Why You Should Replace AC Ducts

When you are outside, you can breathe fresh air from all directions. In a building, you might receive the majority of your air from your air conditioning (AC) ducts. Learn why you should replace AC ducts.

Most air is a combination of many different elements, including oxygen. The dirtiest air is filled with germs, dust, smoke and other airborne contaminants. Some diseases are spread through the air.

When your workers have the freshest air with the highest percentages of oxygen, they are the most productive. They can concentrate and complete tasks faster. Here are some of the reasons for replacing AC duct work:

  • Fresh Air
  • Reduce Airborne Contaminants
  • Prevent Diseases
  • Indoor Air Quality

Do you know what is breeding in your air duct work?

Replace Air Ducts

When an athlete goes to the sideline, he gets oxygen to reinvigorate him. Fresh air can increase your workers’ productivity. They can process information faster and complete their tasks on time.

Do you want your workers to be coughing into their keyboards? This prevents them from completing their assignments. It also spreads germs and increases the chances that others will get sick too.

More sick time will lead to fewer productive hours. Airborne diseases can cause simple fatigue or lead to more serious lung problems. This is especially true during the flu season.

There are many other types of contaminants that simply make breathing more difficult. Dust can clog up the lungs. Coal mine workers eventually get “black lung” due to long periods of exposure to airborne contaminants. How do the lungs of your employees look?

As a building owner, you are not only responsible for your employees, but also guests and vendors. What do they say about your Indoor Air Quality behind your back? Do they rue visiting your establishment or leave with a hacking cough?

If you care about promoting an image of excellence, does this not extend to having superior Indoor Air Quality also? Rats, squirrels, bats and birds nest inside your air ducts. Vermin leave all sort of waste material that are then recycled into the air, you breathe.

Replacing your AC ducts can help all people breathe easier, avoid airborne diseases and work more productively. Are you convinced that your AC ducts need cleaning? If so, call us today at 408-295-2182

Can You Just Replace an AC Compressor Instead of The Whole Thing?

The HVAC system of your business is a critical component of your building and its function is vital to the overall health and ability of your business to function, whether you are running a small office building or a large industrial complex. Keeping the air temperatures regulated and airflow moving steadily can impact your bottom line.

Often, as the HVAC unit or units for your business age, they show symptoms of failure before complete breakdown. Symptoms such as failure to produce cool air can be tracked to a number of smaller issues, such as a coolant leak or a line blockage, but a thorough inspection by an HVAC professional may also uncover major issues such as a compressor failure.

In the case of a compressor failure, you need to decide whether your business will best be served by replacing the compressor or by replacing the entire AC unit.

Replace the Compressor or Replace the AC Unit?

  • Consider replacing just the compressor if the existing AC unit and component parts are still under warranty. In this instance, the new compressor should not cost you anything but you will still need to pay for the labor to do the job. Make sure to get a quote on the labor, time, and materials as replacing a compressor can be a challenging and time-intensive job.
  • Consider replacing the AC unit if the system is past warranty. While you could opt for replacing just the compressor in this case, bear in mind that the cost of a new compressor, as well as the cost for labor and materials, may be close in range to the cost of installing a new AC unit.
  • Consider as well that a new compressor may only come with a limited warranty, up to
    1-2 years, and that you may find yourself back in the same situation in a short amount of time, facing the same issue without the benefit and security of a warranty to offset the cost.

Dealing with the advanced and technical needs of your HVAC system can be daunting, especially if your business is impacted by changes in temperature and loss of cooling due to AC problems. Let us solve your AC problems so you can focus on what matters most: the success of your business. We can help, call now 408-295-2182

Can anyone change a thermostat?

As with many home repairs, changing a thermostat might seem like it requires a specialist. Whether adjusting your current aging thermostat has become a guessing game or you have a new smart thermostat, rest assured changing it is an easy process.

Let’s walk through the steps.

First, identify the type of heating and cooling controlled by the thermostat. Some people have unique systems which require a certain replacement. Examples include having separate heating and AC units, having designated high and low speeds, or having a direct current power source powering the thermostat.

To begin, turn off the power to your air conditioning and furnace units controlled by the thermostat. Do this by flipping the correct switch in your breaker box or by individually turning each of the units off at their source.

Check and make sure they are off by adjusting the temperature to a high or low temperature to see if anything turns on. From there, remove the face of the thermostat.

Make note of which wires will go where on your new thermostat. To accomplish this:

  • Draw the wire locations
  • Take a picture
  • Refer to the old or new thermostat manual

Next, begin disconnecting the wires. Depending on the design of the thermostat, this may require a tool, likely a screwdriver. With the wires disconnected, remove the mount of the old thermostat, which will also likely require a screwdriver.

Out with the old, in with the new (thermostat)

With the old thermostat out of the way, it’s time to put on the new mount. To save yourself time and trouble, make sure that you will be able to screw the new mount to the wall. This likely requires two drywall anchors being in the correct location. If it looks like it works, slide the wires through the hole in the mount.

Connect the wires to the new mount. Refer to the method you used from earlier for this, otherwise the letters on the mount correspond to the color of the wire. Newer thermostats no longer use screws, so refer the manual to confirm the wires are securely in place. Once wired, screw the mount to the wall.

Now attach your new thermostat face and turn the power back on. Depending on your thermostat, you can now configure it and adjust the settings to your preference.

Still need assistance or advice? Call us today at 408-295-2182

What Is Included In An HVAC Tuneup?

Are you wondering why your company is spending more money on electricity?

When you first install your heating and AC units, you will notice that your electric costs are fairly low. Modern technology has made our heating and cooling systems much more efficient than in past years. However, heating and cooling units degrade over time. Much like your car, heating and AC units are mechanical and need to be serviced in order to reach their full potential.

This is when an HVAC tune-up is needed.

What Happens During An HVAC Tune-Up?

An HVAC tune-up is an annual inspection and repair of your heating and ac units. A tune-up will keep your systems running at peak efficiency so that they will last longer and cost less money to use.

When the service professional arrives at your business, he will spend anywhere from one to two hours inspecting and performing maintenance on your units.

He will identify what parts of your units are not working at their peak efficiency.

What Happens During An AC Unit Tune-Up?

When tuning up your AC unit, the service professional will:

  • Adjust your thermostat
  • Clean your air filter
  • Repair exposed wires
  • Ensure that your fan is blowing
  • Measure the amperage of the compressor

There are many other smaller tasks that your professional will do such as inspecting your indoor coil and testing your capacitors.

If your AC unit frequently freezes, the inspector will look for blocked airflow, refrigerant leaks, and issues with internal coils. A frozen AC unit can be unpleasant during the warmer months. Frequent tune-ups can prevent the situation from happening.

What Happens During A Heating Unit Tune-Up?

When tuning up your heating unit, the service professional will:

  • Inspect the internal heating elements
  • Check the burners for proper ignition
  • Adjust the flame sensor
  • Test the carbon monoxide detector

During the inspection, the exterior will be analyzed for leaks, corrosion, and proper ventilation. This inspection and tune-up can help your heating unit last for many years and run at peak efficiency.

Would you like to have your AC and heating units tuned-up? Call us today at 408-295-2182

Tips for Hiring the Right HVAC Contractor in Silicon Valley

It is important to hire professionals who can help you with all of your HVAC needs. The right HVAC contractor will make sure that you have the best system for your home or business. It is important to work with experts in this industry who can help you with everything from the installation to future repairs. When you find a good company, you can have peace of mind that your HVAC unit will work well and be able to constantly keep your property at the perfect temperature.

What to Look for in a HVAC Contractor:

  • Make sure you choose a licensed professional
  • Hire experts who want to evaluate your needs properly
  • Find out if the company has experience

Find the Right HVAC Contractor

When you start looking for the right HVAC Contractor, be sure to ask questions. A reliable company will be able to tell you all that you need to know. You want to find out if the company you are interested in hiring is licensed so that you know you are dealing with professionals. It is also good to ask if a company is insured. You want to know that you will be covered if something were to happen while they were working on your HVAC system.

By working with professionals, you can be certain that you will get the right size HVAC unit for your property. You want to hire a company that will come to your property and do a thorough evaluation to make sure that you receive the best services possible. Once your home or commercial property has been evaluated, you should receive a reliable quote so that you know how much money your new unit or other HVAC services will cost.

Before you hire a company, ask them how long they have been in business. You want to work with an experienced and reputable company that will take care of all of your needs. You can look for reviews and make sure that the company has a good reputation before you hire them to take care of something as important as your heating and cooling requirements.

When you are in need of quality HVAC services, be sure to hire professionals who offer excellent customer service. Give us a call today at 408-295-2182 to schedule an appointment.

Will New Ductwork Improve Efficiency in an HVAC Unit Of a Facility?

Heating and cooling are a big part of your energy bill, and HVAC ducts are a major source of energy loss through leaks and lack of insulation. As much as 20 percent of your energy loss can be recovered by improving the efficiency of your HVAC unit. Look at your monthly energy bill, and extrapolate 20 percent of that over the next 10 years. Can you afford not to have new ductwork?

If you’re fortunate, your HVAC ductwork may last up to 10 to 15 years before it starts to deteriorate. If your ductwork has never been replaced in the past 10 years, you shouldn’t be surprised if your energy bills start to rise unexpectedly. You may even experience problems in less than 10 years, depending on how reliable your previous installer was.

Poor HVAC ductwork not only reveals itself in your power bill, but also in poor air quality. If your facility’s air has begun to smell stale, the health of people who live and work there may be affected. By restoring your HVAC unit to its original air circulation parameters, you’ll improve health and morale. By delivering more oxygen, new ductwork can improve efficiency by improving your efficiency and the efficiency of those you share your environment with.

Ways to Determine if You Need New Ductwork

Here are simple tests you can make to see if your ductwork is beginning to deteriorate:

  • Physically trace the ductwork through crawl spaces, looking for holes, tears, or disconnected joints.
  • Feel if the air flow and temperature remains constant throughout the rooms; a variation means you’ve got a leak.
  • Contact a mechanical contractor who specializes in HVAC and have your ductwork tested with a duct blower.

These tests will identify leaks, but what about energy losses through poor insulation? If your HVAC ductwork has developed leaks, then it’s likely the insulation is beginning to degrade as well. Again, a mechanical contractor specializing in HVAC can help you determine if that is the case.

If you believe that you need new ductwork to improve efficiency in your facility’s HVAC unit or need someone qualified to check it out, try O.C. McDonald. Specializing in HVAC, we have been a trusted mechanical contractor located in San Jose and serving Silicon Valley for over a century. Contact us today (408) 295-2182

What Exactly is Custom Sheet Metal Used For?

Custom sheet metal fabrication involves cutting and bending a metal sheet that is typically less than ¼ inch thick. Custom sheet metal fabrication is needed when standard parts do not fit, or when the job has specific manufacturing challenges. The ability to do this helps solve problems that cannot be solved using off-the-shelf parts. The range of applications is nearly limitless.

Custom sheet metal fabrication has its use in restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes, architectural applications, and supermarkets. It also has a place in production design such as for specialized hoppers and holding tanks. One of the most common uses is in specialized HVAC systems that must bend around existing structures or other building systems.

Why Choose Custom Components?

In some applications, the only choice is custom sheet metal fabrication because the exact component needed is not available or does not exist at all. Even when a standardized component or fitting does exist, there are reasons why custom sheet metal is preferable.

· More choices. With custom sheet metal fabrication you can choose different materials than those from which standardized parts are made. This means that you can use a heavier or lighter material, as the needs of your project dictate. It is possible to create a component that works better than the original and has better performance.

· Better quality. Custom fabrication provides better quality because the piece is expertly manufactured on an individual basis. It is not stamped or cut using a mass production process. This means that care is taken in each step of the process to make certain that it is within engineering tolerances.

· Exact fit. Sometimes standardized parts may not fit precisely. This can create problems such as leaks, movement, or component wear. When an exact fit is needed, custom sheet metal fabrication can provide better long-term results than a mass manufactured part.

There are many reasons why you may need custom sheet metal fabrication services. Whether you need a custom component, or want to upgrade or change an existing one, it is important to find a firm with experience in all types of projects. If it is new construction, or a retrofit, experience is the key to success. You also need a firm that has the latest in design and fabrication technology.

If you have a project that calls for custom sheet metal fabrication, be sure to call our experts for an estimate at 408-295-2182

What is Green HVAC?

A green HVAC system helps commercial, industrial, educational institutions, tech giants, government facilities, large corporations, small and medium-sized businesses, and residential customers to conserve important natural resources using the most efficient and environmentally-friendly technologies, which results in lower utility bills for their air conditioning, heating, and plumbing. While usually incurring some expenses initially, the improvement in the energy efficiency makes them more and more economical as time goes on.

Air conditioning uses close to 50 percent of the energy use in the United States during the summer months, and that is responsible for almost 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Solar power can usually generate all the energy needed, and tax credits are generally available to aid with the purchase and installation of qualified HVAC products. The panels even provide energy on cloudy days, some move automatically to catch the sun when more is needed, you can possibly add a solar pool heating system or a water heater, and roof tiles and shingles come in a variety of styles and colors that will blend in with your existing roof.

Geothermal HVAC systems use the constant temperatures deep underwater and below the ground to heat and cool the premises. Underwater and underground looped pipes contain water or refrigerant and transfer heat. Since heat is being moved and not being produced, less energy is used compared to standard systems. This system does not produce pollution, the pipes are long-lasting, and some can even work as water heaters. Geothermal systems like these are as much as four times more efficient than traditional HVAC systems.

Dual-fuel heat pumps are the answer when regular heat pumps prove inefficient because the weather is too cold. These contain a warm weather pump and a cold weather furnace, which can be switched over automatically or manually to the best fuel source.

Take advantage of the Home Energy Yardstick by Energy Stars to compare your household’ or business energy use to others throughout the country and get recommendations for improvement.

Continually improved products will come to market as funding provides financial support and exciting development and research produces ever-increasing energy-efficient HVAC technologies.

To answer any of your questions and to give you more helpful details on installing, maintaining, and repairing green HVAC system technologies, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to discuss your particular project and explain how excellent service from our certified and professionally trained technicians will be of great benefit to you. Call us at (408) 295-2182

Getting Your HVAC Units Ready For The Winter Months in Silicon Valley

The central heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system that serves your facility is important to your operations in the summer months, but it can take on even more significance in the winter if your facility includes data-center infrastructure. This is because, during colder weather, both your indoor heating and cooling systems must work in concert to keep your equipment at the proper operating temperatures.

If you take proactive steps to prepare your main and server-room cooling equipment for impending cold weather, you can prevent weather-related damage, repair existing issues, and optimize the performance of your climate-control systems. Some critical elements of the main-facility HVAC winterization process include:

  • Energy Audits: This process involves an overall check of the energy-efficiency of your facility. By weighing your existing energy usage against established baselines, our auditors can detect inefficiencies and suggest ways of improving energy-usage.
  • Infrastructure Inspections: Your HVAC system likely includes a network of pipes, coils, ducts, fittings, and more. These vital components require regular maintenance checks, and especially so before major seasonal weather changes. Some common service items include refrigerant tests, pressure and leaks tests, and thermostat calibrations.
  • Temperature Zone Consistency Check: If your facility is large, it likely includes several temperature and environmental zones within its structure. Keeping the temperatures in each zone at the proper levels requires regular maintenance of related environmental control hardware and software.

Server-Room Cooling Systems

The soundness of your server-side cooling systems is just as essential to the health of your enterprise. These systems keep your servers and their surrounding environment within temperature and humidity ranges set by the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) data-center guidelines. Common cooling system designs include:

  • Liquid Cooled Systems: These cooling designs use liquid-antifreeze to capture and remove server-generated heat. Checks of these components may involve antifreeze fluid level and chemical composition tests. In addition, structural integrity checks are often performed on piping.
  • Air-Cooled Systems: Air-cooled designs use chilled air to cool hot server racks and rooms. Maintenance checks for these types of systems often include duct, inlet, and outlet inspections. Technicians often use this opportunity to sample and adjust humidity levels.

Keeping your data-center cooling apparatus in good operating condition is key to the success of your enterprise. At our firm, we field teams of certified and experienced HVAC system maintenance specialists with experience in inspecting, repairing, maintaining, and installing a variety of server-room and facility cooling systems. To begin your HVAC system winterization process, contact us now for a conversation about the unique needs of your facility.  Call (408) 295-2182

Finding a Fair and Affordable Residential Plumbing Company in San Jose

If you have a home or commercial building in San Jose, one thing that is absolutely essential is having a plumbing system in good working order. That means everything from toilets to sinks. You will feel happy and your customers will feel happy and relieved when they need to be.

But how do you find one that is well within your price range? For places that have many bathrooms and many toilets, the price is multiplied by each of them. However, if you want to create a homelike atmosphere and make customers feel secure, the cost is not a hindrance.

In order to find a company that will do what you want for a price you can feel comfortable with, it is important to shop around. If you know exactly what you want, call us at 408-295-2182 and we can work with you on a price that everyone will feel good about.

However, the price is not something to worry about when you need a good product. We can definitely help with that. If your septic system needs a tune-up we can do that for a very fair price and you won’t have to worry about it for quite a while.

You do not want to contact a business that does not cater to the things you need. A residential business is mostly good for personal homes that do not need much work.

For a business or large job, you want a business that will easily perform your needs and do what you want. It may be hard to find the perfect one, but for all your San Jose plumbing needs, we can help you out.

Just call us and describe the details of the job and we can help you out. It is important to have a well working plumbing system in your business, both for your customers and your workers.

It is not hard to get exactly what you want for a price you can feel comfortable with. A little bit of shopping around is all that is necessary, but you can meet someone who is able to perform exactly what you want and you can build quite a good relationship with them, perhaps not a personal relationship, but a more commercial one. You might be their favorite customer, but they can turn out to be yours.