(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

Common Problems Requiring Heating Service

Having problems with your furnace is a major concern, especially with winter quickly approaching! A broken furnace isn’t an option or something you can just live without for a while. Below are three common problems with furnaces that require service. If you have one of these problems, you may need to contact an HVAC specialist you can trust.

  1. Complete loss of heat. If you turn your heater on and nothing happens, there could be a number of problems. Is your furnace getting electricity? If not an electrician is the right person to call. Is the pilot light igniting? If not, there could be an issue with the gas. And although it seems like a no-brainer, it is always important to double-check that your thermostat is turned on, turned to heat, and set at a temperature that will trigger the heat to turn on.
  2. Partial loss of heat. When your furnace is turning on but you aren’t getting all the heat you want, you could have a problem with your ducts. If you have radiators, they may need to be bled to release trapped air.
  3. Malfunctioning thermostat. If your thermostat is doing all sorts of crazy things like misreading the temperature and not running when it should, you will need to contact a professional to recalibrate your thermostat.
    For more information about heating service contact Cunningham Associates today at (770) 455-6722.

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.

Want to Avoid High Heating Bills This Winter? Install an Energy Efficient System Now

The weather is still beautiful here in Georgia, but colder temperatures are just around the corner. And if you are one of the homeowners who are still paying off last winter’s heating bills, it’s time to be proactive.

 
In many cases, if your heating system is older, it’s a better decision to put your money into a more energy efficient system than keep paying those high utility bills. In time, the savings will pay for the system itself, and having a newer furnace will give you peace of mind that your heat will not suddenly stop working mid-winter.

 
If you’re considering a new furnace, but aren’t sure where to start, there are several factors to consider. First, look at energy efficiency. All furnaces have an efficiency rating, often referred to as AFUE. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, and each unit is assigned a percentage of how much fuel it can convert into usable heat. A furnace with an AFUE rating of 90 means 90 percent of the fuel is used to heat, and 10 percent is lost. Most furnaces sold today have AFUE ratings of 80 percent, all the way up to 98 percent.

 
When choosing a new furnace, the higher the AFUE, the lower your utility bills will be, but some of the very high efficiency furnaces are also very expensive, so homeowners must weigh their options. When looking for other features that might make a furnace more efficient, electronic pilot, condensing gas furnaces, two-stage gas valves, and variable speed motors are other items that might save on bills.

 
While the options can be confusing, an experienced, reliable heating contractor can help you evaluate your current system, and give you an idea of how much you will save with a variety of new furnaces. This can help homeowners make an informed decision about which one to choose when it is time to replace the furnace. Contact Cunningham Associates today – we complete furnace installation in Atlanta, GA.

Heating Service: Five things to Consider

With temperatures in the eastern United States around 90 degrees F, you’re probably thinking about your AC rather than your heater. But, fall is the time for heating service. Here are some questions to ask in order to get your furnace or head pump ready for the cooler weather.

  1. Can I do any service myself? Yes–you can check your air filters. Typically, you should change the filters once every 3-6 months. If you aren’t sure about how to do this, a professional technician will be happy to help.
  2. When should I schedule the heating service? This fall. You’ll want to schedule a service visit ahead of the cooler weather.
  3. What if I skip heating service? Angie’s List reports that approximately 75% of winter service calls occur because the owner did not do annual maintenance.
  4. Will it extend the life of my heater? It can. Typically, HVAC units last 10-15 years. Annual service calls can help forestall major problems and keep the unit operating at its peak efficiency. This in turn, will help save you money over the life of the unit. In addition, annual maintenance can help address any safety or health issues that may develop around your heater.
  5. What if I need a new heater? We’ll be happy to help you assess whether you should repair or replace your heater. If you do need a new heater, we can discuss replacement options with you through our company.

Because you can prolong the life of your heater, improve your energy efficiency, and prevent emergency winter visits, make sure that you take the time to schedule annual maintenance within the next few weeks by calling Cunningham Associates today at (770) 455-6722.

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.

Answers to Three Commonly Asked Home Heating Questions

It’s often said that technology isolates humankind from nature. If it does, it’s only by a thin margin. The only things separating the person indoors from the elements outside are a home’s walls, roof, and its heating system. Should the system fail, the cold outdoor temperatures will soon make their way inside. That’s why it’s best to have an understanding of how your heating system works. Here are the answers to three commonly asked home heating questions.

 
What is a heat pump?
Heat normally flows from a warm space to a cold space. However, a heat pump forces heat to flow in the opposite direction. Doing this requires energy, much like how it takes energy to pump water up out of the ground against gravity. The heat pump that warms your home uses electrical power to force heat to flow from the outdoors into your much warmer home. While this seems odd, it isn’t any more unusual than a water pump using energy to force water to flow uphill.
Another interesting fact is that your air conditioner is a heat pump that runs backwards. That is, it forces heat to flow out of your cooled home to the outside on a hot summer day.

 
Why is my heating bill so high?
There are a number of possible reasons for this:

  • Your thermostat is set too high. The greater the temperature difference between the indoors and outdoors, the faster your home loses heat.
  • Your home is poorly insulated. A poorly insulated home has less resistance to heat flow through its walls and roof.
  • Your home heating system is inefficient. An inefficient heating system can sometimes be repaired to increase efficiency, but sometimes will need to be replaced entirely, depending on what is wrong and how old the system is.

 
What does AFUE mean?
AFUE is an acronym for “annual fuel utilization efficiency.” It’s the fuel efficiency of your heating system. It’s the percentage of energy in your heating gas that actually warms up your home. An AFUE rating of 95 percent means that 95 percent of the energy in the gas you pay for goes into heating your home. A low AFUE means higher heating bills because more of the heat energy in the gas you pay for is wasted. AFUE ratings for heating systems typically range from 80 percent to percentages in the upper nineties.
If your heating system isn’t up to par, give us a call – we’d be happy to come take a look at it and make suggestions for improvement.

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!

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.