R-22 Supply and Demand Will Affect Your Comfort

What is R-22?

R-22 is a type of refrigerant used in air conditioners and heat pumps. Refrigerant is also referred to as Freon. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations regarding R-22 may affect your wallet and comfort. If you are not sure what type of refrigerant your air conditioner uses, an EPA certified HVAC technician can determine that for you. Most air conditioning units and heat pumps that were manufactured and installed prior to 2010 were built to use R-22.

EPA Action

R-22 was introduced in the 1950’s. Based on research, the EPA reported it to be an ozone-depleting substance when leaked into the atmosphere. In effort to support environmental preservation, the phase out of R-22 was launched several years ago. The EPA limited production on R-22 causing the prices to increase due to the lack of supply. The phase-out project is expected to be completed by 2020, which is fast approaching. If your equipment experiences a refrigerant leak, due to reduced supply, the cost to have it repaired will likely be doubled or tripled compared to past repairs. As of 2020 no more R-22 will be manufactured.

Simple Solution

Be proactive and mindful of our environment. . If you have equipment with R-22, start planning for the replacement. Newer manufactured equipment is commonly built to use R410, a gas that is safer for our environment. R410 is in ample supply and less expensive. Upgrading your equipment will save you money. Buying new will give you a return on your investment based on new equipment technology providing higher efficiency. System replacement quotes are free when you schedule an appointment with a Kellam Mechanical Comfort Consultant.


New Heating and Cooling System Quote Request



Kellam Mechanical opened April 1, 1995. For 21 years Scott Kellam has dedicated his time and energy into the business he loves because he loves the HVAC industry. As a teenager in 1977, he learned the trade from his father and grandfather in their family owned and operated Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical business and loved working there until he decided to start his own adventure. When you ask him what else he would do for a living if he were not in the HVAC business, he says with a puzzled look as if there is no other possibility “Nothing, I am right where I have always wanted to be.” Bringing comfort to the families in the Tidewater area of Virginia, where he was born and raised has always been Scott’s focus. Our 4 distinct coastal seasons have kept him quite busy through the years. Making customers comfortable and happy is only half of his goal. Making his family of employees happy and comfortable is the balance. There are many details involved in making a business successful and Scott Kellam has worked hard to balance all of them. With 25 employees to help Kellam Mechanical deliver quality customer service, he has an excellent support system. In addition to running a locally owned business for 21 years, Scott has also been heavily involved in the Virginia Beach community. He loves lending his time volunteering with The Virginia Beach Clean Community Commission, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, The Virginia Beach Education Foundation and led the local Air Conditioning Contractors of America chapter as President from 2012-2014.
Many business men work very hard for many years without recognition, but Scott Kellam is an exception. He has been blessed to receive recognition on the state and national level. On September 7, 2016 Scott Kellam received the Contractor of the Year award representing the state of Virginia through the Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractor Association. This was an incredible honor to be recognized for our state, but an even more prestigious award followed. On October 21, 2016 he was awarded the National Contractor of the Year through the PHCC Association. Scott Kellam graciously accepted the award in San Antonio, Texas. This was a memorable event and has inspired Scott to keep working hard at maintaining his reputable local Virginia Beach company.
Scott’s reaction to this acknowledgement: “I am honored to be considered a top leader of this industry and many thanks to our loyal customers and employees that have been along for the ride to catapult Kellam Mechanical above the average HVAC business”.


Green Gadget: Laundry Pro

For the love of laundry! Kellam Mechanical promotes green household products, so If you are tired of spending so much money on laundry detergent here is your new solution: Laundry Pro. This revolutionary green product replaces the need for detergent, bleach, fabric softeners, sorting and front loading washing machine cleansers, such as Afresh. It reduces landfills. It eliminates odors, chemical use, pollution, static, and shrinking clothes. Laundry Pro preserves fabric during the wash cycle, protects bright colors from fading and makes clothes softer. It is better for sensitive skin, reducing itching or redness from allergic reactions to detergents. It may be hard to imagine your life long routine changing; however, it is a money and time saver. Now you can pass the laundry detergent aisle at the store.

Installation is simple, requiring existing washing machine hookups and about 2’ x 2’ space to mount the device. Using cold water, Laundry Pro activates oxygen to remove dirt away from fabric fibers to prevent odor causing bacteria growth. It requires no maintenance, works with well or city water, made in Virginia and comes with a 2 year warranty. This product is smart! Oxygen, peroxides and other gases bubble into clothing to lift away dirt and odors. However, a stain removing product may be necessary for really tough stains. This USA engineered and manufactured product has a glowing blue light when operating and indicates when attention is necessary.

The average household of 4 spends about $500 annually on laundry costs including detergents, fabric softeners, machine cleansers and energy. Your earth friendly investment will give you a return in just over a year. Clean clothes for the kids and grandkids all while earth friendliness, saving money and time is a brilliant solution.

New Laundry Pro users rave about it!

“I was hesitant to try Laundry Pro because it uses no soap. However, I am now excited about the savings from laundry detergent expenses. My towels come out clean and fresh with no odors. I am a true believer after washing my teenage son’s dirty white shoes that came back to life brighter and almost looking new!” Kelly G., Virginia Beach, Va.  Resident

“Our son’s sensitive skin has improved since we started using the Laundry Pro. Laundry is much less of a chore for our family now. Our towels are softer today than when they were new. We feel good that we are not putting chemical back in to the environment by cleaning our clothes.” Stephen A., Chesapeake, Va. Resident

If you are ready for to be rescued from your laundry woes, call Kellam Mechanical now to have a qualified technician install Laundry Pro for you on the south side of Hampton Roads, Va. 757-430-0358.  Know someone else who needs Laundry Pro? Tell ‘em Kellam!







Do you have a favorite appliance?  Your water heater has to be up there on the top of that list, right? A hot shower starts the day just right to wake you up, unless it is showering you with ice cold water. Then it really wakes you up with a startle.  How old is your water heater?  Conventional water heaters act as one of the largest household energy consumers, behind your heating and cooling systems.  According to Consumer Reports, your water heater eats up to 30% of your energy budget.  Maintaining your water heater annually is a recommended practice that reduces failures and extends the equipment life.  It is common for aging water heaters to rust and leak, so keep a close eye on yours, especially if it is located in your attic.  Leaks can cause expensive and inconvenient damage to ceilings, walls and personal belongings.  Flood-safe shut-off valves are also a smart solution.  They detect leaks then activate the shut-off function to prevent unnecessary water overflow damage.  The most common water heater size for single family homes is 40-50 gallons.  Drain pans will not hold 50 gallons of water!

If your water heater is older than ten years, it is time to think about replacing it.  Replacing your water heater often occurs when an aging unit fails, causing a small crisis when water is leaking or cold water is your only option until your new unit is installed.  That process can create a hiccup in your daily routine since you have to coordinate a technician to diagnose, propose a replacement quote, order equipment and schedule installation. In addition, there is now one more step to consider.  Manufacturers have recently changed the standard sizing, increasing the dimensions due to EPA increased energy efficiency requirements.  This can be a challenge for homeowners with limited space or access to existing water heaters.  Gas water heaters are now about 2 inches larger in diameter bringing it to about 22 inches.  Most attic accesses are 22 ½” wide not including the frame.  The height has increased about 4-6 inches.  The best plan is to have a professional assess the specifications of your existing water heater and access, identify if it is gas or electric and measure the dimensions of your space to determine if a newly manufactured unit will fit.  Then you can have a proactive quote for planning.  With new dimensions on the market, the existing water pipe and exhaust connections may not match up.  If it will not, it is recommended to prepare your closet or attic access for the new water heater dimensions.  Kellam Mechanical has seen some applications where modifications to attic eaves, removing attic access frames, re-venting and re-piping were required to allow room for the new equipment.  The manufacturers do not produce the units as small as the older models anymore and are no longer available to purchase.

The good news is energy-efficient technology has advanced so take advantage of welcomed savings when selecting a new water heater for your home.   Tankless water heaters also provide a solution since they are smaller in size.  Tankless water heaters deliver exceptional efficiency and since it heats water as used, not stored, there is an eternal supply of hot water.  They also last about 20 years compared to the conventional water heater’s life expectancy of 10 – 15 years.  Repairs are historically fewer, parts are easier to replace and the tankless model is less likely to leak.  Its design is small, a welcomed space saver.  Energy Star reports that tankless water heaters can deliver up to 34% energy savings using 86 gallons less daily equaling approximately $95 annual savings and $1,800 over the lifetime of the equipment.

 Water heaters are not the only appliance with larger dimensions…washing machines and refrigerators are on that list also, forcing homeowners to modify their laundry and kitchen spaces.  I speak from experience, I just purchased a new washing machine in a few weeks ago and it does NOT fit in my beautiful custom built cabinets. So, my cabinet rebuild starts now.  It seems bigger is better these days.

When scheduling your water heater repair or replacement, turn to a licensed and insured contractor.  Kellam Mechanical dispatches NATE certified professionals to deliver code compliant service.  Replacement quotes are free.

Click to schedule repair or replacement quote or call 757-430-0358 right now!



Kellam Mechanical Celebrates 20th Year Anniversary

April 2015 is very exciting for me because Kellam Mechanical entered our 20th year in business providing comfort, safety and healthy solutions to Tidewater residents and businesses.   I have enjoyed the heating and air conditioning industry for about 40 years.  The saying is so true: time flies when you are having fun.  I am proud of how many people in our community that Kellam Mechanical has brought comfort to for the past 80 seasons.  I have made so many great friends along the way with my coworkers and clients, many of whom have become like family.  They are the ones who have made us successful.  Our Kellam Mechanical comfort crew makes coming to work fun because we all understand the culture of excellent customer service.  Giving back to my community is a responsibility that I also enjoy.  Community presence and environmental preservation is important to me and to the company and I love to share all of the fun activities I have injected into my lifestyle.  I love the people I get to encounter and join forces with to make our daily living better.  Kellam Mechanical promotes green products, such as geothermal high efficient comfort equipment, programmable thermostats and tankless water heaters to name a few, but we also like to promote green practices.  As a team, we enjoy volunteering for the following local organizations and events:

Virginia Beach annual Earth Day

Virginia Beach annual Clean the Bay Day

Virginia Beach Clean Community Commission

Back Bay Restoration Foundation

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation

The first 20 years in business has been amazing and a blessing to bring so many people comfort.  We look forward to delivering heating, air conditioning and electrical excellence for another 20 years.

Know someone who wants a contractor that has staying power?  Tell ‘em Kellam for another 20 years!

Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Outdoor Clearance Distances

Did you know that lawn and landscaping maintenance can affect your indoor comfort?  Proper airflow is essential for your heating and cooling equipment to operate correctly and safely.  Restricted airflow can cause equipment to lose efficiency leading to higher monthly utility bills as well as failures which can result in expensive repairs.  Keeping your comfort system annually maintained is a sound solution and smart investment.  A skilled technician will perform tasks to keep your coils and burners clean and safe in addition to many other helpful tasks, but there are things that homeowners can do on a regular basis to ensure proper system operation.  Changing filters monthly is necessary as well as keeping equipment clear of obstructions.  To keep your outdoor equipment safe from airflow interference, it is best to allow for at least 2 feet of clearance around the unit from greenery such as shrubs, trees and ivy as well as roots, fencing, other equipment or structures.  4 feet of clearance should be allowed above outdoor unit installations.  This space also allows a technician to access all sides of the equipment for repairs and maintenance.  It is also important to install your outdoor comfort equipment free of exhaust or dryer vents because lint blown into the compressor can cause a clog and a failure.  Overgrown greenery can creep its way into your outdoor compressor and cause it to fail so get your green thumb out there and maintain your yard around your air conditioner, heat pump or package unit for the sake of your indoor comfort.

The picture shown is proof that yard growth is damaging to this Virginia Beach compressor.  Our NATE certified technician quickly discovered that the condenser fan motor failed because it was forced to work twice as hard to move air due to the restricted airflow from the bushes and the lack of space allowed between the house. This lawn condition will shorten the life span of equipment.  Shrubbery moisture can contribute to unit coil damage causing rust and corrosion.  It is also recommended to redirect rain water from dripping off the roof into the unit.  In the winter months freezing excess water can seize the fan with ice build-up or damage it with ice failing into the unit.

Schedule a qualified Kellam Mechanical technician to assist with any annual comfort system maintenance or system relocation if you have current obstructions.



What it means to TELL ‘EM KELLAM!

Tell ‘em Kellam is part of the Kellam Mechanical culture.  It represents prideful customer service and technical workmanship.  People who have a positive experience tend to share it with others in their lives…family, friends, neighbors and coworkers.  Referrals are the highest form of flattery and we welcome them.  Testimonials are especially strong when they come from someone we know and trust.  We place a large emphasis on delivering excellence to inspire our clients to “Tell ‘em Kellam”.  How do we that?  We represent professionalism through our courteous call takers, act with consideration for our client’s busy lives when scheduling, timely dispatch highly trained technicians who respectfully interact with clients, dress our technicians in clean uniforms, arrive in lettered vans and perform quality system repairs and replacements.  Success for Kellam Mechanical is measured when we hear our clients “Tell ‘em Kellam”.  When that happens we know we delivered comfort.

Society has embraced social media over the past few years and it has become the norm for consumers to refer to review sites to profile a business which influence purchases.  In fact, surveys uncovered that 90% of consumers are influenced by online reviews.   Those who have taken the time to post positive reviews have been inspired based on their expectations being met and frequently exceeded.  Our testimonials and reviews speak for themselves and we appreciate the Kellam Mechanical staff that inspired our loyal clients to share their experiences.  We even have a Tell ‘em Kellam referral program to show our gratitude for those who “Tell ‘em Kellam.

WebsiteTestimonial: June 2011

“Thank yous” to both of you, Sarah and Scott, for taking a personal interest in the lives of your customers. I can’t remember any other company that we do business with that takes such interest in their clients.  Best wishes for a continuing successful business!!!

Bill and Judy C., Va. Beach residents

Superpages Review:  August 19th, 2014

I highly recommend Kellam Mechanical for your heating, cooling and electrical needs. I just recently had my annual maintenance inspection and Jerry W. was very professional and knowledgeable when it came to explaining the process and answering questions about the best filters to use. His efficiency was a breath of fresh air in the hectic world we live in.  Thank you to Jerry and the Kellam Mechanical team for taking care of my heating and cooling needs!

Tamela Hood, Chesapeake resident

Google Review:  12/13/14

Kellam Mechanical has been servicing my HVAC systems for 10 years. They have been most professional throughout these years. My most recent dealings have been with their technician, Jerry Wagner. Jerry is always friendly, courteous and thorough during his review of my system. He always discusses with me at the conclusion exactly how my system is working. It is his concern for making sure I am content as a customer that has caused me to ask Kellam Mechanical for Jerry to always be the technician that comes to service my units. Thank you Kellam Mechanical and Jerry Wagner for always making the maintenance of my heating and air conditioning a very pleasant experience.

Joe Riddick, Va. Beach resident

Know someone on the southside of Tidewater, Virginia that needs heating, air conditioning and electrical excellence delivered to their home or office?







Start the new year thinking about saving on household expenses by upgrading to higher efficient heating and cooling equipment.  Installing a new system can be the first step to improving your comfort and reducing your monthly energy bills by making a smart investment.  Equipment manufactured today is considerably more efficient than in years past.  If your heat pump, package unit or air conditioner is 10 years or older or your gas furnace, geothermal system or boiler is 15 years or older, even if it is currently working, it  is a good time to start preparing for a new system in the near future.  It is better to plan for it and be ready than be forced into an emergency decision when the system fails.    There is a lot to consider when purchasing a new comfort system.

~Understanding how equipment is rated is a factor in your investment. Boilers and furnaces have AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) ratings that measures how efficient the equipment operates on an annual basis.  Heat pumps and air conditioners have SEER (seasonal energy efficient ratio) ratings that measure the efficiency of the equipment operating during a typical cooling season.  The HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor) measures the efficiency of the equipment operating in the heating season.  This information can help you determine what efficiency meets your needs best.  The higher the efficiency, the lower your energy bills will be.  Consider installing reputable Energy Star products.

~Proper equipment size is crucial in bringing the appropriate level of comfort into your home.  Over sizing a comfort system can cause temperature control and humidity issues, higher energy costs and energy waste, so it is important to have a qualified contractor evaluate your home for proper comfort system design using Manual J load calculations.

~Good ductwork conditions are vital to deliver proper airflow and allow  comfort systems to operate at the efficiency rating it was designed for, so have your existing ductwork evaluated when receiving equipment replacement quotes.

~Proper installations will set up the equipment for successful operation and longevity. Flawed installations can create failures and poor efficiency, so it is important to hire a qualified, licensed contractor that complies with city codes and employs NATE certified technicians.

~Some applications are perfect for geothermal or ductless comfort systems, which are both highly efficient and have fewer repair histories than other conventional equipment, which makes them excellent investment choices.

When deciding on what equipment will meet your comfort and investment level, inquire about manufacturer rebate programs.  High efficient equipment is often accompanied with rebates, so take advantage of money back if promotions are active.  For more information on which equipment meets your comfort level best on the south side of Tidewater, call Kellam Mechanical at 757-430-0358.  We are happy to schedule a free consult.




November is the month to reflect on being thankful.  One thing that comes to mind is being thankful for the green mindset that people in our community are adopting more and more every day to improve energy consesrvation.  Educating Tidewater, Virginia residents is so important to improve our local environment.  There are many ways to become a part of the solution instead of part of the problem.  Everyday life can be enhanced so embrace simple changes starting in your own home to conserve energy and reduce waste.  Households can be altered using better products, such as installing more efficient appliances.  There are so many options to increase your household efficiency, so if all cannot be achieved at once, start planning and budgeting for smart future projects:

1. Programmable thermostats: controlling the comfort in your home with the ability to program your temperature schedule can save you up to $150 in energy costs annually according to the Environment Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.

2.  System Maintenance:  Schedule you annual heating and cooling system maintenance.  This will maximize your comfort system efficiency, saving energy costs and reducing failures.   Energy Star research found that will save about $330 annually in heating and cooling costs.

3.  Tankless water heater:  Installing a tankless water heater saves up to 50% on water heating costs, it is also a spacer saver, delivers endless hot water, reportedly has fewer failures and service rates and has a life expectancy of up to 20 years.

4.  High efficient heating and cooling systems:  Installing high efficient equipment uses less energy, saving you monthly energy costs.  In efforts to reduce energy usage, The Department of Energy is requiring a minimum 14 SEER rating in Virginia effective 1/1/15 for new equipment installations.

5.  Go Geothermal:  This is the most efficient comfort equipment on the market, using the earth to heat and cool your home and saves up to 70% on energy usage compared to a conventional system.  This technology delivers strong returns to your wallet and to the environment.

6. Vacancy sensors:  Install vacancy sensor switches to automatically turn off lights as you leave the room to save on your electricity expenses.

7.  Insulation:  A well-insulated house prevents air leakage, which uses less energy and protects your heating and cooling equipment from being over worked.

Go Green practices on a smaller project scale should be considered:

1.  Unplug appliances and electronics not in use

2.  Turn the temperature down on your water heater

3.  Fix leaky faucets

4.  Replace incandescent bulbs with CFL’s

5.  Wash clothes in cold water

6.  Close your blinds to the summer sun to keep house cooler, open them to the winter sun to warm up

7.  Seal around outlets, windows and doors to reduce air leakage

When researching household appliances to make an environmental difference, look for Energy Star rated products.  Be thankful for earth friendly practices and products available that enter into our lifestyles to bring environmental responsibility accompanied with savings.  It is time to reduce your carbon footprint.  Get started, go green and save green.

For free quotes for comfort equipment installation for the southside, Tell ‘em Kellam!



Get Your Gas Appliances Inspected for Safety

So, you love your gas appliances, because they are so efficient, but consider safety measures as we head into the heating season. If gas appliances are not properly maintained by a qualified technician, you could be at risk for carbon-monoxide poisoning through leaks or improper venting! Carbon monoxide can be found in combustion fumes, such as those produced from gas-burning stoves, dryers, furnaces, water heaters, boilers, fireplaces, lanterns, cars, as well as burning wood and charcoal.  Aging equipment and gas piping can break down from corrosion and cause failures that could lead to leaks.  Discovering cracked heat exchangers on furnaces is common this time of year, which is best to rectify before the heart of the heating season, in order to keep your family safe.  Carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless and colorless  and can create symptoms similar to the flu from exposure. Symptoms from over-exposure are: nausea, headache, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. Pets, infants, unborn babies, elderly and people with chronic heart disease, anemia or respiratory issues are at a much higher risk.  Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Annually, over 20,000 people visit the emergency room; over 4,000 are hospitalized; and an average of 400 people die from carbon-monoxide poisoning, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Can you prevent being a statistic?  Can you live free of worry in a safe environment in the comfort of your own home? Yes and yes! Here is the way to reduce your risk of carbon-monoxide build-up:

1. Schedule a Kellam Mechanical Gas Safety Inspection for only $69!

2.  Do not use charcoal, a barbecue grill or portable, flameless, chemical heaters indoors.

3.  Never burn anything on a stove or in an unvented fireplace. Always open the flue when in use.

4.  Never use a generator indoors, in the garage or near vents or windows leading indoors.

5.  Install a quality carbon-monoxide detector.

Safe family: priceless.

Kellam Mechanical employs NATE-Certified technicians to perform your Gas Safety Inspection, using a high quality leak detector on your gas appliances and gas piping inside your home.  This includes the inspection of proper venting applications. Technicians are also trained to locate the proper placement in your home for optimal detection, and they stock detectors approved by the National Comfort Institute (NCI). These will set off an alarm at 10 parts-per-million, compared to detectors sold on home-improvement shelves that don’t start detecting until 70 parts-per-million after 2 hours of exposure, when symptoms have begun to set in. Carbon monoxide detectors save lives; so if you have gas appliances in your home, invest in a low-level detector!  Natural gas smells like rotten eggs, due to the added compound, sulfur. If you suspect a leak or your carbon-monoxide detector alarms, exit your dwelling; and call 9-1-1 to have our local, friendly fire department secure your property. Then call Kellam Kellam to perform repairs in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Suffolk, Virginia.


Call today to schedule your Gas Safety Inspection, and take $25 off a carbon monoxide detector.

Know someone who needs a safe home this winter?

Tell ’em Kellam!