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

When to Replace Your AC Unit

A new air conditioning unit can be a big expense for your home or business, but an old, inefficient unit incurs frequent repair costs and high utility bills. To save money on repairs and utility costs, replacing the entire unit may be worth it.

The biggest sign that you need to replace your AC unit is the age of your unit. Air conditioning units are not meant to last much more than 10 to 15 years. If your unit is over this range or close to it, it is better to replace it than to pay for repairs. An old unit can also cost you money by causing your utility bills to be much higher than other homes or companies in your area. Since cooling and heating often make up as much as 44 percent of your utility bill, this higher cost can add up quickly.

Besides not working as effectively, older AC units often use R22 refrigerant, a substance that is no longer being used in newer models because of its environmental hazards. Due to the expense and difficulty in replacing the type of refrigerant in your current unit, replacing the entire unit is the more efficient option. Another problem with older units is they often have a low SEER rating, which means it costs you more to run it. Newer models must have a SEER rating of at least 13, to ensure a higher efficiency.

Other Signs You Need to Replace Your AC Unit

Some other factors to consider when deciding if you need to replace your AC unit are extra dust in your home or business, and an inconsistency in the cooling and humidity levels.

If you have started to notice that your residence or business is constantly coated in dust, even after cleaning, this may be a sign that your air ducts are leaking. Not only do these leaks cause the excess dust, they also make your system less efficient which brings up the cost of using the unit. A lot of noise coming from your unit can also be a sign of inefficiency. The ductwork may not be large enough for the size of your home or business.

Another sign that it’s time to replace your AC unit is the comfort level of your home or business is inconsistent or hard to maintain. The air conditioner is meant to keep humidity levels low and consistent to make your home or business feel more comfortable. If this is not the case, or if the temperature fluctuates from room to room, it is probably time to get a new unit.

In some of these cases, a repair may be possible to fix the unit. However, if the cost of the repair is going to be almost as much as a replacement, and your unit is almost at the age limit, it is more effective for you to replace it rather than repair it.

If you any of the above describes your current situation, call us today at 408-295-2182 to get started on achieving a more efficient home or business.

Saving Time and Money By Using a Professional Sheet Metal Company

When facing sheet metal projects that need to be completed on commercial or residential buildings, it isn’t uncommon to wonder if the project can be done without professional intervention. The DIY processes of sheet metal fabrication may initially seem like an effective way to save money, but many find themselves spending more in the long-run. Even with the financial aspects aside, failing to hire a reputable professional to tackle your sheet metal needs can result in safety issues and code violations as well.

Many people associate sheet metal workers with just roofing alone, but their expertise is truly expansive to say the least. Becoming certified in sheet metal fabrication requires workers to be able to:

Becoming well-trained in these areas give sheet metal workers the experience and skills necessary to successfully complete your sheet metal projects with the most cost-effective approach. They also carry licensing and insurances that are regulated on state and federal levels, giving both you and their employees the protection and accuracy that you need to get the job done. Attempting to complete these sheet metal projects on your own will not guarantee the desired result, which can end up costing you in terms of future renovations. The obligations of the sheet metal company will be listed out in their insurance policies and contracts, legally providing you with reassurance that you will get the result that you desire.

 

Safety Should Be a Central Priority

A professional sheet metal fabrication company will also have access to the proper equipment to perform any sheet metal tasks that you send their way. Attempting to complete these projects on your own without the right tools can put you and anyone else involved at immediate risk. Hiring a professional sheet metal fabrication company will give you peace of mind knowing that the projects are being completed with the necessary safety equipment, as well as the appropriate skill level.

Hiring a professional sheet metal fabrication company will save you both time in costs when it comes to successful renovation, building, and other mechanical contracting needs. Our team will address any projects you have with the most affordable and productive approach available. Reach out to our San Jose office today to get a quote or to set up a consultation. 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

 

Why HVAC Maintenance is Important for Facilities

It’s without a doubt that your HVAC equipment is one of the most precious and if anything, one of the expensive equipment in your facility. HVAC equipment are frequently used within a facility and they are helpful in improving the living and working conditions. This among many other reasons is why you need to ensure that your heat and air equipment is up and running always. Below are three reasons why you need to keep maintenance top of your priority list.

Helps you save money by reducing energy use

One of the main reasons why maintaining an your equipment is important to facilities is that it helps improve their efficiency. According to energy statistics, HVAC equipment single handedly contributes to over 40% percent of energy used in any property. With proper and regularly maintained equipment, facility owners are able to save about 15-20% of energy costs that would otherwise have been wasted on inefficient equipment.

Helps you improve the lifespan of your equipment

Just like any other equipment, HVAC units are vulnerable and prone to damages. It is this damages that reduces the durability of these equipment. According to manufacturer’s, they have a lifespan of up to 40 years whereas the air conditioners can last up to 15 years and the water heater up to 10 years. By regularly checking your equipment you will be able to fix and correct the simple errors on your HVAC before they develop into complex issues consequently helping your equipment live up to its lifespan.

Helps improve quality of air around your property

In addition to keeping your property warm or cold depending on the weather conditions of the day, HVAC equipment helps improve the air quality in the surroundings. Experts recommend that you schedule regular maintenance plans if you are to enjoy the benefits of your equipment. Some of the things you need to ensure you carry out include;

  • Inspect, clean and service your equipment regularly
  • Replace worn out parts or those that do not meet your specific needs
  • Regulate your system controls properly

Once the above factors are checked, you will be able to guarantee the safety of your employees and facility visitors and also the efficiency of your equipment.

The ultimate performance and efficiency of your HVAC equipment is determined by the care you offer it. Preventative approaches such as cleaning your equipment regularly, replacing worn out parts and strengthening movable parts will help you improve the efficiency of your equipment and save you money at the same time. The good news about this is that we can help you in all this, call us today and let us gladly help you with your equipment. Call (408) 295-2182

Is Your Air Conditioner System Still on R-22?

Many air conditioners manufactured before 2015 use a refrigerant called R-22, more commonly known by its brand name, Freon. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reclassified R-22 as a Class II ozone depleting substance, and all air conditioners manufactured after 2015 must use more environmentally friendly refrigerants such as R-410A. By 2020 new EPA regulations will prohibit manufacturing or importing R-22 for use in the United States.

It’s no surprise that because of the new regulations, the price of R-22 has been on the rise, making it quite a bit more expensive to repair and recharge air conditioners that use it. If you have an older unit and want to keep it working, you will have to act quickly. To find out if your air conditioner uses R-22 simply check the label on the outside compressor. Unless it is missing or faded, it should display the type of refrigerant being used. If the label is unreadable, try to get the model and or serial number and contact the manufacturer for more information.

 

What Are My Options?

The good news is that If your air conditioner uses R-22, there are still a few options available. The first is to contact an HVAC contractor immediately to check for any small leaks that might be occurring. These can be easily fixed and should prolong the life of your unit in the short term. This will preserve your refrigerant which soon will be nearly impossible to find.

You might have another choice if your unit is newer and has the right type of coils. Since 2005 many equipment manufacturers have been making coils that are compatible with both R-22 and R-410A. By 2010 all air conditioners being made in the US were made to use R410A only. If your current unit can handle the newer refrigerant, your contractor may be able to clean the coils and either replace or adjust its expansion device to make the upgrade.

Of course, the final option which you probably want to avoid is to replace your system. If it is over 20 years old, and your cooling costs have been on the rise, this is probably the best choice. A newer unit will likely be more efficient, and you will be able to say that you’ve done your bit to help save the environment.

Need help?  Call us today (408) 295-2182