(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

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.

How to Save Money on Heating this Winter

Nothing beats feeling warm and cozy in your home during the cold winter months, but let’s face it: keeping your home at a comfortable temperature can cause a spike in your utility bill! Here are a few wallet-friendly heating strategies that will keep help you save a few dollars this winter:

Insulation.  Proper insulation of your home is one of the best ways to keep your home warm in the winter. It acts as an extra layer of protection from the winter chill and helps to prevent the warm air that your heating system generates from escaping. This is especially important in the attic of your home, where heat tends to rise to. If your home isn’t insulated, or you’ve noticed damage to your existing insulation, it’s something you may want to consider installing.

Adjust the temperature. Don’t forget to lower the thermostat when you leave for work or go to sleep for the night. Leaving the heat on high when you’re out of the house for extended periods of time or sound asleep will greatly increase the amount of energy that you use without cause. Turning the temperature down even a few degrees during these times can really help to reduce utility costs.

Utilize ceiling fans. Ceiling fans are great during the spring and summer months, but they can also come in handy during the winter! Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans and keep them powered on low. Since heat rises, having your fans moving in this direction will help to continuously move heat downwards and keep your home evenly heated.

Direct heat to most used rooms. If you have rooms of your home that you rarely use, such as a guest bedroom or bathroom, be sure to close the vents in those spaces. Closing them will force more air out of open vents in your more lived in spaces, keeping them warmer without having to increase the temperature on your thermostat.

Utilize the sun. The sun is a great source of natural heat! During the day, open your curtains to south facing windows to allow for the sun light to heat the room. Just remember to draw the curtains once the sun has set.

Clean your furnace. Your furnace will run more effectively and efficiently when it is clean. Over time, dust can build up in and around your furnace, forcing it to work twice as hard to heat your home.  Be sure to keep your furnace and the area around it clean and change the filter every few months.  In doing so, your furnace will use less energy and saving you money!

Contact us to learn more about our energy efficient heating systems!

How to Save on Your Air Conditioning Bill

During the summer months, air conditioning is a necessity for most parts of the country. High temperatures combined with high humidity make it especially difficult for the body to cool itself. While air conditioning is a welcome piece of technology, it does consume a lot of power. However, there are many things you can do that reduce its power consumption.

Take Advantage of New Technology

If you have a very old air conditioner, consider buying a newer unit. Specifically, you want to look for a unit with a very high energy-efficiency ratio (EER). The higher the EER, the less power required for the same cooling you get now with your old unit. Investing in a newer air conditioner will quickly pay for itself in energy savings. Have questions on this? Give us a call!

Keep the Filter Clean

A dirty filter reduces airflow through the air conditioner, which reduces its efficiency and overworks the fan.

Keep the Condenser Shaded

When the condenser is exposed to direct sunlight, it consumes more power.

Keep Your Home Well Insulated

Everyone understands how insulation keeps out the cold in the winter. However, it also keeps out the heat in the summer. Insulate your home, including the attic, so excess heat can’t get inside.

Keep Your House Shaded

A lot of the heat that your air conditioner battles against comes from the exposure of your house to direct sunlight. If you are thinking about cutting down trees that are shading your house, weigh in increased cooling costs as one of the cons to this decision. If you are considering transplanting trees from a nursery, place them on the sun-exposed side of your house so that your windows and AC window units are in the shade. Also, install solar screens on windows with sun exposure.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

Set the programmable thermostat to raise temperatures while you’re away from home and lower them when you’re back. Maintaining a constant low temperature when you are away is a mistake because the AC unit consumes more power maintaining a low temperature than a higher one.

Use a Ceiling Fan

When the fan is pushing air downward on you, it has a natural cooling effect on your body, which makes it easier to tolerate a higher temperature setting. The additional power it uses is more than offset by the lower AC setting.

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!

The Benefits of Hiring a NATE Certified Technician

First of all, you may be wondering what NATE is. NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. It’s the largest non-profit certification organization in the nation for refrigeration, air conditioning, heating and ventilation technicians. From NATE’s website: “NATE is the certification organization governed, owned, operated, developed and supported by the entire HVAC/R industry.”

Why should you hire a NATE certified technician? NATE certified technicians are preferred among many different groups, including: technicians, contractors, manufacturers, distributors, educators, trainers, utilities and, most importantly, consumers.

Why are NATE certified technicians so well respected? Read the reasons and watch the video below, and it won’t be long before you’re making sure your HVAC technician is NATE certified.

  1. They do the job right the first time, meaning fewer calls backs.
  2. They generate more income for their employers, so they receive a bigger paycheck, which makes the technicians value their jobs more, and work harder.
  3. NATE has a uniform test standard, which his beneficial to educators and trainers.
  4. They correctly install and service sophisticated equipment. In the long run this equipment saves energy and money.
  5. NATE certified trainers are well trained, very experienced and knowledgeable.

Benefits of Hiring a NATE Certified Tech

To sum up: a NATE certified technician is the ONLY person you want working on your HVAC system.

And guess what? All of the technicians at Cunningham Associates are NATE certified, meaning they have attended classes on both technical skills and customer service and have passed a series of exams.

Call Cunningham Associates today, and we’ll send a NATE certified technician to your home to help with all of your heating and air conditioning needs! We can be reached at (770) 455-6722 or you can fill out one of our online forms for repairs, an estimate on a new air conditioning system or furnace installation, or maintenance on your existing system.

Resources: 1, 2

Pre-Season Maintenance & Spring Prep

Spring is quickly approaching and that means it will soon be time to crank up the air conditioning! There are many different things you can do to prepare your A/C system for spring and summer. Here are a few things that Cunningham Associates will be able to assist you with to be sure your A/C is ready for the hot weather ahead!

  1. Check, clean and, if needed, replace the filters.
  2. Detect any issues with your air conditioner that, if neglected may cause problems with the heavy use ahead.
  3. Check and clean the oil/gas valve.
  4. Check and clean the coils.
  5. Make sure all panels are secured properly.
  6. Clear out any debris that has gathered around the system, i.e., leaves, trash, etc.
  7. Calibrate the thermostat.
  8. Thoroughly clean the system.

We know that maintaining HVAC systems can be stressful and daunting, but that is why we are here! Keep this in mind: if you take care of your HVAC system, it will benefit you on those long, hot summer days!

Please remember that we are here for you! Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, concerns or just want to double check to make sure you are properly maintaining your cooling system.

PS: Contact us today at (770) 455-6722 to ask about our Maintenance Agreement options, which take care of all these issues (and more!) twice a year!

Resources: 1, 2

Your Home Office: Save Energy & Money

Nearly 28 million people work from home at least part of the time, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. While this can save time and fuel by reducing your commute, it may increase your home energy use. Improving the energy efficiency of your home office equipment will help you save on utility costs without hampering your productivity.

Save Energy & Money

  • Make sure computers and other office equipment are turned off when they are not in use for an extended period.
  • Many electronic devices continue to use standby power even after they are turned off. Connect your office equipment to a power strip as a central shut-off to eliminate standby power losses.
  • Set office equipment, such as printers and scanners, to automatically switch to sleep mode when not in use. In addition to saving energy, the equipment will stay cooler, which will help to extend its useful life.
  • Use a laptop computer instead of a desktop. Laptops use less than one-third the energy of a typical desktop computer.
  • Adjust the thermostat to the unoccupied setting. This avoids wasting energy by conditioning the entire house while you are occupying only a small portion of it. Consider using a space heater in winter or ceiling fan in summer to maintain comfort.
  • Use task lighting with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). A desk lamp uses less energy than whole-room lighting.

When purchasing new office equipment, make sure that it is ENERGY STAR qualified. ENERGY STAR certified products use less energy than standard models. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if every home office product purchased in the U.S. were ENERGY STAR qualified, Americans would save an estimated $75 million a year in energy costs.