(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

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.

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.

3 Reasons to Schedule an Air Conditioning Service in the Spring

Before you know it, the hot and humid days of summer will be here, and it is important to know that your air conditioning system is going to keep you cool and comfortable. Many people just keep running their system year after year with little to no maintenance, but in the long run, that can be detrimental. Here are 3 good reasons why you should have your air conditioning system serviced every spring.

  1. Regular service will keep your air conditioner efficient. When things aren’t taken care of, you will find yourself lowering the thermostat to stay comfortable. The system will have to work harder to keep things cool and the humidity low, which will, in the long run, cost you money on your utility bills.
  2. A system that is taken care of will not break down unexpectedly. If you have it looked at before the season starts, chances are a worn-out part will be noticed and replaced before the hot weather starts. It’s no fun not having air conditioning during the dog days of summer when you have to wait for a part or a technician who is busy with other air conditioning issues.
  3. Your air conditioner will have a longer life span. We know replacing an entire air conditioning system takes a toll on the finances, so it is wise to do whatever you can to keep it in good working order. An annual tune-up will keep everything running well so you can rest assured your system will be there to serve you for many years.

Scheduling service on your air conditioner system is a comprehensive way to make sure it is ready for the summer ahead. A technician will clean the system including the coils, lube moving parts, replace the filter, drain the condensate line, check fluid levels, inspect ductwork, and inspect wiring. This regular service will ensure your system is dependable and efficient, and ready to keep you cool.

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

A Big Spike In Power Bills? It Could Be An Air Conditioning Problem!

The summer heat is brutal and our HVAC systems are running around the clock. We are not surprised when we get our higher electricity bills in the summer months. But, look closely. Is the bill unusually high? Is the cost increase more than it was last year? You could have an air conditioning problem.

A clogged up and dirty condenser coil results in overworked HVAC systems. The air is not freely flowing through the system. This could cause your system to continually cycle on and off using more electricity to maintain your comfort levels. A cleaning is a quick and inexpensive fix that will save your system and return your power bill to normal.

Thermostat problems are one of the most overlooked issues with our HVAC systems. If your thermostat is not correctly calibrated and working properly, it could cause your system to turn on and off too often. This is a common problem and (like with the coil issue), a cheap fix. Allow a professional to check, calibrate or if needed, replace your thermostat. This is a much less expensive option than a year of higher power bills.

A tiny leak in the refrigeration lines could be allowing small amounts of the refrigerant to leak out of the system. If the leak is small, you may not hear or feel the difference. But you can see the difference in the electric bills. Your HVAC system is struggling to keep the house at a cooler temperature with less than enough refrigerant to do so. Over time, the leak will get worse and eventually a costly repair is necessary. Fixing a minor leak allows minor problems to remain minor.

All of these little issues can cause you headaches and cost big money if neglected. All of them would be addressed in your bi-annual cleaning and system checkup.

Do not let your hard-earned money be stolen by unnecessary electric bill surges. Make sure that you call Cunningham Associates today for an air conditioning system inspection in Atlanta, GA.

3 Things to Do Before Worrying About Your Air Conditioner

It’s summer time! That means fireworks, pool time, cold lemonade, watermelon, and barbecues. Summer can also mean hot days and staying inside just to stay cool. This can be fun for a little while, but staying inside can mean running your air conditioner all day. That can result in lots of questions. Is it normal for my air condition to always be running? Why won’t my air conditioner turn off? Why does it seem like my air conditioning isn’t getting cold enough? Don’t fret yet! These are all common questions. Below is a list of three easy steps to try first before letting the stress sink in.

 

1. Make sure you actually have a problem

 
With the air conditioner running constantly, it’s easy to assume something is wrong. However, remember that it is summer. If your home is reaching the air conditioner temp without problem and you energy bills are roughly what they were at this time last year, then you may be stressing over nothing. Expect that your air conditioner will be running more frequently because it is hot outside!

 

2. Make easy changes

 
One tiny issue with something as important as the air conditioner can cause people to go into a frenzy. But, before you completely freak out, there are some easy things to check. Make sure that your air filters are clean. At the very least, air filters should be changed every three months. But, when your air is being used constantly, changing it monthly may be necessary. Also, make sure your vents aren’t being blocked. Something as simple as moving drapes, curtains, or furniture can make a huge difference in the amount of airflow allowed in your home.

 

3. Talk to an expert

 
Few and far between have much knowledge of the internal workings of your air conditioner. So, if you’ve tried the easy options, it may be time to call someone who knows. When looking for a good technician, trust is important. Pick a company that has state of the art devices to get accurate information, but also gives you a home town feel.

 
Don’t let something as silly as your air conditioner ruin your summer. Contact Cunningham Associates today. They’ll be able to answer your air conditioning service questions or concerns.

5 Common Sense Explanations for Seeking a Commercial Air Conditioning Specialist

Commercial air conditioning problems aren’t situations that you should sort out on your own. Commercial grade HVAC units are complicated mechanical devices that require years of experience and training to properly diagnose and repair. It is never a good idea to attempt to fix your commercial property’s HVAC unit if you don’t know what you are doing.

Here are five reasons to hire a commercial air conditioning specialist to maintain and repair your HVAC system.

  1. Safety: The obvious first reason to trust a heating and cooling professional with your HVAC is for safety reasons. Repairing HVAC systems requires training and knowledge. Don’t risk your safety, call a professional for all repairs.
  2. Speed: If you own an apartment building, the last thing you want is for your tenants to worry about not having air conditioning. To expedite the repair process, always trust a professional with the repair job.
  3. Money: If you think it’s expensive to pay a professional for HVAC repairs, then imagine the cost of trying it yourself and failing. The cost to repair an ailing machine is far less than replacing an entire unit.
  4. Guarantee: Commercial HVAC companies offer service guarantees on their work. With a work warranty presented in writing by your trusted HVAC professional, you can rest easy knowing the job will always be done right.
  5. Maintenance: On-going HVAC maintenance, which is carried out long into the future, gives you peace of mind that all necessary maintenance and upkeep is priority number one.

Never consider repairing your Commercial HVAC unit or system yourself. Always trust a professional to keep your unit and system running like the day it was installed. Call Cunningham Associates today at (770) 455-6722, we’re an air conditioning specialist in Atlanta, GA.

Summer’s Coming – Time for an Air Conditioning Tune-up!

Anyone having experienced a typical Atlanta summer knows it is not a time to be left without reliable home air conditioning. While you may not need your air conditioning unit right now, you will need it in the near future. It is necessary to contact an HVAC professional to not only perform annual maintenance, but to also look for potential problems that may have developed during the winter while the unit sat dormant. Over time, the system accumulates dust and dirt. Left unchecked, this can wreak havoc on an air conditioning unit.

 
Routine inspections pay for themselves. Small problems can be identified and fixed before they become a costly repair. Furthermore, an air conditioning tune-up will help your system operate at peak efficiency. This will help keep energy consumption low and will keep monthly payments reasonable. Air conditioners that are well-maintained can be expected to last more than a decade.

 
A seasonal tune-up performed by a qualified professional may include inspections and repairs to the following components:
 

  • Blower
  • Drain line
  • Coils
  • Operating pressures
  • Refrigerant levels
  • Duct work

 
Servicing your air conditioning unit before peak months with prevent any disruption in cooling when it is needed for continuous use. Operating a unit that has not been serviced puts you at risk for compromised efficiency and comfort, and may cause costly damage. If your air conditioning in the metro Atlanta and surrounding areas needs a tune-up, Cunningham Associates can help. We offer the highest levels of service, quality and professionalism. Schedule a service call today!