What is Fabricated Sheet Metal Used For in HVAC?

Fabricated sheet metal is commonly used in the ductwork of HVAC systems. Traditional ductwork is installed in commercial and industrial buildings for the heating and cooling systems. Sometimes, however, the regular metal ductwork must be routed in odd ways, due to various obstacles in the path. Longer piping would be added to get the metal fittings and tubes installed to go around all those barriers.

Due to the odd routing of all the ductwork, the HVAC system would ultimately have to run harder to heat or cool the building properly, because it has to run the heat through a long set of pipes. For an HVAC unit to run efficiently, fabricated sheet metal would be utilized to run around the obstacles for a more direct path from the heating/cooling system to the air vents.

Fabricated sheet metal enables one to bend, and turn the metal to the desired shape, so it will fit much like a jigsaw puzzle in the areas you want them to. This would eliminate the need for all those extra pipes and fittings that only succeed in using more energy to run the HVAC system. Also, by using more customizable ductwork, like the sheet metal, you’re prolonging the life of your unit, because it’s not working harder to heat or cool your space.

How Does Fabricated Sheet Metal Have Advantage Over Regular HVAC Ductwork?

We’ve already discussed the fact that sheet metal is more customizable when it comes to installing the ductwork for a building. They work perfectly for fitting into what seems like an impossible spot for regular pipes. The places that fabricated sheet metal fittings work best are:

  • Around Sharp corners
  • Behind pipes
  • In tight, cramped spaces

When using only traditional HVAC ducts, one would have to install an intricate system of pipes to avoid the places where you can’t fit regular ductwork. Now, it’s much easier when you can get someone to fabricate ducts using sheet metal. The pipings and fitting would be cut and shaped precisely to your specifications.

Installing the fabricated pieces of ductwork helps the HVAC unit run in the most efficient way possible for any commercial or industrial building. Finding a shop that can fabricate sheet metal accurately isn’t always easy. If you’re looking to get some ductwork customized for your building or space, give us a call at 408-295-2182. Our skilled professionals can fabricate your ductwork for whatever specifications you need, and we can also install them if you want.

How Much Should It Typically Cost To Repair an AC Unit?

Average repair costs for an AC unit would depend on the type of repair needed, and how complicated it may be to perform. Repairs can range from minor, quick fixes, to more difficult, time-consuming ones so that costs will vary.

For the smaller, quick fixes, you could expect it to cost anywhere from a few bucks to $100. This would include jobs like replacing simple parts or even regular maintenance on the unit itself. For repairing leaks, it could run around $200- $1,000 depending on what needs to be done to stop the leak and get the unit running smoothly again.

If you’re replacing refrigerant, it could cost you probably in the $200-$400 range. The cost would vary with the age and type of unit that’s being fixed. Older AC appliances require more work to fix. Sometimes the parts for them are more expensive and can be much harder to find.

A clogged condenser line can typically cost you around $100-$200, or less if it ends up being a simple and quick job for the repairman to do. It isn’t too difficult to repair, but some units could take more labor than others to fix.

Average costs for Complex Repair Jobs

For more complex repair jobs, the prices can get on the higher side quickly, due to parts being much more expensive to get, and the time it takes to perform the part replacement. Typical price ranges for some of the AC unit parts without the cost of labor:

  • Thermostat- $100-$300
  • Condensing Fan Motor- $300-$500
  • Condenser- $800-$1,000 and up

Of course, AC unit repair technicians will charge for labor, which could be anywhere from $50 an hour to $150 an hour. Every repairman charges differently, so you need to check before hiring one. Also, the cost of the parts is just a general price range. You may find some that are cheaper or some that are more expensive, depending on who you end up going with.

To eliminate the need for some of these expensive repair costs, you will need to keep your AC unit adequately maintained, so it stays running smoothly. The need for repairs will diminish significantly with annual maintenance with only a few repair fixes along the way. As your AC unit gets older, parts will start to break down, and they will need replacing. A new appliance may be the better investment in the long run if you’re not keen on spending the money just to replace some parts. Call us at 408-295-2182. We can help you with any questions you may have.

Situation Where You Would Need Emergency Plumbing

There are a few different situations where emergency plumbing services would be needed. But probably the most popular would be when you have a flood on your hands, and you don’t know where it’s coming from. A flood is not a DIY project because you need to get the problem fixed pronto before any lasting damage occurs. The best option, when you need plumbing services in a hurry, is to call a professional plumbing contractor to resolve this problem quickly, and with fewer hassles.

When a flood occurs in your home, it’s usually because of a leak, that’s been hidden somewhere inside your house. The leak just got worse, and now water is seeping through a wall, or floor, and causing a flood to happen, and a mess to take over. The key is finding exactly where that leak is and getting it fixed right away.

This is where emergency plumbing services come in handy. Getting someone out to your home in a flash, and getting the problem leak fixed will prevent damage to your walls, floors, and foundation. Damage can also be done to furniture and carpeting as well if they are located where the flooding happens to be.

Emergency Plumbing Services

When a job is urgent, a professional plumber will get out to you quickly, no matter what time of day it may be. They’ll perform a thorough job in deducing where the leak is coming from and they’ll come up a plan of action to resolve the problem in the best way possible.

Often, if the flood is in the basement, the culprit could be one of the following:

  • Leaking water heater
  • Leaking water softener
  • cracked or broken drain pipe

Once the plumber has pinpointed the issue, they can determine what repairs should be given to alleviate you of the flood. Whether it’s a small repair job, or if it involves replacing a pipe or the water heater; you’re in good hands with a licensed professional who is knowledgeable about these types of plumbing issues.

If a flood occurs in your home, don’t try to tackle it yourself. Contact someone who does this kind of thing for a living. Get the job done right and avoid the possible repairs you could’ve been faced with. If the situation gets out of hand, you could end up paying tons more than you should’ve if you simply went with a professional, to begin with. Call us at 408-295-2182 any time of the day or night. We’re here for you.

How to Choose Between Good and Bad Plumbers in San Jose

There are many good and bad plumbers working in San Jose, so it is important to spot the good ones. You want to pick out a professional company before you need assistance so that you can quickly call them in the case of an emergency. Do your homework and find the best choice for your unique needs. A good company will be able to handle all of your plumbing concerns quickly, safely, and for a reasonable price.

What to Look for in a Good Plumbing Company:

  • Licensed professionals
  • Insured business
  • Experience
  • Good reputation
  • Skilled professionals with great customer service

Compare Good and Bad Plumbers

A bad company may be run by people who are not licensed. You always want to go with a professional when it comes to something as important as your plumbing needs. If minor issues aren’t fixed properly, they can turn into large problems. Licensed professionals will have the skills and tools needed to do the job right the first time.

A bad plumbing choice will be a company that has no insurance. You want to have peace of mind that your home is going to be safe when you hire a company to handle your plumbing needs. Be sure to only hire a company that is insured.

Experience is something to look for too. While a bad plumbing company may not have a lot of experience, a good choice will have years of experience. You want to know that your plumbing company has helped others in the same situation as you so that they can use their experience to quickly resolve your issues.

It is important to go with a plumbing company that has a good reputation. You want to know that your plumber will have the skills needed to complete the job well. It is important to hire a company that cares about customer service and that will clean up after themselves. Find out beforehand what type of plumbing company you are going to be hiring by researching what their past customers have to say. Avoid companies with negative comments, and go with a company that has mostly favorable reviews.

When you are looking for a quality company, we can help. Give us a call today at 408-295-2182 to learn more about our services or to make an appointment.

The Advantages of Fabricating New Sheet Metal for Your HVAC System

Another few years have passed and now it’s time for you to perform maintenance on your HVAC system. It takes time and money, and then you have to do it all again in the next few years. You should instead consider replacing the material in your HVAC system with sheet metal. Though thin, sheet metal has proven to be strong, efficient, and cost-effective. Whether you are a facilitation manager for a large company or responsible for new construction projects, sheet metal is highly recommended for ventilation ducts.

Sheet metal can withstand large amounts of pressure along with the harsh weathers ranging from frigid to scorching. It is lighter than other material used for ventilation ducts. Regardless, it’s the custom fabrication of the sheet metal that is specifically tailored for your business. Sheet metal is cost- and time-effective because it’s simpler to make. The material isn’t imported from across the sea. Not only does it save money for HVAC contractors, but it saves on your company’s energy bills in the long run.

The Efficiency of Sheet Metal for Your HVAC System

There are a number of ways that sheet metal is economical for your company:

  • custom fabrication reduces air leaks
  • the relatively smaller size allows for better air volume and distribution
  • easier to manage

Sheet metal is always custom fabricated, and this is beneficial. Regular, generic-shaped air ducts are not as stable; they have a tendency to move and bend while in use. This causes air leaks. Air leaks mean that your ventilation would have to work even harder to get the air to its destination. It will stay on longer and increase your energy bill. Custom fabricated sheet metal is sealed tightly and cut to fit your building. It will not experience energy losses like normal air ducts.

Due to its smaller size and sealed design, sheet metal ducts allows air to flow through in smaller volumes. Therefore, the fresh air will make it to the designated rooms faster. These ducts simply have better control of the air volume. As a result, this is another way your HVAC systems won’t have to work as hard and saves your company money on the energy bill.

Maintenence should still be required every few years for your HVAC systems. However, sheet metal makes it easier for HVAC technicians to service. You also will not be required to have to replace it every few years. This is because custom fabricated sheet metal ducts are more durable, and is yet another money-saver.

If you’re ready to save money on your energy bill, then call us today at 408-295-2182 and inquire about sheet metal ducts for your building.

Are HVAC Service Contracts in San Jose Worth It

Air conditioning problems aren’t avoidable. The age of the system often determines the frequency of the repairs needed; however, a service contract may be the only way to avoid significant repairs. HVAC contracts in San Jose may be worth it for some people.

Overview of Maintenance

The purpose of maintenance is to extend the service life of your HVAC system. HVAC maintenance may include cleaning coils, closing open spaces, changing filters, and replacing failing parts. Additionally, the ductwork may be checked in order to make sure that there are no leaks.

What is a service contract?

A service contract includes one or two home visits. During the visit or service call an inspection is performed. There may be parts replaced as a part of routine maintenance. Some companies allow you a certain number of tune-ups, annually. Multiple service appointments can cost more, especially when emergency calls are made. The point of a service contract is to lower cost of maintenance and eliminate emergency repairs.

Is it worth the money?

The basis for comparing the worth of a service contract is to compare it against the most expensive repairs. A service contract can cost between $100-200. The refrigerant leak repair costs approximately $1,500. A circuit board malfunction can cost as much as $750 to correct. If the condenser fan motor fails, the cost for repair could be as $750. With most repairs ranging from $200-$3,000, a service contract valued at $200 is sensible. Installing a new unit can cost around $5,000 for replacement. A service contract contains maintenance costs, limiting them to a particular threshold.

The value of the service contract

HVAC professionals can prevent units from failing if a system has a minor problem. They have the knowledge to safely complete the required repairs. Effective at troubleshooting, HVAC professionals hired to serve a maintenance contract can usually quickly pinpoint a problem with the system. They have the tools, expertise and experience to protect your costly unit.

A service contract’s use is debatable among many. What’s worth considering is, the cost for an emergency repair exceeding $1,000 can be particularly devastating to a household. A system is much more likely to fail if the unit is neglected and not maintained. A service contract on a system includes multiple visits that could consist of an inspection and minor repairs. Talk to your HVAC specialist today to determine the value of a service contract.

3 Things To Look For To Find The Best Contractor in San Jose

Finding a reputable plumbing, process piping and HVAC contractor requires more than comparing bottom line prices and being moved by creative marketing. Here are three areas you should look closely at when evaluating a contractor for your upcoming construction project.

Quality of the Contractor’s Bid

Evaluate these four areas to determine the level of quality you can expect.

Cost
Fully evaluate the financial-cost, time-cost and quality-cost of the bid. Ask yourself if a low-price bidder will be able to meet your project timeline. Consider the price and quality connection or workmanship and materials over time.

Scope
Make sure the contractor understands the scope of your project. They should ask questions to gain a sense of what you need and be able to offer alternatives, rather than pricing your project as if it were a product.

Warranty
Look for a contractor who can provide a sufficient warranty and can guarantee quality workmanship. You should see evidence of an efficient workflow process and sourcing of quality materials for your project.

Interview
Meet with, speak to, or collaborate with the contractor before or during the bidding process to get a sense of how they will work with you during the construction phase of your project.

License, insurance and bonding

You should not need to do much legwork in this area. A reputable contractor should include their license number and classification with every bid and display it on their website. Ask about their insurance liability limits and make sure that they are bonded to meet the financial obligations of your project.

Contractor’s Background and Credentials

Determine if the contractor is the right fit for your project.

Experience
Check if the company has worked mainly as a subcontractor of if they have experience as a general contractor. Also look for areas of specialization that match your project requirements.

Portfolio
Ask for a list of projects they have worked on that are like yours.

References
Get a list of clients who will speak to you about their experience, rather than relying on quoted testimonials.

Commitment to Your Construction Project

Ask if you will have a dedicated project manager. Inquire about how the contractor’s other projects will affect their ability to meet your timelines. Finally, make sure the contractor has the flexibility to work with your staff and adapt to any changes in the project.

Best Contractor in San Jose

Choose a contractor who demonstrates quality processes in bidding and project work, presents the right credentials, and displays an adequate commitment to your project. Since 1906, O.C. McDonald Company has been a leading contractor in the San Jose area. Let’s have a conversation about your project and how we can help. Call us today at 408-295-2182

How Quickly Can Ductwork Fabrication Be Done

When adding a new unit or expanding the additional system, ductwork replacement may be necessary. The process requires careful planning and coordination, so this alone could affect how long a system takes to build. Ductwork fabrication can completed in a matter of days depending on several factors.

Factors affecting the amount of time it takes to complete a system

Design of system-The design of the system is a factor. A more complex design may require more planning and labor. Intricate planning may be required if there are efficiency requirements that must be made. Repairs are almost unavoidable whenever a system is being upgraded. There may be multiple temperature controls that have to be incorporated into the design, which affects complexity of the overall system. If additional supply ductworks are needed than originally required, then the size of the system is affected.

Size of the project-The size of the project may vary. For example, there may be multiple stories to account for in the planning, which could affect the amount of labor that could be required. The square footage of each room affects the length of the project.

Improvement or replacement-If the system upgrade involves simply replacing the existing unit with a similar one, then there will be little changes to the design in most cases. This means that ductwork may need moderate improvements to resolve leaks or vulnerable areas.

Quality of existing ductwork-If the ductwork is aging and failing in multiple areas, then the ductwork has to be replaced. If there are energy efficiency concerns, then the ductwork should be replaced.

Permitting-Agencies may affect the timeline. The permit application may take longer to process if working with a particular agency. The duct installation project timeline could be affected if there are any delays in processing the application.

Accessibility of the ductwork-If the ductwork isn’t accessible, then the project will take longer to complete. The ductwork can be replaced quickly if it is very accessible.

How long does it take to install a ductwork?

The ductwork project takes between 1 to 4 days. The ductwork is mostly impacted by the size of the project. If there are no unexpected challenges, then the system will take only a few days to install. In some cases, the installation can be completed in one day.

New ductwork may be required if a new HVAC system is being installed. Multiple variables affecting the timeline of the project such as the design of the system and the size of the project can also affect the overall cost of the system. Most installation projects can be completed in a matter of days.

Still have questions?  Call O.C. McDonald today (408) 295-2182