What Is The Difference Between Commercial AC Contractors and Residential?

While there are some similarities between commercial AC systems and residential, the truth is, there are as many differences.

Commercial air conditioning systems service larger buildings and more people, making them far more complicated and intricate.

Most commercial installations are custom to that business making the maintenance and repair needs more complex.

As such, it is crucial to understand the differences between commercial AC contractors and residential.

Hiring the right person for the job can ensure the proper function and longevity of your system.

Education & Training

Commercial AC systems tend to be more complicated and provide a wide variety of scenarios.

Everyone from the local coffee shop to the giant distribution center that spans millions of square feet has a commercial AC system.

A commercial AC contractor must be able to design and implement technically complicated solutions to be successful in their field.

Commercial AC contractors see a variety of systems and must draw on years of experience to create successful solutions for their clients.

Whereas a residential AC contractor generally sees the same or similar units and can draw from previous experiences to formulate their plan for repair or maintenance.

Working Conditions

Most commercial AC systems are located on the roof of the business so that employees are not interrupted during maintenance or repair.

Depending on how large of a building the system services, it can be across several rooftops.

A commercial AC contractor must be able to navigate the route easily from one system to another and from one rooftop to another.

No matter the weather conditions, whether it’s broiling sun or pouring rain, a commercial AC contractor must show up to do the job. And, most days, will spend all of his time outdoors.

You will find residential AC systems inside the home and usually very easy to access.

The residential contractor may need to wear protective gear while working. However, accessing the system is not typically a challenge.

Business to Business vs. Business to Consumer

Commercial AC contractors work with large businesses on a daily basis.

They interact with building supervisors, property managers, office managers, etc.

Whereas, residential AC contractors interact with homeowners throughout their day.

A family who can’t get their residential AC unit to cool off the house in the middle of summer would call a residential AC contractor.

However, a major corporation who needs maintenance for the LEED-certified installation would call a commercial AC contractor.

Whether you have a commercial or residential AC system, make sure to hire the right professional for the job.

Give us a call today for either commercial or residential AC service 408-295-2182

What is a Design and Build Contractor?

In the traditional design-bid-build model used in the construction industry, the owner hires a designer on one side and a contractor on the other. Once the design phase is complete, they will invite bids from contractors for the actual construction of the final design.

Design and build is another type of contract that has become popular of late. In this type of contract, the project design and construction is undertaken by the same entity. Instead of 3 parties (owner-designer-contractor), there are only 2 entities involved.

In many cases, a design and build contractor is a general contractor who also leads the project design with a professional architect or engineer. Some design and build firms have professionals from both sides – design and construction. Other general contractors employ architects or designers to provide design services in-house, so to speak. In some cases, a design firm may partner with a construction firm for a specific project or time frame. Many such contracts allow the owner to take the design plans and go elsewhere for actual construction.

Advantages of Hiring a Design and Build Contractor

  • There are quite a few benefits in using design-build contracts for projects: The owner has to deal with only a single contract and one firm. There is no back and forth between the owner, designer, and contractor to haggle over details, costs, and schedules.
  • It saves a lot of time. The contractor doesn’t have to wait for the architect to complete the design before starting construction. For a small project, design and construction can commence at the same time. A larger project can be divided into phases with the design and construction of each phase happening simultaneously.
  • It allows the contractor and specialty subcontractors to propose better solutions to specific elements during the design stage itself. They don’t have to wait until construction begins to make changes.

That’s not to say there are no drawbacks. Sometimes, the contractor may cut corners (design-wise) to complete the project on time or within budget. They may also make design decisions in areas they have no experience with. However, the pros outweigh the cons for the most part. It’s no surprise that the number of design and build contracts has been trending upward in the last few decades. They’re used in many countries as they reduce the risks for owners and completion time of projects. If you’re starting a new construction project or remodeling an existing building, call us at 408-295-2182 for an estimate.

Ways That HVAC Contractors Can Actually Help You Save Money

Although everyone wants to ensure their utility bills are low and save as much money as possible, most people still think that spending money on regular HVAC services isn’t wise. But, hiring a contractor should always be considered as an investment that will surely pay off. When you work with a knowledgeable and experienced HVAC contractor like O.C McDonald, you can save money. Are you wondering if this is possible? Read on to find out more.

Enhance the efficiency of your system

Your unit’s energy efficiency level will determine how much you will pay. Have your energy bills been increasing dramatically in the past recent months? Several factors may be causing this change but an HVAC specialist can easily pinpoint the issue and help you solve it. Perhaps you simply need to get the filter replaced or clean the fan. Alternatively, you may be required to install another energy efficient unit that may help you save money and improve your home’s value. Fortunately, an HVAC contractor can assist you to decide the best option.

Make sure the A/C operates optimally

If you have an HVAC unit that’s running at half capacity, you should realize that it’s expending more energy than usual thus will increasing your bills. Unless you call your contractor to come and service the system you may never know that this is happening. By contacting a professional, you will ensure your system runs smoothly and reduce expenses.

Prevent damages to your unit

Most expensive repairs result from a problem that has been neglected for a long time that simply worsens. For instance, you may realize that your HVAC unit is noisier than usual but choose to ignore the issue until it later causes serious damages to the entire unit. Although this mistake is simple, it is very costly. An HVAC expert can offer the help you require by tending to the problem and fixing it even before it becomes bigger and costlier. With correct maintenance, your unit will be an outstanding investment since its lifespan will be prolonged.

You should never ignore contacting your HVAC contractor even if you are thwarted by the service cost. Always remember that you are making an informed investment that will pay off. Would you like to service your unit to save cost? Contact us today at 408-295-2182

Tips For Keeping Your Residential Air Conditioning Running For A Long Time

With summer around the corner, it won’t be long before you turn on the AC. Heating and cooling costs are a major part of your monthly utility expenses. Improving the efficiency of your AC unit provides two benefits – it lowers your energy bills and keeps your AC running for a long time.

Much like your car, the HVAC unit in your home also needs regular maintenance and tune-ups. A properly maintained air-conditioning unit can last years longer than one which hasn’t been cleaned or repaired in a while. Here are a few tips that can help keep your PC running for a long time:

Replace Air Filters

Dust and debris will clog the filters as you use the AC over time. It blocks air flow, forcing the unit to work harder. A dirty filter will dust to enter the unit and coat inside parts, hindering their ability to function properly. Consult your manual to see how often your filters need replacement.

Clean the AC and Its Surroundings

Apart from replacing the filters, you should clean the unit itself. Make sure to power off the unit before taking it apart to clean. Most HVAC units are located outside the house with ducts or pipes to the inside. Keep the area around the unit clean and remove any leaves, foliage or other debris. Anything that blocks free airflow in and around the unit will lower efficiency. Make sure nothing is blocking vents inside the house as well. Stuffed toys, blankets, and other soft material can cover vents, blocking air flow.

Draw the Shades

Sunlight streaming in through the window on a cold winter day is cozy and comforting. The same sunlight will also heat up your house in summer, meaning the AC will have to power on more frequently to keep the temperature constant. Use curtains, shades, and other screens on windows and glass doors to block sunlight. If your AC unit is not in a shady spot outside, purchase a cover to keep it out of direct sunlight.

Schedule Annual Maintenance by a Professional

In addition to the things you can do yourself, annual maintenance will help you catch problems well in advance. A professional will be able to tell you if certain parts need replacing before they burn out or if something needs lubrication to continue working.

Have more question about your AC or need to upgrade your unit? We’re ready to help you! Call us at 408-295-2182

3 Things To Consider When Purchasing A New HVAC Unit

HVAC units play an important role in homes and offices. Most modern systems are responsible for circulating cool or hot air as the need arises, reducing humidity, and maintaining the indoor air quality. It is a key component in maximizing comfort for people living or working in the building.

The average life expectancy for HVAC units is between 10 and 20 years. Most homeowners and building managers will purchase a replacement unit at least once. If you’re in the market for a new HVAC unit, consider the following 3 things before purchase:

Size of the unit

The proper size for the unit depends on many factors including the size of the building, insulation, and even the location. After all, the weather in California will be very different than a summer in Arizona. The size of an AC unit is described in tons and it has nothing to do with the weight of the unit. It is a measurement of its cooling power. As a general rule of thumb, a bigger five ton unit will be more powerful than a 2 ton unit. But that doesn’t mean it is right for your needs.

Efficiency rating

The efficiency of an HVAC unit describes how much cooling power you get for each watt of electricity. Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating or SEER is the standard in the US and federal regulations require a minimum of SEER 14 for new units. Obviously, units with higher ratings will lower your electricity bills in the long-term. However, very high energy efficient HVAC units will also be more expensive.

Maintenance

Price plays a major role in any purchase decision. HVAC units are no different. But while you might think to compare prices and installation costs, most people overlook long-term maintenance and repairs. An expensive AC unit might require more frequent maintenance and parts may be costly. The warranty on your unit may also be contingent on periodic service visits. Some vendors offer maintenance contracts for your peace of mind. Make sure to ask if your estimate includes service.

Selecting the Right Contractor

Perhaps the most important consideration when purchasing a new HVAC unit is selecting the right contractor. Get at least three bids from different vendors for comparison. Avoid anyone using high-pressure sales tactics as any decent contractor probably has a waiting list of jobs. Half the work is in choosing a good contractor. Ready to buy your new HVAC unit? Call us at 408-295-2182 today to get started.

Best Strategy in Choosing a Contractor

It is vital that you comprehend the best strategy of narrowing down on the most reliable contractor once you have a particular project that desires professional input. Choosing the best mechanical contractor can be a very difficult errand. It is our pleasure to provide some basic guidelines in selecting a contractor that will make the process easier.

How to Choose a Contractor for Your Next Project

Often, people selectively choose an item from a store based on unique qualities necessary for efficient use. The same rule applies when you are choosing a contractor. Selecting a professional contractual worker holds an equal emphasis as buying standard equipment. For a device to function optimally, it requires proper installation and routine upkeep. If you resort to poor mechanical contractor selection policies, you expose yourself to risk. Remember that not all contractors are great and have mastered their skills. Initiating thorough research may mean the difference between expert input and getting ripped off by a quack.

Tips You Must Know in Selecting a Contractor

The expense of repairing and maintaining an improperly installed HVAC system can create a massive negative impact on your company’s profits. Ascertain that your system is installed appropriately from the beginning. All contractors must possess a license that allows them to practice in their region. Accreditation from the relevant regulatory body ascertains that they have adhered to all the necessary legal statutes and professional qualifications. Expert contractors usually go through certifications processes that are approved, and it is only through a license that you can be confident that they have completed the course. One of the surest strategies in knowing if you are settling on the best is via contacting previous clients. Based on their first-hand data on services delivered, they are going to offer you great insight on whether or not to hire the contractor. Contractors charge differently based on industry experience and expertise. It is better to hire a costly contractor that has great experience rather than an amateur. Striking a good balance between quality of work and price ought to be your target.

Ensure that the contractor:

• Possesses knowledge of different systems from various manufacturers

• Have excellent customer care and respond well to your needs

• Don’t possess a lot of legal troubles

• Offer you a list of references

After you have considered these ideas, you can have a good clue of the contractor to select.  Get in touch with us to discuss any tasks that you might have that require the expertise of a mechanical contractor.  Call 408-295-2182

Tips On Preparing Your HVAC Unit For Spring – Before You Call A Contractor

After a long, cold winter, spring is finally here, and soon it will be time to crank up the AC to keep your home comfortable during the dog days of summer. Before the time comes to cool your home, it’s important to do some routine checks and make sure your HVAC unit is up for the challenge of the next season. A few tips and tricks can help you ensure you won’t suffer an untimely AC breakdown, or break the bank because of poor efficiency, which can add up quickly on your energy bill.

4 Tips to Get Your AC/HVAC Ready for Spring

Change old filters

Replacing old, dirty filters of the easiest methods of making sure your HVAC unit is ready for the spring and summer months. Even when not in use, dust can collect in these filters, which can lead to unpleasant odors, low airflow, and increased electricity usage. Because your AC has to work harder and run longer to push enough air to cool your home, it can also put undue stress on other parts, causing them to wear out more quickly. Before you replace filters, be sure to know the correct type and size for your unit.

Turn it on and let it run

Once the filters are taken care of, the next step is to turn on the unit and let it run a while. Don’t leave the house during this process; stay close and observe for any odd sounds or scents. Take particular note if anything smells like it may be burning, and turn off the unit immediately.

Take a quick peek inside

Many homeowners neglect the simple but important step of checking the condenser coil for any signs of damage or debris. You’ll also want to look at your system’s wiring to ensure nothing seems disconnected or is showing signs of wear and tear.

Get a tune-up

The best way to make certain your AC is ready for spring is to call a professional and schedule a check-over. A full inspection, including a thermostat test, condenser inspection, checking contractors for any pits or burns, and other general maintenance will help save on large repairs or increasing energy bills. When you’re ready for your next HVAC tune-up, repair, or if you have any questions about your AC unit, contact us at (408) 295-2182

Tips For Environmental Heating and Cooling in San Jose

Environmental heating and cooling is an objective for companies aiming to be better corporate citizens. Investing in heating and cooling systems can help a company reduce its carbon footprint and save money. Here are some tips for environmental heating and cooling in San Jose.

 

Implementing zoning

One of the most common recommendations we offer to our customers is to implement zoning. HVAC systems with zoning configurations only cool and heat the areas of the building that are currently in use. Less energy is consumed when the system is not being operated. Rooms that are positioned near sunlight can be assigned a zone to be inactive during daylight hours when the temperature are higher, avoiding the use of heat. Likewise, the cooling settings can be adjusted to higher temperatures where people are in constant motion and more likely to be warmer.

 

Setting up a maintenance plan

Implementing a maintenance plan is another way to save energy. Changing the HVAC filters periodically can reduce wasted energy consumption by anywhere between 5 and 10 percent. Clogged filters impact indoor quality. The restricted air flow also causes the HVAC systems to operate inefficiently. It is recommended that the HVAC filters be changed on a quarterly basis to preserve the performance of the HVAC system. Some experts suggest that they be replaced every three months to achieve true energy savings.

 

Know when it’s time for an upgrade

Sometimes systems can only do but so much when they reach a certain point in their service life. If you find that the repairs are becoming more frequent, then your system may need to be replaced. Upgrading your HVAC system will reduce your energy consumption and lower energy costs. The more energy efficient tend to be the newer systems released in recent years.

 

Consider retrofitting

Retrofitting your HVAC unit is another option. Advanced control systems and sensors can be added to the existing system. This means that the area is only cooled or heated when ventilation is needed. The sensors gauge fluctuations and temperatures, trigger heating or cooling activities as needed.

If you are ready to reduce energy consumption and are open to exploring the options available, consider implementing any of these solutions. If you have any questions about improving the energy efficiency of your system, call us today at 408-295-2182

Choosing The Right Company To Perform Your HVAC Tuneup

Choosing the right company to provide your HVAC tuneup is crucial. A regular heat and air tuneup is vital when it comes to keeping equipment performing properly and in top condition. In addition to obtaining important maintenance during the tuneup process, a professional has the opportunity to identify and resolve any minor issues. Proactive intervention in regard to something more minor today is a key strategy to preventing a major problem at some juncture down the road. In other words, regular maintenance can enhance the lifespan of your HVAC system.

Another fundamental reason why you need to select the proper company to perform your maintenance stems from more long term financial considerations. If you engage a service provider that provides a proper tuneup, you will save money on repairs over the long run. In addition, a well-maintained HVAC system saves money as well.

 

Checklist for Finding the Right HVAC Tuneup Professional

 

There are some specific factors that you need to bear in mind when you are looking for a heating and air conditioning professional. By paying attention to these tips, you’ll be in the best position to access the most capable HVAC professional.

Experience matters when it comes to an HVAC professional. What this means is you need to engage a professional who has a background in performing a tuneup and regular maintenance on a heat and air system like your own.

On a related note, when it comes to hiring a company to perform an HVAC tuneup, you must undertake comprehensive due diligence. This includes more than just a review of a company’s background. You need to verify that a company has a proper license and is appropriately insured and bonded.

Due diligence extends to employees of the company was well. In addition to items just referenced, you will want to confirm that an appropriate background check occurred. You need to confirm that any employee who will be working at your business is property certified, licensed, bonded or insured.

Discuss your needs with colleagues in the industry. They may be able to provide you recommendations of an inspector.

Obtain references from an HVAC tuneup specialists before retaining for services. A solid contractor or service provider will be more than happy to provide names and contact information for clients.

If you are in need of any heat and air repair or maintenance, contact us today at (408) 295-2182. Our professional team stands ready to assist you.

When Is The Right Time To Call Someone To Repair Your Air Conditioning in San Jose

You know your air conditioning system, and sometimes you get that feeling that something is not quite right. If you have started to see a change in the overall performance of your air conditioning unit, you may want to call someone to repair your air conditioning in San Jose. If you are unsure of when to contact a specialist, consider looking for these signs.

Signs to watch for:

When you make a series of adjustments to the settings on your air conditioning system, you may not feel a change in any of the temperature. The system may not be providing a cool air, and if this is the case, then you should contact your HVAC specialist. This problem could indicate that your thermostat may be going bad. Under no circumstances should you AC leak large quantities of water. If you should notice any leaks, you need to schedule a diagnostic with a technician. You may have a clog in the drain line that needs to be removed. Any time you hear unusual noises from your HVAC system, you need to have the system looked at by a technician. A bad part or failing component can be the culprit for the unusual noises.

Importance of getting an appointment scheduled sooner rather than later

You don’t want to find yourself helpless in the middle of an extremely uncomfortable scenario where temperatures are at their highest and you don’t have any air. You also don’t want to find yourself having to replace the entire unit altogether just because you delayed services. It’s important to schedule the much-needed repair sooner rather than later. The average costs for a minor repair is just under $200, according to research. Homeowners can expect to pay up to $4,000 for replacing the entire unit. You want to minimize costs by getting an appointment scheduled as soon as you suspect that something is wrong to avoid having to replace the entire unit.

What will a technician do when scheduled for an appointment?

When a technician appointment is scheduled, a diagnostic will likely be performed to determine the root cause of the performance issue. They will check the air filter, and verify whether or not it should be changed. The drain lines will likely be checked for clogs. The evaporator coils will be checked to see if they are frozen or not. They will inspect the system to identify the root cause of leaks. Batteries in the thermostat may need to be checked to verify that the thermostat isn’t going bad. A problem with the circuit breaker could result from an A/C unit overheating, so a technician may need to check that as well.

Leaks, strange noises, and freezing are all indications that something may be awry with the air conditioning unit. Getting a service appointment scheduled is essential in protecting the service life of your unit. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.