(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

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.

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.

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.

Furnace Repair Expert Offers Four Tips on Improving Winter Home Air Quality

Many homeowners today keep their heating bills down over the winter by insulating their homes against the cold and sealing off cold air drafts entering from the outside. However, without the influx of fresh outside air, the air inside becomes stale and unhealthy.

Dust, pet dander, and other allergens build up. Combustion gases from gas stoves, and heating systems badly in need of furnace repair also contribute to the unhealthy air. While opening the windows isn’t an option in the winter, there are other ways of solving this problem. Here are four suggestions:

  • Use your fan hood when cooking. While in use, your gas stove releases combustion gases into the kitchen air. You may not see or smell them, but they are there if you don’t use a fan hood. These combustion gases include nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde.
  • Keep your house clean. House dust contains skin cells, human hair, pet dander, cloth fibers, paper fibers, mold spores, and plant pollen. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, which filters out small particles that would otherwise get blown back into the air. Have your HVAC ducting system cleaned of dirt and debris buildup and get it sealed to prevent it from drawing in contaminants.
  • Use heat recovery ventilators. A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) draws in fresh outside air with one fan, and exhausts stale indoor air to the outside with a second fan. The heat from the outgoing air is extracted and transferred to the incoming air. HRVs use heat exchangers that allow heat from the warm outgoing air to flow into and warm up the cool incoming air. HRVs also use filters to remove particulate matter.
  • Keep up with your furnace maintenance. An inefficient and poorly maintained furnace can produce and possibly release carbon monoxide and other combustion gases into your home. A furnace has many components that age and become filled with dirt over the years. Like all mechanical systems, it requires regular maintenance.

To prevent your furnace from breaking down or contributing to air quality problems this winter, 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.