(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

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!

The Freon Phase-Out

Freon is the old, expensive air conditioning coolant that is now being phased out by the EPA, due to its harmful affect on the ozone. Freon equipment is very widespread, so with the phase-out, air conditioning system replacement should be on peoples’ list soon.

But don’t worry: Freon is non-toxic and non-flammable, so if you’re using it in your air conditioning unit there’s no need to panic.

Interestingly enough, even with Freon being phased out, all the Freon that has already been emitted into the atmosphere will affect the ozone layer for decades. This means the sooner we stop using Freon the faster we can begin to protect our atmosphere.

Now you’re probably wondering what the Freon should be replaced with. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA has reviewed alternatives to ozone depleting substances and has determined several acceptable substitutes, which you can review here: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/refrigerants/qa.html

If you currently have an air conditioning system that uses R-22 (the type of Freon that is most dangerous to the atmosphere), you can continue to use and service that system. But, replacing your system should definitely be considered, as newer air conditioning units are being designed with substitute refrigerants that are better for the atmosphere and repairs on R-22 systems will continue to get more expensive as Freon becomes less and less available.

The Freon phase-out mandated by the EPA can be confusing, so please call Cunningham Associates at (770) 455-6722 if you have questions. We can help you determine if replacing your air conditioning system should be at the top of your list, or let you know if your system already uses one of the newer, safer refrigerants.

PS, if you’re looking for HVAC services in the Northern VA area, call M&M Mechanical, Inc.

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