How Much is Air Conditioner Repair?

Air conditioner repair costs will vary depending on the brand, size, and type of air conditioner. However, it is important to have an experienced HVAC technician come and evaluate your system before deciding whether or not to replace or repair your air conditioner.

So, what’s the problem? Is your air conditioner running but not cooling? Is it not cooling as well as it usually does? Is it making strange noises? These are all questions your technician will want the answers to.

 

Possible Problems With Your Air Conditioner

  • Not feeling as cool as usual. Check the filter and clean it if necessary. Also check around the unit and make sure there is nothing impeding airflow, like plants or curtains. If everything seems clear and you call for a repair, it could cost, according to Home Advisor, as little $200 and as much as $1600 to fix a refrigerant leak and around $200 to recharge the freon.
  • Not turning on, or staying on. If your air conditioner is not turning on or not staying on once it’s turned on, you may have an electrical issue, but you should have a professional check out the condenser, the evaporator unit, and the fan. They may just need to be cleaned, but could need repair. Condenser fan replacement can cost around $500 and an evaporator unit may cost as much as $1000. A circuit board, relays, or other electrical parts could cost as little as $15 or as much as $300.
  • Rattling or other noises coming from the unit? Call a pro and get a tune-up. You might need a few pieces lubed or other parts cleaned and looked at. This will cost in $75 to $150 range according to Home Advisor.
  • Use the 5,000 rule. Many HVAC technicians suggest using the 5,000 rule. Essentially, this means you take the age of the unit and multiply it by the cost of the repair. If the answer is more than $5,000, you should probably replace the unit. For example, if you’re air conditioner is 10 years old and the repair will be $250, you should repair that unit as the answer is only $2,500.

No matter what the problem, make sure you consult with your HVAC technician to make sure you are taking care of the unit properly. If the unit is aging and a repair might be costly, replacing might be your best option. Need help with your repair? Give us a call at (408) 295-2182

 

What Is a Design Build Contractor?

Do you have a building project? If yes, you should consider hiring a design-build contractor. In design-build, rather than the owner contracting with two separate individuals or teams, that is contractor and architect, he or she ties the architect contractually to the contractor. The owner then deals with one entity, that is, the Design-Build team.

How Does a General Contractor Differ from the Design-Build Contractor?

A general contractor is concerned with just the construction aspect of the project where they subcontract some of the work; another firm completes actual designs and plans for the project. As a result, the project may take time, and the process may not be continuous since the designing is done by someone who is outside the project but a design-build contractor does all the work including construction and designing of the project.

How Can You Benefit by Hiring a Design-Build Contractor?

  • Single source of accountability

The architect and builders are under one roof allowing you to work with one team throughout the project which as a result improves accountability.

  • Saves time

A design-build contractor will save you time during development and construction of your building since there will be no delays in communication between the architects and builders for they work as one team. Arising changes or problems are communicated quickly and effectively which apparently helps the design team finish the work on time.

  • Saves money

When drawing plans, the designer takes cost efficiency enabling you to save costs on construction. Hiring another team to do the construction work is expensive, but with build design, you can save these additional fees thereby lowering the project costs. Some design-build teams offer discounts if you use their full services making you save more.

  • Quality control

Use of design-build contractor removes the ambiguity that is likely to be seen in material and construction specifications. The designer, engineers, and builders are from the same team which makes them focus on protecting the client’s interest.

  • Budget management

To keep the project with a reasonable budget, you should discuss the budget during the design phase. Discussing the cost ensures that the owner is aware of the whole costs and plays a crucial role in arriving at the price of the entire project. The design-build contractor defines and controls the project costs once the scope of the work has been finalized.

If you combine design-build experience in one team, you will realize the benefits of “one-stop shopping” such as cost saving, saves money and budget management among other benefits. Do you have a project you want completed? Call us today at (408) 295-2182

Why HVAC Maintenance is Important for Facilities

It’s without a doubt that your HVAC equipment is one of the most precious and if anything, one of the expensive equipment in your facility. HVAC equipment are frequently used within a facility and they are helpful in improving the living and working conditions. This among many other reasons is why you need to ensure that your heat and air equipment is up and running always. Below are three reasons why you need to keep maintenance top of your priority list.

Helps you save money by reducing energy use

One of the main reasons why maintaining an your equipment is important to facilities is that it helps improve their efficiency. According to energy statistics, HVAC equipment single handedly contributes to over 40% percent of energy used in any property. With proper and regularly maintained equipment, facility owners are able to save about 15-20% of energy costs that would otherwise have been wasted on inefficient equipment.

Helps you improve the lifespan of your equipment

Just like any other equipment, HVAC units are vulnerable and prone to damages. It is this damages that reduces the durability of these equipment. According to manufacturer’s, they have a lifespan of up to 40 years whereas the air conditioners can last up to 15 years and the water heater up to 10 years. By regularly checking your equipment you will be able to fix and correct the simple errors on your HVAC before they develop into complex issues consequently helping your equipment live up to its lifespan.

Helps improve quality of air around your property

In addition to keeping your property warm or cold depending on the weather conditions of the day, HVAC equipment helps improve the air quality in the surroundings. Experts recommend that you schedule regular maintenance plans if you are to enjoy the benefits of your equipment. Some of the things you need to ensure you carry out include;

  • Inspect, clean and service your equipment regularly
  • Replace worn out parts or those that do not meet your specific needs
  • Regulate your system controls properly

Once the above factors are checked, you will be able to guarantee the safety of your employees and facility visitors and also the efficiency of your equipment.

The ultimate performance and efficiency of your HVAC equipment is determined by the care you offer it. Preventative approaches such as cleaning your equipment regularly, replacing worn out parts and strengthening movable parts will help you improve the efficiency of your equipment and save you money at the same time. The good news about this is that we can help you in all this, call us today and let us gladly help you with your equipment. Call (408) 295-2182

Is Your Air Conditioner System Still on R-22?

Many air conditioners manufactured before 2015 use a refrigerant called R-22, more commonly known by its brand name, Freon. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reclassified R-22 as a Class II ozone depleting substance, and all air conditioners manufactured after 2015 must use more environmentally friendly refrigerants such as R-410A. By 2020 new EPA regulations will prohibit manufacturing or importing R-22 for use in the United States.

It’s no surprise that because of the new regulations, the price of R-22 has been on the rise, making it quite a bit more expensive to repair and recharge air conditioners that use it. If you have an older unit and want to keep it working, you will have to act quickly. To find out if your air conditioner uses R-22 simply check the label on the outside compressor. Unless it is missing or faded, it should display the type of refrigerant being used. If the label is unreadable, try to get the model and or serial number and contact the manufacturer for more information.

 

What Are My Options?

The good news is that If your air conditioner uses R-22, there are still a few options available. The first is to contact an HVAC contractor immediately to check for any small leaks that might be occurring. These can be easily fixed and should prolong the life of your unit in the short term. This will preserve your refrigerant which soon will be nearly impossible to find.

You might have another choice if your unit is newer and has the right type of coils. Since 2005 many equipment manufacturers have been making coils that are compatible with both R-22 and R-410A. By 2010 all air conditioners being made in the US were made to use R410A only. If your current unit can handle the newer refrigerant, your contractor may be able to clean the coils and either replace or adjust its expansion device to make the upgrade.

Of course, the final option which you probably want to avoid is to replace your system. If it is over 20 years old, and your cooling costs have been on the rise, this is probably the best choice. A newer unit will likely be more efficient, and you will be able to say that you’ve done your bit to help save the environment.

Need help?  Call us today (408) 295-2182

Does Your Facility Have an Emergency Plan for When Systems Go Down?

Whatever your line of business is, you have a variety of systems that help keep things running smoothly: HVAC for cool air in the summer and heat in the winter, plumbing for the bathrooms, electrical systems for lighting, and perhaps even some audio systems for intercoms or music.

When all of these systems are running smoothly, you don’t generally even think about them. You flip switches, adjust temperatures, flush toilets, and go about your day. But what happens when one or more of these systems go down? What if one system has a minor failure, or what if they all have a catastrophic failure at once?

Do you have an emergency plan for that scenario? You should, because at some point, something will happen.

 

What should your emergency plan contain?

To be fully comprehensive, your emergency plan should be thorough. It should begin with what to do in the event of a minor system failure, detailing the specifics for each system. It should conclude with what to do in the event of catastrophic failure of all systems at once.

It should detail things such as:

  • Whether to send staff home or keep working
  • Who to call for repairs, including names and phone numbers
  • Steps to take to prevent further damage to the system while waiting for repairs
  • If your business has clients or customers, whether to close to the public until repairs are made

There are likely other steps that are specific to your particular company that would also need to be included.

This plan should be in writing, and there should be several copies in several different locations around the property, ensuring that all employees are able to access it and make use of it, in the event of such an emergency.

A critical part of the emergency plan is knowing who to call to get repairs made quickly. You don’t want to have to wait out the weekend, or even a single night, in an emergency.

O.C. McDonald offers emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Include our number in your emergency plan, and no matter the time of day or night, our 24-hour live operator can get you set up with one of our experienced technicians to get your system back up and running as quickly as possible.

Call us today (408) 295-2182

Are You Paying Too Much for Industrial Plumbing?

Industrial plumbing is complicated and requires the expertise of personnel who are highly experienced in this area of the trade. Strict regulations regarding this type of plumbing have been put into place for the safety of both employees and customers. This is especially true in the San Francisco – San Jose area where there is a heavy population.

At O.C. McDonald, we are proud of our reputation as a company that is well known for our excellent service and quality workmanship in all commercial or residential projects we undertake. Starting with the installation of the first air conditioning system in San Jose, in 1906, our family company has expanded to include plumbing, process piping and HVAC installation and service.

Plumbing for commercial customers requires special skills and a complete knowledge of the complexities involved. Not only must local and federal rules be followed but there are special installation concerns as well. When a plumbing systems are installed it is essential that it works correctly from the moment of installation. Whether a large-scale plumbing job or a small one, each receives the meticulous details that are required for a good job.

 

Types of Commercial Plumbing

We are happy to offer industrial and commercial plumbing for all types of businesses. This includes plumbing systems designs and installation. HVAC, fuel oil, natural gas, medical, oil and grease waste, acid, double contained waste, compressed air, sanitary waste and vent, storm damage and potable/non-potable water systems are just a few of the different projects that have been designed and installed with high-quality work.

Often these projects involve facilities that must handle hundreds of people, which means that plumbing systems undergo a great deal of wear and tear. This includes hospitals, malls, restaurants and many other busy locations. Not only do these properties require a good plumbing system installation but upkeep as well. At O.C. McDonald’s we are happy to offer qualified professionals who can make any repairs, or required maintenance, quickly and efficiently with very little interruption of business.

Commercial plumbing work requires special skills. It is important that the plumber know the difference between a natural gas system and a recycled water system. There are hundreds of different requirements regarding how systems are constructed, how they are installed and that they fulfill the system and the legal requirements involved.

When a job is contracted, the first step involves the design/build engineers. This requires the specific skill of the engineer involved. Regardless of whether the job involves a small project or a large one, the same finite details will be taken into consideration. It is not the size of the job but the quality that we are concerned with.

Quality work and satisfaction are our main concern when designing and installing any type of system. We will review your requirements and explain the steps required for an installation. The size of the building, or property, and the type of business will determine what type of system will best fit your needs. Whether it is a natural, medical, fuel oil, compressed air, waste or drainage system, you will receive a full explanation of what is involved.

We are happy to offer the following:

  • Certified plumber installers
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 emergency services
  • Top of the line materials

If you are in the market for a high quality business system, give us a call today at 408-295-2182 and speak to one of our operators.

Should You Clean Your Own Coils or Call a Professional?

Having your HVAC coils cleaned regularly in a year can have a positive effect on the quality of air in your house. Most people seem to not believe in having a professional come and clean the coils, but it is essential to ensure that the cleaning is done by an expert to avoid damage on your system as well as to make sure that the coils are appropriately cleaned. Most specialists advice that you have your HVAC professionally cleaned and maintained at least twice in a year. It is good to have even more cleanings for the condenser coils. Regular maintenance will not only ensure that you have quality air but also promote your system’s efficiency.

Impact of dirty coils on your HVAC system

Having dirty coils can have a direct impact on your energy since the efficiency is affected by cleanliness. Dirty coils will make your system run for extended periods of time to achieve suitable temperature levels. Thus the longer the system operates, the more energy is spent consequently hiking your electricity consumption. The longevity of your system is also affected by dirty coils. Due to the increased running of the system, it becomes more vulnerable to breaking down and therefore continually needing repairs. Eventually, the system will wear out faster compared to a system that is regularly cleaned and maintained professionally

Over the years, HVAC coils cleaning services have grown to be very popular. Any client seeking these services should ensure that they contract a reputable firm to do the cleaning to avoid being scammed.

Here are some useful tips for finding a reputable company:

  • References. Ensure that you get a recommendation from a trusted person to avoid getting low-quality service. You can also check client reviews to confirm whether they were satisfied with the service provider.
  • Certified company. A good cleaning company should have necessary certification by a verified body which sets minimum standards that should be met by the service provider. It is also vital that the client knows the established standards for safe cleaning of their ducts to be in a position to assess the service and also verify that the cleaner follows set guidelines. Always insist for an inspection of the unit before making any payments.
  • Complete service. A reputable and trustworthy company should offer cleaning and maintenance service as a package, not just the cleaning.
  • Ask for quotes. Before settling for a single service provider, ask for estimates from different firms and go for the one that gives you the best deal.

Contact us for professional tune-ups and cleaning services to maintain your HVAC system’s coils and extend the unit’s durability.  Call (408) 295-2182

How To Calculate The Load of Your Air Conditioner

Calculating the load required of your facility’s air conditioner is important for maintaining a comfortable and efficient facility. If your HVAC system is too small, it won’t be able to properly circulate cooled air throughout the building. This is probably the more obvious sizing issue, since a building clearly needs enough cooling power to overcome the ambient heat inside.

However, if your air conditioner is too large for your facility, you may experience problems with energy efficiency and the integrity of the system itself. The most efficient air conditioner is one that can continually cool your facility to the right temperature while starting and stopping as few times as possible. Plus, a larger system can cost considerably more to install and maintain.

 

Determining the Right Size for Your Commercial Air Conditioner

There are many calculation methods out there that rely on “rules of thumb” for certain load estimations. These can be misleading, so it is best to avoid them in favor of load calculations that are more appropriate to the actual usage, size, and layout of your facility.

Here are some helpful tips for more accurately calculating your air conditioner load:

  • Take the square footage and ceiling height within your facility into consideration to determine the total volume of air that will need to be cooled.
  • Estimate the number of people who will be working within the facility all day; this can be an average if that number varies over time.
  • Be sure to take note of the number and sizes of any windows and doors that will allow additional heat into your facility.
  • You’ll want to take any other heat sources, such as kitchens, furnaces, or other heat-generating equipment, into account, as well.
  • The local climate can be a major factor in how much cooling power you’ll need, so look for accurate charts that provide air conditioning load information by region.

 

There are many other important factors to consider, as well, including maximum occupancy, safety factors, seasonal weather, and other conditions. You may find it easier to calculate your air conditioner load from this data using one of the many software tools available for creating accurate load estimates.

You can also contact an HVAC specialist to provide you with a professional analysis. Call OC McDonald today at (408) 295-2182 to speak with our experts about your facility’s air conditioning needs.

Why Air Quality is Important in Bay Area Restaurants

It is imperative for restaurants in the Bay Area to have good, clean, fresh air if they want to be a success. When customers come in to dine, they expect to be able to relax in a comfortable and inviting environment. Your air conditioning system and filter can play a big role in the overall air quality of your business. If you want to keep your customers happy, be sure to have it checked out on a routine basis to make sure that dust, smoke, and other allergens are not floating around your restaurant. Your indoor air quality is going to play a big role.

A Bay Area restaurant should have its air filters changed regularly. A high-grade filter will help to keep allergens out of the air so that everyone in the restaurant can breathe easy. A good filter will also help to keep your duct work cleaner leading to fresher indoor air. If you want your restaurant to be its best, good air quality is very important year-round.

 

Why Should You Worry About Air Quality In Your Restaurant?

The air quality in a restaurant can cause health risks if it is not clean and fresh. This could lead to customer complaints or health concerns for your valued staff members. By making sure that your restaurant has clean air, you can avoid all sorts of issues. There are many signs that your restaurant may be dealing with poor air quality.

Look Out For:

  • Bad odors
  • Complaints of headaches or feeling dizzy
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

Your air quality plays a bigger role than you might imagine in the comfort and popularity of your restaurant. It is important to get assistance at the first sign of problems so that your air quality can be improved. A good air conditioning system can help in many ways to keep your air clean and circulated. If you are interested in having a welcoming place for your customers to dine, make sure that your restaurant’s air quality is up to par.

By having your filters and duct work changed regularly, you can have peace of mind that you are improving your Bay Area restaurant. Your air quality should be excellent so that your customers and staff feel good when they enter your establishment.  Call us today for a free consultation:  (408) 295-2182

Should You Be Using a Smart Thermostat in Your Office?

Proper heating is essential for the indoor environment of your office. However, many challenges are associated with installing heating systems in an office such as cost and control of the systems. Smart thermostats have come to eliminate these concerns as well as improve the efficiency of heating systems in the office place. A smart thermostat is a recent trend in office heating. The device enables the user to have control of their heating system even from a remote distance.

 

Benefits of a Smart Thermostat

One of the most useful features of the smart thermostat is the ability of the user to control the office temperature remotely. This helps in saving time that would be spent in manually regulating the heater whenever the temperature gets too hot or too cold. There are other benefits that firms, particularly large ones with satellite branches or manufacturers with more than one factory can enjoy. These include the following;

 

  • Efficiently manage multiple devices remotely. A firm owner can control numerous thermostats and monitor office temperature in the different plants or offices around the world with the use of smart devices. This is quite convenient since the employer does not require to continually communicate with the staff in regards to heat regulation as they have the control in the palm of their hand.
  • The smart thermostats are compatible with any smart device such as a tablet, laptop, phone,or personal computer.
  • Improve efficiency and save money – The thermostats are more efficient than the conventional ones. They enable the user to use less power hence reducing operational costs in the long-run. This will also play an essential role in saving energy by giving you absolute control. Some devices can be programmed according to the consumer’s needs.
  • Alerts – Another important aspect is that the user can get alerts on their email. Wi-Fi smart thermostats support this feature and sends alerts if unexpected temperature changes occur. It will also notify the user if disconnected for any reason.

 

Importance of contracting a reputable firm

It is vital for firms to contract the right contractor for their installation. One reason is that the contractor will be able to identify the device that is most suitable for your custom needs. Since there are several devices in the market, identifying the most suitable can be quite a challenge for most consumers.

Contracting the right contractor ensures that the consumer gets what is best for them. The right contractor will facilitate proper connection to prevent connection problems. For quality and quality services and customer friendly prices, please contact us for your installation needs.  Call (408) 295-2182