Tag Archives: energy efficiency

programmable thermostat | Keith Air Conditioning

3 Reasons to Switch to a Programmable Thermostat


During winter, trying to regulate the temperatures in your Mobile, Alabama, home according to the fluctuating temperatures can be difficult. A programmable thermostat takes all the frustration out of maintaining a consistent home temperature. You can enter settings in advance according to your schedule. This efficient device allows you to save money and improve comfort.

Better Comfort

Adjust your programmable thermostat around your schedule, so the house is at the temperature you like best when you get up in the morning and when you get home from work in the evening. Instead of walking into a house that is freezing cold, or waking up and emerging from the warm covers to icy temperatures, let your programmable thermostat work for you. Correctly programming your thermostat will ensure you avoid these inconveniences.

Great Savings

Programming the thermostat according to your schedule is a smart way to save money. Instead of cooling an empty house all day, the programmable thermostat adjusts the interior temperature to an energy-saving level while you are away or sleeping. Then, it starts to provide heat gradually so that your home will be at the right temperature when you need it. Your home is always at the right temperature and you save money at the same time.

More efficient use of the thermostat means that you optimize the performance of your furnace. Reduced energy consumption is reflected on your utility bills.

Mobile Connectivity

Recent programmable thermostat models allow you to connect to them via your Internet-enabled device. That means you can alter your home’s temperature even when you are away. If you are running late or the weather changes unexpectedly, you can alter the thermostat’s programming without having to dash home. This extra control over the thermostat can save you more money while allowing you to make sure the temperature in your home is always exactly how you like it.

At Keith Air Conditioning, we are a Factory Authorized Carrier dealer and have a range of programmable thermostats for you to consider. If you would like to learn more or set up an appointment, call us at 251-476-3610.

air conditioner | Keith Air Conditioning

3 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Air Conditioner

air condition

Replacing an old air conditioner is a great way to boost energy efficiency and maintain optimal levels of comfort in your Alabama home. However, to ensure your air conditioner continues to provide efficient performance, there are important steps you should take, which can also help to extend its service life.

Change the Filters Regularly

Since most Alabama homeowners find themselves using their air conditioners the majority of the year, it is recommended that the filters be changed regularly. A clogged filter forces the air conditioner to work harder to move conditioned air to every room, which puts a strain on the system. Clean filters make it easier for the air conditioner to do its job, plus the indoor air quality will be much better.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats prolong the life of your AC by allowing you to use your system more efficiently. You can program the thermostat in advance based on your activities. This will allow you to adjust temperatures so more energy efficient setting results in energy savings and reduce strain on the air conditioner. During the winter months, set the thermostat lower and reduce the number of times the heating system cycles on. By doing so, the system doesn’t waste energy trying to maintain ideal temperatures when no one is around.

Schedule Professional Service

Regular air conditioning maintenance is a must-have for any system. At least once a year, have a skilled technician come to your home and perform a thorough inspection of your unit and ductwork. Professional AC technicians can spot issues with airflow, repair leaks, and ensure the unit is working properly. Although a once-a-year inspection is adequate, you can boost your system’s lifespan even further by having it serviced twice — once before winter and another time before summer.

Call Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. at 251-476-3610 to schedule your next AC maintenance or repair service.

Need an Air Purifier? | Keith Air Conditioning

Looking for HVAC Systems? These Carrier Products Fit the Bill

carrier products

Installing a new or upgraded HVAC system in your home is a decision that requires careful thought and planning. New air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps, and other equipment can be a significant financial investment. It is necessary to install a system that works best for your specific needs and with the individual characteristics of your home. You also want to balance energy efficiency with cost and make sure you get a system that will provide reliable function over a reasonable service lifetime. When you are seeking the best HVAC systems, Carrier products stand out for efficiency, dependability, and performance relative to cost.

As some of the industry’s best HVAC systems, Carrier products can keep your home comfortable in any season. These systems are backed by a manufacturer dedicated to customer service and satisfaction for more than 100 years. You will find that Carrier not only provides top-quality HVAC equipment, but that the company also works to be a good neighbor by supporting the communities nationwide.

Carrier Quality and Choice

For consumers who want the best HVAC systems, Carrier products reflect the care and concern of a proven market leader. New Carrier systems are also engineered to use newer, more environmentally friendly refrigerants. The company offers durable and highly-efficient choices that are designed to fit many budgets and home comfort requirements. Carrier products marketed in communities throughout the United States include central air conditioning units, split-system air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps and package units.

HVAC System Efficiency

When purchasing a new air conditioner, furnace, or heat pump, system efficiency is usually a top priority. These systems have a seasonal efficiency ratio (SEER) as high as 21. SEER is a measure of system efficiency. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the system.

Because of their performance standards, high-efficiency units can produce outstanding levels of heating or cooling at a much lower cost. Purchase and installation costs of high-efficiency systems are generally more than traditional and lower-rated systems. However, such systems will save you money on repairs and energy consumption because of better performance. This, therefore, makes the units a worthwhile investment. You will find a full line of highly-rated, high-efficiency HVAC systems among Carrier’s product selection including:

  • Ductless systems: Ductless or mini split air conditioners consist of two main units: an outdoor unit that contains the condenser and compressor connected via a narrow conduit to an indoor unit that handles the distribution of conditioned air, and control of indoor temperatures. Carrier’s split system air conditioners are available in multiple levels of efficiency, ranging from SEER 13 to SEER 21. More advanced models, such as those in the Infinity Series, include features and components that boost system efficiency even further, including variable-speed compressors.
  • Packaged units: Packaged air conditioning systems include all functional components in a single cabinet. You will find packaged systems installed on rooftops or in areas where ground space is limited. Carrier-brand packaged units include both gas/electric furnaces, air conditioners and heat pumps. SEER ratings range from 13 to 15.5 while Annual Fuel Utilization Rating (AFUE) numbers for heating systems stand at 80.1. AFUE indicates the percentage of energy in the furnace fuel that gets turned into usable heat; an AFUE of 80, for example, means 80 percent of the fuel becomes heat that can be used in your home.
  • Furnaces: Carrier furnaces provide AFUE ratings between 80 to 98.5 for gas-burning models and 80 to 86 for oil-burning models. More advanced systems offer features that boost performance and efficiency, such as a modulating gas valve and variable-speed blowers.
  • Heat pumps: Heat pumps work on the principle of capturing heat and moving it from place to place using very little energy. Heat pumps can actually be reversed to provide cooling as well. This allows a single heat pump to provide both heating and cooling for convenience and space considerations. Carrier heat pumps are available in SEER ratings from 13 to 20.5, and in HSPF ratings (an efficiency measure for air-source heat pumps) from 9 to 13.


The fact that Willis Carrier, the man after whom this brand is named, was the architect behind the first modern air conditioning system, inherently signifies a commitment to excellence in product standards. Carrier’s history as an innovator in air conditioning means knowledge and expertise you can trust.

For almost 50 years, Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. has been a top choice for heating and air conditioning services in Baldwin County and the Mobile area. We recognize our responsibility as a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, and make it a goal to always demonstrate that in our services and in our approach to customer satisfaction. Contact us today at 251-476-3610 for more information about our line of high-performance Carrier HVAC systems.

AC system | Keith Air Conditioning

3 Essential Things to Look for in a New AC System

AC system

If you are ready to upgrade the air conditioner in your Mobile home, there are important factors you will need to consider. There are many options available today with a variety of features, which can make it quite a challenge to find the right unit. Regardless of how overwhelming it can be to look for a new AC system, there are three important factors you should consider in your search, each of which effectively improves energy efficiency.

The Proper Size

An air conditioner’s cooling ability is measured in BTUs. There are a few rules of thumb that you can use to determine how many BTUs you need to cool your home, but this isn’t the most efficient way to size your unit. A far better method is the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s Manual J load calculation. This will give you a more accurate estimate of how large your air conditioner should be based on factors specific to your home. A system that is too large will cycle on and off frequently, decreasing your energy efficiency, while one that is too small will not cool your home properly. Consult a professional to find the AC system that is the right size for your home.

Energy Efficiency

Air conditioners are assigned an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) in which high EERs reflect high efficiency in cooling. This ratio measures the ACs cooling capacity per hour relative to the amount of power used for cooling. That is, how much electrical power is needed to power the unit. The average EER for a 115V unit is about 9 or 10. A unit with an EER above 10 is very energy-efficient. Though a higher EER will come with a higher price tag, it will lower your utility costs over the life of the unit.

Added Features

Look for special features that will make your air conditioner more efficient and convenient. If you are constantly forgetting to change the filter, an AC system with a filter indicator light will help you stay on top of this important maintenance task. With a fan-only switch, you can keep the fan running to circulate air without wasting additional energy cooling the home if it is not needed.

Make your Alabama summers more comfortable with a new efficient air conditioner. For more help selecting and installing your new unit contact Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. at 251-476-3610. Our qualified team has the solutions for your home or office needs.

setting your thermostat | Keith Air Conditioning

Avoid These Mistakes When Setting Your Thermostat


A programmable thermostat is a great energy-saving installation that will streamline the way you manage comfort levels in your Alabama home. For this smart solution to be effective, you must program it correctly. Get the most from your thermostat this summer by avoiding common programming mistakes.

Extreme Thermostat Settings

Setting a dramatically temperature low will not help it cool the house faster. Your home cools at a gradual rate until it reaches the desired temperature. One of the advantages of this programmable device is that it allows you to set temperatures based on your activities. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends optimal temperatures for air conditioner efficiency for when you wake up, when you are away from home, and when you are sleeping.

Using the Temperature Override

A temporary override by simply pressing the arrows on the thermostat will let you adjust your temperature settings to briefly depart from the programmed setting. When you choose to override the settings, you will not alter the programmed settings on the unit, and it will eventually return to its previously programmed setting. Using the override on a regular basis will affect the system’s efficiency and nullify the programmable thermostat’s energy-saving advantage. It is better to leave your thermostat at the optimal set points for at least eight hours at a time.

Timely Settings

When you program temperatures based on your daily and weekly schedules, give it enough time to adjust. For example, set the thermostat to begin adjusting so your home will be comfortable when you arrive. If you go to bed at 8 p.m. and want the home cooled to a specific temperature by then, set temperatures to begin adjusting approximately one hour before. The only exception to this rule is an adaptive thermostat which has sensors, and adapts to start changing the temperature if you return home early, for example. Another option is a WiFi model, which allows you to make adjustments remotely.

Interested in programmable thermostats? Contact Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. at 251-476-3610 for more information. The right team and the right solutions will make the difference in your home comfort this summer.

attic insulation

How Insulating Your Attic Lowers Your Energy Bill

attic insulationIf your home is drafty, has uneven temperatures or costs a fortune to heat and cool, a trip to the attic will likely reveal inadequate levels of insulation. A Harvard study designed to analyze the environmental impact of poor insulation found that 63 percent of U.S. homes would benefit from additional attic insulation. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cites adding attic insulation as one of the most cost-effective ways to lower your household energy bills.

Heat Flow Management

Keeping your energy bill manageable is all about controlling the flow of heat in your home. Whether from radiation, conduction or convection, heat flows from warm areas to cool areas. In every season, attic insulation provides you with an affordable way to save money on heating and cooling costs by providing effective resistance to the flow of heat:

  • In warm weather, heat flows from the outdoors into your home. Without proper insulation, the temperature in your attic can reach more than 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In cold weather, heat flows from warmed living spaces to unheated spaces like attics, forcing your heater to work overtime to keep you comfortable.

Optimize Savings with Proper Sealing

In cold weather, temperature differentials between the exterior and interior of your home cause a phenomenon known as the stack effect. As warm air rises towards the attic, the air pressure increases. The lower air pressure in your living areas then acts like a chimney stack, sucking in cold outside air and drawing it upwards. If the attic floor and access door are not properly sealed, heat will escape through leaks and gaps. The EPA urges homeowners to air seal attics when adding insulation to effectively reduce heating and cooling costs.

In warm weather or cold, it makes sense to focus on improvements like insulating your attic, for a greater return on your heating and cooling investments. For more information about money-saving products and services that can substantially lower your monthly energy bill, call 251-476-3610 to speak with the knowledgeable experts at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc.

3 Options to Consider When Cooling Your Home Addition

Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. and HeatingAn addition to your home comes with its own set of challenges, including how to keep it cool and comfortable throughout the summer months. Fortunately, there are plenty of options at your disposal when it comes to cooling your home addition.

Upgrade the Cooling System

If your current air conditioner is more than 10 years old, upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient option might be necessary. An upgrade will have the muscle needed to cool your entire home, as well as your new addition, and will help you to save on your energy bill.

Extend the Existing System

If your current air conditioning system is less than 10 years old, you may want to extend your system’s reach by adding new ductwork to the spaces you want cooled. You can even make your addition into its own zone, complete with its own thermostat and a set of dampers to help control airflow. If you decide to go this route, remember to have both your old and new ductwork properly insulated and sealed against energy loss.

Add an Independent Cooling System

Instead of an upgrade of your existing HVAC system or adding a duct extension, you can opt for an independent A/C or heat pump for your addition. A ductless mini split offers the cooling capacity of a traditional air conditioning system and the versatility to serve as an effective independent cooling solution without the hassle of additional ductwork.

High-velocity mini duct systems are also a viable alternative. Unlike their full-sized counterparts, mini ducts can be easily threaded through stud walls and other tight areas, making them perfect for ductwork retrofitting in older homes.

For more information on cooling your home addition in Mobile and Baldwin Counties, check out Keith Air Conditioning, Inc.’s cooling solutions, or give us a call at 251-476-3610.

A Comprehensive Approach to Whole-House Energy Efficiency

Whole-house energy efficiency is a systematic approach, recognizing that each part of your home environment affects the efficient functioning of the other parts and the house overall. Viewing each part’s efficiency in isolation is like seeing your body’s health that way, and it doesn’t really work. If you have a heart condition, for example, and you ignore it because the rest of your organs are healthy, you’re in trouble. Of course, you’d soon learn that the unhealthy part can bring everything else down with it.

Similarly, your home’s cooling equipment may be rated as highly efficient, but it may not be functioning that way if ductwork is leaking and insulation is lacking. Both problems are quite common, but they’re invisible if you don’t look for them.

Basic benefits of the whole-house energy efficiency approach include:

  • Lower utility and maintenance bills
  • Reduction in equipment noise due to less cycling on and off
  • A healthier, more comfortable indoor environment
  • Saving natural resources and lowering pollution levels
  • Improved HVAC equipment life span

Take action to lower your home’s energy needs with the following list of home repairs and improvements, listed in order of priority:

Air Sealing – Tightening Your Home’s Envelope

Making the house more airtight helps keep conditioned air in and uncomfortable outdoor air out. Begin your whole home efficiency effort by sealing drafts and cracks around doors and windows with weather-stripping or caulk. Also seal up/caulk wall openings around plumbing pipes, electrical outlets and vents. This reduces your heating and cooling load, doing wonders for your whole-house energy efficiency.

Ductwork – Sealing the Biggest Potential Energy-Waster in Your Home

Stop paying to heat and cool the outdoors and sucking unconditioned outdoor air in, which is what happens with leaky ducts. Big leaks or even disconnected ductwork can exist in your duct system without you realizing it, so regular inspections are a good idea. A pro can reconnect ducts with mechanical fasteners and seal leaks with duct mastic, as well as add insulation to improve whole-house energy efficiency.

Insulation – Your Attic is Easiest and Most Effective

Roof temperatures can skyrocket and radiate heat right into the house. Save
wall and floor insulation projects for later, since they bring a lower return on investment (ROI). However, if you have elevated wood floors that feel cold or drafty in wintertime, consider adding insulation. For the Mobile area, the Department of Energy (DOE) recommends attic insulation from R-30 to R-60. R-30 is equivalent to 11 inches of rock wool or fiberglass or 8 in. cellulose. If you have that amount or less, consider adding insulation. Also insulate attic hatches, around knee walls and the attic floor.

Windows – Work From the Outside in

After air sealing around windows, add exterior shade on the east, west and south side of the house by planting trees and adding window awnings or tinted window film. The exterior options are most effective, but also use interior shading like blinds and drapery. Energy-efficient windows can be pricey, but consider them if you’re already replacing windows for another reason. Replace windows before getting a new HVAC system, since the efficient windows could lower your heating and cooling load enough to allow you to get a smaller HVAC system.

HVAC – Improving the Performance of Heating and Cooling Systems

Keep your home comfort system running like new by scheduling annual professional maintenance. This will help catch minor problems before they cause a breakdown and keep your system tuned up, properly cleaned and oiled to work at its best. Be sure to replace air filters often, clean condenser coils, straighten coil fins and clean condensate drain lines.

Your HVAC technician should check the refrigerant level and pressure test for A/C leaks. He or she should also measure the home’s airflow and verify proper function of electrical controls. If your heating and cooling system is old or undependable, think about an upgrade to a new, more efficient system.

Appliances and Lighting

Replace 60-watt incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents to reduce lighting energy use by almost 80 percent and wasted heat by nearly as much. When replacing lighting and appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers or water heaters, choose energy-efficient models that display the Energy Star logo.

When you need HVAC or whole-house energy efficiency advice, repairs, maintenance or installation, contact the experts at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. We proudly serve homeowners throughout Mobile and Baldwin County.