(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

A Big Spike In Power Bills? It Could Be An Air Conditioning Problem!

The summer heat is brutal and our HVAC systems are running around the clock. We are not surprised when we get our higher electricity bills in the summer months. But, look closely. Is the bill unusually high? Is the cost increase more than it was last year? You could have an air conditioning problem.

A clogged up and dirty condenser coil results in overworked HVAC systems. The air is not freely flowing through the system. This could cause your system to continually cycle on and off using more electricity to maintain your comfort levels. A cleaning is a quick and inexpensive fix that will save your system and return your power bill to normal.

Thermostat problems are one of the most overlooked issues with our HVAC systems. If your thermostat is not correctly calibrated and working properly, it could cause your system to turn on and off too often. This is a common problem and (like with the coil issue), a cheap fix. Allow a professional to check, calibrate or if needed, replace your thermostat. This is a much less expensive option than a year of higher power bills.

A tiny leak in the refrigeration lines could be allowing small amounts of the refrigerant to leak out of the system. If the leak is small, you may not hear or feel the difference. But you can see the difference in the electric bills. Your HVAC system is struggling to keep the house at a cooler temperature with less than enough refrigerant to do so. Over time, the leak will get worse and eventually a costly repair is necessary. Fixing a minor leak allows minor problems to remain minor.

All of these little issues can cause you headaches and cost big money if neglected. All of them would be addressed in your bi-annual cleaning and system checkup.

Do not let your hard-earned money be stolen by unnecessary electric bill surges. Make sure that you call Cunningham Associates today for an air conditioning system inspection in Atlanta, GA.

Summer’s Coming – Time for an Air Conditioning Tune-up!

Anyone having experienced a typical Atlanta summer knows it is not a time to be left without reliable home air conditioning. While you may not need your air conditioning unit right now, you will need it in the near future. It is necessary to contact an HVAC professional to not only perform annual maintenance, but to also look for potential problems that may have developed during the winter while the unit sat dormant. Over time, the system accumulates dust and dirt. Left unchecked, this can wreak havoc on an air conditioning unit.

 
Routine inspections pay for themselves. Small problems can be identified and fixed before they become a costly repair. Furthermore, an air conditioning tune-up will help your system operate at peak efficiency. This will help keep energy consumption low and will keep monthly payments reasonable. Air conditioners that are well-maintained can be expected to last more than a decade.

 
A seasonal tune-up performed by a qualified professional may include inspections and repairs to the following components:
 

  • Blower
  • Drain line
  • Coils
  • Operating pressures
  • Refrigerant levels
  • Duct work

 
Servicing your air conditioning unit before peak months with prevent any disruption in cooling when it is needed for continuous use. Operating a unit that has not been serviced puts you at risk for compromised efficiency and comfort, and may cause costly damage. If your air conditioning in the metro Atlanta and surrounding areas needs a tune-up, Cunningham Associates can help. We offer the highest levels of service, quality and professionalism. Schedule a service call today!

How Proper HVAC Maintenance will Keep Your System Working Well

Never is it more apparent how much we rely on proper heating or cooling than when we must endure a breakdown with a home’s HVAC system. The most common cause of failure is lack of routine cleaning and maintenance. These are crucial in preventing malfunctions and ensuring that the system is working at peak efficiency. Here are four reasons why proper HVAC maintenance will keep your system working well:

Energy Efficient

Depending on the size of the home and HVAC unit, heating and cooling costs account for about 48% of the overall energy bill. Keeping the system running efficiently reduces energy consumption and can significantly impact monthly expenditures.

Safety

Over time, components of an HVAC system can loosen, corrode, or become defective. Not only will this issues cause a disruption in heating and cooling, but could become dangerous as well. Never attempt to fix these problems yourself – especially in the case of faulty electric connections. Instead, contact a professional heating and cooling service technician, like the ones here at Cunningham Associates.

Comfort

Ultimately, HVAC systems have one goal – to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, regardless of outside conditions. Especially in the Atlanta area where there are extreme temperatures, HVAC systems may become overworked trying to maintain the appropriate temperature. Routine cleanings optimize the system’s responsiveness to extreme temperatures.

System Longevity

You wouldn’t neglect routine oil changes for your vehicle – don’t ignore the need for routine maintenance for your HVAC system. Like any piece of complex equipment, HVAC system components rapidly degrade (and ultimately fail) when not properly maintained. A well-maintained system not only runs better, but saves money in repair and replacement costs.

Routine maintenance is necessary for keeping a HVAC system functioning properly. Contact us to learn how we can assist in establishing a routine HVAC maintenance plan.

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!

Why Efficient Duct Work Matters

Did you know that indoor air pollution can be just as bad, if not worse, than outdoor pollution? We understand that cleaning your ducts and vents can be easily overlooked, but it makes a huge difference. Do you remember the last time you cleaned them? A lot of people answer no to that question, and we want to explain why that’s bad for your health.

The longer you wait to clean your system, the worse your indoor air is getting for you and your family. We’re talking about the place where you spend most of your time! Whether it’s at work, at home, or even school – these places are where the majority of people spend their time and they all have HVAC systems that need regularly maintenance in order to improve the air quality.

A clean duct and HVAC system can improve indoor air quality, create a more comfortable interior environment, save energy and lengthen the life of your system. We offer complete duct cleaning for your HVAC system – coils, coil drain pans, plenums, air filters, ducts, fans, vents and registers. Not only can cleaning your ducts improve your air quality, it will also result in you using your air conditioner/heating system less since the airflow will improve, which means a lower energy bill!

If you don’t remember the last time you had your ducts cleaned, here are a few reasons to get them cleaned as soon as possible:

    • Allergies: If your family suffers from severe allergies then cleaning your system could improve their symptoms.
    • New Home: If you just moved into your new home and didn’t check with the previous owners about when the last time the ducts were cleaned, now is the perfect time to get them cleaned!
    • Construction: Did you just get construction done on your home? With all the dust and work that went on, your system may be dirtier than usual. If you were thinking about getting the ducts cleaned, do them sooner rather than later.

Still have questions? Give us a call – we’d be happy to help!

5 Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

Spring is finally upon us! We might still have a bit of a winter chill lingering on, but spring and even summer’s weather is on its way. Have you gotten your home ready yet? Check out our tips for making sure that your home is prepared to spring into spring:

Clean, Repair or Replace Your Furnace Filters: Make sure that you clean, replace or repair the filters in your home before the spring and summer months. Doing this can improve the air quality in your home, as well as ensure that your cooling unit is operating at its most efficient.

Clean Your Outdoor Equipment: One step that might be the most important, but often goes overlooked: cleaning out your outdoor coils! Dirt, leaves, twigs or other debris can really reduce the efficiency of your system and need to be removed. You can use a brush and water from a hose to clean out the debris that you can’t reach with your hands.

Flip the Switch: Flipping the switch on the humidifier may be one of the most overlooked things that you can do to get ready for the spring and summer months. A humidifier is important in the winter months to add moisture and improve indoor air quality but in the spring and summer months you can flip that switch and allow a cool breeze to flow throughout your home.

Duct Sealing and Insulation: If there’s a crack or leak in your ductwork or insulation, your air conditioning unit will not perform at its full efficiency. Because of that, check your insulation and ductwork before springing into the spring months and the inevitable summer heat wave. That way, you can ensure your AC unit will function as best it can!

Arrange for Routine Maintenance: You wouldn’t want to turn your AC on to find it isn’t working! Get a check-up for your cooling system and fix any issues before the cooling season begins. That way, you won’t run into any heat waves inside your home this summer. 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 summers. Schedule your maintenance check-up today!

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.

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 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!