Why You Should Only Call a Locally Owned HVAC Company

There are many reasons to turn to a locally owned HVAC company. You want to be sure that you always hire a company that you can rely on when it comes to something like your cooling needs. When the temperature heats up outside, you want to be able to stay cool inside of your property.

Choose a Locally Owned Business Because:
. You can be sure that they have a good reputation
. You are putting money back into your community
. They will be able to help you quickly

You Can Enjoy the Benefits of Going with a Locally Owned Company

By going with a local business, you can find out what type of company you will be hiring before you choose them. Ask around to find out if the company has a good reputation. You should be able to discover if the company is licensed, insured, experienced, and how there customer service is. By working with a locally owned company, you can feel like you are going to be doing business with one of your neighbors instead of a big company where you are just another customer.

When you do business with a locally owned HVAC company, you can be confident that you are putting money back into your community. The owner will be happy to work with you. You can be happy that every time they spend your money around town, it will go to the growth of your area. If you want to help your community, always choose to support a locally owned business when you can.

A locally owned business will be able to help you in a speedy amount of time. You can count on them to come out to your property when you need them to. Your local HVAC company will be nearby and ready to assist you with emergency repair or replacement services any time that you need them to.

If you are interested in HVAC services, we can help. As a locally owned HVAC company, we will do our best to make certain that you are a happy customer. We will treat you like a neighbor instead of just another person that we do business with us. Call us now at 408-295-2182 for fast and efficient services that you can always rely on.

How to Check the License of Contractors in California

Anytime you are considering having work done at your home or office, it’s important to make sure the contractor you choose is fully licensed. It’s easy to assume a contractor would not operate without a valid license; however, you might be surprised at how often contractors continue to work without the proper licensing. Fortunately, checking for a license is incredibly simple, and it can be done with just a few pieces of information.
To check for a current contractor’s license in California, simply visit the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) website. Once there, you’ll need to enter the business name, individual’s name, or license number to be shown a list of companies matching the information given. For each company listed, it will also show the contractor’s name, license number, city of business, and current status of their license.
Once you have found the contractor you’re looking for, click on the license number listed. This will give you further information on the contractor such as:

  • Business address
  • Entity type
  • Date of license issue and expiration
  • Bonding information
  • Details on their insurance

Why Checking a Contractor’s License is Important

While this may seem like a lot of effort, hiring a contractor who does not have an active license can cause serious problems for you down the road. If your contractor is unlicensed, you could personally be stuck with any repair costs due to issues with the work. It’s also in your best interest to verify that the contractor is both bonded and properly insured. Being bonded basically ensures the contractor’s customers are covered financially if the contractor’s work causes damage or is otherwise done improperly. Verifying that the contractor carries insurance that is adequate for covering your project is also a smart move. Of course, a reliable contractor will have all of this information handy for customers from the start, but it never hurts to verify since this can impact you greatly if they falsify any of the information.

Selecting the right contractor for your job can seem stressful, but it is worth researching to ensure everything is done properly. For a business you know you can trust, O.C. McDonald is here to help! Give us a call today at 408-295-2182 to get started on your next project.

How Much Should It Typically Cost To Repair an AC Unit?

Average repair costs for an AC unit would depend on the type of repair needed, and how complicated it may be to perform. Repairs can range from minor, quick fixes, to more difficult, time-consuming ones so that costs will vary.

For the smaller, quick fixes, you could expect it to cost anywhere from a few bucks to $100. This would include jobs like replacing simple parts or even regular maintenance on the unit itself. For repairing leaks, it could run around $200- $1,000 depending on what needs to be done to stop the leak and get the unit running smoothly again.

If you’re replacing refrigerant, it could cost you probably in the $200-$400 range. The cost would vary with the age and type of unit that’s being fixed. Older AC appliances require more work to fix. Sometimes the parts for them are more expensive and can be much harder to find.

A clogged condenser line can typically cost you around $100-$200, or less if it ends up being a simple and quick job for the repairman to do. It isn’t too difficult to repair, but some units could take more labor than others to fix.

Average costs for Complex Repair Jobs

For more complex repair jobs, the prices can get on the higher side quickly, due to parts being much more expensive to get, and the time it takes to perform the part replacement. Typical price ranges for some of the AC unit parts without the cost of labor:

  • Thermostat- $100-$300
  • Condensing Fan Motor- $300-$500
  • Condenser- $800-$1,000 and up

Of course, AC unit repair technicians will charge for labor, which could be anywhere from $50 an hour to $150 an hour. Every repairman charges differently, so you need to check before hiring one. Also, the cost of the parts is just a general price range. You may find some that are cheaper or some that are more expensive, depending on who you end up going with.

To eliminate the need for some of these expensive repair costs, you will need to keep your AC unit adequately maintained, so it stays running smoothly. The need for repairs will diminish significantly with annual maintenance with only a few repair fixes along the way. As your AC unit gets older, parts will start to break down, and they will need replacing. A new appliance may be the better investment in the long run if you’re not keen on spending the money just to replace some parts. Call us at 408-295-2182. We can help you with any questions you may have.

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.

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!

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