Tag Archives: indoor air quality

geothermal heating system | Keith Air Conditioning

6 Ways to Get Comfortable With Geothermal Heating

comfort woman

From cost savings to improved comfort to environmental sustainability, geothermal heating systems offer a host of benefits. Learn the many ways a geothermal heating system can help you to achieve optimal comfort in your Mobile, Alabama, home.

Lower Energy Consumption

One of the greatest benefits of a geothermal heating system is that it can keep you and your family comfortable while using much less energy than a traditional heating system. Unlike air-source heat pumps, which rely on cold outdoor air as an exchange medium, ground-source pumps benefit from relatively stable underground temperatures.

Standard heat pumps might be energy efficient, but the Department of Energy (DOE) estimates they achieve up to 250 percent efficiency on chilly winter days. In contrast, geothermal pumps reach up to 600 percent efficiency even on freezing winter nights. Altogether, geothermal heat pumps use about 50 percent less energy than traditional heating systems do, which means they can significantly lower your household energy consumption.

Significant Cost Savings

The relatively high upfront costs of geothermal heating systems, which can easily top $10,000, are enough to intimidate some homeowners. However, when they calculate the system’s total cost and energy consumption over time, most homeowners realize geothermal heating systems actually offer significant savings.

In fact, the DOE estimates that even with the installation cost and the unit purchase price, you can recover your original investment in as little as two years. Since this cost recovery depends largely on utility savings, in some situations, it can take up to 10 years for you to recoup your costs. In either case, you have the opportunity to earn back your investments at least a decade before you’ll need to start planning for a system replacement.

Environmental Sustainability

Geothermal energy is an environmentally friendly choice for several reasons. In addition to using less energy overall, geothermal heating systems generate far fewer emissions. In fact, geothermal energy doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, or other harmful gases that lead to air pollution.

Because they work well with zoning systems, geothermal heating systems can also ensure you don’t waste energy, even on the hottest or coldest days. Zoning systems allow you to cool or heat select rooms and areas in your home, so there’s no need to use extra energy conditioning your entire home.

Longer Lifespan

Some HVAC system components require regular replacement and even more frequent maintenance to run smoothly. Geothermal heat systems, however, don’t fall into this category.

Once installed, these heating systems rarely require maintenance, and they can keep your family cozy and warm almost without a second thought. Since geothermal heating systems have few moving parts, they are far less susceptible to breakdowns. Because the geothermal components do not reside outdoors where they are exposed to the elements, they also tend to be much more durable. In fact, the piping networks integral to geothermal heating systems can last up to 50 years. Moreover, most geothermal heat pumps last for at least 20 years.

Improved Indoor Air Quality

Many Alabama homeowners struggle with moisture levels in their homes, no matter the season. Geothermal heat pumps solve this problem by easily maintaining comfortable 50 percent humidity levels throughout the home. Not only will this increase your family’s comfort, but it will also improve indoor air quality. Overly humid air can cause dust mites, mold, and bacteria to thrive; managing indoor moisture levels leads to much healthier and more breathable air.

Unobtrusive Operation

If you’ve ever found a standard air conditioner to be overly loud or disruptive, you’ll be relieved to know that geothermal heating systems are celebrated for their unobtrusive operation. Because most of the system parts are located underground, with only a small, discreet indoor unit, they take up only a fraction of the indoor space that a traditional heating or cooling system uses.

Since geothermal heating systems don’t rely on large exterior units, they are also remarkably quiet, even when operating at full speed. This means your family can comfortably enjoy outdoor and indoor activities without the loud hum of an air conditioner in the background.

Ready to make the switch to geothermal energy? Call our geothermal heating experts at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. today at 251-476-3610.

HVAC system | Keith Air Conditioning

Choosing the Right HVAC System for an Energy-Efficient Home


energy efficientHVAC systems don’t last forever, and when it’s time to install a new one, the decision can be difficult. With the introduction of new technology, there are many options for a new purchase or even technologies that can enhance the efficiency of your current system. Since your HVAC system performs a vital function in your Mobile, Alabama, home, and is a major investment. It is important to make an informed decision when making any type of upgrade. The following are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing a new HVAC system for an energy-efficient home.


Not all HVAC systems heat or cool a home the same way. If you live in a smaller home, you don’t need an HVAC system with a high heating or cooling capacity because you will end up wasting energy. On the other hand, if you live in a large home or are installing a system into a large business, a small HVAC system may not have the capacity to keep the building at a comfortable temperature. Before deciding on a system, research the heating and cooling capacities. For the most effective solution, consult your HVAC technician.


When installing a new HVAC system, consider the current technology that can turn your system into a highly-efficient machine. Smart thermostats keep the temperature under precise control, allowing you to save as much as possible on your utility bill. Whole-home air purifiers provide additional filtration power to significantly improve your indoor air quality. These and other innovations will save you money while keeping you comfortable.

Advanced Options

There are many options for managing the temperature and indoor air quality in your home including ultra-efficient heat pumps and radiant heating. Depending on the size and location of your home, these options could save you more money than a standard HVAC system would.

If you would like to learn more about HVAC systems or would like to invest in a newer, more efficient model, give Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. a call today at 251-476-3610.


Managing Humidity | Keith Air Conditioning

3 Ways to Manage Your Home’s Humidity in Cool Weather

home bonding

It isn’t uncommon for Mobile, AL homeowners to struggle with managing indoor humidity levels, even during cooler weather. As we approach the winter season, the concern is usually about dry indoor air, but regions such as ours with mild winters, can still see problems with indoor high moisture levels at this time of the year.

Manage Everyday Activities

Regular tasks like cooking, cleaning, showering, and washing clothes are some of the biggest contributors to indoor moisture. By keeping an eye on how and when your family performs these activities, you can get a better handle on indoor moisture. The goal is to keep indoor humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent.

Be sure to use kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room vents that transfer exhaust outdoors instead of allowing that moisture to remain in your home. Having an exhaust system that vents hot, moist air properly can do wonders for your home’s humidity and improve indoor air quality.

Encourage Ventilation

Fortunately at this time of the year, we can take advantage of the pleasant temperatures outdoors. Stale, humid air can become a breeding ground for dust mites, mold, and other allergens that thrive in moist conditions. Open windows and doors to help bring fresh air into your home. Keep your home’s indoor air moving with a combination of the HVAC system, ceiling fans, exhaust fans, and natural airflow. Make sure the HVAC air filters you use are advanced enough to capture allergens.

Use a Dehumidifier

During the spring and summer, most Mobile homeowners run their air conditioners to lower indoor temperatures as well as humidity levels. When the temperatures drop in fall and winter, however, using the air conditioner in this way is not always an option. A dehumidifier provides efficient filtration, reduces humidity, controls mold, and improves the indoor air quality. This unit works with the HVAC system to pull excess moisture from the air. You can use it to manage humidity levels in any climate and to tackle humidity issues throughout your entire home.

Do you constantly struggle to maintain a healthy humidity level in your home? Call the indoor air quality experts at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. at 251-476-3610 to learn about the best solutions for your home.


3 Reasons High Humidity Is Bad for Your Health

high humidity

A major contributor to poor indoor air quality, high humidity is bad for your health in more ways than you might expect. Here are three reasons you should keep humidity levels in check in your Mobile, Alabama home.

Dust Mites Thrive

Dust mites can’t live in just any environment. To thrive, these pests require high humidity levels and plenty of dust. Excess moisture in the air, dusty conditions, and carpet that isn’t vacuumed regularly provide the perfect setting for dust mites.

The best way to keep sneeze-inducing dust mites out is to keep the house clean and the humidity level low. Dust surfaces in your home with a damp cloth at least once a week, and follow up with a thorough mopping or vacuuming session. Be sure to vacuum upholstery, textiles, and other fabrics where dust mites often live.

Airborne Chemicals Flourish

A number of household items, from paint to carpet to furniture, produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Breathing in large amounts of these dangerous airborne chemicals is never a good idea, but high humidity can actually cause VOCs to off-gas and become airborne more quickly.

Keeping VOCs in check is a two-step process. Maintain a reasonable level of humidity in your home, and increase ventilation with stand-alone fans or a ventilator that works with your HVAC system.

Mold Grows

You should try to keep indoor humidity under 60 percent — between 30 and 50 percent if possible. If the humidity is consistently higher than recommended levels, excess moisture can foster mold growth, which leads to variety of problems from health issues to structural damage in your home. For many people, inhaling mold can trigger allergic reactions like sneezing, rashes, and runny noses.

Though mold remediation will remove this allergen from your home, it’s much easier to prevent mold growth from the start. Investing in a whole-home dehumidifier is an effective option. These devices pull excess moisture from the air and reduce humidity before it becomes a big problem.

Is your home’s humidity out of control? Call Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. today at 251-476-3610 to speak with our indoor air quality experts.

Improving Your IAQ | Keith Air Conditioning

4 Chores That Will Improve Your IAQ

clean ac

If you are looking for an easy way to improve the indoor air quality (IAQ) in your Mobile, Alabama home, you can find many opportunities in your daily routines. Changing the way you approach your chores can have a big impact on the air quality in your home.

Change Your Air Filters

The air filters in your HVAC system keep dust, dirt, and other pollutants out of your indoor air, but they can get clogged over time. You should change or clean your HVAC filter as needed. Depending on the type of filter, and level of system use, monthly cleaning or replacement might be necessary. Keep a supply of replacement filters on hand so that switching them out will be fast and easy. Mark this chore on your calendar or get in the habit of doing it at specific times to keep your heating and air conditioning systems in top shape.

Mop and Vacuum Frequently

Hardwood floors get dusty quickly. You will need to mop regularly to keep your rooms free of dust mites. You do not need harsh chemicals to get the job done. A microfiber mop and a bit of water will do the trick. Mop as often as necessary, as some homes accumulate more dust than others. In homes with pets and/or children this chore might need to occur more frequently as children and pets tend to bring in more dust, dirt, and dander from outside.

Vacuuming isn’t just for your floors. Vacuum cleaners are equipped with various attachments for a reason. These attachments are ideal for use on upholstered furniture, along baseboards, and anywhere dust accumulates. For the best IAQ, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are very effective in removing a variety of harmful particles including cigarette smoke, pollen and pet dander. As with mopping, you should do this task as often as necessary.

Cleaning Green

If you are not careful, the products you use to clean your home can harm indoor air quality. Clean with products that are free of hazardous chemicals and compounds. Many persons make their own cleaning solutions using a mix of items including baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. If DIY solutions are not your style, there are many non-toxic, environmentally friendly cleaning products on the market. Just look for those with the Green Seal, Greenguard, or Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) stamp of approval.

Making just a few small changes to your laundry routine can improve your IAQ. Switch to fragrance-free detergents to eliminate the synthetic aromas found in scented products. Keep clothes that you don’t wear often sealed in a drawer where they won’t attract dust or dust mites.

Houseplants Help

Houseplants are a smart way to help with purifying the air in your home because they also add aesthetic appeal. The right houseplants can help with improving indoor air quality. They can remove harmful chemicals from the air such as ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene. If you are looking for a hardy indoor option, consider these powerful air purifying plants:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Bamboo Palm
  • Boston Fern
  • Dracaena
  • Ficus
  • Peace Lily
  • Snake Plant
  • Spider Plant


To keep these natural air purifiers in peak condition, it is important to follow instructions for care. Be wary of overwatering, however, as this can lead to mold growth, which will negatively impact your indoor air quality.

Chores to improve indoor air quality should be a part of everyone’s habits. Ensure that everyone in your household is knowledgeable about factors that harm indoor air quality. Share information not just about those things that result in poor indoor air, but also those that improve it. It is also important to explain how poor indoor air can be harmful. For example, it can result in unpleasant odors, and lead to, or worsen respiratory problems.

If you are concerned about the quality of the air in your home, or would just like more information, turn to the indoor air quality experts at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. We also stock a variety of state-of-the-art systems that will effectively keep the air in your home fresh and clean all year long. Call us at 251-476-3610 for more information. We have been providing service to Baldwin County and Mobile AL since 1964. Contact us today for experience and solutions you can trust.


Boost Indoor Air Quality by Conquering Household Dust

improve indoor air qualityIf you’re one of the 50 million Americans suffering from allergies, chances are you’re looking for ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality. Even if you don’t suffer from allergies, boosting the overall quality of your indoor air can significantly increase your daily comfort.

But conquering household dust, fibers and other common indoor air pollutants means more than just changing your air filter regularly. There are many other things you can do to improve indoor air quality and increase your HVAC system’s energy efficiency.

    • Organize your closet space to make cleaning easier – You would be amazed at how many fibers your clothing can shed, especially heavy winter furs and coats. Keeping your clothes covered with garment bags, and your closet floor clear of clutter can go a long way toward improving indoor air quality.
    • Vacuum cleaner performance – Suction power shouldn’t be the only thing to look for in a vacuum cleaner. You should also consider how well it agitates carpet flooring, its performance on hard surfaces, and if it has a HEPA filter.
    • Use the HVAC system to help tackle dust – Vacuuming stirs up a lot of dust, which then settles in other places. You can use your HVAC system’s blower fan and air filter to weed out airborne dust and fibers. While vacuuming, set the thermostat to “fan only” and let it run for 15 minutes after you have finished vacuuming.
    • Upgrade the air filter – Consider switching to an air filter that offers better filtration and a higher Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), if you haven’t done so already.
    • Give those rugs and cushions a good beating – If you want to dislodge dust that vacuuming often misses, then beating your rugs and cushions outdoors is the way to go.

Learn more about how to improve indoor air quality from the pros at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc., or give us a call at 251-476-3610 to schedule an appointment.

Spring Cleaning Includes Professional Air Duct Cleaning

Keith Air ConditioningPoor indoor air quality (IAQ) is a growing national problem caused primarily by negative pressure leaks and tight building envelopes. Without proper ventilation, a variety of harmful pollutants accumulate inside the ductwork attached to your HVAC equipment. If not adequately addressed, these contaminants continually recirculate through the system and can aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergies and COPD.

Our Air Duct Cleaning Services

A professional duct cleaning service will eliminate the dirt, dust, grime, pollen and mold that build up on the interior surface of your duct network over time. The duct cleaning process also removes contaminants from critical internal equipment components including:

  • The plenum
  • Heat exchanger
  • Condensate drain lines and pan
  • The interior of the air handler
  • Supply and return registers
  • Blower, housings and motors
  • The evaporator coil
  • VAV boxes

For every air duct cleaning remediation project, we send trained technicians equipped with cameras and mirrors to accurately assess the condition of your ductwork and HVAC equipment. If the system requires cleaning, the registers are sealed with a pressure sensitive tape, and access holes are cut into the supply and return duct lines.

When the ductwork is prepped, a powerful vacuum that meets NADCA standards is attached to the installed collar. Flexible forced air whips and mechanical brushes are used to agitate and dislodge any material that is stuck to the duct wall. The system is turned on, and the ductwork is placed into a substantial negative pressure. Dander, hair, debris and other impurities are pulled out of the ductwork and deposited into a sealed container.

The Benefits of Clean Ductwork

Periodic duct cleaning provides an excellent return on investment. Some of the more important benefits include:

  • Improved indoor air quality
  • Lower HVAC maintenance costs
  • reduced utility bills
  • Fewer furnace and AC repairs
  • Extended equipment life


Complete IAQ Services

To learn more about duct cleaning, HVAC maintenance agreements and our complete indoor air quality services, call Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. at 251-476-3610. We can schedule a free performance evaluation for your ductwork and HVAC equipment.

Allergy Season in Mobile Benefits From Indoor Air Cleaners

Keith Air ConditioningAllergy symptoms are far from being an outdoor problem. In most cases, outdoor air is actually cleaner than indoor air. You’re 1,000 times more likely to inhale indoor pollutants than outdoor emissions. If allergy season is effecting you inside your home, an air cleaner can help improve your indoor air quality.

Signs of Indoor Allergies

Before you can effectively treat your symptoms, it’s important to make sure they’re coming from indoor allergies. Indoor allergy symptoms include irritated eyes and nasal drainage, among others, and lingering symptoms can last for several weeks.

If you have yellow or green nasal drainage and your symptoms last less than two weeks, you’re probably dealing with a cold and not allergies.

Adjusting Your Environment

If you’re not careful, your home could provide allergy triggers with the ideal environment. Dust mites prefer rooms that are 70 degrees or warmer and with a humidity above 40 percent. Running your air conditioner during the spring and summer can help you maintain the proper comfort levels. A programmable thermostat makes it easier to monitor and maintain low humidity and moderate temperatures.

Installing an Air Cleaner

Air cleaners are available as standalone units, but one of the easiest and more efficient ways to incorporate an air cleaner into your home is to add HEPA filters for your HVAC system. A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter captures at least 99.97 percent of the particles that pass through it, provided they’re at least 0.3 microns in diameter.

Be sure to talk to your HVAC professional for help exploring the right filtration options for your home’s heating and cooling system. HEPA filtration can block airflow in some HVAC systems that don’t have the capacity to handle their density.

Learn more about filtration and air cleaner options available from the HVAC experts at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. or contact us today at 251-476-3610 to schedule an appointment!

Home Ventilation and Clean Air Health Benefits

Keith Air ConditioningThe quality of the air in your home can have a significant effect on your overall comfort and health. Poor indoor air quality can cause respiratory issues, even in those who aren’t allergic to dust, pollen or mold. Allergy sufferers can have their misery increased substantially when indoor air is contaminated with particulates and allergens. Here are a few ways to keep your indoor air cleaner and some of the benefits that attic ventilation, air purification and air cleaning can provide.

Source of Home Ventilation and Air Cleaning

  • Whole-house ventilators: Whole-house ventilation systems, which are commonly installed in the attic, provide airflow that helps keep your indoor air fresh and clean. They get rid of stale indoor air while bringing in fresh, clean air from the outdoors. Energy recovery ventilators use outgoing air to either heat or cool incoming air, recycling heating and cooling you’ve already paid for and reducing stress on your HVAC system.
  • HVAC air filters: Air filters in your home heating and cooling equipment help capture particulates and remove them from your indoor air. High-efficiency filters with higher minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings remove even more contaminants. Air filters should be checked at least monthly and changed when they get dirty.
  • Air cleaners: Air cleaning systems are installed within the airflow of your HVAC system and add an extra layer of high-quality filtration to the air moving through your heating and cooling equipment.

Health Benefits of Ventilation and Air Cleaning

There are several benefits to these indoor air solutions, including:

  • Fewer allergy and asthma attacks
  • Reduced effects of particulate exposure, including less coughing and sneezing, less eye irritation and less nasal congestion
  • Decreased chance of germs, bacteria and viruses being spread throughout your home, reducing likelihood of colds and flu
  • Less dust on indoor surfaces such as shelves
  • Easier breathing and a more comfortable, physically pleasant indoor environment

Learn more about attic ventilation and other home ventilation techniques from the pros at Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. or give us a call today at 251-476-3610 to schedule an appointment!

Humidifiers Are Key To Better Indoor Air Quality

Keith Air Conditioning, Inc. Humidifier and Ventilation ExpertsA healthy home requires clean, fresh indoor air. For Mobile homeowners, this involves more than just changing the HVAC filters regularly and installing an air purifier.

Humidifiers also play a key role in creating high-quality indoor air. Maintaining optimal humidity levels has a beneficial effect on health and can reduce annual heating costs.

You can easily measure indoor humidity with a hygrometer. Also called a humidity meter, this inexpensive gadget can tell you exactly what your indoor humidity level is. You can purchase a hygrometer at any drug store or a supercenter like Walmart. A healthy humidity level should between 35 and 50 percent, but for those living along the Gulf Coast, winter humidity levels are often as low as 5-15 percent.

Because humid air feels warmer than dry air, adding moisture to your living space in winter will give you greater indoor comfort, and you’ll also pay less for heat. When moisture evaporates, air feels colder. During the winter, it’s natural to turn up the thermostat when this happens, thereby increasing energy usage and jacking up utility bills. When you add moisture to the air instead, you’ll feel warmer at a lower temperature, and your energy costs will decrease as a result.

What Does Humidity Have to do With Indoor Air Quality?

Low humidity levels mean dry air. Dry air can be responsible for a variety of physical symptoms such as:

  • Sore throat
  • Itchy, flaking skin
  • Cracked, dry lips and hands
  • Dry nasal passages
  • Sinus problems and sinusitis

How Does Indoor Humidity Improve Air Quality?

Many airborne pollutants such as dust mites thrive in a dry environment. When you add moisture to the air, it gives these contaminants less space in which to circulate.

How Do Indoor Humidity Levels Affect Health?

There are a variety of health benefits that come with proper humidity levels. Here are just a few:

  • Sinuses stay healthier, especially for those with sinusitis and congestion
  • Reduces the potential for nosebleeds
  • Helps those suffering from colds and asthma by lubricating nasal passages
  • Can eliminate snoring caused by a dry throat
  • Helps skin to stay moisturized and reduces dryness on hands and lips
  • Helps nose hairs to trap bacteria and viruses that cause colds and flu
  • Reduces nasal, throat and bronchial irritation
  • Helps to clear up laryngitis
  • Helps those with respiratory problems to breathe easier

Besides keeping your Mobile, AL, home comfortable in winter, reducing energy usage and delivering a variety of health benefits, humidifiers also reduce static electricity and can keep wood surfaces from shrinking, swelling and cracking. To learn more about healthier indoor air, contact the Mobile, AL, air quality experts at Keith Air Conditioning. They’ve been helping homeowners to have greater indoor comfort since 1964, and their air quality testing service can tell you everything you need to know about the state of your indoor air.