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

Is a Local Air Conditioning Repair Company Better For a Commercial Business?

Indoor climate control provides more than just a comfortable temperature. In hot areas, a broken AC can lower productivity. Tech installations and labs also need a consistent and cool temperature to protect their equipment. With so many choices for service providers in the Bay area, how do you narrow down your options?

One of the worst things you can do is just call the first listing in a service directory. Referrals from current customers or online reviews can be helpful as long as they’re legitimate. The BBB or consumer sites like Yelp provide reliable information, too.

Even if you only need a minor repair, you want to find a company that you can establish an ongoing relationship with. This gives the benefit of allowing you additional perks like discounts for service, cost-effective maintenance plans, and a higher level of satisfaction. Retaining loyal customers is one of the most important things a company can do.

When you’re running a business or organization, down-time equal money. You want fast service from an AC repair company that meets the following criteria:

  • Convenient operating hours
  • After-hours emergency service
  • Free, on-site estimates
  • Competitive rates
  • Licensed to service commercial HVAC systems
  • Fully insured

Why Local Service Providers Are Better

Locally owned businesses offer many advantages, the first of which is proximity. You want a service provider that’s close enough to give you prompt assistance. Local HVAC companies also try harder to provide a high level of customer care. We have a reputation to maintain, and a lot of business comes from referrals.

Local businesses that focus on providing B2B assistance know how important reliable service is to continuity. Because many of our clients are universities and large tech firms that house expensive technology, we want to put your mind at ease. You’ll feel better knowing that our technicians are reliable and thoroughly background-checked before employment. We’ll work hard to:

  • Schedule on your time-table
  • Show up promptly and ready to work
  • Turn the job around fast
  • Clean up completely before we leave the premises

You don’t have to suffer when we’re just a phone call away. Don’t hesitate to contact us at the first sign of a problem with your AC. We’re available at 408-295-2182 to provide 24/7 assistance.

What Does Air Conditioning Repair in San Jose Cost?

When airflow seems less than optimal and performance starts to drag, it may be time to repair the unit. Repair costs vary depending on the type of unit and overall age of the system. If the system has been well-maintained over the life of the unit, repair costs may be lower. Costs for repairs in San Jose usually falls in the low hundreds.

Do I need air conditioning repair services?

Air conditioning repair services are necessary whenever there is the slightest change in performance. Delaying repairs for the smallest changes in the system can only lead to even more costly repairs. When there is no cooling when unit is on, the system may have a compressor problem. Low air flow is a sign that the duct work may need to be repaired. If the air isn’t circulating the way it needs to, the unit’s compressor may probably need to be checked. If your air conditioner turns off and on, the thermostat may be failing. Squealing and grinding noises could mean that the system has loose or missing pieces. If you notice a change in your utility bills, it might be time to consider getting your system checked and possibly upgraded. Older systems tend to have greater repair costs when compared to newer units. Repairs made during the hottest months tend to be much more expensive because of the increased demand for services.

Could I restore my AC with just a tune-up?

If you have just recently purchased a system in last few years, you may be able to get by with just a tune-up. AC tune-up costs about $150. If this is done annually, you will be able to control the cost of repairs and prevent them altogether. The maintenance extends the unit’s service life. A reputable HVAC professional can develop a service plan that will keep your system functioning well for years to come.

What are emergency repairs?

What’s considered an emergency is basically determined by you and the season. If the system suddenly stops working, then that could be considered an emergency. If the system happens to fail in the middle of the warmer months, then this, too, could also be considered an emergency.

AC units are complicated in nature. A small failure of a single part can ultimately lead to a complete system breakdown. As a general rule of thumb, if a system is older than 10 years, it may be time to replace the unit. AC units are only designed to last 15 years. Some problems may be resolved by a simple tune-up while others may require even more attention.

Call us today to schedule your tune up to avoid costly repairs:  (408) 295-2182

Is A Green HVAC System Right For Your Facility?

If you’re planning to upgrade your facility’s heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system, you should consider going green. Like other green technologies, green HVAC systems are designed with an emphasis on energy efficiency, making them a smart long-term investment.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), roughly 40 percent of a typical commercial building’s electricity goes towards heating and cooling. Depending on the size of the building, businesses can easily spend thousands of dollars on indoor climate control every year. The good news is that you don’t have to turn off your facility’s HVAC system just to reduce your business’s energy usage. Green HVAC systems consume less energy than traditional systems, allowing you to create a comfortable environment for your customers and employees without breaking the bank.

How to Choose a Green HVAC System

When choosing a green HVAC system for your facility, there are a few things to consider, beginning with efficiency. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating, while not perfect, provides a general overview of a system’s cooling efficiency. This metric reflects the system’s cooling power divided by the amount of energy it consumes. Generally speaking, the higher the SEER rating, the greater the system’s efficiency. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), on the other hand, reflects the system’s heating efficiency.

You should also consider the size of the green HVAC system. This doesn’t refer to the physical size of the system. Rather, a system’s size refers to its cooling and heating power. The size of a central air conditioner is typically measured in tonnage. A 1-ton unit can cool 12,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) in an hour.

Finally, consider the technology powering the system. Some of the most common types of green HVAC technologies include the following:

  • Geothermal Heat Pump: Also known as a ground source heat pump, it transfers heat from the facility to the ground during summer and vise-versa during winter.
  • Solar Power: This HVAC system is powered by solar panels that harvest and convert sunlight into usable electricity.
  • Dual-Fuel Heat Pump: Also known as a hybrid heat pump, it has a ground- or air-sourced heat pump with a gas or propane furnace.

Because they consume less energy than conventional models, green HVAC systems offer cost-savings benefits over time. So, even if it costs more up front, you’ll save money on your facility’s monthly power bills by investing in a green HVAC system.

To learn more green HVAC systems and whether they are right for your facility, call us today at 408-295-2182

When it’s Time to Upgrade Your HVAC Unit

You may have an older HVAC unit that’s causing you some problems. Older heating/cooling appliances can be tricky when determining what’s wrong with them. Pinpointing the issue is one thing. Deciding if you should repair or just replace the unit is a little more difficult.

If you are wondering if you need to replace your appliance, then check out the following signs to determine if an upgrade is in order.

Signs Your HVAC Unit Needs Upgrading

Higher bills- If you notice your utility bills are higher than usual, your HVAC unit may be using up more energy than it really should. Older appliances tend to need more power to run as they start to wear out.

Too much maintenance- If the repair costs of the unit far exceed the price you paid for it, upgrade your appliance. A new one would end up saving you money in the long run.

Noises- You may notice some loud, scary sounds coming from the unit. Often, parts loosen up or wear out. In older appliances, it may be hard to find replacement parts, or they may be costly to swap out.

Runs longer or there’s no heat/ cold air- The unit runs a lot longer than normal to warm up or cool down your home. Or, you may notice that it’s not kicking out heat or cool air at all. Ineffective parts can cause the appliance to work harder to get the job done. Or, you may have parts that just aren’t working.

Bad Odors- You might start noticing unusual odors coming from your unit when it’s trying to run. Parts, like motors, often smell bad when they’re going out. That smell will only get worse.
Age- Older units are doomed to go out eventually. If you find that yours has been around for more than 15 years or so, it’s probably time to upgrade your HVAC unit. It’s best to swap it out before your older heating appliance goes out.

Upgrading your heating/cooling device will bring you far more benefits in the long run. You’ll see your bills, as well as your repair costs, go down. You’ll also improve the quality of the air you’re breathing in, while eliminating respiratory problems you might have. If you need more information about HVAC upgrades, or just want to get started having one installed, call and talk to a live person, 24/7, at (408) 295-2182

When Should You Request An HVAC Tune Up?

When should you contact an HVAC expert to request a tune up for your air conditioners? The answer to this question depends upon your situation. Most residential customers require this type of service assistance only during the Spring and Fall. However, if you rely upon HVAC equipment in an educational, commercial, or industrial setting, you might need to obtain more frequent inspections and tune up services!

An HVAC tune up performs an important role in keeping both standalone air conditioning units and central-air central-heat systems functioning efficiently. As this equipment operates, it circulates and (often) re-circulates large volumes of air during a typical 24-hour period. Tiny dust particles, pollen, cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, air sprays, and other potential airborne contaminants travel into the air conditioner, where a filtering system will remove substantial quantities of debris.

During a typical tune up, a trained technician inspects the equipment to ensure everything functions properly. The tech will typically clean the air conditioner’s evaporative coils to remove dust and debris. Often, these service calls include replacing a worn-out air filter, and checking over the condition of any other aging components. The tune up helps keep HVAC machinery functioning as efficiently as possible.

Why Not All HVAC Equipment Requires The Same Tune Up Schedule

Why might you need to obtain more frequent HVAC servicing for institutional, office, commercial or (especially) industrial air conditioning systems? For one thing, most businesses utilize air conditioning extensively. You may keep a single air conditioner or central air/central heat system operating around the clock in your residence. Yet if you operate a large motel, your customers might place variable demands on 400 (or more) standalone units!. To ensure this heavily utilized equipment does not wear out prematurely, more regular tune ups sometimes make smart financial sense.

For instance, just consider a few reasons why institutional, commercial and industrial customers often prefer quarterly tune ups:

  • To lower utility bills;
  • To prevent costly sudden interruptions in cooling services;
  • To minimize “down time” caused by sluggish A/C performance.

If you depend upon a large industrial air conditioning system to maintain a constant temperature in your manufacturing facility as a safety matter, investing in regular HVAC tune up services could help improve your bottom line. To receive qualified assistance from an experienced mechanical contractor, simply contact (408)295-2182. We’ll help you enjoy efficient air conditioning!