How Is Residential AC Different From Commercial AC?

When installing air conditioning, the requirements for each process differ based on what type of AC is needed. For residential AC, a central air conditioning unit is installed in the homes and apartment complexes of individual renters and owners. For commercial AC, a special installation is required as the air conditioning for commercial buildings is significantly different from residential AC.

With commercial AC, more power is needed to cool a commercial space. For the likes of businesses and office spaces, AC units need to be able to accommodate for all the body heat emanating from the staff, as well as excess space in office buildings. Moreover, with such a complex and sizable AC system, installing commercial AC requires a certain level of technical skill.

What to Expect from Commercial AC and Residential AC

When exploring the differences between commercial AC and residential AC, consider the following:

  • Residential AC is Simpler to Install: Easier to install, residential AC comes with standard central units that are connected to ducts. Residential AC usually keeps the condenser outdoors and its evaporator inside the building in a basement or garage.
  • Residential AC Maintenance is Inexpensive: As residential AC serves to provide air conditioning on a much smaller scale, the rates for performing residential AC maintenance are significantly lower in comparison to commercial AC.
  • Commercial AC is More Effective for Businesses: While the effectiveness of commercial AC for businesses depends on the size of a space, any significant office building would want to have commercial AC installed.
  • Commercial AC Requires Complex Zoning: While it may be better for businesses, commercial AC cannot be installed without adhering to certain complex zoning laws.
  • Commercial AC Uses Extensive Draining: The complexity of commercial AC requires it to use an extensive draining system. While residential AC uses a condensate pan, commercial AC needs several pans with drainage pipes that ensure the water doesn’t overflow the pans during the evaporation phase.

While there are various pros and cons to each form of air conditioning, making the choice between the two really comes down to what your air conditioning needs are. While you may automatically choose residential AC for your home, you may be considering commercial AC for your business.

However, this needn’t be the case. If your business has only a few employees, perhaps residential AC would better suit your situation. Ready to learn more about commercial AC and residential AC? Call us today at 408-295-2182.

What’s the Best Type of New AC Compressor?

When you need to replace the compressor in your air conditioner unit, you might wonder what kind you should choose. You want to select a compressor that will perform well and keep your building cool

However, you also may want it to lower your utility bills and not make a lot of noise while it functions. You can decide what type of air compressor is best for your building by learning about the available models.

Centrifugal Air Compressor

A centrifugal air compressor uses centrifugal force to move around refrigerant in the unit. It uses this force to pull in the coolant before rapidly spinning it with the impeller in order to compress it.

A centrifugal compressor is ideal for using in extra large HVAC systems. If your building uses a large air conditioner unit, you may decide that a centrifugal air compressor is right for your needs.

Rotary Air Compressor

A rotary air compressor can be the perfect choice if you are concerned about noise. When you want a quiet air compressor, the rotary model may suit you well because it:

  • Is small and quiet
  • Contains a shaft with several blades attached to it
  • Pushes coolant through the cylinder while compressing it at the same time


If you prefer your air conditioner function as quietly as possible, you could reduce the noise level without sacrificing the service of the unit by installing a rotary air compressor in it.

Screw Air Compressor

The screw air compressor has a reputation for being reliable and efficient. It is typically used in large buildings where substantial amounts of air need to be continuously cooled.

The screw air compressor has two large helical rotors that move the air in the unit from one end to the other. When the air moves through the compressor, the space gets smaller and the air gets compressed.

Reciprocating Air Compressor

The reciprocating air compressor is perhaps the most popular model available today. It has a piston that moves air up and down inside of the unit’s cylinder.

As it moves the air down, it creates a vacuum that sucks in refrigerant. As the air moves up, the gas compresses and moves into the condenser.

These models are the most common types of air compressors on the market. You can find out more about your choices by calling 408-295-2182 today.

What Should You Know Before You Hire a Piping Contractor?

As a home or business owner, you may take for granted the extensive lines of pipes inside of your building. You may not realize how important these systems are until they break down and need to be serviced.

At that point, you may find yourself tasked with finding and hiring a piping contractor. You can hire the best contractor for the job by keeping these facts about piping in mind first.

Plumbers are Piping Contractors

You may not have realized it before, but plumbers are actually the most common and well-known piping contractors on the market. Many people fail to realize these professionals qualify as piping contractors because they associate piping within a building with a more delicate and intricate system.

However, plumbers are trained in piping design and engineering and know what it takes to move water in and out of a building. They also can lay entire new systems and replace even the most intricate parts in the plumbing in your home or business.

Fire Extinguishing Systems are Piping

When you need the fire sprinklers in your business serviced, you will need to call a piping contractor for the job. It is easy to assume that you should call a local fire department or fire marshal to have the system looked at and repaired. In reality, all you need is a skilled piping contractor who can repair and replace the pipes in the system.

This contractor not only knows how to get water moving inside and out of the fire extinguishing fixtures. He or she can also move other fire suppressant fluids in the system to put out a fire quickly as needed in your building.

Piping is Made from a Variety of Materials

As a lay person, you may not appreciate all of the materials from which piping can be made. Some of the more common choices for making piping today include:

  • Wood
  • Fiberglass
  • Steel
  • Plastic
  • Copper
  • Concrete

Modern piping can also have a variety of components like valves, fittings, and other devices in it. These components are responsible for sensing and controlling the pressure, flow rate, and temperature of the fluid transported in the pipes.

Piping contractors can service a number of systems inside of your building. You can find out more about piping systems and the contractors who repair and replace them by calling us today at 408-295-2182.

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.

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.

How Do You Choose the Right Commercial Plumbing Company for Your Business?

There are a few features that set apart an excellent plumbing company from an ordinary one. When it comes to your business, you want to choose a company that you know will get the job done not only correctly but also in a speedy manner.

Since your business must be up and running for you to make money, a company that can work on a schedule is a must. Look for:

  • A company that specializes in commercial plumbing
  • A business that has experience
  • Good customer reviews
  • Upfront pricing

Find the Right Commercial Plumbing Company for Your Commercial Business

It can be a good start to find a plumbing company that specializes in commercial plumbing. This type of company will be aware of all of the different aspects that may come up with big commercial jobs and will be able to work quickly to get your company fully operational. Whether you are having problems with your commercial sinks, with a slab leak, clogged drains, or any other issues, a quality commercial plumbing can help.

Experience matters when it comes to finding the right plumbing company. It is important to find a plumber that has worked with other large businesses in the past. They will have the tools and skills needed to tackle big projects, and you can have peace of mind when hiring them that they will be able to take care of your entire plumbing project with ease.

A good reputation goes hand-in-hand with experience. You want to make certain that you hire a company that has worked well with other commercial businesses. When you see that a plumbing company has earned good ratings and has helped many other people in your community, you can feel good about hiring them to take care of your commercial plumbing needs.

Finally, find a plumbing company that offers upfront pricing. You want to have a good estimate of the costs of your plumbing services before you agree to anything. This will help you work plumbing installation, repair, or replacement services into your budget.

If you are interested in quality plumbing services, we are ready to answer any questions that you have and to schedule an appointment with you today. Go ahead and give us a call at 408-295-2182 right away to get started.

Is Residential Air Conditioning Repair Different from Commercial Repair

Residential and commercial air conditioning repair services are different in a variety of ways. It takes a company that specializes in commercial air conditioning services to handle large projects. Many residential projects involve only one unit that will cool off an entire home with ease. When it comes to commercial projects, there are often multiple units, temperature zoning, and more to address.

Things to think about when it comes to commercial air conditioning repair:

  • The size of the units must be big enough to cool off a room with many employees
  • Different zones should be set up for optimal comfort
  • It is important for everything to be done by experienced commercial technicians

Commercial Air Conditioning Must Be Done Right

When it comes to commercial air conditioning, skillful technicians must figure out how large your units should be and also how many units it will take to cool off your property. There will be many people involved in a commercial project like employees, students, or customers, so it is important to have a unit that will keep them all cool enough.

Of course, there is no need to get units that are too large or to have more units than needed because this will just use more power than necessary. A company that specializes in commercial air conditioning services will be able to make your life easy by helping you design the best system for your unique needs. Air conditioning specialists can set up different zoning areas throughout your entire building.

This will allow you to be able to change the temperature in different rooms with ease. You can personalize different spaces to make sure that everything stays at the right temperature. If certain rooms do not get used that often like storage rooms, you can save money by not having to cool them off as much as you do your main rooms.

You can count on a professional to listen to your needs and come up with a plan that will work for you. Be sure to choose a company that has experience in the commercial industry to handle your air conditioning needs. A qualified company will make sure that your commercial property is able to stay at its optimal temperature. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give us a call today at 408-295-2182.

Is It Better to Repair Or Replace Your Broken AC?

In San Jose and outlying areas, a broken air conditioning unit causes discomfort and inconvenience. Summer temperatures in this part of California occasionally exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Sweltering hot weather poses a significant health and safety concern, especially for the elderly, the very young, and the infirm. Property owners frequently wonder whether they should repair or replace a malfunctioning AC?

In general, repairing broken air conditioning equipment represents a smart first choice. Taking this step usually helps customers save money. The technicians of O.C. McDonald possess extensive experience fixing a variety of different types of residential and commercial heating and air conditioning equipment. We often assist property owners in maintaining the anticipated useful lifespan of this valuable equipment by performing skilled repair services.

In order for repairs to supply an economically feasible option, the total bill for this service must remain below the cost of purchasing and installing comparable air conditioning equipment. Additionally, technicians must possess confidence the corrections they make will continue to function effectively and safely for the foreseeable future. An air conditioning system which breaks down at frequent intervals may ultimately prove costlier than the selection and installation of new, modern AC equipment.

Replacement: Sometimes A Necessary Option

Our technicians also possess the skills required to assist both residential and commercial customers by installing new AC equipment. In some situations, this course of action proves preferable because a manufacturer has gone out of business and no longer supplies suitable replacement components for an aging system. Additionally, a customer may request the installation of new technology in order to obtain enhanced energy efficiency, or for other reasons.

For instance, in some commercial and manufacturing settings, companies seek to upgrade older air conditioning units periodically in order to renovate their facilities. We honor these requests, of course. Our repair technicians possess firsthand experience with a wide variety of makes and models of air conditioning equipment. We strive to ensure the complete satisfaction of our customers.

Customers sometimes find themselves unable to decide initially whether or not to repair or replace a broken AC. They may need to obtain input from a qualified repair expert first in order to answer this question accurately. The skilled HVAC technicians at O.C. McDonald offer valuable information to help resolve this dilemma. We take pride in assisting our customers by supplying accurate, pertinent technical information. Call us today for more information at 408-295-2182.

What Paperwork Do You Need to File for New Construction in San Jose

When it comes to new construction in San Jose, you want to be certain that you have filed all of the paperwork necessary before you get started. By hiring a professional contractor, you can have peace of mind that everything will be done the right way so that you do not have any problems in the future. The right paperwork will help get your project started and completed as quickly as possible.

Permits are always important. Before the construction process begins, you will need to have the right permits that will allow you to safely and efficiently start your project. When you work with a contractor, they will make certain that everything is taken care of. Electrical permits and building permits must be turned in so that the work will be done the right way. You may also need grading permits, plumbing permits, mechanical permits, landscaping permits, demolition permits, and possibly even sign permits.

Find a Contractor who Will be able to:

  • Listen to your needs
  • Have experience in this industry so that he or she knows what permits are necessary
  • Will be able to file the proper paperwork so that the building process is completed in a timely manner

The Right Paperwork Must be Filed Before the Construction Process is Started

A qualified contractor will be able to take care of all of the licensing and permit applications. It is important for them to have building and floor plans and other specific construction plans so that they can show this when they file the paperwork. Our qualified team will know exactly what to have to make sure that all of the paperwork goes through.

It is important to know the location of the project as well as the legal description of the property. The property owner’s information and the contractor’s information and license number will need to be given. Once the paperwork has been filed, the approval process can get started. There will be many different departments that need to look at the permits, but if everything is filed properly, the process should go smoothly.

If you are ready to get started, we can help. Our team of professionals know what papers to file and what information is needed to get the construction process started. If you are interested in learning more or want to set up an appointment with us, give us a call at 408-295-2182.

How A Silicone Heating Pad Works

Silicone heating pads consist of a metal heating element, attached to coated power leads, between two thin sheets of silicone rubber. Silicone rubber is tough, light, and thin ― usually 2 or 3 millimeters thick ― and its lack of reactivity makes it resistant to moisture and chemicals. Low thermal mass and superb electrical insulation allow silicone heaters a high power density and rapid reactions to temperature controllers. Silicone heaters are efficient at heat transfer and designed to tight tolerances, and they can operate in temperatures down to -76°F and up to 446°F.

Silicone heating pads can be manufactured for a wide variety of wattages, amperages, and power densities, for gentle or intense heat. They can be cut to almost any shape, including irregular shapes, three-dimensional shapes, and shapes with holes.

Thermostats can be attached directly to silicone heating pads, temporarily or permanently. Thermal fuses can also be added to prevent overheating if the primary control device fails.

Silicone heating pads can be mounted with straps, snapped or clamped to cylindrical parts, attached with adhesive, temporarily mounted with magnets, or permanently vulcanized to parts in the factory.

Heating Elements: Wire Wound or Etched Foil?

Silicone heating pads are available with two different types of heating element that have different advantages: wire wound or etched foil.

Wire wound pads, which use thin, spaced-out resistance wires wrapped around fiberglass supports, are best for unusually shaped pads. They are durable, and thus well-suited to heaters that will frequently need to be removed and reinstalled. They can be manufactured quickly and cheaply with no tooling, so they are ideal for low-volume projects and prototypes.

Etched foil pads use a chemically etched sheet of foil. They heat more quickly and have an even greater power density and better heat transfer; their heat is more uniform and their operating life longer. However, they are more susceptible to damage from repeated bending. They require a tooling cost up front but have a more heavily automated manufacturing process, making them more cost-effective for high-volume projects.

Common applications for silicone heating pads include:

  • Electronics
  • Telecommunications equipment
  • 3D printing
  • Aerospace manufacturing
  • Food processing and storage
  • Many other industrial uses

If you need a fully licensed Silicon Valley mechanical contractor with over a century of experience, call us at 408-295-2182