Tag Archives: hvac maintenance

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!

Choose a Quality HVAC Contractor with NATE Certification

Keith Air ConditioningWhat is NATE Certification?

If you’ve been browsing through our website, you’ve probably noticed the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) badge that is located on the bottom right of each page. This small logo means a lot to our family and to our customers. The NATE program was created in 1997 and is the only national certification that’s supported by the entire HVAC industry, including manufacturers, contractors, utility companies and educators.

Finding a Qualified HVAC Contractor

Our family takes pride in offering quality products and services to customers in Mobile, Alabama, and the surrounding area. Maintaining our NATE certification is just one way that we provide extra comfort and assurance to our customers. This rigorous testing process assesses our knowledge of HVAC installation, air conditioning maintenance, specialty equipment and all aspects of the trade.

The certification is also essential for maintaining our status as a Carrier factory-authorized dealer, which allows us to supply genuine replacement parts and the brand’s top-rated heating and cooling systems. Here are a few reasons why customers and industry leaders prefer NATE-certified technicians.

  • They have 13 percent fewer callbacks.
  • They have fewer warranty-related repairs.
  • They are up-to-date on the latest standards and codes.
  • They are knowledgeable in installation and service practices.
  • They receive ongoing training to retain the certification.


Industry Certifications

The NATE certification that every HVAC contractor at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. has earned is important for showing customers that we take the extra time to provide the highest level of service. This voluntary accreditation complements our mandatory state license, liability insurance and EPA certifications for handling refrigerant in an environmentally sound manner.

Whether you’re hiring us for HVAC installation or to perform air conditioning maintenance, you know that the job will be done right the first time. It means that we follow the latest guidelines and recommendations for achieving optimal performance. To learn more about our HVAC contractors and professional qualifications, visit our about us page, or call our Mobile office at 251-476-3610.

Healthy Home Ventilation Tips

Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. Home VentilationWhen it comes to indoor air quality and circulation, residents of Mobile and the surrounding region have more than their share of challenges. Year-round high humidity levels make warm indoor temperatures feel even more uncomfortable and provide the ideal breeding ground dust mites, mold and mildew. With the oppressively humid warm-weather season on Alabama’s Gulf Coast fast approaching, it’s time to take steps to ensure that your home has proper ventilation without exacerbating respiratory issues like asthma and allergies.

Why Home Ventilation Matters

With people spending up to 90 percent of their time indoors at home and work, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking a closer look at indoor air quality. Studies have shown that stale air inside homes is often more polluted than outdoor air in large, industrial cities. For those suffering from cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, lack of air circulation can have devastating health consequences, but a poorly ventilated home can impact otherwise healthy people too. Physical symptoms to watch for include:

  • Nasal congestion, sneezing or post nasal drip
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Soar throats or mouth breathing at night
  • Coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath

Keeping Allergens at Bay

Opening windows to allow the air to circulate offers some relief in poorly ventilated spaces but lets common allergens in Mobile like ragweed, pollen and animal dander entry into your home. To avoid exposure to allergens, Dr. Druhan Howell of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine recommends the following simple strategies:

  • Close windows at night whenever local pollen levels are high.
  • Minimize exercise between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. when pollen is typically emitted.
  • Keep damp environments like bathrooms and kitchens scrupulously clean.
  • Ensure that humidity levels in your home are properly managed.

HVAC Ventilation Solutions for a Healthy Home

From air purifiers to germ-killing ultraviolet lights, the professionals at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. offer a wide array of indoor air quality solutions that can lower indoor humidity levels and improve air circulation, including:

  • Using energy captured from outgoing air to precondition incoming air, energy recovery ventilators allow you to enjoy fresh air without sending energy bills soaring.
  • Sealing and insulating ductwork in central HVAC systems prevents pollutants and allergens from entering your home through leaks, cracks and loose connections.
  • An air quality analysis of your home by a skilled HVAC technician lets you know which product or service will best meet your needs.

Serving Mobile and the surrounding communities since 1964, Keith Air Conditioning professionals are experts at ventilation and resolving your air circulation problems. To learn more about how to make your home a healthier place to inhabit, please contact us today.

A Professional Energy Audit Can Save Energy and Money

Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. and HeatingMany homeowners are concerned about high utility bills, especially during the heating season. There are many ways to make your home more efficient and lower energy costs, but even small improvements can seem intimidating if you haven’t had much experience. With energy audits, you can make a small investment to let a professional do a lot of the work for you, then get specific instructions for follow-up tasks.

What the Energy Audit Involves

Once you’ve scheduled a professional energy audit, a certified inspector will arrive at your home prepared to conduct a thorough walk-though of the house. The attic, the basement and even unused rooms will be on the list, so make sure the entire house is accessible. While inspecting the house, the auditor will look for leaks or gaps in insulation that might be wasting energy.

Bills and Electricity Use

Be prepared to show the auditor what you have paid for your utilies over several months, as these can show inconsistencies or even major issues. The auditor may also use a wattage meter to directly examine the amount of energy used by your major household appliances and electronics.

Energy Evaluation Tools

Some of the tools used by the energy auditor might seem futuristic and unfamiliar. Thermographic cameras are a popular and extremely useful tool, as they read temperature, making it easier to find otherwise invisible gaps in insulation. Your auditor will also likely use a blower door test, which will cause a temporary change in air pressure inside the home in order to locate leaks.

Analysis and To-Do List

Once the energy audit is complete, you’ll receive an analysis of your home, along with suggestions for improving your home’s overall energy efficiency. For the audit to be beneficial, it’s important that you follow the advice and make needed improvements as soon as possible.

Contact Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. for more advice on improving your Mobile home’s energy efficiency with a professional energy audit. We’ve been serving southern Alabama since 1964.

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.