(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

3 Reasons to Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up Before Winter Hits

November weather means turning on your furnace for a long winter. If the first cold snap hasn’t hit your local area yet, then now is the best time to get your furnace serviced. Here’s why:

  • The beginning of winter is a busy season for heating contractors and furnace repair companies, which could delay your repair. You don’t want to wait until after the first big storm to get your furnace serviced. Not only can that leave your home without heat during the following low temperatures, a long delay can damage your heating system more or even be dangerous if you have a gas-powered furnace.
  • Servicing your system can help solve problems before they start. Small malfunctions and inefficiencies build up over time, and getting your HVAC checked before you use it regularly can help you catch those problems before your system breaks. Having your furnace serviced means a trained professional checks your ventilation, gas and power connections, and the internal cooling system, which saves you money on larger, preventable repairs.
  • Tune-ups help your home’s air quality. Any air conditioning system in your home collects dust and debris as it circulates air. While changing the filter is one of the best steps you can take to ensuring that allergens are removed from the air and your system isn’t overworking due to poor ventilation, sometimes it’s not enough. Dust can build up in the internal workings of your furnace and mildew that may have built up during the furnace’s dormant season needs to be removed.

Scheduling a tune-up for your furnace before the busy winter season not only helps ensure the system will run once the weather turns, it helps keep your furnace running efficiently. So, contact Cunningham Associates to set up a time to schedule a tune-up.

Making Indoor Heating Systems More Effective

Many people are making their heating systems less effective during the colder months without even realizing it. People who try to find ways to save energy around the house will certainly spend less money on heating in general. However, heating systems in these households will tend to last longer as well.

1. Install energy-efficient windows.

There are lots of energy-efficient windows on the market today. Certain types of windows are much better at providing adequate insulation. As such, people won’t lose as much of the heat that they’re paying for in the first place.

2. Leave as many interior doors open as possible.

Many people are told to close their interior doors in order to make the heating systems work more effectively. However, keeping all of the interior doors closed will just interfere with the airflow between rooms.

In fact, people might end up spending more money on energy during the winter if they constantly keep all of the interior doors closed, regardless of what they’ve been told. The air quality of all rooms will also improve in the process of leaving the doors open.

3. Make sure the floor stays insulated.

Lots of people forget to make sure that their floors are insulated. In fact, a household can lose as much as ten percent of its heat through the floor. People who have carpeted floors might not have to worry about this as much. Placing blankets and rugs on hardwood floors can make a big difference for the people who are trying to conserve as much heat as possible indoors.

Indoor heating systems will be more effective and efficient if people counteract some of the heat loss that can occur throughout a household. Give Cunningham Associates a call with any questions or HVAC service needs you may have – we are happy to help!

 

Short Cycling Furnace Causes: Dirty Flame Rod

Ever wonder what causes a cycling in a furnace? We encourage you to read this article to learn how a dirty flame rod can lead to short cycling.

The Flame Rod 

The flame rod is part of a furnace’s built-in safety system. Its job is to help regulate the state of the gas valve. The idea is that, when ignition is successful, the burner flames will heat up the flame rod, causing it to send a signal to keep the gas valve open. If, however, combustion does not occur, the cold flame rod will soon shut down the gas valve, thus keeping raw gas from leaking out.

Problems 

This is all well and good–so long as the flame rod can do its job correctly. The problem is that, over time, contaminants build up on the surface of the rod. Such contaminants hamper its ability to detect heat. Eventually they will keep it from being able to do its job at all, meaning that the rod, failing to detect heat, will close the gas valve down even when combustion is occurring.

Fortunately, a furnace technician can often resolve this issue simply by giving the flame rod a thorough cleaning with sandpaper or steel wool. If your furnace has been short cycling, it is important to have your flame rod inspected as soon as possible.

Give Cunningham Associates a call today with any questions or service needs you may have.

Do you Know the Going Rate for Natural Gas Pricing?

Do you know what you are paying for your natural gas? Are you aware that gas providers may slowly raise your per therm price over time? If you haven’t checked your rates lately, you may be paying too much for your natural gas.

Cunningham Associates Heating and Air Conditioning has seen some of our clients paying over $1.00 per therm-which is too much! Here is a list of certified natural gas providers from the Georgia Public Service Commission: https://lnkd.in/eXjWR-w. Visit this website to compare plans in Georgia: https://www.gasgeorgia.com.

More residential HVAC advice can be found at Cunningham Associates Heating and Air Conditioning.

Air Conditioning Contractor Explains Why Your AC Keeps Tripping the Circuit Breaker

A circuit breaker protects your electrical system and the electric devices in your home from excessive electrical current. Too much electrical current can damage your air conditioning system and heat up wiring to the point of causing a fire. This is why you should never continually reset a circuit breaker every time it trips.

Now and then a one-time power surge may trip the circuit breaker, such as from a lightning storm. To rule this out, reset your circuit breaker only once before turning your air conditioner on. If the breaker trips again, there’s a problem with either your circuit breaker or the AC system. If the breaker has a burning smell, feels hot, or you see signs of charring, the circuit breaker has gone bad. Otherwise, the issue probably lies with your air conditioner.

Here are four possible problems with your AC:

  • The air filter is dirty. A dirty air filter increases resistance to air flowing through it which then intensifies the workload on your AC system, which ultimately increases the draw of electrical current. This increased current trips the circuit breaker. Replace the air filter and try again.
  • The condenser unit requires cleaning. The condenser unit can get full of dirt and debris, especially in its fins. This reduces air flow through the fins and prevents the condenser from efficiently dispersing heat. The AC then draws too much current, which trips the circuit breaker. If the condenser is dirty and you have experience cleaning the condenser unit, then give it a good cleaning.
  • A motor has a problem. A motor could have shorted out from running too hot. For example, if a fan motor is working too hard to push air, the internal wiring could overheat and break down the insulation; thus causing a short, which trips the breaker. The motor having a bad capacitor can also trip the circuit breaker.
  • The air conditioner has a refrigerant leak. Too little refrigerant causes the AC system to work too hard. If this is the problem, there is no point in refilling your AC with more refrigerant. The fact that your AC worked without problems in the past means that it used to have plenty of refrigerant; which means that your AC has a leak and should be fixed.

If you have any questions or need assistance, we encourage you to contact Cunningham Associates Heating and Air Conditioning in Atlanta GA.

Cunningham Associates Heating and Air Gives Back

Over Seven Years ago, Peachtree Battle resident and owner of Cunningham Associates Heating and Air, Bob Cunningham, co-founded and co-chaired the Brookhaven Rotary Club’s “Service Above Self Invitational”. This past May, the Rotary Club raised and presented to Alana Shepherd a check in the amount of $172,500.

The money will go to Shepherd Center’s inspiring SHARE Military Initiative, which is a comprehensive rehabilitation program that focuses on assessment and treatment for service men and women who have sustained a mild to moderate traumatic brain injury, along with co-occurring PTSD or other mental health concerns (such as depression or anxiety), from service in post-9/11 conflicts. Over the past 7 years, Brookhaven Rotary has raised a total of almost $650,000 for The Shepherd Center through the annual golf tournament.

Bob Cunningham said, “We are very excited that these contributions will be directly helping those who need it most – service members and their families. We are already planning for next year’s amazing charity golf tournament and we hope to surpass this year’s record-breaking donation!”

3 Signs You Should Get Air Conditioning Service

If your home has poor indoor air quality, it could be a sign that your HVAC system needs to be serviced. Dander from your pets, mold, dust, and household chemicals can really harm the air quality in your home. Since this can cause serious health problems if left unresolved, it’s important to do everything you can to make sure your family is healthy. If you experience any of the three you may want to call Cunningham Associates Heating and Air Conditioning in Atlanta, GA to receive air conditioning service.

Warm and Drafty Spots

Sometimes bugs or contaminants can block your air conditioner and make certain areas of the home warm and drafty. This could be a sign that your unit is leaking or clogged. We recommend getting your air conditioner cleaned and inspected periodically to prevent this from happening.

Odor and Foul Smells

Are you starting to notice a foul odor in your home? You can also ask friends and family if they smell anything unusual just for confirmation. Pollutants such as mold and pests can make your home smell if they get stuck in your air conditioning ductwork. A professional HVAC company can inspect your air conditioning unit and find animal nests, bugs, molds and other pollutants that are making your home smell bad.

Allergies

Have you noticed that you or other family members are sneezing more? Bad air quality can cause headaches, coughing, sneezing and other allergy symptoms. If you believe your allergies only get worse when you spend time at home, it may be a sign that you should have your HVAC system checked and get an air purifier.

4 Warning Signs Your Air Conditioner is Malfunctioning

Air conditioning malfunctions can turn a joyful summer day into a sweltering nightmare. Luckily, knowing a few common warning signs can help you spot a problem before it becomes a serious issue. Listed below are four symptoms that signal your air conditioner requires the expertise of a HVAC professional.

Poor Air Flow

If the air blowing through your vents feels weak, a failing compressor is a likely culprit. On the other hand, there may be an issue with your ducts, especially if certain rooms are cool while others remain unchanged. To ensure your air conditioning continues to operate efficiently, it’s best to contact a HVAC professional as soon as you notice a discrepancy in room temperature.

Unusual Noises

Squealing or grinding sounds coming from your unit are never a good sign. Unfortunately, any sort of unusual noise can indicate a number of malfunctions and should not be ignored. For instance, a belt may have slipped or other mechanical piece could be loose. If you hear an unfamiliar sound coming from your air conditioner an immediate call to an A/C specialist is warranted and could save you from a more serious breakdown.

Unpleasant Odors

Strange smells coming from your air conditioner can indicate the wire insulation in your unit has burned out. However, if a musty odor is coming from your vents, there is a good chance mold is growing somewhere in your unit or in your duct work. Both problems call for the expertise of an air conditioner repair specialist.

High Energy Bill

If your A/C use has not changed, but your energy bill has suddenly gone up, your unit either needs a tune-up or is need of repair. Unfortunately, neglecting to have your system serviced on a yearly basis can lead to a lack of efficiency and more frequent malfunctions. To keep your energy bill down and your air conditioner in good health, schedule a tune-up today.

Contact Cunningham Associates today. We’ll be able to answer your air conditioning service questions or concerns.

How to Avoid Air Conditioning Repair Rip Offs

Every year as the temperatures start to rise, scam artists and fly-by-night service companies seem to come out of the woodwork to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners who need air conditioner service or repairs. The following are a few tips to make sure that you do not get taken advantage of the next time you need an AC tune-up or repair.

Do Your Homework:

You certainly do not have to become and HVAC expert, but if a technician tells you that a part is broken, take a moment to ask a few questions. Ask the technician the name of the part and its function. The explanation should sound logical even to a layman. If possible, do a quick online search to find out more about the part and the type of repair.

Get Referrals:

A company’s online reviews can provide insight into a company’s level of customer service and expertise; however, some disreputable companies will post fake reviews. The best referral is always word of mouth. Ask your friends, family, and co-workers about who they would use and recommend.

Look for the Catch:

Disreputable companies often offer unrealistically low prices for services calls only to hit you with a laundry list of expensive and unnecessary repairs once they get in the door. You should avoid the offer that seems too good to be true. Get several estimates and look for a company whose prices are in line with the local market.

Avoid the Phone Solicitation:

Some companies hire phone solicitors in an effort to drum up business using high-pressure sales tactics. Any company with a good reputation within the community will have more than enough business without resorting to this type of tactic.

Ask for a Physical Address:

Any company that does not publish a physical address on its website, business cards, or other literature is probably hiding something and should be avoided.

Contact Cunningham Associates today for more information about our services or to schedule a service call.

Understanding Filter Driers: Desiccant

A large proportion of air conditioning systems being manufactured today include the component known as a filter drier. This useful part is responsible for capturing water and other contaminants that would otherwise contribute to wear, corrosion, and other serious problems. Of course, not all filter driers are made in the exact same way. This article will discuss differences in one key aspect of a filter drier’s composition: the type of desiccant material used.

The Basics 

Desiccants are one of the most important aspects of a filter drier. Just as with the desiccant packets used to eliminate unwanted moisture in packaged food, the desiccant in a filter drier is there to suck up any moisture that manages to get into the refrigerant lines. This is important because that water would otherwise mix with the lubricants used inside of the system, forming highly corrosive acids as a result. Such acids greatly accelerate the processes of wear and corrosion.

Desiccant Materials 

There are two main types of desiccant used in filter driers: molecular sieve and activated alumina. The particulars of how these materials do their job is somewhat complex; all you really need to understand is that each type has its particular strengths. Activated alumina is prized for its ability to absorb much large quantities of water. This acts to extend the lifespan of the filter drier.

Molecular sieve on the other hand, is prized for its ability to capture not just water, but also any organic acids that have formed as the result of that water mixing with lubricants. In other words, molecular sieve is capable of protecting your system to a much higher degree. Which type of filter drier you choose has a lot to do with the needs of your particular air conditioning system.

Contact Cunningham Associates today. We’ll be able to answer your air conditioning service questions or concerns.