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Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

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!

 

3 Reasons Why the “Wait and See” Approach to Heating Repair or Replacement May Cost You More Money

As you think about the upcoming winter season, you may have some concerns when it comes to your heating system. Perhaps your furnace worked fine last winter, but it is older, and you’re not sure how long it will last. Maybe you saw signs of problems towards the end of last year, such as increasing noises, or poor performance. Some homeowners are determined to keep an old furnace until it completely dies, but there are several reasons why waiting on heating repair or replacement may cost you more money.

  1. Emergency fees. Unfortunately, when your heating system fails you on a cold day, you need to call for service immediately, even if it is on a weekend, holiday, or during the night. Most contractors will charge extra fees for service calls during those times.
  2. Alternative heating options. It isn’t an option to have no heat during the winter, so homeowners will need to work out another plan. Often that means investing in space heaters, and sometimes even staying in a hotel until the furnace is fixed.
  3. Damage to pipes. When your furnace isn’t working, the house can get extremely cold in some areas, which can lead to frozen pipes. If they burst, the pipes will not only need repair, but there can be damage to walls, floors, ceilings, and belongings.

If your heating system is older, or showing signs of not performing well, it’s best to get it checked out now before the coldest weather arrives. The “wait and see” approach often ends up costing homeowners more money in the long run. Contact Cunningham Associates today – we complete furnace installation in Atlanta, GA.

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.

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!

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!