How can you narrow down the best air conditioning repair workers in Santa Clara?

The HVAC system in your home is probably its most expensive and definitely complicated appliance. When you need it serviced or replaced, you’ll want to use the most capable technician or contractor you can find. Fortunately California makes it possible for you to choose a company or person you can count on. There are also other professional organizations that indicate the quality of HVAC professionals in your area.

Licensing

Insist on hiring a technician who has an active HVAC contracting license with the state of California. They must also have insurance and bonding to protect you financially. Not all HVAC technicians work for an HVAC contractor. Even solo technicians need the proper credentials and insurance. If you have work performed by an unlicensed contractor or technician, the manufacturer may not honor the warranty. Losing the warranty could cause you to suffer considerably if you have an extensive repair in the future.

NATE-Certified

Look for a technician who has NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certification. NATE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the HVAC industry by singling out the most capable and competent technicians in the field. NATE administers a series of rigorous exams to applicants who want it’s certification. Only a small handful of HVAC technicians pass.

When you find an HVAC company that has NATE certification and NATE technicians, you can expect them to be the most knowledgeable in your area. Besides technical competence, NATE also insists on high standards for customer service. Customer satisfaction rates are highest among NATE-certified HVAC companies.

Go Local

Besides the BBB, explore these resources:

• Check out the BBB ratings. The Better Business Bureau assigns ratings to companies based on consumer feedback. Look for an HVAC company with and A or A+ rating.
• Ask around. You might find that someone you know and trust has used a company or individual with whom they were impressed.
• Go online. While you do have to use caution with online reviews, Angie’s List provides authentic company reviews, as well as HomeAdvisor.com.

Go Green

Does the company or technician have Energy Star credentials? This voluntary program helps consumers select HVAC contractors and technicians who follow the guidelines the Energy Star program has developed. They help you get the most energy efficiency from your equipment, whether you’re installing new or having your existing system service.

If you’re in the process of choosing an HVAC technician, contact O.C. McDonald. We provide trusted HVAC services in the San Jose and Bay Areas or call us at (408) 295-2182 today.

What are the steps for HVAC installation?

Nothing is more important than the quality of your new HVAC system installation. It drives the longevity of your equipment, your indoor comfort and your energy bills. Before you sign a contract with an HVAC company, be sure that they follow the best industry practices.

Sizing

Beware of the contractor who goes by the size of your existing HVAC system for your replacement. A reputable contractor will conduct a load calculation using Manual J software by assessing the following factors before suggesting a system size:

• Cubic footage
• Attic and wall insulation levels
• Size, quality and placement of windows
• Floor plan design
• Air infiltration rates
• Landscaping factors
• Family size and ages
• Preferred indoor temperatures
• Number and use of appliances that create heat indoors

Each of these conditions affects how energy efficient your home is. Once the technician enters the data, the software returns recommendations about the size your system should be.

An HVAC system that’s too large or small won’t run as efficiently as one that’s the optimal size. If you install one that’s too large, it will run in short cycles that lower your comfort, leave humidity behind in the summer, drive up your energy bills, and need more repairs. A system that’s too small probably won’t be able to keep you as comfortable during weather extremes.

Duct Work Inspection

A new HVAC installation requires a thorough duct work inspection. If there are leaks, broken segments, or other signs of duct work failure, the contractor needs to replace it. It should also be sized properly by using Manual D to make sure that it has the right capacity for the new HVAC system.

Leaking duct work reduces the energy efficiency of the new HVAC system and if it’s too small, they will be noisy when the HVAC system runs. If the ducts are too large, there won’t be enough air pressure coming from the air handler to deliver the air to each room.

Exploring the Options

Once you’ve gone through the basics, review what you want from your new HVAC system with the expert. There are a number of system options that enhance comfort and energy efficiency like variable-speed operations and smart system controls.

If you need to install a new HVAC system, contact O.C. McDonald. We provide trusted HVAC services in the San Jose and Bay Areas or call us at (408) 295-2182 today.

What licenses do your contractors need for new construction in San Jose?

Anyone who provides skilled labor valued over $500 for parts and labor for a home needs to have a license from the California State Licensing Board (CSLB). Altogether, the CSLB has 43 separate licensing categories for residential construction and remodeling.

General Contractors

The top categories are the general contractors who oversee the construction of the entire home or building. General engineers also fall into the top category. Engineers specify the lot and land specifications and once the local jurisdiction has approved their layout, odds are you won’t have to deal with the engineers or land developers.

When you’re building a new home, the general contractor supervises everything that the subcontractors do. They include virtually every trade that works on your home, from the drywallers to the electricians and the fencing contractors to the roofers.

Sometimes general contractors also supply some of the labor and skills needed to build a home. When they do, the contractor has to apply for a license to practice that trade. If they put up the framing, they have to have a framing license. If they also install swimming pools, they must have a license to do that too.

But if the contractor provides more than two specialty services, the work that it does will fall under the general contractor’s license. For example, a contractor who installs the wiring, plumbing and swimming pool only needs a general contractor’s license.

How Are Licenses Issued

Some of the trades have minimum standards for classroom hours and fieldwork hours before applying for a license. HVAC license applicants, have to show that they’ve worked in the field for four years before applying for their license. Electricians have similar requirements. Many professionals also go to community colleges or trade schools to learn the material they’ll have to know in order to pass the require exams in their specialty.

Other Requirements

Besides passing the professional competency and business law tests, the applicant will have to post a bond and obtain insurance to work as a licensed trade in California.

The Value of Licensing

The consumer is the biggest beneficiary of the strict licensing requirements in California. When the trades have to show fiscal responsibility to do work on your home, you’ll be protected financially from any kind of liability their work may cause.

Of course, the best protection you can have when building new or remodeling is by hiring a general contractor. Their expertise and financial stability is likely to be much deeper.

If you’d like to learn more about hiring a general or specialty contractor, contact O.C. McDonald by calling us at 408-295-2182. We provide contracting services for San Jose and Bay area homeowners.

What Air Conditioner Repairs Require a Contractor or Other Repair Technician?

Having purchased an air conditioner unit, it’s every homeowner’s dream to experience unrivaled comfort in their home during the summer and winter season. The unique ability to regulate both warm and cool air undoubtedly promotes healthy living and creativity. Despite their substantial benefits, air conditioners tend to break down once in a while and fixing them can be a daunting task, especially to first time owners. The constant debate of whether to consult an air conditioner contractor or simply fixing it by yourself can ultimately push you over the edge. As a homeowner, you might want to get acquainted with several repairs that immediately demand the attention of a seasoned contractor or repair technician.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant leaks are critical problems that must be taken seriously to preserve the durability and efficiency of your air conditioner unit. Contrary to common perception, adding refrigerant to a leaking unit doesn’t necessarily fix your HVAC unit. Far from it, such a problem is a manifestation of deep-rooted issues. An air conditioner running on low refrigerant simply denotes that the unit was undercharged during installation. In such a situation, it’s in your best interest to hire a seasoned technician to not only fix the leak but also test the repairs and ascertain that the right levels of refrigerant have been topped up. After all, an air conditioner’s efficiency and performance are optimized when the refrigerant coincides with the manufacturer’s specification.

Broken Compressor Fan

Your air conditioner’s exterior extension consists of a fan, condenser coils, and a compressor. Such apparatuses work in unison to dispense warm air from your home and provide a cool indoor climate. When the outdoor fan is compromised, the heat transfer process is disrupted leading to a subsequent chain of problems. For starters, the air conditioner wouldn’t be in optimal condition to provide cool air while the system’s compressor runs the risk of overheating. With an overheated compressor, your air conditioner’s safety controls can frequently turn your HVAC unit off. By hiring a qualified contractor or repair technician, they shall diligently diagnose the problem and repair or replace your compressor fan if necessary.

Frozen Condenser Coils

When the air conditioner’s condenser coils freeze up, it’s a tell-tale sign that your heating and cooling system won’t run properly. Poor airflow within the cooling system can cause freezing on the coils. Commonly caused by obstructions such as blocked return air ducts and dirty air filters, such issues can be solved with the aid of a refrigerant charge. However, such repairs must be done by an experienced technician who can diagnose the specific problem behind the frozen coils, liquefy the ice and restore your unit’s cooling capacity.

At O.C. McDonald’s, we have cultivated a stellar reputation for identifying and fixing air conditioner problems with finesse. Over the years, we have amassed tons of experience providing exceptional services tailored to meet the specific needs of each customer. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at 408-295-2182 and let us restore your air conditioner to its former glory.

What Air Conditioning Repair Services Can You Find in San Jose

If you live in San Jose, you can relax knowing that there are many different services available to help resolve your air conditioning issues. Whether you are dealing with a unit that is cutting on and off or not working at all, there is an answer to your problem. When your commercial building or home is not as cool as it needs to be, your AC unit should be looked at by a professional to get it quickly working again.

Common AC Problems

  • Low refrigerant
  • Electrical issues
  • Thermostat problems
  • Dirty or blocked parts

Your AC Issues Can Be Resolved with the Help of a Professional

One of the most common AC problems that many people have to deal with is low refrigerant. This problem can occur if you simply need more refrigerant or are dealing with a leak. Professionals can find and resolve your issues quickly using advanced technology and the proper tools.

Electrical issues can also cause problems to your system. Your compressor could be at fault or your fan could be not working the way that it should be. If you have electrical problems, a licensed and insured professional can help resolve your issues quickly.

Your thermostat could also be at fault if you are having air conditioning problems. If your building or home is not getting the cool air it needs, it is important to make sure that your thermostat is working the way that it should be.

It is important to change or clean out your AC filters and to make sure that your evaporator stays clean. Your AC coils need to be properly taken care of so that you do not have major problems in the future. By taking good care of your equipment now, you can avoid serious issues that may occur down the road. A quality company can offer fast services so that your minor problems do not end up getting worse.

Quality AC repair services can help your unit to last for as long as possible. Quick fixes can prolong the life of your air conditioning system so that you can enjoy its use and get the most out of your investment. If you are in need of quality AC repair service, call us now at 408-295-2182 to learn more about what we can do to help you or to schedule an appointment today.

What Are the Signs That Your Furnace Needs Repairs?

How can you prolong the life of your furnace without compromising the quality of their service of having to pay for the power bills through the nose? By ensuring the system is adequately maintained and necessary repairs carried out on time. To achieve this, however, you need to learn how to check on the system and how to identify possible sign that the furnace needs repairs. Note that this doesn’t require special classes, you only need to closely monitor the performance of your system and identify any of these problems:

Inappropriate noise

The almost smooth sound produced by a running heater can be considered appropriate. Inappropriate noise, on the other hand, refers to any strange noise produced by the system during operation. Therefore, should you hear clunking and grinding noises with your system, consider calling in expert repair professionals as this often represents underlying system problems.

System neglect

When is the last time you had your system checked, cleaned, and the air filters repaired? Most furnace manufacturers recommend that you have your system inspected by a professional every three months regardless of its current condition. You should, therefore, consider calling in furnace repair experts if you have neglected it for more than six months.

Poor indoor air quality

Several furnace conditions may contribute to poor indoor air quality. These include dirty or worn out air filters, clogged and dirty ducts or gas leaks from the furnace. Each of these poses health risks to your household thus the need to contact a HVAC repair professional.

Skyrocketing energy bills

How much you spend on heating on a monthly basis can also serve as a great indicator of the current condition of your system. Skyrocketing energy bills are a sign of a stressed system. Stress within a system can, in turn, be attributed to most furnace problems given that its build-up eventually rocks and breaks and down your home’s HVAC system. Calling a repair expert to investigate the disparity in energy consumption, therefore, goes a long way in helping lower the stress and optimize the system performance.

Uneven heat in the house

A properly functioning heater should provide even warmth to all the rooms of the house. Experiencing uneven heat around such as some parts of the house being warmer than the others is, therefore, an indicator of a struggling furnace.

Bottom line

While some of these problems only require soft repairs like cleaning of the air filter, others require extensive part replacement. However, if left unattended, either have the ability to render your system useless, thus the need to contact repair experts as soon as possible. Call us at 408-295-2182.

How Does An Air Handler Work on An AC Unit?

Air handlers are essential to almost all functional HVAC systems. From the stripped back simplicity of cooling a small house, to the large-scale energy transfers required to air-condition commercial real estate – air handlers are everywhere in the world of AC appliances. While the name is self-explanatory, the processes involved are somewhat complex. The main purpose of air handlers is to circulate filtered, conditioned air throughout a building’s ventilation ducts. Each section of the air handler is usually separate from the others, located in a discrete portion of the appliance’s metal body. Though there are varying levels of complexity, air handlers will generally have three essential components.

HVAC Components:

Air Filter: This is usually placed between the intake vent and the coils, making it the first active component. The filtration process ensures that only clean, breathable air is circulated to a building’s occupants. Depending on the level of filtration required, often two or more filters will be placed consecutively.

Coils: These components, which usually take affect directly after filtration, are what heat or cool the air. The air is run over the coils, changing the temperature. The level of heat is manipulated by moving thermal energy between the filtered air and a refrigerant stored in the rest of the HVAC system. This refrigerant is continuously cooled and circulated through the coils, which is what allows the AC to function continuously.

Blower: Once the air has been filtered and the temperature modified, the blower circulates the air through the building. Blowers typically use centrifugal fans powered by electric motors, meaning that their essential function is to change electrical energy into the kinetic energy, which causes the fan blades to rotate. From there, the kinetic energy is transferred from the fan to the air, causing the it to circulate throughout the ventilation ducts.

Given the integral role this technology plays, keeping your air handler functional and effective is absolutely vital to the success of your HVAC air conditioning system. The technology is completely dysfunctional if air is not effectively filtered, conditioned, and circulated. The consequences of poor maintenance range from inefficient waste of energy, to adverse health effects. As such, if there is even a minor problem with your air handler, we can help. Please call us today at 408-295-2182

What Kind Of Companies Work With Industrial Heating and Cooling Systems?

Are you in need of an efficient company specializing in industrial heating and cooling systems? With the increasing demand for large-scale production of goods, finding an ideal company tailored at providing an optimal working environment can be a tall order, to say the least. If you are in this situation, don’t worry we have got you covered. Whether you are new to the business or recently discovered the need for ample industrial heating and cooling systems, finding an ideal company can definitely go a long way in achieving set goals and objectives.

Getting Everything Right From the Onset

The ultimate decision you make from the onset can spell the difference between success and failure. If you have a knack for rushing in and picking any company without conducting due diligence, then rest assured your business will ultimately fail. As a business owner, you might want to hire a company that strives to live up to the following qualities crucial in ensuring that you obtain optimal value for services rendered.

Accreditations

The benefits of hiring an accredited HVAC company cannot be stressed enough. After all, you are entrusting this elite team of professionals to ensure that your business runs without as much as a glitch. Seasoned companies have developed a reputation for possessing insurance, licenses, and bondage. Such qualifications speak volumes about a company’s unique capacity to perform installations, maintenance, and repairs with finesse. While on this subject, you should ensure that the potential company is NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certified. By enlisting the services of an enterprise with such qualities, you can rest assured knowing your business interests are in safe hands.

Round-The-Clock Customer Support

As a business owner, you can never know the precise moment when you’ll need exceptional HVAC services. As such, you might want to hire a company that provides full-time emergency services to not only give you the much-needed peace of mind but to also know you can rely on a seasoned expert to deliver swift assistance when you need it the most.

Experience

Since industrial heating and cooling systems can be complex tasks, it’s imperative to know that you can work with a team boasting tons of experience in this specific field. Through their experience, such experts have harnessed their unrivaled skills by completing various projects with precision. By having them in your corner, they can enlighten you on a plethora of guidelines and recommendations to implement to achieve unrivaled performance.

Flexibility

As a business owner, it makes perfect sense aligning with experts that understand the complex challenges associated with paying for heating and air conditioning services upfront. Preferably, identify HVAC companies providing flexible payment solutions to ensure that you obtain high-quality heating and air conditioning services without costing you a fortune.

At O.C. McDonald, we have cultivated a reputation for going above and beyond to deliver exceptional services to our esteemed customers. Regardless of your budget, we shall diligently develop a flexible payment solution tailored to meet your specific needs. From HVAC to gas fitting and plumbing, no service is beyond our realm of expertise. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at 408-295-2182 and learn how we can help you achieve exceptional heating and cooling services.

What’s the Difference Between Process Piping And Plumbing?

Process Piping and Plumbing can be complex concepts to define especially in the absence of in-depth information to effectively differentiate. To most people, such concepts can be considered to be cross-cutting based on their close relationship in the manufacturing industry. As a homeowner, you might want to obtain accurate facts when seeking repairs on HVAC systems, plumbing and installation services from a seasoned company.

What is Plumbing?

Plumbing is often referred to as the unique process of distributing chemicals and liquid components through a predefined network of pipework. Be as it may, not all pipes connected in a building can be considered to be components of a plumbing system. Plumbing is primarily associated with pipes connected to a faucet or shower system. On the other hand, process piping entails the connection and distribution of pipes in processing machines often associated with industrial factories. As a homeowner in need of urgent installation or repair services, the benefits of distinguishing between the two concepts cannot be stressed enough. After all, the right knowledge can assist you in obtaining the right services at affordable costs.

What is Process Piping?

Process Piping is a unique technique used to convert chemicals, gases, and liquids into tangible and valuable products. In a nutshell, process piping incorporates any pipes excluded from a building’s mechanical systems and instead channeled towards the production of a specified product. For starters, the pipes used in the transportation of key ingredients such as salt, water, yeast and flour in an industrial bread baking process can be considered to be components of a process piping system. Simply defined, pipes used in the distribution of substances other than water distribution are categorized as process piping systems.

Process piping entails a vast interconnected system including separators, flanges, pressure hoses, traps, strainers, gaskets, and many more components. Such apparatuses are uniquely placed together to separate, distribute, stop and control the movement of fluids within the piping system.

What Makes Plumbing So Different From Process Piping?

Contrary to common perception, the main difference between plumbing and processing can be accurately attributed to the building codes. Before installing a plumbing system, you must comply with the plumbing code as an essential requirement. For process piping systems, plant developers are required by law to comply with the engineering codes to evaluate the suitability of each designated pipe.

When seeking an installation of plumbing systems, it’s in your best interests to comply with specific materials such as copper pipes as outlined by State laws. In process piping systems, manufacturers are afforded more latitude regarding the specific types of materials intended for use. After all, engineers need to ensure that such apparatuses don’t negatively affect the processes’ end product.

At O.C. McDonald, we are privileged to have a seasoned team of experts with the unique expertise and tons of experience in installing both plumbing and process piping systems. Depending on your exact needs, we shall diligently exhibit high-quality and professional workmanship to deliver tailored services. Feel free to contact us today at 408-295-2182 and learn how we can help you achieve your desired goals.

What’s the average cost for a central air compressor?

The four parts used in most central air systems are the compressor, evaporator, expansion valve, and a condenser. Of these parts, the compressor is responsible for circulating coolant through the unit. It does this by compressing freon into a high temperature gas that is then pushed through to the outdoor coil, where at this time the heat is radiated away. From here the coolant returns to liquid form to be pumped back through the interior coils to suck up heat and turn back into gas again. This process cycles over and over again to maintain a cool temperature inside your home or office.

Depending on the model and make of your unit, on average the cost of a replacement compressor can run from anywhere between $300 to $600. However, this is only the cost of the part itself, and hiring a technician will cost you about $1500 to $2000 on average. Seeing the difference in price, it may be incredibly tempting to make a repair job yourself. The caveat is that you need to have an HVAC license in most states to legally work on an air conditioning unit. So while it doesn’t hurt to do further research into what could be a small issue, if it’s something you can’t fix without opening up your air conditioning unit, the chances are that you’ll need to call someone.

Signs a Compressor Needs Replacing

Like many machines, there are several common signs that can tell you whether or not your compressor needs to be replaced by a certified technician. Below is a list of some common problems caused by a faulty compressor. These issues can be caused by wear and tear due to high usage, power surges burning out the circuits of the compressor, or excess moisture buildup causing chemical damage to the unit.

  • The number one sign a compressor needs to be replaced is that your unit no longer blows out cool air.
  • The fan is no longer audible when you turn on your air conditioning unit.
  • Loud noises are coming from the inside of your A/C.
  • The clutch of your air conditioning unit remains still and does not move.
  • Fluid leaks develop at the connectors of your compressor.
  • Dust and other material clogs the compressor’s fan and causes the motor to burn out.

If you happen to be experiencing issues with your HVAC system, give us a call so we can help! Call now at 408-295-2182