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Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

How to Incorporate Heating Into Your Room Addition

Changing up your floorplan is an increasingly common project. You might want an extra room. Or, maybe that garage would work better as a study. Even expanding an existing room needs a lot of planning and groundwork. Don’t let air conditioning get lost along the way. Keep these three heating considerations in mind when starting to build:

Will the new space have adequate ventilation?

Houses have a lot of invisible ventilation. Brick walls aren’t solid: they have minute gaps in the grout to allow for air flow during contraction and expansion. Every roof is ringed with a series of vents that let air escape from your attic, and that’s not even considering the (at least two) attic fans your house should have closer to the peak of your roof. Make sure your contractor has accounted for air flow in your new space, especially if you have gas appliances or use a furnace.

Can your HVAC handle the new load?

Heating systems are designed around the square footage they have to keep warm. Even knocking down a wall or changing the floor plan without incorporating new area can make your existing HVAC less effective. Have an expert check that your heater can fully heat the new space without impacting its effectiveness throughout the rest of the house.

Who is making the HVAC changes?

General contractors generally aren’t licensed to install, repair, or modify heating and HVAC systems. Double check that your contractor is bringing in expert professionals who are certified to make the changes you need. It might be more expensive upfront, but it will save you a lot in time, money, and stress over the years.

Contact Cunningham Associates to learn more about installing the proper heating system for your space.

The Benefits New Heating Installation Could Provide You With This Winter

By now there have been enough cold days this season that you likely have a good idea as to whether or not your furnace may need replacing this winter. However, if you have yet to have your furnace replaced, either due to the cost of replacement or due to the fact that you do not want to deal with the stress of having your HVAC system replaced, you may be surprised to learn how beneficial having your furnace replaced can be. If your aging furnace has been struggling to keep up with the needs of you and your family, here are just a few of the benefits of having it replaced this winter.

Boost Efficiency

If your furnace is 15-20 years old or older, you may not realize how inefficient your system is, and you may be surprised to discover how much money a new furnace could save you. A new furnace will be much more energy-efficient, which will help to greatly reduce the cost of heating your home this winter.

Benefit From a Programmable Thermostat

If your furnace is 20 years old, then you may not have a programmable thermostat. A high-efficiency HVAC system will come with a state-of-the-art programmable thermostat that will give you the ability to not only program your system to turn on and off at specific times, but also, systems with specific zones will allow you to heat certain rooms independently from the rest of your home. This will give you unprecedented control over how and when you heat your home, helping to further save you money on your energy bills.

Breathe Easier

If your furnace is 20 years old, you may be surprised by how much dirt, debris, and allergens have been collecting in your unit and your ductwork over the years. These irritants are then spread throughout your home when you run your furnace leading to increased allergy symptoms and other respiratory problems for you and your family. By replacing your aging furnace you will be helping to make the air in your home more breathable year-round.

Contact Cunningham Associates to learn more about the benefits you could gain by getting a furnace replacement in Atlanta GA.

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.