(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

Tips for Minimizing the Use of Your Heating System This Winter

Once the weather starts to drop below 60 degrees on a regular basis, you will likely start using your heater regularly. However, it is pretty easy to start dressing warmer to combat the cold inside your home. If you are well prepared, you should be able to stay warm, even when it drops into the 50s or 40s. However, when you have a family in your home, including several pets, you simply have to rely on your heating system to make sure everyone is at least somewhat comfortable temperature-wise.

To minimize the need to use your heater and save yourself some energy and money this winter, you should take advantage of a few methods.

Install Heavier Drapes through Wintertime

Blackout curtains are great to have in the summertime because they stop the heat from getting into your home, both from sun exposure and through natural air leakage in the windows. However, during wintertime, you will benefit most from installing heavy drapes that keep the warm air inside.

Cook with the Oven on a Regular Basis

If you want to make your home as warm and comfortable as possible, you should cook meals in the oven to take advantage of the residual heat that your oven will produce. It is an easy way to enjoy multiple benefits from a single task, and most of the time, kitchen heat will transfer to nearby living areas.

Open the Drapes in the Daytime

While it is important to keep your windows close, you should open the drapes up in the daytime. The sun that breaches through the windows will naturally warm up your home.

Utilize Your Ceiling Fans

While ceiling fans are great to use in the summer, they can also be useful during wintertime. By flipping the switch that ceiling fans have, the air will get pushed up instead of down, which will in turn bring the hot air that has risen down to the floor level where your family will feel the difference.

Maintaining your heating system and implementing these methods will help you enjoy a warm home while keeping energy costs to a minimum. Questions? Give us a call at (770) 455-6722 or use our handy “Ask an Expert” form on our website.

Four Sounds that Indicate You Need Furnace Repair

Although furnace repair may not be exactly the fun activity you had in mind for this weekend, having a working furnace in winter is crucial and you can’t afford to let yours break down. On the plus side, hiring a professional means you won’t need to spend your time on repairs and can still have time for your fun weekend. Here are four sounds that indicate you should call in Cunningham Associates to repair your furnace:

1. Banging
If you hear a banging sound from your furnace, listen closely for the frequency and placement of the sound. If the sound is coming from the ductwork, it could simply mean that a piece of ductwork needs reinforcing, but if it comes from the furnace itself the problem may be much more serious. If you hear a bang from the furnace itself just when it’s starting up, you could have a problem with delayed ignition. If you don’t get this fixed, it could damage the internal workings of your furnace.

2. Excessive Rumbling
If the furnace is making a sound that is a bit like a car’s wheel bearing going bad, it could be the sound of bad bearings inside the furnace. Like wheel bearings, this is a dangerous condition.

3. Any Strange Motor Sounds
Because your furnace’s motor may have individual quirks, you should compare any sounds it makes to its normal operational sounds. If you hear any unusual sounds coming from the motor, something has changed and that usually indicates a motor problem.

4. Screeching or Shrieking
If you hear a shrieking sound, it could be that the blower fan has come loose, changed position, or in some other way malfunctioned. You should get this fixed right away because a loose fan can not only beat itself up but also damage other parts that it hits.

Any of these types of sounds show that you should call a repair professional for your furnace. If you hear one of these sounds (or another odd sound) and aren’t sure how to fix it, don’t be embarrassed to give us a call for some professional advice!

DIY Maintenance Tips for Furnace Owners

The last thing you need this winter is to keep paying to get your furnace repaired so that you don’t have to suffer in the cold weather. In order to keep your furnace up-to-date and well maintained, Cunningham Associates provides two Savings Plan options, both of which include semi-annual inspections of your heating and air conditioning equipment. Whether you have one system or multiple systems, the Cunningham Savings Plan offers exceptional value. In between official system inspections, here are some tips that you can do in order to get the most out of your furnace!

Change Your Filters: After a long hot season, you’ll want to change the filter. Standard filters should be changed every 6 – 12 months as needed. To change, replace the filter with the correct size and follow all manufacturers’ instructions. Contact Cunningham Associates for filter upgrade options or any questions about replacing the filter.

Pilot Light: Check your pilot light. If your pilot light isn’t burning, follow your system’s instructions to relight it. If you’re not sure where your pilot light is located and unsure of how to relight it, give us a call. We’d be happy to help!

Fanbelt: Test out your fanbelt. If you see any glazing, fraying or cracking, it could be time to replace it. You should also push down on the fanbelt to check for any tension; too much tension means you need to tighten the fanbelt.

Duct System: Your duct system is another place that should be cleaned often to give you the best air quality. Less dust, mold, and allergens will be the result of you cleaning your duct system regularly.

Yearly Inspection: If you haven’t had your yearly inspection yet (and you’re not signed up for one of our Savings Plans), give us a call! In order to keep your system in top shape, a yearly inspection is a must. Also, if you’re looking to replace your furnace – we can help with that too! We are a Lennox Premier Dealer, and offer many of their products to our customers.

As always, if you have any questions about maintaining, repairing or replacing your system, give us a call! We’d be happy to answer your questions and help you make the best choices for your home and family.

When You Should Consider Replacing Your Home’s Furnace

Going into the winter months, you may be thinking about how well your heating system performed last year. Before committing to a new system, it never hurts to have a HVAC professional (like a Cunningham technician!) come to your home for a check-up on your HVAC system. You might have forgotten something small like cleaning the filters or replacing the caulk on doors or windows. If you think you may need a new furnace, this checklist might help you decide:

Is Your Furnace Reaching Retirement?
The average time that a furnace can work properly is only 18-20 years, even if the furnace has been professionally maintained!

Weigh The Cost of Repairs and Maintenance
Have you been making frequent repairs or has the cost of maintenance increased? This could be a sign that your furnace isn’t working as efficiently as it used to.

Have Your Heating Bills Risen Dramatically?
It may not be cost effective to keep your current furnace even if it does technically have a few more years left in it. Call us in to take a look at your furnace if you’re unsure about how your heating bills compare to similar homes in your area.

Are Some Rooms in Your Home Too Hot or Too Cold?
This could be a sign of your unit’s waning health. The furnace could be operating at a lower efficiency. If this is the case, call an HVAC professional to come and take a look at the unit and do a walk-through of your home as improper insulation could also be the case!

Is Your System Excessively Noisy?
This could be a sign that the furnace isn’t working correctly. You could have a problem that could be found and resolved during routine maintenance or it may be time to invest in an updated unit.

Consulting one of our HVAC professionals at Cunningham Associates Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. could help you decide when to invest in a new furnace. Don’t forget to schedule your installation, walk-through or maintenance appointment today!