(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

Introducing the NEST Learning Thermostat

Thermostats usually aren’t the first things a person would like to upgrade in their home. They think about their bigger appliances like a fridge or a stove. But upgrading your thermostat can save you the most money throughout the year, and we want to tell you why the Nest Thermostat can save you the most.

Here at Cunningham Associates, we offer one of the best thermostats around: The Nest Thermostat. This thermostat allows you to preset your thermostat so that it drops or increases the temperature when you’re not using it. With the digital screen in front of you, there’s no more guessing as to which degree you’ve set your thermostat to. It also gives you a green leaf icon, to assure you that you are saving energy.

If you’re worried about your filters, and never know when to call us to get it cleaned – Nest can help with that too. The Nest thermostat tracks how long you run your system and will alarm you when your filter needs to be changed. According to Nest, a dirty filter can cost you 5% more on your heating and cooling bills, but also decreases the quality of the air your breathing.

The Nest thermostat learns from your previous settings, and will set it so that when you leave the house in the summer it will increase the temperature while no one is home, and vice versa in the wintertime. If something unexpected comes up and you need to change your thermostat, not to worry – it can be controlled by your smartphone.

Nest wants to save you money and make your home as safe as possible. The Nest thermostat and carbon monoxide detector work together. If the carbon monoxide detector goes off, your gas furnace will automatically shut off too.

We understand with this new, high-tech thermostat you might have some questions – and we’re here to answer them! Feel free to give us a call or email with any questions you might have.

How to Save on Your Air Conditioning Bill

During the summer months, air conditioning is a necessity for most parts of the country. High temperatures combined with high humidity make it especially difficult for the body to cool itself. While air conditioning is a welcome piece of technology, it does consume a lot of power. However, there are many things you can do that reduce its power consumption.

Take Advantage of New Technology

If you have a very old air conditioner, consider buying a newer unit. Specifically, you want to look for a unit with a very high energy-efficiency ratio (EER). The higher the EER, the less power required for the same cooling you get now with your old unit. Investing in a newer air conditioner will quickly pay for itself in energy savings. Have questions on this? Give us a call!

Keep the Filter Clean

A dirty filter reduces airflow through the air conditioner, which reduces its efficiency and overworks the fan.

Keep the Condenser Shaded

When the condenser is exposed to direct sunlight, it consumes more power.

Keep Your Home Well Insulated

Everyone understands how insulation keeps out the cold in the winter. However, it also keeps out the heat in the summer. Insulate your home, including the attic, so excess heat can’t get inside.

Keep Your House Shaded

A lot of the heat that your air conditioner battles against comes from the exposure of your house to direct sunlight. If you are thinking about cutting down trees that are shading your house, weigh in increased cooling costs as one of the cons to this decision. If you are considering transplanting trees from a nursery, place them on the sun-exposed side of your house so that your windows and AC window units are in the shade. Also, install solar screens on windows with sun exposure.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

Set the programmable thermostat to raise temperatures while you’re away from home and lower them when you’re back. Maintaining a constant low temperature when you are away is a mistake because the AC unit consumes more power maintaining a low temperature than a higher one.

Use a Ceiling Fan

When the fan is pushing air downward on you, it has a natural cooling effect on your body, which makes it easier to tolerate a higher temperature setting. The additional power it uses is more than offset by the lower AC setting.

Steps to a Greener Home

Are you thinking about “going green” in your home, but you’re not sure how? Going green can be hard and a huge transition for you and your family – but well worth it in the end. Here are a few small steps you can take before turning your home entirely green!

Paint: If you’re up for a home project, get to painting! There are new paints that have low and even no “VOC” options that will not give off harmful compounds like traditional paint.

Upgrade Your Thermostat: If you don’t already have one, install a programmable thermostat to change the temperature in your home much easier. This will help you figure out when, and how much to lower the temperature while you’re gone, or increase it. Check out our Nest Thermostat!

Cracks: Walk around your home and look for any cracks and openings. Fill them with caulk in order to decrease the amount of air that gets let out or let it!

Switch Your Lights: An easy way to save money is to switch your light bulbs to LED or CFL bulbs. These use 75% less energy than your average light bulbs. Also, don’t forget to turn off your lights when you leave the house or room.

Temperatures: Make sure your fridge and freezer are set correctly. You can set your fridge at 37˚ F, and it will be able to keep your food at a good temperature. If your freezer isn’t as full as your fridge, don’t waste that energy. With less amount of food in the freezer, it can be set at -3˚ F.

Carbon Monoxide: Since carbon monoxide is almost impossible to catch without a detector, make sure you get one installed. Before you do, call us to have one of our technicians come take a look at your home to look for possible leaks and faulty equipment that can be contaminating your home and family with this deadly poisonous gas. We can also install a detector that day!

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!

Our Customer Loyalty Reward Program

We at Cunningham Associates respect our customers’ opinions and appreciate their great reviews and referrals. Most of our business comes from the word of mouth and great reviews our clients provide us with and of course, we want to be able to thank them!

We have been rewarding you for each new client that you send to Cunningham Associates. Our loyal customers who are spreading the word about Cunningham Associates’ unparalleled customer service and long-term commitment to excellence will receive a certificate valued at 5% of what the client spends with us, up to a maximum of $250.00. The referral certificate can be redeemed for CASH or SERVICES. The choice is yours!

Cunningham Associates has worked hard for years to provide excellent service. We are happy to know that the level of service that we bring to our clients hasn’t gone unnoticed and our client referrals are a testament to that!

Refer your friends to Cunningham Associates and also reap the benefits! (And don’t forget to schedule your maintenance tune-up today!)

5 Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

Spring is finally upon us! We might still have a bit of a winter chill lingering on, but spring and even summer’s weather is on its way. Have you gotten your home ready yet? Check out our tips for making sure that your home is prepared to spring into spring:

Clean, Repair or Replace Your Furnace Filters: Make sure that you clean, replace or repair the filters in your home before the spring and summer months. Doing this can improve the air quality in your home, as well as ensure that your cooling unit is operating at its most efficient.

Clean Your Outdoor Equipment: One step that might be the most important, but often goes overlooked: cleaning out your outdoor coils! Dirt, leaves, twigs or other debris can really reduce the efficiency of your system and need to be removed. You can use a brush and water from a hose to clean out the debris that you can’t reach with your hands.

Flip the Switch: Flipping the switch on the humidifier may be one of the most overlooked things that you can do to get ready for the spring and summer months. A humidifier is important in the winter months to add moisture and improve indoor air quality but in the spring and summer months you can flip that switch and allow a cool breeze to flow throughout your home.

Duct Sealing and Insulation: If there’s a crack or leak in your ductwork or insulation, your air conditioning unit will not perform at its full efficiency. Because of that, check your insulation and ductwork before springing into the spring months and the inevitable summer heat wave. That way, you can ensure your AC unit will function as best it can!

Arrange for Routine Maintenance: You wouldn’t want to turn your AC on to find it isn’t working! Get a check-up for your cooling system and fix any issues before the cooling season begins. That way, you won’t run into any heat waves inside your home this summer. Our seasoned professionals at Cunningham Associates Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. will make sure that you’re ready for the months ahead leading into our Atlanta summers. Schedule your maintenance check-up today!

Meet Nick Tolan – Customer Service Specialist

nickThis month, we want to introduce you to Nick Tolan. Nick serves as our Customer Service Specialist. Originally from Blue Ridge, Georgia, Nick now lives in Marietta. Nick is unbelievable on the grill and graces us with his amazing food from time to time. Our favorite is his grilled chicken off the Weber! Outside of work, Nick loves to attend concerts and is passionate about anything outdoors. Grilling out with family is also a personal favorite.

When we asked Nick what he loves about working at Cunningham, his answer was simple, but powerful: “I enjoy building relationships with all of our clients and rising to the challenge of meeting their needs!”

Thank you, Nick, for everything you do for our team and our clients!

An Overview of Our Maintenance Agreements

Your heating and cooling system is one of the largest and most important pieces of your home. Routine maintenance not only keeps it running as efficiently as possible, but it can also extend how long your system will last and help keep your energy bills under control.

To keep regular maintenance of your system from becoming another item on your “Get to It Someday” list, we’ve got two maintenance agreements that include semi-annual inspections of your system – right before heating season and cooling season kick in.

Our Maintenance Agreement includes priority service, a 10% discount on replacement parts, no service charge for on-demand calls, and semi-annual inspections for the heating and cooling seasons. Our Platinum Agreement includes everything in the regular plan, PLUS all parts and labor are included for eligible repairs.

What exactly will a Cunningham Associates technician do for you during those semi-annual inspections? Just keep reading to find out!

During your Cooling System Inspection & Service, our technician will:

  • Inspect the evaporator coil and refrigerant lines.
  • Check the expansion device, the contactor, the thermostat operation and selector, the circuit breakers and fuses, the temperature drop, the fan motor, the fan blade for tightness, the start capacitors, the start relays, the temperature across the condenser coils, the wiring connections, the run capacitors, and the blower.
  • Inspect and clean the evaporator drain.
  • Replace the standard filter.
  • Clean the condenser cabinet and the condenser coil with water.

During your Heating System Inspection & Service, our technician will:

  • Check the gas burners, the pilot and tubing, the baffles, the manifold pressure, the gas inlet pressure, the termocouple / flame sensor, the pilot safety, the orifices, the fan and limit control, the thermostat, the fan capacitors and the vent system.
  • Set the burner air adjustment.
  • Inspect the gas valve and the combustion chamber.
  • Lubricate the blower motor, the blower and the bearings.
  • Adjust the blower belt.
  • Replace the standard filter.

All of the above checklist items should ideally be completed every year anyway – so why not get them done and save some money along the way? Contact us today to get started with the Maintenance Agreement that makes the most sense for you!

DIY Maintenance Tips for Furnace Owners

The last thing you need this winter is to keep paying to get your furnace repaired so that you don’t have to suffer in the cold weather. In order to keep your furnace up-to-date and well maintained, Cunningham Associates provides two Savings Plan options, both of which include semi-annual inspections of your heating and air conditioning equipment. Whether you have one system or multiple systems, the Cunningham Savings Plan offers exceptional value. In between official system inspections, here are some tips that you can do in order to get the most out of your furnace!

Change Your Filters: After a long hot season, you’ll want to change the filter. Standard filters should be changed every 6 – 12 months as needed. To change, replace the filter with the correct size and follow all manufacturers’ instructions. Contact Cunningham Associates for filter upgrade options or any questions about replacing the filter.

Pilot Light: Check your pilot light. If your pilot light isn’t burning, follow your system’s instructions to relight it. If you’re not sure where your pilot light is located and unsure of how to relight it, give us a call. We’d be happy to help!

Fanbelt: Test out your fanbelt. If you see any glazing, fraying or cracking, it could be time to replace it. You should also push down on the fanbelt to check for any tension; too much tension means you need to tighten the fanbelt.

Duct System: Your duct system is another place that should be cleaned often to give you the best air quality. Less dust, mold, and allergens will be the result of you cleaning your duct system regularly.

Yearly Inspection: If you haven’t had your yearly inspection yet (and you’re not signed up for one of our Savings Plans), give us a call! In order to keep your system in top shape, a yearly inspection is a must. Also, if you’re looking to replace your furnace – we can help with that too! We are a Lennox Premier Dealer, and offer many of their products to our customers.

As always, if you have any questions about maintaining, repairing or replacing your system, give us a call! We’d be happy to answer your questions and help you make the best choices for your home and family.

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!