(770) 455-6722

Serving Metro Atlanta & Surrounding Areas

Cunningham Associates
Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.

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.

Six Reasons Why Your Air Conditioning Unit Makes Odd Sounds

Your air conditioning unit is a mechanical device with moving parts and will never run completely silently. However, it is designed to make minimal noise. When it gets really loud or makes odd sounds, something is wrong. Learn the meaning of these sounds so that you can get your air conditioner repaired before it breaks down and leaves you sweating in the hot weather. Here are six common reasons for a noisy air conditioner.

Loose Screws

The moving parts of your AC unit cause vibrations, which in turn may loosen panels and/or mounting screws. When this happens, you will hear rattling sounds. The good news is that it’s easily fixed by tightening the screws with a screwdriver. Beware of opening the AC unit to tighten screws because the thermostat may turn it on while your hands are inside. Leave this type of work to a professional.

Fan Blades Are Rubbing Against Something

Sometimes a stick, branch, or other form of debris rubs against the fan blades. The fan blades may also rub against a warped or damaged fan cage. If you hear very loud rattling sounds, quickly turn the unit off to prevent damage to the fan blades.

Leaking Ductwork

If your ductwork has air leaks from cracks or seams, it may make whistling sounds. Leaks from seams may be easily repaired by tightening the appropriate screws or bolts.

Worn Belt

When a belt wears out, its grip weakens and will slip whenever you turn on your air conditioner. The screeching sound you hear will be momentary. This is similar to the behavior of a loose fan belt in your car that only screeches when you press down on the gas pedal. When you hear this sound, have the belt replaced.

Loud Fan Motor Bearings

This problem usually occurs after many years of use. The lubrication in the fan motor bearings will eventually break down. The bearings then make noise and become damaged from the lack of lubrication. Depending on the AC unit, the bearings might be replaceable. Often the motor isn’t designed for easy bearing replacement, so you may have to replace the entire thing.

Noisy Compressor

Compressors often make noise, but if it’s louder than usual, it may be wearing out. If the noise is accompanied by weak cooling air, your compressor is the likely cause.

Pay attention to the sounds your air conditioner makes because it may be telling you it needs repair or adjustment. Contact Cunningham Associates to resolve the issue before a breakdown occurs.

Why Your Air Conditioner Leaks

One of the most common air conditioning problems is leakage or pool buildup. Water is a natural byproduct of the air conditioning process. When warm humid air passes over the evaporator coil, the air is cooled and the humidity condenses on the cold surface of the coil. This condensate collects in a sloped drip pan and then leaves via a drain line. When this drainage is blocked or prevented in some way, you will have a leakage problem. The following are a few reasons why you might have a leakage problem:

Blocked Condensate Drain Line: A common reason for water leakage is a clogged drain line that is blocked by dirt, insects, or other debris. When the drain line can’t carry the water out of your house, the drip pan overflows!

Leaking Drip Pan or Condensate Drain Line: Cracks or holes in either the drip pan or condensate drain line will leak water into your home. A damaged drain line or a rusted drip pan may be responsible for this problem.

Condensate Pump Doesn’t Work: Some air conditioners use a pump to force the condensate out of your home. These are used when the water must flow uphill. When the pump doesn’t work, water builds up and leaks.

If your air conditioner is leaking, don’t ignore the problem because water-soaked walls and floors lead to mold damage which is expensive to repair. Contact us to get the problem resolved.

Introducing the NEST Learning Thermostat

Thermostats usually aren’t the first things a person would like to upgrade in their home. They think about their bigger appliances like a fridge or a stove. But upgrading your thermostat can save you the most money throughout the year, and we want to tell you why the Nest Thermostat can save you the most.

Here at Cunningham Associates, we offer one of the best thermostats around: The Nest Thermostat. This thermostat allows you to preset your thermostat so that it drops or increases the temperature when you’re not using it. With the digital screen in front of you, there’s no more guessing as to which degree you’ve set your thermostat to. It also gives you a green leaf icon, to assure you that you are saving energy.

If you’re worried about your filters, and never know when to call us to get it cleaned – Nest can help with that too. The Nest thermostat tracks how long you run your system and will alarm you when your filter needs to be changed. According to Nest, a dirty filter can cost you 5% more on your heating and cooling bills, but also decreases the quality of the air your breathing.

The Nest thermostat learns from your previous settings, and will set it so that when you leave the house in the summer it will increase the temperature while no one is home, and vice versa in the wintertime. If something unexpected comes up and you need to change your thermostat, not to worry – it can be controlled by your smartphone.

Nest wants to save you money and make your home as safe as possible. The Nest thermostat and carbon monoxide detector work together. If the carbon monoxide detector goes off, your gas furnace will automatically shut off too.

We understand with this new, high-tech thermostat you might have some questions – and we’re here to answer them! Feel free to give us a call or email with any questions you might have.

Steps to a Greener Home

Are you thinking about “going green” in your home, but you’re not sure how? Going green can be hard and a huge transition for you and your family – but well worth it in the end. Here are a few small steps you can take before turning your home entirely green!

Paint: If you’re up for a home project, get to painting! There are new paints that have low and even no “VOC” options that will not give off harmful compounds like traditional paint.

Upgrade Your Thermostat: If you don’t already have one, install a programmable thermostat to change the temperature in your home much easier. This will help you figure out when, and how much to lower the temperature while you’re gone, or increase it. Check out our Nest Thermostat!

Cracks: Walk around your home and look for any cracks and openings. Fill them with caulk in order to decrease the amount of air that gets let out or let it!

Switch Your Lights: An easy way to save money is to switch your light bulbs to LED or CFL bulbs. These use 75% less energy than your average light bulbs. Also, don’t forget to turn off your lights when you leave the house or room.

Temperatures: Make sure your fridge and freezer are set correctly. You can set your fridge at 37˚ F, and it will be able to keep your food at a good temperature. If your freezer isn’t as full as your fridge, don’t waste that energy. With less amount of food in the freezer, it can be set at -3˚ F.

Carbon Monoxide: Since carbon monoxide is almost impossible to catch without a detector, make sure you get one installed. Before you do, call us to have one of our technicians come take a look at your home to look for possible leaks and faulty equipment that can be contaminating your home and family with this deadly poisonous gas. We can also install a detector that day!

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!