(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

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!

When You Should Consider Replacing Your Home’s Furnace

Going into the winter months, you may be thinking about how well your heating system performed last year. Before committing to a new system, it never hurts to have a HVAC professional (like a Cunningham technician!) come to your home for a check-up on your HVAC system. You might have forgotten something small like cleaning the filters or replacing the caulk on doors or windows. If you think you may need a new furnace, this checklist might help you decide:

Is Your Furnace Reaching Retirement?
The average time that a furnace can work properly is only 18-20 years, even if the furnace has been professionally maintained!

Weigh The Cost of Repairs and Maintenance
Have you been making frequent repairs or has the cost of maintenance increased? This could be a sign that your furnace isn’t working as efficiently as it used to.

Have Your Heating Bills Risen Dramatically?
It may not be cost effective to keep your current furnace even if it does technically have a few more years left in it. Call us in to take a look at your furnace if you’re unsure about how your heating bills compare to similar homes in your area.

Are Some Rooms in Your Home Too Hot or Too Cold?
This could be a sign of your unit’s waning health. The furnace could be operating at a lower efficiency. If this is the case, call an HVAC professional to come and take a look at the unit and do a walk-through of your home as improper insulation could also be the case!

Is Your System Excessively Noisy?
This could be a sign that the furnace isn’t working correctly. You could have a problem that could be found and resolved during routine maintenance or it may be time to invest in an updated unit.

Consulting one of our HVAC professionals at Cunningham Associates Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. could help you decide when to invest in a new furnace. Don’t forget to schedule your installation, walk-through or maintenance appointment today!

5 Ways to Winterize Your Home

In an ideal world, prepping your home for the upcoming winter months would have already been done, before the coldest of the weather starts to creep in. However, if you have let winterizing your home fall to the wayside while the days get shorter and the chill gets colder, here are some tips and tricks to get you back on track!

Set Your Thermostat: This may seem like a complete no-brainer, but make sure that you turn the heat on in your home! A lot of homeowners forget this step and until you find the balance in heat in your home, you could be racking up your energy bill. Try to match your thermostat to the temperature you’ve set for the different rooms of your home.

Change Your Filters: Dirty filters can stifle your unit’s efficiency, and it may make it increasingly difficult for your heating system to heat your entire home in a timely manner. Check to see if your filter is washable! You may be able to use soap and water to clean your filters. Changing the filter also ensures that you keep pollution or debris out of your heating system and, ultimately, if your system works as efficiently as it should, your result will be lower energy bills.

Insulate Vulnerable Or Exposed Pipes: Do you have exposed piping? Pipes that run along the outside of your home, or even in the garage, are exposed to the elements! These temperatures can cause your pipes to freeze so make sure that you insulate those pipes. If you’re unsure which pipes need insulation, do a walk through with an HVAC professional and they can help you avoid frozen pipes by pointing out the weak spots that may need some extra TLC this winter.

Check The Doors and Windows: Check to make sure that your home’s doors and windows are properly sealed! Making sure that there are no cracks in the caulk or weather stripping could help your heating system immensely! Your heating system won’t have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature if there’s no way for the warm air to escape or the cold air to enter your home.

Clean Your Vents: Make sure that before you go into the winter months and turn on your heat that your vents are clean. If you don’t know how to clean them properly, don’t be afraid to ask an HVAC professional! Even getting your system checked or a tune-up would allow for the professionals to clean the vents before you start using your heat each day.

Our trained HVAC professionals at Cunningham Associates Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. will help you and your family transition seamlessly into the Atlanta winters. Schedule your maintenance check-up today!

Winter FAQs

What should I do if my furnace stops working?

First, shut-off the unit at the thermostat. Next, check the filter to see if it is clogged with debris and change if needed. Check to see if the breaker has been tripped at the main electrical panel. Check to see if the thermostat is operational or requires battery replacement. Contact Cunningham Associates for repairs or service if needed.

What should I do if I smell natural gas around my furnace or water heater?

If you smell natural gas, call your gas company, open windows and doors and exit the home immediately. Contact Cunningham Associates for repairs or service if needed.

How often should I change or clean my filters?

Standard filters should be changed every 6 – 12 months as needed. To change, replace the filter with the correct size and follow all manufacturer’s instructions. Contact Cunningham Associates for filter upgrade options or any questions about replacing the filter.

How often should I have my heating equipment serviced?

Cunningham Associates recommends annual maintenance on your heating system, which should be completed prior to the cold winter months.

See the full answers to these winter-related FAQs, and more, on our FAQs page!

5 Things Any Homeowner Should Do Before Their System Maintenance Check

You may have already scheduled your system tune-up with Cunningham Associates and think that is all you need to do before your Cunningham Technician arrives. However, we have a few tips for what to do before your technician arrives at your home to make their job easier and the tune-up a much quicker process.

  1. Clear the Space Around Your Unit: Without the space clear around your unit, the technician will not be able to get close enough to the unit to really do his job. Letting the technician have all the space he or she needs will definitely get this tune-up started on the right foot.
  2. Clean Your Wiring: Take a quick look at the wiring that belongs to your unit. Are they damaged, corroded, rusty or even loose? Make sure to take note of the wires’ condition so if there is an issue, you can tell your technician right away.
  3. Write Down All Questions: Your service professional doesn’t expect you to know the answers to your own questions and they are there to answer them. If you have any questions about how things work, why the technician is doing something or how, don’t hesitate to ask! Write down your questions in advance so you don’t forget anything.
  4. Replace Your Thermostat’s Batteries: This seems like the most obvious step when you’re first going to turn on the heat in your home. Trust us: it gets overlooked! Remember to change out the batteries in your thermostat so that you can adjust the temperature from the first day your heat is turned on.
  5. If you can, use wood or metal-framed storm windows: Even the most high-quality single-glazed windows can have issues when transferring cold air. Storm windows can considerably cut down on the amount of heat that is escaping your home!

Remembering these steps before your Cunningham Associates maintenance technician comes to check your unit will help make the maintenance checkup quick, easy and painless. Don’t forget to schedule your maintenance tune-up today!

6 Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Fall

We may wish that fall was farther away than it is, but September 23rd is rapidly approaching. You may not see the leaves start to turn, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for autumn. Have you gotten your home ready, yet? Check out our tips for making sure that your home is as ready for sweater weather as you are.

  1. Clean, Repair or Replace your Furnace Filters: If you have an electrostatic filter, make sure to clean it thoroughly with soap and water. If your home uses disposable filters, be sure to change them at least once a month. Remembering to clean, repair or replace your filters could reduce fire hazard as well as help heat your home faster and more efficiently!
  2. Check the Seals on Your Pipes, Ducts, Doors and Windows: Checking the areas where the cooler air can sneak into your home is paramount when it comes to getting ready for fall. If any of these spaces need to be sealed, you still have the time you need before winter.
  3. Turn Your Fan On: This may seem counterproductive, but warm air rises. Because of this, the cold air can sit stagnant in the room, only being able to be filtered by the ceiling fan! Most ceiling fans have reversible motors which allows for the fan to disperse the heated air evenly and warm the room again.
  4. Open Your Vents: An HVAC system can function much more efficiently when all of the air vents are open in your home. Blocking or closing the vents can disrupt the airflow to your home.
  5. Make Sure Your Fireplace Has A Tight Fitting Damper: Fireplaces can let out heat or bring cold air in if their dampers are not closed when the fireplace is not in use.
  6. Arrange for a Check-Up: Just like children, your HVAC system needs a back-to-school checkup! With a professional coming in to check on your unit, you are able to go into the fall months without any fear or hiccups along the way! 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 winters. Schedule your maintenance check-up today!

Our Partner: Home Reports

Cunningham Associates is listed in Home Reports consumer publication as a Best Pick Contractor – an accolade we have earned 9 years in a row! For us to achieve Best Pick status, we must continually meet stringent criteria for qualification, which includes achieving an “A” rating from the reviews given by more than 100 customers. Home Reports is a very reputable source to find professional contractors – by holding home service providers to such high standards, it ensures homeowners have the most reliable resource for finding quality companies in their neighborhood.

Check out hundreds of reviews from happy customers on our Home Reports profile!