(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

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!

How to Save Money on Heating this Winter

Nothing beats feeling warm and cozy in your home during the cold winter months, but let’s face it: keeping your home at a comfortable temperature can cause a spike in your utility bill! Here are a few wallet-friendly heating strategies that will keep help you save a few dollars this winter:

Insulation.  Proper insulation of your home is one of the best ways to keep your home warm in the winter. It acts as an extra layer of protection from the winter chill and helps to prevent the warm air that your heating system generates from escaping. This is especially important in the attic of your home, where heat tends to rise to. If your home isn’t insulated, or you’ve noticed damage to your existing insulation, it’s something you may want to consider installing.

Adjust the temperature. Don’t forget to lower the thermostat when you leave for work or go to sleep for the night. Leaving the heat on high when you’re out of the house for extended periods of time or sound asleep will greatly increase the amount of energy that you use without cause. Turning the temperature down even a few degrees during these times can really help to reduce utility costs.

Utilize ceiling fans. Ceiling fans are great during the spring and summer months, but they can also come in handy during the winter! Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans and keep them powered on low. Since heat rises, having your fans moving in this direction will help to continuously move heat downwards and keep your home evenly heated.

Direct heat to most used rooms. If you have rooms of your home that you rarely use, such as a guest bedroom or bathroom, be sure to close the vents in those spaces. Closing them will force more air out of open vents in your more lived in spaces, keeping them warmer without having to increase the temperature on your thermostat.

Utilize the sun. The sun is a great source of natural heat! During the day, open your curtains to south facing windows to allow for the sun light to heat the room. Just remember to draw the curtains once the sun has set.

Clean your furnace. Your furnace will run more effectively and efficiently when it is clean. Over time, dust can build up in and around your furnace, forcing it to work twice as hard to heat your home.  Be sure to keep your furnace and the area around it clean and change the filter every few months.  In doing so, your furnace will use less energy and saving you money!

Contact us to learn more about our energy efficient heating systems!

The Importance of Prepping your Furnace for Winter

As the temperature begins to drop outside, it’s time to start thinking about turning on the heat for the first time this season! Before you do, it’s important to make sure that your heating system is in good working order, which includes a thorough inspection of your furnace. Your furnace is an important investment that will keep your home comfortable throughout the cold winter months.  It’s important to prep your furnace before the winter chill hits, to ensure that it will run smoothly throughout the winter. Here are a few reasons why it’s important to prep your furnace before the cold hits:

Dust and debris will begin to build up in and around your furnace over time, especially during the warmer months when it’s not in use. Before you turn your heat on for the season, you’ll want to clean the filter and the area around your furnace. When your furnace is clean, it doesn’t work as hard to heat your home. This means that your house will feel warmer, your energy bills will be lower, and it’s less likely that your furnace will need to be replaced.

The blower doors on your furnace are what keep combustion byproducts from combining with the warm air being circulated throughout your home. When these doors are installed improperly, it can result in you and your family breathing in toxic chemicals such as carbon monoxide. Prepping your furnace for winter should include checking to make sure that all of the moving parts have been properly installed and functioning properly, especially if they’ve been replaced over the last few years. Doing so can go a long way in keeping your family safe.

Since no system in your home plays a larger role in keeping your warm during the winter, it’s no surprise that your furnace and water heater can get extremely hot when in use. If any boxes, tools, or flammable products have been moved near your furnace during the summer months, now is the time to find a new spot for them. Leaving flammable materials around your furnace can result in a fire or explosion in your home.

Be sure to properly inspect and prep your furnace before turning your heat on this winter season. To learn more about prepping your furnace or to schedule an appointment with a trained technician, call us today!

What Is “Indoor Air Quality” and Why Is It So Important?

We need fresh air to survive, and so it goes without saying that we want the air we breathe in to be safe and clean. We know that the air outside (especially in large cities) can carry some dangerous stuff, but what we often forget is that the air inside of our homes can contain many of the same toxins! Indoor air quality is just as important as outdoor, and here are a few things you should know about indoor air quality and why it’s so important.

Indoor air quality is a term that describes the air in and around buildings; namely your home, your workplace, your children’s schools, etc. It’s easy to assume that being inside protects you from the harmful elements outdoors, but indoor pollutants can also wreak havoc on your air quality.

Some of the most common pollutants we see indoors are pests (such as cockroaches and dust mites), secondhand tobacco smoke, radon, and formaldehyde. Exposure to these things can lead to headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea and fatigue. In more severe cases, these pollutants can contribute to the development of lung cancer and chronic lung diseases. Additionally, poor indoor air quality can also contribute to structural rotting in your home.

Such illnesses can be scary to think about, but the good news is, there are a lot of different things you can do to improve the indoor air quality of your home!

  • Add an air filtration system. Filters will help outside debris and toxins from ever entering your home. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can also help to keep your home at the proper moisture level.
  • Keep the air clean by keeping your home clean. Dust, vacuum, and mop your floors frequently to remove any dirt and debris.
  • Make your home a no-smoking zone. Encourage smokers in your family to do so outside.
  • Go natural. Use chemical-free products to do your laundry and clean your kitchen. A potted plant in your home will also help to purify the air.

We can help you breathe easy! Contact us today to learn more about indoor air quality solutions!

What It Means to be a Dave Lennox Premier Dealer

As your top-rated HVAC Service Technicians in Atlanta, GA, we want to provide you with the latest HVAC products available. That’s why we’ve partnered with Lennox and have been a Lennox Premier Dealer for many years. As a Dave Lennox Premier Dealer, we commit to total customer satisfaction by giving our customers premium products along with premium service.

We install and service Lennox HVAC products to our customers, including comfort control systems. As a Dave Lennox Premier Dealer, we are able to have complete access to Lennox’s signature product collection, so that we stay up to date with the latest products and services in our industry.

In order to reach this goal of becoming a premier dealer of Lennox, we’ve continued to exceed their standards and have been evaluated thoroughly by Lennox. The biggest part of the evaluation by Lennox is a company’s customer service. In order to call itself a “Dave Lennox Premier Dealer,” a company must be active in their “Independent Customer Satisfaction Survey program.” They’ve taken a deep look into our company to make sure that the service we are providing always ends with total customer satisfaction. We are dedicated to making sure we exceed our customers’ expectations after we’ve completed any type of service on their home. The feedback we receive from our customers lets us know that we are doing our job and always gives us room to grow as a company. We take every opportunity we have to ask all of our customers to leave us feedback after service has been completed. One way we’ve done this is through our Online Review Forms.

As a Premier Dealer of Lennox, not only do we communicate with you verbally on how the product works, but we are also there to show you and answer any questions you might have. We understand that our products and systems can be confusing. We want to leave you happy and confident with your new Lennox product.

Being a Dave Lennox Premier Dealer not only helps our customers, but it has made us grow as company. We continue to jump on every chance given from Lennox to learn more about their products and let our customers know about them as well. If you’d like more information on the Lennox products we offer, check them out here! And, of course, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions – we’re here to help!

Causes of HVAC Problems

Your HVAC system is comprised of many complex components used to control the temperature within your home and provide you with a less stressful and more comfortable living space. Here at Cunningham Associates, we know that you’ve probably come to rely on your HVAC system this summer, but consider this: what would you do if it stopped working? Before you panic and book the next available emergency service appointment with us, consider these common HVAC problems to determine if there’s a quick fix.

Is the Filter Dirty?

A dirty air filter will not only lead to less effective heating and cooling, but it will put added stress on your whole HVAC system. Filters can be disposable or permanent, so it may be necessary to either purchase a new filter to replace the old one or clean out the existing filter.

Did You Check Outside?

If your HVAC system has an outside unit, double-check to make sure it is not damaged or clogged up with debris, like grass, rocks, sticks, or leaves. This can affect your system’s overall ability to heat and cool your home by causing internal damage to the motor or other critical components.

Is the Thermostat Broken?

A broken thermostat is likely to cause uncomfortable temperatures within your home and, if not fixed quickly, can skyrocket your utility bills. Try troubleshooting your thermostat to check if it is working properly by changing the temperature to see if the corresponding HVAC system kicks on.

Did You Check the Breaker?

Check your circuit breaker box to see if the breaker is tripped. It may be as simple as flicking the switch from “off” to “on.”

These common issues may seem easy to fix, but it’s important to consider that there may be additional underlying issues that only a professional can recognize. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns regarding the functionality of your HVAC system.

Meet Jere Smith – Service Manager

jeresmithMeet Jere Smith! Jere serves as the Service Manager for our team here at Cunningham Associates. Jere is a native of Atlanta and a graduate of the University of Alabama. After college he entered the banking industry. Our president, Bob Cunningham, met Jere while he was working at the bank. Bob immediately noticed the superior level of commitment and customer service he provided to his clients. Needless to say, Bob recruited Jere to join our team and the rest is history.

When Jere is not at work, he loves following Alabama football, spending time with friends, family, and hanging out with his dog, Molly. What Jere enjoys most about Cunningham Associates is being a part of a company that is 100% accountable to its clients and getting to know them on a first name basis. We are proud to have Jere as a member of our team!