(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

Protecting your HVAC System from a Power Surge

By this point in the season, your heating and cooling system has likely been serviced and fine-tuned to accommodate the demands of the summer heat. While preventative maintenance is a great way to limit the possibilities of a disruption in service, sometimes severe or inclement weather can cause problems far exceeding the scope of routine HVAC care. One such instance is a power surge to your home caused by a thunder storm of other power-related failure.

 
Power surges are extreme momentary spikes in the electrical current coming into the home. Despite only lasting for fractions of a second, they can still cause damage to electronics and appliances. Causes of a power surge include:

 

  • Lightning storms
  • Downed power lines or damage to a transformer
  • Poor wiring in the home
  • Faulty or damaged breakers, fuses, or electrical boxes

 
Many homeowners combat the potentially damaging effects of a power surge by using surge protector power strips for important electronic equipment such as computers and televisions. Unfortunately, few realize the importance of also protecting your HVAC unit as well. A power surge can cause significant damage to the internal components of your unit that will require air conditioner repair – or in many instances – complete replacement. Not only will this interrupt the cool airflow in your home, but it will also be at great expense to correct.

 
If a power surge occurs in your home, call Cunningham Services to schedule an inspection.

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!

Air Conditioning Repair: How to Get the Most From Your AC

Having your air conditioning go out is a homeowner’s nightmare. Especially in the middle of the summer, you do not want to spend time in the sweltering heat in your own home. Also, when your air conditioning goes out, you are probably dreading the worst, that you will need to replace your entire system. But in many cases air conditioning repair could be all you need.

A good HVAC company isn’t just going to try to sell you a new unit. Oftentimes, your AC unit can be repaired by replacing a part. Another thing to consider if you dread your AC going out is having annual maintenance done on your unit to keep it running optimally for as long as possible. In the long run, annual maintenance can save you money.

However, if your AC breaks and it turns out it needs to be replaced, there is good news. Units today are much more efficient than they used to be. Even standard models are more efficient than older units, so you can start saving money on energy costs right away. But to get the most energy savings and lessen your environmental footprint, you can purchase a high-efficiency unit.

If you live in Atlanta and have HVAC needs, contact Cunningham Associates today. With summer on its way, now is the time to have your air conditioner repaired or replaced if you have been putting it off since last year. At Cunningham Associates, we are a Dave Lennox Premiere Dealer, meaning we have an independent customer satisfaction program, making sure all of our customers are getting exactly what they want. Check us out today for your cooling needs.

Enjoy a Stress-Free Experience with Professional Air Conditioning Installation

When you want to improve the cooling in your home or replace the current air conditioning system, you should consider contacting a professional right away to discuss the situation. Although you might think you are capable of handling something like this on your own, replacing or installing a brand new air conditioning system is not easy and is a task best left for qualified professionals.

When you get professional air conditioning installation, you also get a stress-free experience.

Determine the Right System

The first part of the process is determining what kind of cooling system you need. For instance, your home may be exceptionally insulated, which might prevent you from needing central air conditioning.

It all depends on numerous variables that professionals have the knowledge and experience to analyze, and make sure you end up with an air conditioning system that satisfies your needs.

Work with Your Budget

When you have a particular budget to work with, professionals know how much most projects cost, especially after taking a good look at your property and seeing what needs to be done. When you use professional installers, you can feel confident that your budget will not be exceeded.

A Convenient Installation

It is nice to know that when you invest in an installation by professionals, they will work around your schedule to make sure that you are comfortable throughout the entire process.

Guaranteed Professional Results

An amateur installation has no guarantees, and this is exactly what you want to avoid with something as substantial as a cooling system. To have a stress-free experience, professional installation is a necessity.

With all of the benefits above, hiring a professional should be an easy decision to make. Call us today to schedule your professional air conditioning installation!

Repair or Replace?

There’s nothing more stressful than an air conditioner that’s on the fritz, especially during the warmest days of spring and summer. Before you panic, remember that your air conditioning system is made of up many parts, and sometimes it’s a simple fix. A reputable company who does air conditioning repair can help you out with the repair, and make recommendations about replacement too.

Across the industry, there are some recommendations about making decisions regarding HVAC system replacement. In general, if your system is three-quarters of its way through its life span, and a repair is going to cost more than a third of the replacement cost, it’s time to think about a new system. These are indicators that the system is getting up there in age, and more repairs might be needed soon, so it might be better to invest in a new one.

Another reason why these recommendations were made is because of the increase in efficiency in new systems. Typically, systems in the 90’s had a 70% efficiency rate. Some of the best ones on the market today are 95% efficient, which will save you money on energy bills and help pay for the new system.

An HVAC system typically lasts 15 to 20 years, so use that as a guideline if you’re weighing repair or replacement. Then, call a company you can depend on to assess the current need, and make the decision. An honest and highly-trained technician, like the ones here at Cunningham Associates, can also give an opinion on what’s best for your home.

No one wants to wake up to a sweltering house, so it’s important to have a reliable air conditioner. When something goes wrong, it may not mean you need a replacement, but it’s important to look at the whole picture to make the best decision.

 

Not sure whether it’s time to replace your HVAC system? Give us a call today to schedule an inspection!

How Proper HVAC Maintenance will Keep Your System Working Well

Never is it more apparent how much we rely on proper heating or cooling than when we must endure a breakdown with a home’s HVAC system. The most common cause of failure is lack of routine cleaning and maintenance. These are crucial in preventing malfunctions and ensuring that the system is working at peak efficiency. Here are four reasons why proper HVAC maintenance will keep your system working well:

Energy Efficient

Depending on the size of the home and HVAC unit, heating and cooling costs account for about 48% of the overall energy bill. Keeping the system running efficiently reduces energy consumption and can significantly impact monthly expenditures.

Safety

Over time, components of an HVAC system can loosen, corrode, or become defective. Not only will this issues cause a disruption in heating and cooling, but could become dangerous as well. Never attempt to fix these problems yourself – especially in the case of faulty electric connections. Instead, contact a professional heating and cooling service technician, like the ones here at Cunningham Associates.

Comfort

Ultimately, HVAC systems have one goal – to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, regardless of outside conditions. Especially in the Atlanta area where there are extreme temperatures, HVAC systems may become overworked trying to maintain the appropriate temperature. Routine cleanings optimize the system’s responsiveness to extreme temperatures.

System Longevity

You wouldn’t neglect routine oil changes for your vehicle – don’t ignore the need for routine maintenance for your HVAC system. Like any piece of complex equipment, HVAC system components rapidly degrade (and ultimately fail) when not properly maintained. A well-maintained system not only runs better, but saves money in repair and replacement costs.

Routine maintenance is necessary for keeping a HVAC system functioning properly. Contact us to learn how we can assist in establishing a routine HVAC maintenance plan.

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

It’s not unusual this time of year to hear a devastating story of a family who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning in their home. We encourage you to know the signs, symptoms, and steps to prevent carbon monoxide and keep your family safe.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas. Because you can’t see it, taste it, or smell it, it can kill without warning. Those at especially high risk are babies, children, senior citizens, and others with respiratory problems, but all people are in danger.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning mimic the flu, such as fatigue, headache, and dizziness. If irritability, confusion, loss of consciousness, and vomiting start, it’s important to check CO levels.

Most carbon monoxide problems come from a gas furnace that hasn’t been inspected or maintained. All gas appliances emit carbon monoxide, but have some way to vent it to the outdoors. When there are cracks or leaks in the system, this dangerous gas gets trapped inside the house, having sometimes serious consequences.

The best course of action is to invest in carbon monoxide detectors and install one on each level of the home, by the sleeping areas. Like a smoke detector, it will emit an alarm when the level of carbon monoxide reaches a certain level, alerting residents to seek fresh air.

It’s also crucial to get your furnace inspected regularly. Older furnaces, especially, can develop cracks in the combustion chamber that may not be visible to the naked eye. Vent connections may come loose over time, blowers might stop working well, or thermostat problems could force the furnace to run too long. In some cases, the pilot flame might appear yellow, a sign that fuel is not burning correctly.

Carbon monoxide is a serious problem, so make sure your furnace and other gas appliances are inspected regularly to keep your family safe. Overdue for an inspection? Contact us today for a tune-up!

Is it Time for the Installation of a New Heating System?

Furnaces last for years, and in many cases, it can be hard to tell when it’s time to get a new one. The most obvious sign, a complete failure, is actually the end stage of a long process of deterioration. It’s better to get a new heating installation long before this point. When is it a good time to go ahead with the upgrade?

 
Your old furnace has become a pain in the neck.
Old furnaces become troublesome because their parts wear out over time. Whichever parts are the most worn-out will likely show problems first. Things like pilot lights that constantly go out, blower motors that need frequent adjusting, safety switches that repeatedly shut things down for no apparent reason, and similar issues all point to the fact that the furnace has gotten too old to function well. While individual parts can be replaced, the other parts in the furnace will be just as old and likely to cause hassles. Save yourself the trouble and expense of repeated repair calls and get a new furnace.

 
Your gas bills are rising faster than can be explained by inflation.
Assuming your house or building hasn’t suffered draft-causing structural damage, this means that your furnace has lost a significant amount of efficiency. If it’s also an old machine, chances are good that it’s time to get a new and efficient replacement.

 
Your furnace is more than 10-15 years old.
Constant advances in technology mean that new ones are more efficient than those made years ago. This is true even if both units are brand new, so if one has been in use that long, the difference is even greater. This efficiency difference means that you can often make your money back in fuel savings over the next few years.

 
If you think it’s time for a new furnace, give us a call – we can talk through all of your options and help you pick the best system for your home.

Answers to Three Commonly Asked Home Heating Questions

It’s often said that technology isolates humankind from nature. If it does, it’s only by a thin margin. The only things separating the person indoors from the elements outside are a home’s walls, roof, and its heating system. Should the system fail, the cold outdoor temperatures will soon make their way inside. That’s why it’s best to have an understanding of how your heating system works. Here are the answers to three commonly asked home heating questions.

 
What is a heat pump?
Heat normally flows from a warm space to a cold space. However, a heat pump forces heat to flow in the opposite direction. Doing this requires energy, much like how it takes energy to pump water up out of the ground against gravity. The heat pump that warms your home uses electrical power to force heat to flow from the outdoors into your much warmer home. While this seems odd, it isn’t any more unusual than a water pump using energy to force water to flow uphill.
Another interesting fact is that your air conditioner is a heat pump that runs backwards. That is, it forces heat to flow out of your cooled home to the outside on a hot summer day.

 
Why is my heating bill so high?
There are a number of possible reasons for this:

  • Your thermostat is set too high. The greater the temperature difference between the indoors and outdoors, the faster your home loses heat.
  • Your home is poorly insulated. A poorly insulated home has less resistance to heat flow through its walls and roof.
  • Your home heating system is inefficient. An inefficient heating system can sometimes be repaired to increase efficiency, but sometimes will need to be replaced entirely, depending on what is wrong and how old the system is.

 
What does AFUE mean?
AFUE is an acronym for “annual fuel utilization efficiency.” It’s the fuel efficiency of your heating system. It’s the percentage of energy in your heating gas that actually warms up your home. An AFUE rating of 95 percent means that 95 percent of the energy in the gas you pay for goes into heating your home. A low AFUE means higher heating bills because more of the heat energy in the gas you pay for is wasted. AFUE ratings for heating systems typically range from 80 percent to percentages in the upper nineties.
If your heating system isn’t up to par, give us a call – we’d be happy to come take a look at it and make suggestions for improvement.