool too. Unfortunately, older, inefficient systems may not handle the demands well.

When it comes to humidity in your home, watch for:

  • Musty smells
  • Mold
  • Wet stains on the walls and ceilings from condensation
  • Recurring dampness in certain areas
  • A sticky or clammy feeling in the air
  • Cracking or flaking paint
  • Peeling wallpaper and/or
  • Windows with condensation or frost.

On the flip side, when the air in your home is too dry, you may notice wood floors shrinking, cracks in furniture and leather, static electricity, difficulty breathing and/or nosebleeds. You can become more susceptible to respiratory viruses when your nasal passages dry out, and your skin and lips will also feel dry.

The key is to fight humidity in your home. Low humidity means less moisture in your home and less of these issues. Air conditioning goes a long way in reducing your home’s level of humidity.

Another great option is installing a dehumidifier in your home. It removes excess moisture from your house and helps prevent mold and mildew growth.

You want to keep the humidity level in your home somewhere between 40% and 50%. By removing excess moisture in the air, you prevent mold, mildew, bacteria and dust, which helps with allergies and respiratory issues.

You can use a portable dehumidifier in various areas of the house where excess moisture is most common, such as bathrooms, basements and crawl spaces. Dehumidifiers have various capacities, including small capacity for smaller spaces, medium capacity for medium to large spaces and large capacity for excessively wet areas.

You can also have a whole-house dehumidifier installed and integrated with your home’s current HVAC system. These dehumidifiers work for spaces up to 3,000 square feet. You can tie into existing return ductwork or add a new return duct specifically for it. For homeowners who suffer from allergies or asthma, you might want to consider a whole-house dehumidifier to improve your comfort and indoor air quality.

If your home has humidity issues, contact Keith Air Conditioning at 251-517-4437 to discuss options, including which Carrier dehumidifier is best for your family and home. Concerned about the cost? We offer financing options through Wells Fargo Financial National Bank. If you have one and it’s underperforming, the NATE-certified technicians at Keith Air can repair or service any make or model.