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Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

3 Tips to Help You Avoid Costly Heating Repair

No one enjoys paying a massive bill for heating repair. It’s not an inevitable part of adulthood, though. There are many things you can do to help reduce the cost of repair to your heating system. You may even be able to avoid those costs altogether! Here are three top tips from our heating repair professionals.

Get Your System Serviced Regularly`

When it comes to the heating system in your home, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regularly servicing your heating system can help identify potential issues before they become major problems. We recommend having your system serviced at the beginning of the winter season with a thorough inspection. Our team will look for any parts that might be wearing out or hazards that could prevent the heating from working throughout the winter months.

Call in the Pros at the First Sign of Trouble

The longer you wait to have a problem with your heating system fixed, the more expensive the final bill is likely to be. That’s why we encourage our clients to contact us as soon as they suspect there could be an issue with their heating. Our team can come to your location right away and find out what’s wrong and get it fixed. While it might be tempting to delay the call (and the repair bill), the longer an issue continues the more damage can happen to the system. More damage means more time and expense for the repair.

Invest in a New System

Sometimes it isn’t worth your money to keep an older heating system going. You can prevent those big repair bills by investing in a new heating system for your home. While the initial cost may be more, the long-term cost savings can balance it out. Not only will a new system help you save on repair costs, but many of the newer systems are also more energy efficient. That means you’ll end up spending less on your monthly energy bills.

If you have any questions, or are in need of service, our team here at Cunningham Associates is happy to help!

Why is My Furnace Making That Weird Sound?

Your furnace operates at a relatively low noise level. The few sounds it does make are not disruptive and usually go unnoticed as the winter drags on. That’s why a sudden change can indicate your furnace is suffering from a malfunction. The type of noise your furnace is emitting can help you pinpoint the cause behind the sound. If your system is making an unusual noise, and you’re concerned, keep reading to find out what the sound means for the health of your furnace.

Rattling…

A rattling or banging sound can indicate a component in your furnace has come loose. Unfortunately, without inspecting the unit there is no way to tell which part is no longer secure. Ignoring the sound can lead to the malfunction getting worse, meaning the rattling will grow louder, and the loose component will completely disconnect. If this happens, turn your furnace off immediately, and contact a HVAC specialist. Having your system inspected before the rattling or banging increases in volume is crucial when it comes to saving your furnace from a serious breakdown, and keeping your repair cost manageable!

Squealing…

A furnace that squeals points to a blower motor that lacks proper lubricant between its moving parts. The friction created as the components in the motor rub together produces the unfortunate noise. During a yearly inspection, a HVAC technician examines the blower motor to ensure it has enough oil, and if it doesn’t, they add the needed amount. If you didn’t get your furnace serviced before the heating season started, and your unit is squealing, it’s time to give us a call.

Clicking…

Clicking sounds coming from your furnace can signal an issue with your unit’s igniter. If the sound lasts for only a minute or two, the igniter is likely dirty and needs to be cleaned. A problem with the flame sensor is also a possibility. The flame sensor acts as a safety mechanism, which ensures there’s a flame present when the gas valve opens. Without a flame sensor, gas would be released with no flame to ignite it. If the sensor is malfunctioning, it may not sense a flame even when a flame is present. If this happens, the gas valve will close prematurely. Problems with your furnace igniter should be addressed immediately by a highly trained HVAC technician.

When your furnace works to warm your home, the only sounds you should hear are a quiet hum and a rush of air flowing through your vents. If those noises are replaced by a sound you’re not familiar with, please contact our team here at Cunningham Associates to schedule an appointment.

The Top Signs That Your Furnace May Need to be Replaced

With winter right around the corner, you may want to take a moment to consider the condition that your furnace is in and whether you should consider having it replaced this fall. By replacing your furnace before winter arrives, you will ensure your comfort in the coming months by preventing your furnace from breaking down on you when you need it most.

Hitherto, how will you know when your furnace is in need of replacement? While one of the clearest signs that your furnace needs to be replaced is age, as furnaces are only made to last between 15-20 years, there are several other indicators that your furnace may be nearing the end of its usable life. Below are a few of the signs you can look out for in your home.

You Cannot Keep Warm

When trying to determine the condition of your home’s furnace, think back to the last time you had to run it; did it keep you and your family warm? Or were you constantly cold no matter how often you adjusted the thermostat? If you were unable to keep warm, this is a clear sign that your furnace is failing and needs to be replaced, as it is no longer able to sufficiently do its job.

Different Rooms Are Different Temperatures

Similarly, your furnace likely needs to be replaced if there are great variations in temperature throughout your home. If some rooms are freezing while others are hot, this is a sign that your aging furnace is having trouble distributing heat evenly throughout your home, and it will likely need to be replaced before winter.

Your Furnace is Making Unusual Sounds

One of the clearest signs of a failing furnace is if it begins to make any unusual sounds. While your furnace may make a certain amount of noise when it first turns on and off, you will be able to tell that something is wrong if these noises get louder, or if they change drastically. For instance, if your furnace begins to make popping, banging, clanging, or screeching sounds, this is a clear sign of trouble. While your furnace may be able to be repaired, you will want to consider your furnace’s age before you invest more money into it.

Please feel free to contact us to learn more about the signs that you can look out for indicating that your furnace needs to be replaced. The team here at Cunningham Associates is always happy to help!

Avoid Serious Health Problems by Working with a Heating Contractor

Many problems can arise with heating in your home and it is not one of those things you can choose to ignore. At best, not having sufficient heat will make you and your family uncomfortable. Then again, in the worst-case scenario, it can lead to serious health problems.

Problems That Arise with a Lack of Heating

Not having sufficient heat can lead to someone getting sick. When you catch a chill due to a lack of heating in the home, it can lead into a long-term illness.

Plus, not having sufficient heat also means that you might end up buying a number of space heaters which will run up your electricity bill.

People have also been known to do senseless things like turning on the oven and leaving it open in order to make the house warmer. This is very dangerous as the gas can spread throughout the house and cause an explosion. Even if there is no explosion, you and your loved ones might inhale a lot of gas which is terrible for your health.

Therefore it’s very important to have your heating working properly. This will protect you and your loved ones in the long run.

Advantages of Working with the Same Heating Contractor

The best thing is to have a heating contractor on speed dial so that you can request service for your heating problems and get everything take care of as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to use the same person no matter what problems you might have. Once you’ve worked with a heating contractor and you know that they do a good job, you can keep working with them.

The advantage of this is that the contractor will understand your heating system inside and out. So when you call them with a problem, they’ll probably already have the solution. This saves time and money in the long run.

We encourage you to reach out to us at Cunningham Associates with any questions or service needs you might have.

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.

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!

 

Furnace Flame Sensor Problems

There are a multitude of different components inside of a gas furnace, all of which have to be kept working to ensure that your house stays heated. When things do go wrong, it pays to be able to understand the various roles of the components in your furnace. This will make it easier to diagnose potential problems, thus saving your repair person the trouble of starting from scratch. In this article, you will learn about what the flame sensor is used for–and what can cause it to stop working.

The Flame Sensor 

Flame sensors are found in gas furnaces that utilize hot surface igniters rather than pilot lights. A hot surface igniter utilizes electrical energy as a way of sparking the combustion at the heart of your furnace. The flame sensor’s job is to test for the increased heat that should accompany this combustion. If it does, gas is allowed to continue flowing into the combustion chamber. If it does not, it will shut down the gas flow, thus preventing the risk of explosions and gas poisoning.

Problems 

As you can see, the flame sensor is a vital piece of your furnace’s safety system. Yet it can lead to unwanted problems if it loses its ability to correctly assess the temperature inside the furnace. This will cause the sensor to cut off the gas flow even when combustion is taking place–thus keeping your furnace from warming up your home.

By far the most common cause of a malfunctioning flame sensor is that it has become excessively dirty. As layers of soot and other combustion by products build up, they make it harder and harder for the sensor to detect heat. Fortunately, this problem can be kept at bay by having your flame sensor cleaned on a yearly basis.

Questions? Call Cunningham Associates, we’re a heating repair company in Atlanta GA, today at (770) 455-6722.

The Basics of Furnace Combustion Analysis

Hiring a professional furnace technician to perform regular maintenance can do much more than simply keep your furnace running. Thanks to the technique known as combustion analysis, a trained HVAC professional can also improve your energy efficiency and your family’s safety. Read on to learn more about what combustion analysis is–and what it can do for you.

The Basic Idea

The reaction taking place at the heart of your furnace is both complex and difficult to measure accurately. The ratio of air and fuel being mixed in the combustion chamber, as well as other factors, can directly influence how much heat your furnace is able to generate. Combustion analysis is a technique that allows you to get a better picture of how efficiently your furnace is working by taking measurements of the chemical substances present in your exhaust gases.

The Tools

Combustion analysis is performed using a tool known as a digital combustion analyzer. This tool has two components. First there is a probe that is inserted into the flue pipe coming out of your furnace. This probe is capable of measuring the amounts of various exhaust substances. This data is then sent to a hand-held analyzer, which allows the technician to understand the amounts of the various exhaust substances being produced.

Benefits of Combustion Analysis

When the levels of unwanted substances such as carbon monoxide and sulfur monoxide are too high, this is generally a sign that the combustion taking place in your furnace is incomplete. By altering the amount and/or the pressure of the fuel entering the chamber, a furnace technician can help your furnace reach peak efficiency. Such adjustments will also act to decrease the levels of toxic substances, thus protecting both your family and the environment.

 
For more information about furnaces contact Cunningham Associates today at (770) 455-6722.

Common Problems Requiring Heating Service

Having problems with your furnace is a major concern, especially with winter quickly approaching! A broken furnace isn’t an option or something you can just live without for a while. Below are three common problems with furnaces that require service. If you have one of these problems, you may need to contact an HVAC specialist you can trust.

  1. Complete loss of heat. If you turn your heater on and nothing happens, there could be a number of problems. Is your furnace getting electricity? If not an electrician is the right person to call. Is the pilot light igniting? If not, there could be an issue with the gas. And although it seems like a no-brainer, it is always important to double-check that your thermostat is turned on, turned to heat, and set at a temperature that will trigger the heat to turn on.
  2. Partial loss of heat. When your furnace is turning on but you aren’t getting all the heat you want, you could have a problem with your ducts. If you have radiators, they may need to be bled to release trapped air.
  3. Malfunctioning thermostat. If your thermostat is doing all sorts of crazy things like misreading the temperature and not running when it should, you will need to contact a professional to recalibrate your thermostat.
    For more information about heating service contact Cunningham Associates today at (770) 455-6722.