How Often Should You Really Be Changing Your Air Filters?

One thing that many homeowners may not know is how often they should be changing the air filters on their HVAC unit. The air filters are important because they remove particles, allergens, and other pollutants from the air, improving the indoor air quality of your home. Additionally, changing the filters can increase the life of your unit.

Since the filters play such an important part in keeping the air in your home clean, it is important to replace them as needed. Changing your filter is easy to do and doesn’t take much time at all. The hardest part is figuring how just how often you should really change your air filters.

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filters?

Essentially, you should base the timeframe for changing your filters on how often the system is used. If you have a vacation home, it may be okay to change the filters less often than in your everyday-living home. This is because you will use your system more often in the home that you live in every day. The actual timeframe varies, however, based on a few different factors.

Factors That Affect When You Should Change Your Air Filters

  • People and pets in the home

The more people and pets, the more particles are getting into the air. More dirt and debris are being carried into the home on each person, and having pets just adds to that. With pets come dander, dust, pollen, and dirt. If you have even one pet, you should change your filters at least every 2 months. If you have more than one pet, you should actually change the filters each month. For a single person home with no pets, the filters could be changed as little as every 4-6 months. If more than one person lives in the home, but there are not pets, the filters could be changed every 3 months.

  • The type of filter you use

If you use a high-quality filter, you will get more life out of it. The high-quality filters work to filter out even more particles and debris than less effective ones, lengthening the life of the filter.

  • If you follow the replacement recommendations

Each manufacturer will suggest how to properly replace a filter. If you follow those suggestions, you will likely get more life out of them than if you replaced them incorrectly.

  • Allergies

If someone in your home has allergies, changing the filters more often can be beneficial to their health. When this is the case, your air filters should actually be changed every month. If you need help changing your air filters, or if you have any questions, call us at 408-295-2182. We can help make the process easy on you.

How Much Can You Expect an Air Conditioner Compressor to Cost?

The home ac compressor unit is one of the integral parts of the central air conditioning system. Installing your compressor is a significant project. The cost of the compressor will also depend on whether you want to install a new one or if you want a replacement. Replacement costs will also consider whether your old compressor is still under warranty or if it is over eight years old.

The comparison between the cost of replacing a complete ac and coil or the evaporator coil helps to determine whether it will make more sense to replace other than repairing the ac compressor. An additional cost to consider is the labor cost that you will incur for installation. Therefore, below is a review of the amount you can expect to pay for an air conditioner compressor.

AC Compressor Cost Factors

The cost of replacing a compressor for your home AC system is dependent on certain factors. These factors include:

  • The availability of a warranty for the compressor parts
  • The size of the AC compressor
  • The type of compressor and,
  • The consumer brand ratings

Usually, the warranty covers the cost of the parts. Replacing an Air Conditioner Compressor that is still under warranty will incur an average cost of around 645 dollars. If the air Conditioner Compressor is not under warranty, buying a new one will cost you an approximated amount of 1280 dollars inclusive of the installation cost.

Additional supplies are also needed. In most cases, the supplies are never warranted even though the air conditioning compressor might be warranted. Below is a list of the supplies and their cost:

  • Cost of Installation Supplies
  • Copper fittings and connectors with the cost between 35 to 100 dollars
  • Line filter or dryer with the cost between 35 to 75 dollars
  • Contractor, capacitor and hard start kit with the price between 35 to 150 dollars
  • Misc silver solder, electrical connectors with the price between 15 to 25 dollars
  • Refrigerant recharge with the price between 150 to 300 dollars

AC Compressor Installation Cost

You will also incur labor cost or a diagnostic fee unless the compressor is under warranty. A diagnostic fee ranges between 59 and 129 dollars. The typical cost for a service technician ranges between 60 to 90 dollars per hour, and the service helper is paid 60 to 75 dollars per hour.


Now that you know what to expect, call us today on 408-295-2182 so that we can help you get started.

What Are Your Repair Options for Residential Heating and Air Conditioning?

Even the best-looking structures are of little use to their residents if the heating and cooling systems that serve these homes do not work. That’s where we come in. Here at O.C. McDonald, we’ve been serving residents and businesses in the San Jose and Silicon Valley areas for over 100-years. At O.C. McDonald, we provide services to both commercial and residential customers, and we stand ready to provide critical repair services for clients large and small.

Critical Residential HVAC Repair Services

Here at O.C. McDonald we offer a number of critical repair and installation services. Some of our repair services include:

Ductwork: Ducts in homes with central heating help transport hot and cold air throughout the structures. If duct networks develop leaks or holes, the entire HVAC system loses efficiency. At our firm, we provide full-service duct installation, inspection, and repair services.

Air Handlers: Air handlers help to collect air from the outside and prepare it for transport throughout the system. Keeping air handlers in good shape is key to proper HVAC system function, and at our firm, we routinely check air handlers as part of our inspection package.

Compressors: Compressors pressurize coolant before it is pumped through HVAC systems. Faulty compressors can and do cause cooling issues, and thus keeping them in proper shape is key to efficient HVAC system operation.

Piping: HVAC system piping contains coolant and other fluids. By giving pipes timely inspections, our HVAC specialists help to keep drainage and piping system intact, and your system running at full capacity.

Coolants: Coolant is a vital part of HVAC systems. By keeping systems properly charged, pressurized, and leak free, our licensed technicians help to ensure peak performances.

Furnaces: These devices heat residential structures during cold seasons, and keeping them in safe working condition requires constant vigilance.

To that end, here at O.C. McDonald, we offer all of our customers a proprietary 10-point furnace check.

Electrical HVAC Work: Modern HVAC systems often include complex computerized components. At O.C. McDonald, our technicians use the latest high-tech tools to help our customers to manage, repair and maintain their HVAC electrical systems.

There is much that goes into keeping residential HVAC systems in good repair. Thankfully, here at O.C. McDonald, we stand ready to do just that. We cordially invite individuals who need immediate heating and cooling repair services to call our 24/7 hotline for free estimates at 408-295-2182. For fast online attention, tell us about your concerns about our convenient e-mail portal.

What Is an HVAC Air Handler, and Why Is It Important?

An essential part of any heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system is the air handler. This unit acts as a large fan that blows the cooled or heated air through the ductwork, to be delivered into each room of your building. Without this mechanical device, the cool or warm air will only just trickle out of your vents.

Additionally, the air handler regulates the amount of air necessary to achieve your desired temperature, as well as filtering the air to keep it fresh and clean. Think of the air handler as the heart of your HVAC system. There can be several varying elements that make up an air handler, depending on the needs of the building it supports. Air filtration is found in most units as it serves a vital role in keeping the air dust free and the ductwork clean.

Some air handlers may contain additional heating and cooling components to help keep a fluctuating air supply steady. Other elements that can be utilized are humidifiers to negate dry air and static electricity, mixing chambers for the introduction of outside air, and a heat recovery device for added energy savings and capacity.

Why do you need a great air handler?

Since the air handler is in charge of regulating how much cool or warm air needs to go where it is critical that your unit performs at the same capacity as the rest of your HVAC system. Sometimes the air handler might wear down over time and perform with reduced efficiency.

This is bad news not only for your heating and air conditioning bill but for all other parts of your HVAC system as well. On the other hand, if you have a new HVAC system installed, but leave in an old air handler, your new installation will suffer increased wear and tear.

If your air handler is not operating at the maximum performance you are losing out on:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Higher quality air
  • Reduced strain on other HVAC components such as the heat pump

For these reasons, it is critical that your air handler is properly serviced and kept up to date. Furthermore, by installing a new air handler yourself, the chances of imbalanced performance between all components of your HVAC system will foot you higher maintenance bills down the road. We can help, call now at 408-295-2182.

What Do You Need to Worry About Most with Industrial Heating and Cooling?

Your industrial heating and cooling system is, in many ways, the silent backbone of your company. It is the central component to keeping the environment of your company and its employees and customers comfortable and safe.

In a comfortable environment, performance rates soar allowing your company to reach its full potential. In a nutshell, maintaining your heating and cooling system is a vital factor in the growth of your business. To ensure your HVAC system is working at the optimal performance you must be aware of the top worries with industrial heating and cooling.

Top Industrial HVAC Concerns

  • Dirty or clogged filters

Dirty, clogged, or worn filters will cause your heating and cooling system to work harder thus creating higher energy costs and a shorter lifespan of your HVAC unit.

  • Leaking refrigerant

Refrigerants are used in your HVAC unit to cool and dehumidify the air. Without a proper level of refrigerant, your building will become too warm, your systems condenser will work overtime, and ultimately you will face much more expensive system failure.

  • Thermostat malfunctions

The thermostat controls your HVAC systems regulation of timing and hot/cold air production.

  • Improper air balance

Dampers help to control the heated or cooled air that flows through your business by systematically reducing or increasing the airflow to a specified area of ducting. Without regular and routine maintenance a minor HVAC problem can quickly turn into a major expense that will dip into your expense budget.

Before allowing preventative maintenance items to eat away at your company’s expense budget, incorporate a plan to monitor your industrial heating and cooling unit. Ensure that the items listed above are checked routinely. Replace thermostat batteries and filters no less than quarterly. Proper care of your heating and cooling systems will not only keep your energy costs in check, but it will also improve the overall air quality within your establishment.

Regularly servicing your heating and cooling system prevents many issues that may keep your unit from operating properly. The best thing you can do for your industrial heating and cooling system is to invest in a preventative maintenance program.

Ready to optimize your HVAC system and save your company money? We can help! Call now to get started, 408-295-2182.

When Is It Time for an Air Conditioner Compressor Replacement?

At some point, your air conditioning unit will need to be replaced. With age comes the need for increased repairs, efficiency issues, and other problems. It is important to make sure that you know when it is time for an air conditioner compressor replacement.

There are several things that you should consider when thinking about replacing your air conditioning.

  • Age. Consider the age of your unit. If your unit is just a few years old, you may be better off just to have it repaired. If you have a much older model, it will be more difficult to find the parts needed, and the general well being of the machine may be compromised. If your unit is over 15 years old, you may automatically want to consider replacement.
  • Energy efficiency. Running your HVAC unit will make your power go up as they use a lot of power. However, there are many newer models out on the market today that is very energy efficient. If your unit is 10 years or older, you may want to consider switching to a newer model as they are more energy efficient, and can help to lower your energy costs.
  • R-22. If your unit uses R-22 refrigerant which is also known as Freon, you will need to consider getting a replacement unit. The EPA is phasing out R-22, and that has made it very expensive to get. A pound of Freon can cost anywhere from $40-$175 depending on the location. For people who have a leak, the repair could quickly get up to $1,000. The newer refrigerant is environmentally friendly, and will completely replace R-22. Consider switching to an R-410A refrigerant.

Other Factors That May Factor in When You Consider Replacement

There are also some other factors that you may want to consider when deciding whether it is time to replace your compressor. Take into consideration how many times you make repairs on the unit.

If you are constantly making repairs, it is time for an upgrade. You will also want to consider your energy bills, and whether or not your house is too hot during those hot summer months. If you need help in deciding whether or not your unit needs to be replaced, call a professional HVAC company that can help you to determine whether or not you should get a new unit. We can help you immediately. Call us now at (408) 295-2182.

How Can You Replace an AC Compressor?

No matter the brand or how well you maintain your air conditioning system, the compressor will eventually need to be replaced. If your air conditioner is having problems and you have narrowed it down to a bad compressor, you can replace it following the steps below. A compressor works by compressing refrigerant gas and then sending it to a condenser where the gas is cooled and turned into a liquid.

The gas can be cooled by immersing the coil in water or by a fan. Typically, replacing a compressor should be done by a professional, but you can perform this task at home if you are competent working with your hands. Doing the job yourself can also save you a decent amount of money.

The following items will need to be replaced on the compressor:

  • New compressor
  • Basic hand tools such as wrenches, screwdrivers, ratchet, and pliers
  • Refrigerant recovery tank
  • Equipment to recover and charge system
  • Refrigerant
  • Torch

Replacing Compressor

Identify type- There are numerous types of compressors so it is very important to ensure that you have to correct type before performing this job. The correct part number and type can be found in the unit or the old compressor. Turn off power- Before doing any work on the system it is critical to remove all power from the unit to prevent serious injury or death.

The power switch and circuit breakers are usually near the unit. In addition, you may have breakers in your main breaker panel.

Remove refrigerant – An air conditioning system is under high pressure at all times so it is important to remove relieve the pressure by removing all of the refrigerants. Keep in mind that in most cases you are required to be certified to remove or install refrigerant.

The recovered refrigerant must be stored in an approved tank and not released into the air.

Cut lines – Cut the refrigerant lines on the compressor and disconnect the electrical connector.

Remove compressor – Unbolt the compressor and remove it from the unit.

Install new compressor- Bolt in the new compressor and connect the electrical connector. The refrigerant lines will also have to be brazed to the compressor.

Assemble – Assemble the condenser unit and charge the system with the recovered refrigerant.

For additional information or help with your air conditioning system call us today at 408-295-2182.

Where Can You Look for Cooling Companies in San Jose?

San Jose is a fine town. Sometimes the heat starts to get to us. This is particularly true if we live in a sunny climate like San Jose, and it is the middle of summer. Summer comes quicker than we think. There are about 15 heating and cooling companies in the San Jose area, according to a recent Google search. O.C. McDonald’s is a mechanical contractor trying to help our customers thrive in their favorite market. We do this by providing process piping, gas fitting, designs for facilities, and fabrication.

If your building needs some work, our professionals will get it done on time and under budget. We have over a century of experience. O.C. McDonald’s got started in Silicon Valley, 1906 before silicon became such a lucrative product for computer manufacturers and software designers. Since then, O.C. McDonald’s has valued quality and integrity in its building projects. Clients praise O.C. McDonald’s for great staff and traditional values. Client Google reviews of our company give O.C. McDonald’s 4.4/5.0 stars overall. O.C. McDonald’s provides service for customers in both San Francisco and San Jose.

We desire that this document could be brought before the major decision makers of your organization. It will help persuade them to move forward on improving the facility buildings. O.C. McDonald’s desires to take an active role in the decision to make organizational buildings look brand new and be safe areas for staff to work. O.C. McDonald’s has done work for both tech companies and college campuses. We are confident that we can handle your facility’s exact situation.

O.C. McDonald’s encourages the following steps in evaluating what needs repair for your facility:

  • Why do we want it fixed?
  • Who can we trust to do it right?
  • How long can we wait for it to get done?

O.C. McDonald’s wants to be the answer to these questions so that you can become one of our new satisfied customers. If you want to hear more about what we can do for your organization, please feel free to call us 24/7 at (408) 295-2182. Our Friendly staff is waiting to take your call and answer any additional questions you might have for us. Be sure to mention any special concerns that you might have.

Will An Office Air Filter Improve Employee Health?

Installing an office air filter can do wonders for the health and well-being of employees. It can even indirectly boost employee satisfaction and productivity. Here are some of the ways employees will be healthier and happier with an air filter in their office.

We often hear that indoor air quality can be even worse than outdoor air quality. One of the best ways to ensure that you have good indoor air quality is through the installation of an air filter inside your facility. The filter can remove contaminants and pollutants that may be circulating and accumulating indoors.

Many Americans suffer from allergies. Bad indoor air quality can worsen allergy symptoms and make office workers miserable on the job. Installing an air filter that can filter out allergens such as pollen, dander and spores can help alleviate allergies. Employees with allergies will probably thank you for keeping these allergens out of the air.

Stop Germs, Mold & Mildew From Making A Home In Your Office

Did you know that an air filter can even filter out germs that can cause the common cold and flu? An office is a place where you will be in close proximity to others. Filtering out germs can help stop the spread of germs and prevent disease outbreaks.

Many facilities may be unaware that they may be harboring mold and mildew within their walls. A great way to reduce the impact of any mold and mildew is by getting a filter in the facility that will filter these spores out. Certain strains of mold and mildew have been linked to respiratory problems. Your employees will once again be thanking you for removing these harmful airborne particles.

Office air filters can also help eliminate odors. Whether the odors come from outside or inside, an office air filter will help the air in your office smell fresh and clean. Your workers should appreciate a better smelling office environment.

It is quite simple — cleaner air results in healthier employees. When employees are healthy and are in a cleaner environment, it is only natural that their productivity and satisfaction will improve. When you take care of air quality, you can also be saying that you are taking care of your employees who are your most valuable resource.

Are you ready for cleaner, fresher air in your office? Do you want healthier employees that will enjoy coming to the office more? Then give us a call today at 408-295-2182. We will help you determine the right filter for your office and explain how you can maintain a clean and healthy office environment for your employees.

What Professional Is Qualified to Replace AC Compressor

It is important to hire the right professional to take care of replacing your AC compressor. This job is important and labor-intensive, so finding the best contractor will help you to have peace of mind. By not hiring a good company, you could have problems down the road like premature breakdowns. You should always take your time and find a company that you can trust to take care of important air conditioning repairs that will help prolong the life of your unit and reduce your energy bills.

Look for a Company With:

  • Experience
  • The right credentials
  • A good reputation
  • Trustworthy professionals

Find the Company Best Suited to Replace Your AC Compressor

Experience is always important when it comes to repairing jobs. When it comes to something as critical as your AC compressor, it is imperative to find a professional who will get the job done right the first time. A good company will have been in business for a few years gaining the experience needed to tackle an AC compressor replacement.

It is also important to hire a company with the right credentials. Look for licensing and insurance information upfront so that you know you are dealing with professionals. A good company will be able to resolve your air conditioning needs as quickly and efficiently as possible. You want to know that you can hire a company that has the training and education needed to safely resolve your air conditioning issues.

A good reputation means a lot in the business world. Check out reviews about the company you are thinking about hiring before giving them a try. Honest reviews can help you understand a little more about a company such as their work ethic, timely services, and if they clean up after themselves. Good customer service is also important. A quality company will have good reviews showing they know how to tackle issues of all sizes.

You want to be certain that the company you hire has trustworthy professionals working for them. A good company will stand behind their workers and services so that you can feel good about hiring them for all of your Air conditioning repair needs. If you are interested in quality services, go ahead and give us a call today at 408-295-2182.