(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

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.

What Homeowners Should Know About Furnaces And Furnace Installation

There’s nothing more frustrating than waking up to a cold house because the furnace has stopped working. No matter what you do, you just can’t get warm and your family starts to suffer. Sometimes, repairs are possible, but if your furnace is older, it might just be time to replace it. There’s more to it than just picking out a new one and putting it in the same place. Furnace installation is a complicated process that is best handled by professionals.

The Right Size Furnace
When it’s time to replace your furnace, you have to choose a new one that’s the right size for your space. If it’s too small, it will not heat the entire space without running continuously. Not only is this inefficient, but it also makes the furnace work harder, which means it will wear out sooner. Conversely, if the furnace is too big, it will run in shorter cycles, which is also hard on the unit. A reputable heating company will help you choose the right size furnace for your home.

The Right Type of Furnace
The type of fuel is another important consideration when choosing a new furnace. These days, the most popular type of furnace fuel is natural gas because it is inexpensive, clean burning and readily available. Liquefied propane (LP) is a common choice for fuel in areas that do not have natural gas lines. Although not as common, coal, oil, electricity and wood are some other fuel options. Again, consult your heating company to find out which fuel type is the most appropriate for your application.

Furnace Installation
Once you’ve worked out the details about the type and size of furnace, you’ll have to arrange for installation. It’s not a simple matter of bringing the unit into the space and plugging it in, especially if the fuel source is changing. In some instances, new ductwork is necessary in order to accommodate the new furnace. Additionally, a proper exhaust system is imperative to avoid potentially fatal issues with improperly vented exhaust. The only way to assure these vital issues are addressed properly is if licensed HVAC professionals with a proven track record install your new furnace.

If your furnace is more than ten years old, has been repaired several times over the past couple of years or your heating bills are rising, it may be time for a new furnace installation. Contact us today and one of our certified technicians will be happy to come out and take a look.

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!

What is the NEST Thermostat and what are its benefits?

When it comes to keeping warm in the winter, nothing is more important than your heating system and the thermostat you use to control it! If you’re looking to lower your energy usage and utility bill costs this winter season, the NEST thermostat is a great option for you and your home! The NEST thermostat starts learning about you and your heating needs from the very first time that you adjust it. Within a week’s time, NEST has gathered enough information to know your routine and keep your home at the optimum temperature for when you’re at home, work, or asleep! Here are few of the benefits of investing in a NEST Learning Thermostat:

It Learns and Adapts. Your NEST thermostat learns your routine by tracking each time you adjust the temperature. With each turn of the dial, your NEST thermostat is able to determine what time you wake up, leave the house for work, come home, and go to sleep. The best part is your NEST thermostat is never finished learning; it understands that your heating and cooling needs change with the seasons. NEST is sensitive to your busy schedule and will pick up how to always keep your home at the best temperature.

It Conserves Energy. Since NEST knows your daily routine, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to turn the heat down before you leave for work or go to sleep. Your NEST thermostat will stay on top of it, helping to lower your energy usage and, in turn, decrease your utility bill each month. The NEST thermostat will even generate daily reports to help you keep track of how much energy you are saving!

You can Adjust it from anywhere.  With a simple smartphone app, you can adjust your thermostat from anywhere! With this technology, you’ll always arrive home to the perfect temperature!

It Lets you know When Something is Wrong. One of the most important features of the NEST thermostat is that it will alert you to when your heating system appears to be malfunctioning. If the temperature drops to a dangerously low level or your furnace isn’t functioning properly, the NEST thermostat will let you know so that you are able to address the problem before a more serious issue arises.

Want to learn more about the NEST learning thermostat? Give us a call today to speak to one of our knowledgeable team members!