(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

Inspect Your Furnace Now to Protect Your Family

Carbon monoxide is one of those terms we hear on the news, often as the result of a tragic loss of life, yet we often dismiss potential problem as something that happens to other people. On average 400 people a year die from accidental carbon monoxide exposure, with thousands more sickened and hospitalized. Most incidents occur during the winter months, however, accidental carbon monoxide poisoning can happen to anyone at any time, so it is important to implement a plan to both prevent and detect exposure.

Prevention

Prevention is the best course of action. The first step toward this is to have your gas, oil, and coal burning appliances and duct work inspected yearly by experts.

Combustion engines such as electric generators also create carbon monoxide emissions, so in the case of a power outage, be extra cautious and only use generators outside of your home, making certain there is at least 20 feet distance from all doors windows and vents. Never use your gas stove or oven as a heating source.

Other common causes of accidental carbon emission are blocked chimneys, charcoal burnt indoors, and the use of portable heaters. (Both propane and flameless chemical types can create CO omissions)

Detection

Carbon monoxide detectors are readily available and affordable, and every home, cabin, or camper space should have at least one of these devices. Keep in mind that batteries should be changed often and remember that hard-wired models will not work during a power outage, so if you have a backup generator for such situations, it is also vital you acquire a battery powered carbon monoxide detector.

Symptoms

CO poisoning is known as “the silent killer,” so do not rely on the onset of symptoms to realize there is a problem. If you do experience accidental exposure you may feel a headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Carbon monoxide exposure is often described as flu-like, but inhaling too much will make you pass out. People who are asleep or otherwise impaired can die from CO poisoning before they realize any symptoms.

If you have questions on carbon monoxide poisoning prevention, contact our team today.

3 Tips to Help You Avoid Costly Heating Repair

No one enjoys paying a massive bill for heating repair. It’s not an inevitable part of adulthood, though. There are many things you can do to help reduce the cost of repair to your heating system. You may even be able to avoid those costs altogether! Here are three top tips from our heating repair professionals.

Get Your System Serviced Regularly`

When it comes to the heating system in your home, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regularly servicing your heating system can help identify potential issues before they become major problems. We recommend having your system serviced at the beginning of the winter season with a thorough inspection. Our team will look for any parts that might be wearing out or hazards that could prevent the heating from working throughout the winter months.

Call in the Pros at the First Sign of Trouble

The longer you wait to have a problem with your heating system fixed, the more expensive the final bill is likely to be. That’s why we encourage our clients to contact us as soon as they suspect there could be an issue with their heating. Our team can come to your location right away and find out what’s wrong and get it fixed. While it might be tempting to delay the call (and the repair bill), the longer an issue continues the more damage can happen to the system. More damage means more time and expense for the repair.

Invest in a New System

Sometimes it isn’t worth your money to keep an older heating system going. You can prevent those big repair bills by investing in a new heating system for your home. While the initial cost may be more, the long-term cost savings can balance it out. Not only will a new system help you save on repair costs, but many of the newer systems are also more energy efficient. That means you’ll end up spending less on your monthly energy bills.

If you have any questions, or are in need of service, our team here at Cunningham Associates is happy to help!

The Top Signs That Your Furnace May Need to be Replaced

With winter right around the corner, you may want to take a moment to consider the condition that your furnace is in and whether you should consider having it replaced this fall. By replacing your furnace before winter arrives, you will ensure your comfort in the coming months by preventing your furnace from breaking down on you when you need it most.

Hitherto, how will you know when your furnace is in need of replacement? While one of the clearest signs that your furnace needs to be replaced is age, as furnaces are only made to last between 15-20 years, there are several other indicators that your furnace may be nearing the end of its usable life. Below are a few of the signs you can look out for in your home.

You Cannot Keep Warm

When trying to determine the condition of your home’s furnace, think back to the last time you had to run it; did it keep you and your family warm? Or were you constantly cold no matter how often you adjusted the thermostat? If you were unable to keep warm, this is a clear sign that your furnace is failing and needs to be replaced, as it is no longer able to sufficiently do its job.

Different Rooms Are Different Temperatures

Similarly, your furnace likely needs to be replaced if there are great variations in temperature throughout your home. If some rooms are freezing while others are hot, this is a sign that your aging furnace is having trouble distributing heat evenly throughout your home, and it will likely need to be replaced before winter.

Your Furnace is Making Unusual Sounds

One of the clearest signs of a failing furnace is if it begins to make any unusual sounds. While your furnace may make a certain amount of noise when it first turns on and off, you will be able to tell that something is wrong if these noises get louder, or if they change drastically. For instance, if your furnace begins to make popping, banging, clanging, or screeching sounds, this is a clear sign of trouble. While your furnace may be able to be repaired, you will want to consider your furnace’s age before you invest more money into it.

Please feel free to contact us to learn more about the signs that you can look out for indicating that your furnace needs to be replaced. The team here at Cunningham Associates is always happy to help!

Warning Signs of an A/C Refrigerant Leak

Now that it’s the middle of summer, you’re relying on your air conditioner more than ever. Like any other equipment in your home, your air conditioner will malfunction from time to time. Having that said, one of the common problems that you might encounter with your air conditioner is a refrigerant leak. Here are four warning signs of a refrigerant leak:

Air Conditioner Blows Warm Air

When your refrigerant is low, the air coming from your registers will not be cooled efficiently. If your air conditioner is blowing warm air, it’s possible that you have a refrigerant leak.

Increased Energy Bills

Have your energy bills gotten higher? Your air conditioner might be to blame. When your air conditioner is losing refrigerant, it needs to run longer and work harder to keep your home cool, leading to higher energy bills.

Icy Evaporator Coils

Another sign of a refrigerant leak is ice build-up on the evaporator coils. When your HVAC system does not have enough refrigerant, the evaporator coils cannot absorb enough heat. This causes condensation to build up on the coils and freeze over.

You Hear Hissing Sounds

A refrigerant leak is caused by holes in the refrigerant lines. You may hear a hissing sound as refrigerant leaks from these holes. Given that, be sure to keep your ears open.

What to Do When You Suspect a Leak

It’s important to note that your air conditioner should not normally lose refrigerant. Your unit always contains the same amount of refrigerant when it’s operating properly. The refrigerant is not used up the way an automobile uses gas and refilling the refrigerant will not solve the problem if you have a leak.

Exposure to refrigerant can be dangerous without the proper training and experience. If you suspect a leak, you’ll need help from an HVAC professional. We encourage you to contact us so that we can get the issue resolved, and you can get back to enjoying summer!

How to Incorporate Heating Into Your Room Addition

Changing up your floorplan is an increasingly common project. You might want an extra room. Or, maybe that garage would work better as a study. Even expanding an existing room needs a lot of planning and groundwork. Don’t let air conditioning get lost along the way. Keep these three heating considerations in mind when starting to build:

Will the new space have adequate ventilation?

Houses have a lot of invisible ventilation. Brick walls aren’t solid: they have minute gaps in the grout to allow for air flow during contraction and expansion. Every roof is ringed with a series of vents that let air escape from your attic, and that’s not even considering the (at least two) attic fans your house should have closer to the peak of your roof. Make sure your contractor has accounted for air flow in your new space, especially if you have gas appliances or use a furnace.

Can your HVAC handle the new load?

Heating systems are designed around the square footage they have to keep warm. Even knocking down a wall or changing the floor plan without incorporating new area can make your existing HVAC less effective. Have an expert check that your heater can fully heat the new space without impacting its effectiveness throughout the rest of the house.

Who is making the HVAC changes?

General contractors generally aren’t licensed to install, repair, or modify heating and HVAC systems. Double check that your contractor is bringing in expert professionals who are certified to make the changes you need. It might be more expensive upfront, but it will save you a lot in time, money, and stress over the years.

Contact Cunningham Associates to learn more about installing the proper heating system for your space.

3 Reasons to Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up Before Winter Hits

November weather means turning on your furnace for a long winter. If the first cold snap hasn’t hit your local area yet, then now is the best time to get your furnace serviced. Here’s why:

  • The beginning of winter is a busy season for heating contractors and furnace repair companies, which could delay your repair. You don’t want to wait until after the first big storm to get your furnace serviced. Not only can that leave your home without heat during the following low temperatures, a long delay can damage your heating system more or even be dangerous if you have a gas-powered furnace.
  • Servicing your system can help solve problems before they start. Small malfunctions and inefficiencies build up over time, and getting your HVAC checked before you use it regularly can help you catch those problems before your system breaks. Having your furnace serviced means a trained professional checks your ventilation, gas and power connections, and the internal cooling system, which saves you money on larger, preventable repairs.
  • Tune-ups help your home’s air quality. Any air conditioning system in your home collects dust and debris as it circulates air. While changing the filter is one of the best steps you can take to ensuring that allergens are removed from the air and your system isn’t overworking due to poor ventilation, sometimes it’s not enough. Dust can build up in the internal workings of your furnace and mildew that may have built up during the furnace’s dormant season needs to be removed.

Scheduling a tune-up for your furnace before the busy winter season not only helps ensure the system will run once the weather turns, it helps keep your furnace running efficiently. So, contact Cunningham Associates to set up a time to schedule a tune-up.

Making Indoor Heating Systems More Effective

Many people are making their heating systems less effective during the colder months without even realizing it. People who try to find ways to save energy around the house will certainly spend less money on heating in general. However, heating systems in these households will tend to last longer as well.

1. Install energy-efficient windows.

There are lots of energy-efficient windows on the market today. Certain types of windows are much better at providing adequate insulation. As such, people won’t lose as much of the heat that they’re paying for in the first place.

2. Leave as many interior doors open as possible.

Many people are told to close their interior doors in order to make the heating systems work more effectively. However, keeping all of the interior doors closed will just interfere with the airflow between rooms.

In fact, people might end up spending more money on energy during the winter if they constantly keep all of the interior doors closed, regardless of what they’ve been told. The air quality of all rooms will also improve in the process of leaving the doors open.

3. Make sure the floor stays insulated.

Lots of people forget to make sure that their floors are insulated. In fact, a household can lose as much as ten percent of its heat through the floor. People who have carpeted floors might not have to worry about this as much. Placing blankets and rugs on hardwood floors can make a big difference for the people who are trying to conserve as much heat as possible indoors.

Indoor heating systems will be more effective and efficient if people counteract some of the heat loss that can occur throughout a household. Give Cunningham Associates a call with any questions or HVAC service needs you may have – we are happy to help!