Tag Archives: air conditioning replacement

Compare Lifetime Versus Upfront Costs of a New AC

lifetime costs of an A/C replacementIf you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, you probably have two questions on your mind: “How much will it cost me upfront?” and “How much will it cost in the long run?” To answer those two questions, it’s important to look at both the lifetime costs of an air conditioner replacement, as well as how much it will initially cost.

What Are Initial Costs?

The first time you set eyes on a new AC the first cost you’ll notice is the price tag. This is what buyers typically focus on most when it comes to buying a new cooling system. Installation costs might also be thrown into the initial cost equation.

As a given, air conditioners that offer greater energy efficiency often sport higher price tags than those that offer a lower price and lower overall efficiency. For instance, a system with a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 18 might cost more than one rated at SEER 13.

Looking at just the initial cost of an air conditioner isn’t enough when it comes to purchasing one. To get a bigger picture of how much an air conditioner might cost you throughout its life, it’s important to consider the lifetime costs of an A/C replacement as well as its initial costs.

What About Lifetime Costs?

Picking the cheapest ACsystem available might seem like a money-saving move on the outset, but it could easily cost you money over time. For this reason, you should always consider the lifetime costs of an A/C replacement as you pick out your next cooling system.

These costs often include:

  • Overall system maintenance and upkeep, including regularly scheduled service visits and emergency calls
  • Energy consumption and cost throughout the system’s projected life span

System quality and energy efficiency play vital roles in determining an air conditioner’s lifetime costs. For instance, a cooling system that cuts corners when it comes to its internal components might be cheaper than a higher quality system. However, those low-quality components won’t operate with the same energy efficiency that a high-quality unit is capable of. As a result, the cheaper A/C system will actually cost you more money long-term than an initially expensive, yet more energy-efficient system.

Systems with high SEER ratings and the latest in energy-saving technology may cost more, but they’re also capable of saving you money over the long run. Energy-efficient compressors, variable-speed blowers and refined evaporator and condenser coil designs can help reduce energy consumption, thus reducing the overall energy cost associated with running air conditioners over the course of its life.

Maintenance also plays a key role in lifetime costs. The more maintenance an air conditioner needs, the higher its lifetime costs will eventually be. Systems built with high-quality components don’t need as much maintenance as cheaper, lower-quality options. High-quality components aren’t as likely to break down suddenly, either. Emergency repairs are perhaps one of the biggest cost sinks when it comes to air conditioner ownership.

Which Is More Important?

If you have a tight budget and need an air conditioner replacement right away, initial costs may be far more important to you than the lifetime costs of an A/C replacement. Nevertheless, you should try to purchase as energy-efficient a system as your budget can stand.

If immediate cost isn’t much of an object, then purchasing a new air conditioner with a higher initial cost but greater energy efficiency is a better long-term investment. In most cases, a highly efficient A/C system will pay for itself in energy savings over its life span.

You might also want to factor in your home’s overall energy consumption when figuring out an air conditioner’s lifetime costs. There are plenty of ways you can lower energy consumption throughout your home.

Learn more about the lifetime costs of an air conditioner replacement from the experts at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc., or give us a call at 251-476-3610 to schedule an appointment!


Professional AC Installation: How 4 Factors Impact Long-Term Efficiency

professional A/C installationIn this region, it’s imperative that you have a professional AC installation when replacing an existing cooling system. Given the heat and humidity, cooling systems experience a heavy workload for months at a time. When you’re selecting a contractor initially, look for an NATE-certified contractor whose knowledge and competence about installations is the highest in the HVAC field.


Before you select any system, make sure your contractor goes through the sizing process using Manual J software. This software requires detailed information about your home’s energy efficiency, layout, cubic footage and aspects about your lifestyle that impact the cooling load indoors.

Without this analysis, you could install a system that’s too large or small. Of the two, it’s better to install one that’s slightly smaller. An AC that’s too large will run for shorter periods, leaving behind humidity, driving up energy consumption and wearing the parts faster.


The HVAC contractor needs to use Manual D software along with the results of Manual J to determine if your existing ductwork will be compatible with the new system. If the ducts are too small, they’ll be noisy, and if they’re too large, the velocity of the conditioned air blowing through them will be too low, making it harder for your home to cool.

The overall integrity of the ducts needs to be considered as part of a professional AC installation. Uninsulated or leaking ducts need to be fixed in order to get the highest efficiency from your system.


Once the air handler is in place, the team will measure the airflow blowing through it. It needs to closely match what the manufacturer requires to avoid problems with the evaporator coil inside the air handler.


Double-checking the refrigerant level before finalizing the installation is the last step in a top-quality installation for maximum performance and efficiency from your new system.

Learn more about the professional AC installation provided by the pros at Keith Air Conditioning, or contact us today at 251-476-3610 to discuss air conditioner replacement for your home.

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!

HVAC System Maintenance Check List for Spring

Keith Air ConditioningSpring is on the way, and the long, hot Alabama summer won’t be far behind. That means it’s time for Mobile area homeowners to think about getting their HVAC systems ready to handle the warmer weather. If you’re not sure just what needs to be done to ensure your system runs smoothly throughout the cooling season, here’s an HVAC system spring maintenance checklist that can help.

Schedule a Tune-Up

Having preventive maintenance performed by a qualified HVAC technician is an item that should be at the top of the pring maintenance checklist. This simple step is the best insurance against HVAC system problems throughout the cooling season, and it will help keep your utility bills low by making sure your system is running efficiently.

Have Ductwork Inspected

Leaky ductwork can cost you in terms of home comfort and energy bills. If yours hasn’t been looked over lately, having it done as part of spring maintenance is a good idea, ensuring that ducts are properly sealed and insulated before the cooling season begins.

Upgrade the Thermostat

Programmable thermostats offer increased comfort and energy savings, so if you haven’t installed one, you should. With a programmable model, you can take advantage of the eight or more hours you’re gone to set the thermostat for increased energy savings. Simply program the thermostat to return to your desired temperature right before your return; you’ll never feel the difference, but you’ll notice the impact on your monthly bills.

Clean the Outdoor Unit

While you’re waiting for that service call, you can get a head start on spring maintenance by cleaning up any debris that’s collected around your system’s outdoor unit. Cleaning the outdoor coils is a simple task you can do as well, just shut off the power and hose it down.

Change the Air Filter

This simple DIY task should be tackled monthly. Check the air filter each month, and as soon as dust and dirt has begun accumulating, replace the filter with a clean one. A dirty air filter blocks necessary airflow, causing the cooling system to work harder to maintain the same temperature.

Learn more about spring HVAC system maintenance available from Keith Air Conditioning, Inc., or contact us today at 251-476-3610 to schedule an appointment for your home!

Heat Pumps Are the Latest Air Conditioning Options

Keith Air ConditioningFor Mobile area homeowners who want a highly efficient and cost-effective source of residential cooling, heat pumps offer benefits that standard air conditioners can’t match. The following brief introduction can help you understand how a heat pump can keep your home comfortable throughout cooling season at a lower cost and with less use of energy.

Basic Heat Pump Function

Heat pumps work by moving heat from one place to another. For cooling operations, they pull heat out of your home and disperse it into the air outside. This is accomplished with a liquid refrigerant that circulates between the indoor and outdoor units of the heat pump. Indoors, the refrigerant is evaporated into a gas. As it changes state from liquid to gas, it absorbs heat. The gaseous refrigerant circulates to the outdoor unit, where it’s condensed back to liquid form. The gaseous refrigerant releases the heat it contains during this second change of state. The liquid refrigerant moves back to the indoor unit and the cycle begins again.

Heat Pump Benefits

Heat pumps are extremely energy efficient, which means they use less energy to produce excellent levels of cooling. They require minimal amounts of electricity to power the functions that generate cooling, which reduces overall demand on your local utility company. Their high rate of efficiency means that heat pumps are much less costly to operate on a month-to-month basis.

Heat Pump Types

Most heat pumps are air-source models, which means they use the air around the equipment as the source of heat transfer and release. Geothermal heat pumps use the ground outside your home, or a nearby body of water, as the medium for heat capture and release. Ask your local trusted HVAC contractor if a geothermal model would be right for you.

Learn more about Keith Air Conditioning’s heat pump options, or contact us today at 251-476-3610 to schedule an appointment for your Mobile area home!