(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

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.

Why Efficient Duct Work Matters

Did you know that indoor air pollution can be just as bad, if not worse, than outdoor pollution? We understand that cleaning your ducts and vents can be easily overlooked, but it makes a huge difference. Do you remember the last time you cleaned them? A lot of people answer no to that question, and we want to explain why that’s bad for your health.

The longer you wait to clean your system, the worse your indoor air is getting for you and your family. We’re talking about the place where you spend most of your time! Whether it’s at work, at home, or even school – these places are where the majority of people spend their time and they all have HVAC systems that need regularly maintenance in order to improve the air quality.

A clean duct and HVAC system can improve indoor air quality, create a more comfortable interior environment, save energy and lengthen the life of your system. We offer complete duct cleaning for your HVAC system – coils, coil drain pans, plenums, air filters, ducts, fans, vents and registers. Not only can cleaning your ducts improve your air quality, it will also result in you using your air conditioner/heating system less since the airflow will improve, which means a lower energy bill!

If you don’t remember the last time you had your ducts cleaned, here are a few reasons to get them cleaned as soon as possible:

    • Allergies: If your family suffers from severe allergies then cleaning your system could improve their symptoms.
    • New Home: If you just moved into your new home and didn’t check with the previous owners about when the last time the ducts were cleaned, now is the perfect time to get them cleaned!
    • Construction: Did you just get construction done on your home? With all the dust and work that went on, your system may be dirtier than usual. If you were thinking about getting the ducts cleaned, do them sooner rather than later.

Still have questions? Give us a call – we’d be happy to help!

Important Features of a New HVAC System

Buying a new HVAC system? Have you spent so much money in repairs that it’s finally time to just replace your unit? We understand there can be a lot of different reasons why some systems are better than others. We’ve come up with a list of newer features that we here at Cunningham Associates believe are the first features you should look for in your new unit.

Efficiency: Take into consideration the BTUs, SEER and HSPF of the HVAC unit. The higher the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER), the lower your bills will be. SEER is a measurement of the energy efficiency of your HVAC system. It is the BTU of cooling output during a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input watts-hours during the same period. The higher the SEER rating of a unit, the more energy efficient it is. The current minimum standard set by the federal government is 13 SEER.

Thermostat: Did you know that newer HVAC systems come with a programmable thermostat to ensure you are saving as much money as possibly you can? Be sure to check out the new Nest Learning Thermostat that we offer here at Cunningham Associates. This new thermostat comes with features that will help you save on your next bill, and you can even adjust it when you’re not home!

Cost: Cost is usually the deciding factor for most products. But when you’re shopping for an HVAC unit, don’t let the cheapest price sell you. Look at the prices, compare and do some research. The higher the price usually means more features.

Fan Only: Newer HVAC systems come with a “fan only” feature. This allows you to save money when the temperature drops and you don’t need to use your air conditioner. When you’re looking for a feature like this, check out the noise controls as well. You don’t want a unit that will keep you up all night!

Reliability: Your HVAC unit will be very expensive no matter which one you choose. You’ll want to ask around and look into a well-known manufacturer, like Lennox.

It can be confusing the wade through and digest all of the available information about different HVAC units. If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to explain the options and help you make the best choice for your home!

The Freon Phase-Out

Freon is the old, expensive air conditioning coolant that is now being phased out by the EPA, due to its harmful affect on the ozone. Freon equipment is very widespread, so with the phase-out, air conditioning system replacement should be on peoples’ list soon.

But don’t worry: Freon is non-toxic and non-flammable, so if you’re using it in your air conditioning unit there’s no need to panic.

Interestingly enough, even with Freon being phased out, all the Freon that has already been emitted into the atmosphere will affect the ozone layer for decades. This means the sooner we stop using Freon the faster we can begin to protect our atmosphere.

Now you’re probably wondering what the Freon should be replaced with. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA has reviewed alternatives to ozone depleting substances and has determined several acceptable substitutes, which you can review here: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/refrigerants/qa.html

If you currently have an air conditioning system that uses R-22 (the type of Freon that is most dangerous to the atmosphere), you can continue to use and service that system. But, replacing your system should definitely be considered, as newer air conditioning units are being designed with substitute refrigerants that are better for the atmosphere and repairs on R-22 systems will continue to get more expensive as Freon becomes less and less available.

The Freon phase-out mandated by the EPA can be confusing, so please call Cunningham Associates at (770) 455-6722 if you have questions. We can help you determine if replacing your air conditioning system should be at the top of your list, or let you know if your system already uses one of the newer, safer refrigerants.

PS, if you’re looking for HVAC services in the Northern VA area, call M&M Mechanical, Inc.

Resources: 1, 2, 3