Common Questions People Have About Their Air Conditioner in San Jose

In San Jose, air conditioning units play a vital role in keeping residents safe and comfortable as the temperatures warm up. For this reason, you should always arrange for a pre-season inspection and tune up to make sure that it is ready for the height of the summer. Unfortunately, air conditioning problems can still arise even when you practice proper maintenance. As you prepare for the rising temps, check out these common questions that people tend to have about their air conditioner this time of year.

Why is the Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air?

Your air conditioning unit is designed to take warm air and make it cold before it blows through the vents. However, a malfunctioning unit can fail to cool the air properly before it comes out. Often, this is due to a clogged filter, and this issue is quickly resolved by making sure to change the filters on a regular schedule. For most units, this needs to be done every one to three months. You may also find warm air blowing out of the vents if the unit has a refrigerant leak, so make sure to arrange for professional repairs if changing the filter doesn’t do the trick.

Why Does the HVAC Unit Keep Turning Off and On?

Rapid cycling is another issue that sometimes occurs during the summer. An air conditioning unit that is failing to cool the air may naturally cause the system to try to turn on over and over again in an attempt to reach the set temperature. There could also be a problem with the thermostat or its placement. In some cases, an improperly sized or installed unit causes rapid cycling because the system is unable to keep up with the demand required to properly cool the building.

Does My A/C System Need Replacement?

The average life of an HVAC unit is 10 to 15 years, and there does eventually come a point when repairs are no longer possible. Typically, your air conditioning system requires replacement when it begins to experience frequent breakdowns or if it becomes inefficient at cooling your property. People with older units often find that a replacement makes financial sense because it reduces the cost of their utility bills and eliminates the constant need to pay for repairs. If a replacement is necessary, you should expect for your HVAC technician to explain why and provide you with your best options for making the installation affordable.

Is your residential or commercial air conditioning unit showing signs of trouble? Call us now at 408-295-2182

What To Look For In a New Construction Contractor

It’s a beautiful day and as you settle into your morning routine at the office, sipping on your second cup of java your office line rings. A pipe has burst in the lobby restroom and water is everywhere. The company’s largest client is coming by for a lunch presentation and time is of the essence. If you’re prepared, you’ll have your construction contractor on speed dial. If not, you’re going to have to move quickly to find a reliable and reputable firm that can handle the situation stat. Don’t put yourself or your business in that situation.

Identifying a new construction contractor doesn’t need to be daunting. Hopefully, you’ve not waited for a plumbing or HVAC crisis to look for a new construction company to work with. If you’re a large corporation or small to medium sized business, the same evaluation strategy applies.

Key Qualities to Look for in a New Construction Contractor

Company history. The length of time a company has been in business says a lot. There are construction contractors that come and go. Look for a business that has a solid history. Factor in how many years they’ve been in business and if they’re family owned, even better. A construction contracting company that has generations of experts behind it is a find.
Reputation. If the company has been in business for years, they must be doing something right. Take a look at their reputation. What are customers saying about their work? Do they get the job done in a professional manner? Are they dependable? If they’re keeping their clients happy and expanding their business, give them another positive check on your evaluation list.
Expertise. Your construction contractor should be well-versed in the basic mechanics of everything from piping, gas fittings, new and old construction, to HVAC and more. They should be able to handle it all. You want to use an expert firm. One that keeps up with proper licensing and training for all crew members and leads their industry when it comes to cutting edge technology.
Safety. Safety first should go without saying, but this needs to be taken into consideration. You want a new construction contractor that put this as a top responsibility.

Ready you ready to make your move? We can help, call us today at (408) 295-2182

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.

The Advantages of Fabricating New Sheet Metal for Your HVAC System

Another few years have passed and now it’s time for you to perform maintenance on your HVAC system. It takes time and money, and then you have to do it all again in the next few years. You should instead consider replacing the material in your HVAC system with sheet metal. Though thin, sheet metal has proven to be strong, efficient, and cost-effective. Whether you are a facilitation manager for a large company or responsible for new construction projects, sheet metal is highly recommended for ventilation ducts.

Sheet metal can withstand large amounts of pressure along with the harsh weathers ranging from frigid to scorching. It is lighter than other material used for ventilation ducts. Regardless, it’s the custom fabrication of the sheet metal that is specifically tailored for your business. Sheet metal is cost- and time-effective because it’s simpler to make. The material isn’t imported from across the sea. Not only does it save money for HVAC contractors, but it saves on your company’s energy bills in the long run.

The Efficiency of Sheet Metal for Your HVAC System

There are a number of ways that sheet metal is economical for your company:

  • custom fabrication reduces air leaks
  • the relatively smaller size allows for better air volume and distribution
  • easier to manage

Sheet metal is always custom fabricated, and this is beneficial. Regular, generic-shaped air ducts are not as stable; they have a tendency to move and bend while in use. This causes air leaks. Air leaks mean that your ventilation would have to work even harder to get the air to its destination. It will stay on longer and increase your energy bill. Custom fabricated sheet metal is sealed tightly and cut to fit your building. It will not experience energy losses like normal air ducts.

Due to its smaller size and sealed design, sheet metal ducts allows air to flow through in smaller volumes. Therefore, the fresh air will make it to the designated rooms faster. These ducts simply have better control of the air volume. As a result, this is another way your HVAC systems won’t have to work as hard and saves your company money on the energy bill.

Maintenence should still be required every few years for your HVAC systems. However, sheet metal makes it easier for HVAC technicians to service. You also will not be required to have to replace it every few years. This is because custom fabricated sheet metal ducts are more durable, and is yet another money-saver.

If you’re ready to save money on your energy bill, then call us today at 408-295-2182 and inquire about sheet metal ducts for your building.

3 Things To Look For To Find The Best Contractor in San Jose

Finding a reputable plumbing, process piping and HVAC contractor requires more than comparing bottom line prices and being moved by creative marketing. Here are three areas you should look closely at when evaluating a contractor for your upcoming construction project.

Quality of the Contractor’s Bid

Evaluate these four areas to determine the level of quality you can expect.

Cost
Fully evaluate the financial-cost, time-cost and quality-cost of the bid. Ask yourself if a low-price bidder will be able to meet your project timeline. Consider the price and quality connection or workmanship and materials over time.

Scope
Make sure the contractor understands the scope of your project. They should ask questions to gain a sense of what you need and be able to offer alternatives, rather than pricing your project as if it were a product.

Warranty
Look for a contractor who can provide a sufficient warranty and can guarantee quality workmanship. You should see evidence of an efficient workflow process and sourcing of quality materials for your project.

Interview
Meet with, speak to, or collaborate with the contractor before or during the bidding process to get a sense of how they will work with you during the construction phase of your project.

License, insurance and bonding

You should not need to do much legwork in this area. A reputable contractor should include their license number and classification with every bid and display it on their website. Ask about their insurance liability limits and make sure that they are bonded to meet the financial obligations of your project.

Contractor’s Background and Credentials

Determine if the contractor is the right fit for your project.

Experience
Check if the company has worked mainly as a subcontractor of if they have experience as a general contractor. Also look for areas of specialization that match your project requirements.

Portfolio
Ask for a list of projects they have worked on that are like yours.

References
Get a list of clients who will speak to you about their experience, rather than relying on quoted testimonials.

Commitment to Your Construction Project

Ask if you will have a dedicated project manager. Inquire about how the contractor’s other projects will affect their ability to meet your timelines. Finally, make sure the contractor has the flexibility to work with your staff and adapt to any changes in the project.

Best Contractor in San Jose

Choose a contractor who demonstrates quality processes in bidding and project work, presents the right credentials, and displays an adequate commitment to your project. Since 1906, O.C. McDonald Company has been a leading contractor in the San Jose area. Let’s have a conversation about your project and how we can help. Call us today at 408-295-2182

Is a Local Air Conditioning Repair Company Better For a Commercial Business?

Indoor climate control provides more than just a comfortable temperature. In hot areas, a broken AC can lower productivity. Tech installations and labs also need a consistent and cool temperature to protect their equipment. With so many choices for service providers in the Bay area, how do you narrow down your options?

One of the worst things you can do is just call the first listing in a service directory. Referrals from current customers or online reviews can be helpful as long as they’re legitimate. The BBB or consumer sites like Yelp provide reliable information, too.

Even if you only need a minor repair, you want to find a company that you can establish an ongoing relationship with. This gives the benefit of allowing you additional perks like discounts for service, cost-effective maintenance plans, and a higher level of satisfaction. Retaining loyal customers is one of the most important things a company can do.

When you’re running a business or organization, down-time equal money. You want fast service from an AC repair company that meets the following criteria:

  • Convenient operating hours
  • After-hours emergency service
  • Free, on-site estimates
  • Competitive rates
  • Licensed to service commercial HVAC systems
  • Fully insured

Why Local Service Providers Are Better

Locally owned businesses offer many advantages, the first of which is proximity. You want a service provider that’s close enough to give you prompt assistance. Local HVAC companies also try harder to provide a high level of customer care. We have a reputation to maintain, and a lot of business comes from referrals.

Local businesses that focus on providing B2B assistance know how important reliable service is to continuity. Because many of our clients are universities and large tech firms that house expensive technology, we want to put your mind at ease. You’ll feel better knowing that our technicians are reliable and thoroughly background-checked before employment. We’ll work hard to:

  • Schedule on your time-table
  • Show up promptly and ready to work
  • Turn the job around fast
  • Clean up completely before we leave the premises

You don’t have to suffer when we’re just a phone call away. Don’t hesitate to contact us at the first sign of a problem with your AC. We’re available at 408-295-2182 to provide 24/7 assistance.

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