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

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

What Size AC Unit Does Your Building Need?

There are many factors to consider when you are trying to figure out which AC unit will work best for your building. Professionals will take into consideration many details to make sure that you have what you need to keep your entire property cool. You do not want to purchase a unit that is too big because it will just waste electricity. If you purchase a unit that is too small, it will have to work harder to try and keep your property cool and use more energy than it should too. The right size unit will be energy efficient and reliable.

 

A/C Factors to Consider:

  • Look to see how many windows, skylights, and doors are in the property
  • Think about the type of roof you have
  • Find out exactly how big your property is

It is important to make sure that your property is properly sealed to keep the cool air inside of it. We will see how many windows you have, how many skylights, if your doors are sealed properly, and look for other ways air might escape. It is important to take all of these details into account before choosing an AC unit.

You may also want to think about the type of roof you have. Some roofs can actually help to insulate your property. This is a wonderful thing, and it can help you to save money on your cooling bill.

The most important thing to think about is the size of your building. You want to make sure that your AC unit is going to be the perfect size. Professionals will need to know the exact square footage of your building and how many different rooms you have to make sure that everything is set up to cool off your property properly.

 

Discover the Right Size Air Conditioner Unit

It is important to have professionals make sure that your unit is going to be able to cool off your entire building. Professionals can take of the duct work, insulation, and more to make sure that your property stays at a steady temperature.

If you are ready to find out exactly what size AC unit you need, we can help you. Give us a call today at (408) 295-2182 for reliable services you can count on.

Knowing How To Find The Right HVAC Contractors in San Jose

It is important to hire professionals you can trust when it comes to something as important as your heating and cooling needs. You want to feel good about the company you hire, so it is important to make sure that the HVAC business you are thinking about hiring meets certain criteria. The right company will help your home or business to stay at a steady and cozy temperature all year round. Whether you need repair, replacement, or routine maintenance done on your unit, the right company will be sure to do the job well.

 

What to Look for in HVAC Contractors:

  • Experience
  • Good reputation
  • Upfront pricing
  • Great customer service

One of the first things to look for is a company with experience. You want to know that the company you hire has been in business for awhile and can handle the type of issues that you are dealing with. When you hire someone for something as important as your heating needs, you want to be sure that you will be dealing with certified technicians who can offer you the best advice and do the best work possible.

The products, materials, and equipment used are all important. You want to make sure that you hire a HVAC contractor who uses only top-of-the-line choices. Search for a company with a good reputation so that you know you are hiring experts you can trust.

No one wants to hire a HVAC company and then find out they are going to be charged too much for the work that was done. It is important to hire a company that offers honest and upfront pricing so that you are never surprised with a bigger bill than you expected later on. Find a HVAC company that will give you a free estimate and no hidden fees in the future.

A quality HVAC company in San Jose should always provide excellent customer service. You want to know that you are dealing with professionals who care about your experience. Your HVAC needs should be met, and your technicians should always be polite and helpful. By choosing a quality company, you can be sure that you will be receiving quality services. Give us a call today at (408) 295-2182 for premium services that you can depend on.

Types of Heaters Commonly Used in Silicon Valley

4 Types of Heaters Found in Silicon Valley

Heaters are essential devices in homes and workplaces because they offer comfort and improve air quality during cold seasons. You will need a heater if you live in Silicon Valley, for instance, radiant heating and heating pump to heat your home. You should also ensure that the heating systems are properly installed and maintained.

Types of Heaters:

  • Solar Thermal

A solar hot water system is an effective heating system because it is economical and saves you money and energy. Purchasing a state-of-art solar system will also enable you to use energy in an eco-friendly manner. Nowadays, the evolution of technology has enhanced the creation of solar hot water systems that do not pose a problem for the users. Further, replacing your conventional water heater with solar hot water system will minimize energy usage significantly.

  • Heat Pumps

These heaters are economical when used properly, and they produce instant heat. Heat pumps are also convenient hence easy to control the temperature using a timer and thermostat. Even so, you should ensure that the heat pump is sized appropriately to perform its function. You should also get a heating pump that is more efficient to minimize heat wastage.

  • Radiant Heater

This heating system provides comfort in cold seasons by heating surfaces. It involves using a boiler to heat water, which is pumped to the walls, floor, and ceilings through tubes. The heated water warms the surfaces to release heat gradually. The radiant heating system is an efficient system because the ducts occupy little space. Moreover, the heating system provides gradual and even heat in your preferred region. Radiant floor heating also maintains the right humidity level of a room.

  • Duct systems

Ducts are usually found in the basements and attics to protect the air quality of a home. These systems are used in both cooling and heating homes using multiple tubes that deliver warm or cool air to a room. Ducts should be properly fitted to promote even distribution of air to a room. You should consider fixing leaks in the duct to reduce the loss of heated air and prevent deteriorating air quality due to the accumulation of mold and dust.

In conclusion, heaters should be installed and regularly maintained to maximize their heating purposes. You can save money by using quality heaters that enhance the comfort of your home including radiant heaters. You should consider repairing or replacing heaters with new heating systems to promote efficient heating in your home. If you are ready to install the advanced heaters in your home, you should contact us at (408) 295-2182

Finding the Best HVAC Contractor in San Jose, CA

Whether you are in need of plumbing, process piping or a HVAC system, it is important to choose a contractor company that is well known for reliable and technology innovation both in design and installation. That is what we, at O.C. McDonald, are happy to offer. In business since 1906, we are proud of our reputation for outstanding quality workmanship as well as an excellent reputation in the field.

 

Our HVAC History

It was in 1906 that we installed our first air conditioning (HVAC) system in San Jose, CA. Throughout the years there have been numerous changes in how these systems are built and their capabilities. With each change we have advanced our knowledge on the subject and are able to install the best HVAC system available for a site.

Each installation, whether it is a huge project, such as a hospital, industrial location or a business, you will be assigned an engineer who has the experience and training to design and install a system that will provide the most benefits to the occupants. From the initial blueprint to the installation of piping, ducts and other required elements, you have our full attention to install the very best HVAC system to fulfill your requirements.

 

Our Company is Happy to Provide:

  • HVAC consultation and design with a professional engineer
  • High quality materials
  • Licensed, experienced and well trained personnel
  • Emergency services 24/7
  • Insured and bonded personnel
  • Reasonable prices
  • Units that meet the ENERGY STAR® requirements

Installing the proper HVAC system is essential if the building’s occupants are to receive full benefits of fresh air and avoid constant breakdowns. By specializing in complex mechanical installations, we are able to make sure our customers do not suffer this kind of inconvenience.

 

ENERGY STAR®

ENERGY STAR® is a program which we are happy to have in our HVAC system. This program helps contractors provide the most energy effective installation, air sealing, maintenance and duct sealing for our customers. This not only provides excellent air conditioning but also cuts down on energy bills, which can often be excessive with old HVAC systems.

When you are looking for the very best in installation of an HVAC system in your business, corporation or facility, fill out our online form for more information or give us a call at 408-295-2182. You will always be answered by a live operator at any time during the day or night.

When it comes to air conditioning and heating it is important to contact a company that has a proven reputation for excellent installation and follow-up. This is especially true in a business, an industrial complex or other important locations.

How Much is Air Conditioner Repair?

Air conditioner repair costs will vary depending on the brand, size, and type of air conditioner. However, it is important to have an experienced HVAC technician come and evaluate your system before deciding whether or not to replace or repair your air conditioner.

So, what’s the problem? Is your air conditioner running but not cooling? Is it not cooling as well as it usually does? Is it making strange noises? These are all questions your technician will want the answers to.

 

Possible Problems With Your Air Conditioner

  • Not feeling as cool as usual. Check the filter and clean it if necessary. Also check around the unit and make sure there is nothing impeding airflow, like plants or curtains. If everything seems clear and you call for a repair, it could cost, according to Home Advisor, as little $200 and as much as $1600 to fix a refrigerant leak and around $200 to recharge the freon.
  • Not turning on, or staying on. If your air conditioner is not turning on or not staying on once it’s turned on, you may have an electrical issue, but you should have a professional check out the condenser, the evaporator unit, and the fan. They may just need to be cleaned, but could need repair. Condenser fan replacement can cost around $500 and an evaporator unit may cost as much as $1000. A circuit board, relays, or other electrical parts could cost as little as $15 or as much as $300.
  • Rattling or other noises coming from the unit? Call a pro and get a tune-up. You might need a few pieces lubed or other parts cleaned and looked at. This will cost in $75 to $150 range according to Home Advisor.
  • Use the 5,000 rule. Many HVAC technicians suggest using the 5,000 rule. Essentially, this means you take the age of the unit and multiply it by the cost of the repair. If the answer is more than $5,000, you should probably replace the unit. For example, if you’re air conditioner is 10 years old and the repair will be $250, you should repair that unit as the answer is only $2,500.

No matter what the problem, make sure you consult with your HVAC technician to make sure you are taking care of the unit properly. If the unit is aging and a repair might be costly, replacing might be your best option. Need help with your repair? Give us a call at (408) 295-2182

 

Does Your Facility Have an Emergency Plan for When Systems Go Down?

Whatever your line of business is, you have a variety of systems that help keep things running smoothly: HVAC for cool air in the summer and heat in the winter, plumbing for the bathrooms, electrical systems for lighting, and perhaps even some audio systems for intercoms or music.

When all of these systems are running smoothly, you don’t generally even think about them. You flip switches, adjust temperatures, flush toilets, and go about your day. But what happens when one or more of these systems go down? What if one system has a minor failure, or what if they all have a catastrophic failure at once?

Do you have an emergency plan for that scenario? You should, because at some point, something will happen.

 

What should your emergency plan contain?

To be fully comprehensive, your emergency plan should be thorough. It should begin with what to do in the event of a minor system failure, detailing the specifics for each system. It should conclude with what to do in the event of catastrophic failure of all systems at once.

It should detail things such as:

  • Whether to send staff home or keep working
  • Who to call for repairs, including names and phone numbers
  • Steps to take to prevent further damage to the system while waiting for repairs
  • If your business has clients or customers, whether to close to the public until repairs are made

There are likely other steps that are specific to your particular company that would also need to be included.

This plan should be in writing, and there should be several copies in several different locations around the property, ensuring that all employees are able to access it and make use of it, in the event of such an emergency.

A critical part of the emergency plan is knowing who to call to get repairs made quickly. You don’t want to have to wait out the weekend, or even a single night, in an emergency.

O.C. McDonald offers emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Include our number in your emergency plan, and no matter the time of day or night, our 24-hour live operator can get you set up with one of our experienced technicians to get your system back up and running as quickly as possible.

Call us today (408) 295-2182

Should You Clean Your Own Coils or Call a Professional?

Having your HVAC coils cleaned regularly in a year can have a positive effect on the quality of air in your house. Most people seem to not believe in having a professional come and clean the coils, but it is essential to ensure that the cleaning is done by an expert to avoid damage on your system as well as to make sure that the coils are appropriately cleaned. Most specialists advice that you have your HVAC professionally cleaned and maintained at least twice in a year. It is good to have even more cleanings for the condenser coils. Regular maintenance will not only ensure that you have quality air but also promote your system’s efficiency.

Impact of dirty coils on your HVAC system

Having dirty coils can have a direct impact on your energy since the efficiency is affected by cleanliness. Dirty coils will make your system run for extended periods of time to achieve suitable temperature levels. Thus the longer the system operates, the more energy is spent consequently hiking your electricity consumption. The longevity of your system is also affected by dirty coils. Due to the increased running of the system, it becomes more vulnerable to breaking down and therefore continually needing repairs. Eventually, the system will wear out faster compared to a system that is regularly cleaned and maintained professionally

Over the years, HVAC coils cleaning services have grown to be very popular. Any client seeking these services should ensure that they contract a reputable firm to do the cleaning to avoid being scammed.

Here are some useful tips for finding a reputable company:

  • References. Ensure that you get a recommendation from a trusted person to avoid getting low-quality service. You can also check client reviews to confirm whether they were satisfied with the service provider.
  • Certified company. A good cleaning company should have necessary certification by a verified body which sets minimum standards that should be met by the service provider. It is also vital that the client knows the established standards for safe cleaning of their ducts to be in a position to assess the service and also verify that the cleaner follows set guidelines. Always insist for an inspection of the unit before making any payments.
  • Complete service. A reputable and trustworthy company should offer cleaning and maintenance service as a package, not just the cleaning.
  • Ask for quotes. Before settling for a single service provider, ask for estimates from different firms and go for the one that gives you the best deal.

Contact us for professional tune-ups and cleaning services to maintain your HVAC system’s coils and extend the unit’s durability.  Call (408) 295-2182