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 Qualifications Do San Jose Plumbing Companies Need to Meet

San Jose Plumbers need to meet a few different qualifications before you can trust them to work on your commercial or residential needs. By choosing a company that meets every qualification, you can have peace of mind that your plumbing services will be done right.

Look for a Company That Is:
. Licensed For Your State
. Insured
. Able to handle residential or commercial services depending on your needs
. Skilled, experienced, and equipped with the right technology

Plumbing Qualifications

When you are looking for a plumbing company in the San Jose area, it is important to make sure that they are licensed by the state of California. Professionals will have the right training and will be able to handle major and minor plumbing issues. You can trust a licensed expert to be able to get permits and any other necessary paperwork done as well. A licensed plumber will be ready to tackle all of your plumbing installation, repair, maintenance, and emergency services.

A good San Jose plumbing company should also be insured. If anything were to happen at your property, you want to know that the company you hire is going to be able to fix it. By dealing with only insured companies, you can feel confident that you will be covered no matter what happens.

It is also important to deal with a company that specializes in the services you require. Some companies deal more with businesses and new construction projects while other business may work more in the residential area. There are some companies that specialize in both commercial and residential services. It is important to look at the track record of potential companies to make sure they are qualified for your specific needs.

It is always important to look for a company that has experience in the industry. All of the technicians should be highly skilled and use the latest technology. When you are searching for a good company, it is always a good idea to choose one that has a good reputation.

If you are interested in a San Jose company that meets all of your qualifications, we are the company to call. Contact us today at 408-295-2182 to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment with ease.

How Big Of A Job Is It to Replace AC?

Replacing an air conditioner is one of the most complicated processes you’ll encounter as a homeowner. The project starts when you meet with one of our representatives to the final steps when we test the new system for optimal performance.

What’s Involved

The first step involves a thorough home assessment to find the best size for your system. The amount of insulation you have throughout makes a difference, as do the number, types and sizes of the windows. The floorplan layout and its total cubic footage are included in the analysis, which involves using software called Manual J to give us the right size for your new system.

If the system you select is too large, it will run in short cycles. Instead of saving energy, an oversized system actually uses more energy. It won’t run long enough to cool the parts of your home that are further from the air handler or thermostat and it will leave excessive humidity behind. An oversized system will also start more frequently, which uses a lot more electricity than the AC uses in mid-cycle.

Next Steps

Once the team has the size of the system, they move onto inspecting the ductwork to verify that it’s the right size, in good shape and free from air leaks. They use Manual J’s sister software called Manual D to size it. The team has testing equipment to identify where and how large any ductwork leaks are. As part of the inspection, they look for excessive dust inside the ducts and weaknesses.

Installation Day

At least one adult will need to be home during the installation that will probably take the greater part of the day. The first steps are to install the outdoor condenser and the indoor air handler. Next comes the wiring and attaching the air handler to the ductwork.

The technicians use their tools to verify that all the components are receiving the right amount of electricity and functioning as they should. They check the refrigerant pressure several times during the installation process. They’ll also use their tools to make sure that the air leakage rates through the ducts meet local and state guidelines.

Bottom Line

To learn more about an AC installation, contact O.C. McDonald at
408-295-2182, providing trusted HVAC, plumbing and electrical services for Bay Area and San Jose homeowners.

How Much Should I Pay For A New AC Compressor?

The air compressor is one of the four main parts found inside an air conditioning unit. It compresses refrigerant gas called Freon by exposing it to high temperatures and pressure. This heated and pressurized gas forces cooler air throughout your air conditioning system through ducts.

The leftover hot air is then transferred to the outside via coils and a fan. Without a functioning compressor component, an air conditioning unit will not work. There are many reasons why a compressor is no longer working.

Here are some of them:

  • If an HVAC system is poorly maintained, it will cause wear and tear to the AC components including the compressor
  • power surges can damage the compressor and cause it to burn out
  • too much moisture in the air can cause chemical reactions that will wear away the compressor
  • a compressor may stop working if it is defective, damaged during other repair work or past its lifespan

You can help prevent damage to the compressor and extend the life of your AC unit by doing basic maintenance. Annual AC tune-ups, changing your air filters on a regular basis, cleaning the HVAC system and controlling moisture levels can all prevent damage and wear to the compressor.

How Much Will It Cost To Replace A Compressor In An AC Unit?

Sometimes, an air compressor will stop working and need to be replaced. Since it is essential to the operation of the air conditioning system, you will have to replace the compressor or get an entirely new HVAC system. Often the most economical and smart decisions you can make is just to replace the compressor.

Generally, the larger your AC unit is, the more expensive the replacement compressor will cost. For example, a 2.5-ton capacity air conditioner unit will have a replacement cost of about $500-$980. A 5.0-ton capacity AC system will have an estimated cost of about $815-$1600 dollars.

Air compressors vary in quality. A cheaper compressor may save you money, but it will have a shorter warranty period and will not last as long as a more expensive one. Taking this into consideration is important when selecting a compressor.

Another important thing to factor in when shopping for a new air compressor is the installation cost. If you have staff on hand that can install new parts in an old air conditioner, then the additional installation cost will not apply to you. If you lack such staff on hand, then you can expect to pay an additional cost for installation. The installation cost should be around the same price as the compressor.

We will quickly determine what kind of compressor is required for your AC unit. Our team will also work with you to schedule a convenient installation time. Call us today at 408-295-2182, and we will get to work right away on getting your AC up and running.

What Can an Emergency Plumber in San Jose Help With?

Even the most bustling and successful businesses can be brought to a screeching halt when a plumbing emergency occurs. Leaks, blockages, and broken pipes are all problems that can impact a business’s ability to run smoothly. For over a century, many of Silicon Valley’s top businesses have trusted O.C. McDonald to serve their plumbing needs with superb craftsmanship and outstanding service.

Emergency Plumbing for Businesses and Corporations

Unlike the residential plumbing in your home, plumbing systems in large commercial buildings undergo the strain of being used by hundreds of people each day. This wear and tear can quickly result in leaks, blockages, or other emergency issues that a professional plumber should address before they worsen and cause serious damage.

In emergency scenarios, it is best to get the situation checked out sooner rather than later. A minor problem like a clogged pipe can quickly evolve into a full-on disaster if flooding or water damage takes place. Over time, unchecked plumbing issues can lead to mildew, mold, and even structural damage. This type of widespread damage impacts everything from safety to aesthetics and is often extremely costly to repair.

When Should You Call O.C. McDonald for Emergency Plumbing?

Give us a call right away if you notice any of the following:

  • Leaky faucets, toilets, or pipes
  • Slow or clogged drains
  • Burst or blocked pipes
  • Low water pressure
  • Luke-warm or cold water from hot water tap
  • Unusual sounds originating from pipes
  • Wet spots on the ceiling, walls, or floor
  • Bad odors, especially sulfur or sewage

24/7 Emergency Assistance from O.C. McDonald

We understand that emergencies do not always happen conveniently during business hours. Don’t panic! We offer 24/7 support so we can be there for you exactly when you need us most.

Give our 24/7 Live Operator a call and we’ll connect you with one of our experienced technicians ASAP.

Don’t Wait Until an Emergency to Reach Out!

O.C. McDonald has your back during a plumbing emergency, but we would also be thrilled to work with your company on routine, non-emergency projects as well. The key to successfully overcoming an emergency is through preparation, and by working with O.C. McDonald, you can expect the highest quality service from initial design and installation to maintenance and repair.

Ready to get started? Give us a call today at (408) 295-2182.

What’s the Average Price of an HVAC Compressor?

The compressor for an HVAC unit is an essential component to ensure that it runs as it should, but replacing it is rarely cheap. That doesn’t mean that you should simply ditch your HVAC system if it’s not working as it should. Here’s what you need to know about having an HVAC compressor replaced so you can avoid paying too much.

The Cost of an HVAC Compressor

The cost of a compressor can vary significantly depending on a number of different factors, but it can be broken down into a ballpark figure. The cost of a compressor in the United States will generally fall somewhere in the range of 300 to 650 dollars, but that’s only telling half the story. That’s because the number can rise to as high as roughly $2000 when you take into consideration the cost of labor from a qualified technician. That being said, getting a professional to get the job done is worth the price. Replacing a compressor can be a complicated task, and that’s especially true when dealing with more complex units designed for commercial use.

Factors to Consider

If there seems like a large amount of variance in those quotes, you aren’t wrong. There are a number of different variables that go into determining the cost of both parts and labor for a compressor replacement, and understanding them is important if you’re looking to avoid getting scammed with your service. Before settling on an estimate, take into consideration:

  • The size of the unit. This can have a major impact on the cost of your compressor, but it’s important to not go with a unit that’s too big or too small. The latter will fail to effectively cool the required space, while the former will turn on and off more frequently, quickly wearing down the compressor.
  • Compressor size. The compressor size is directly related to the tonnage of your AC unit. Tonnage refers to how much heat the unit can remove from the air. Once you know the tonnage of your unit, you can more accurately determine the size, and pricing, of a replacement.
  • The reputation of your contractor. Not all HVAC repair and installation companies are the same, and that’s why it’s important to only work with the best. Relying on referrals from friends and family or carefully researching the company in question can have a drastic impact on how much you pay and the effectiveness of the service.

In many ways, the air compressor is the beating heart of an HVAC unit. If yours has failed, don’t hesitate to call 408-295-2182 to receive an estimate.

How Often Should You Really Be Changing Your Air Filters?

One thing that many homeowners may not know is how often they should be changing the air filters on their HVAC unit. The air filters are important because they remove particles, allergens, and other pollutants from the air, improving the indoor air quality of your home. Additionally, changing the filters can increase the life of your unit.

Since the filters play such an important part in keeping the air in your home clean, it is important to replace them as needed. Changing your filter is easy to do and doesn’t take much time at all. The hardest part is figuring how just how often you should really change your air filters.

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filters?

Essentially, you should base the timeframe for changing your filters on how often the system is used. If you have a vacation home, it may be okay to change the filters less often than in your everyday-living home. This is because you will use your system more often in the home that you live in every day. The actual timeframe varies, however, based on a few different factors.

Factors That Affect When You Should Change Your Air Filters

  • People and pets in the home

The more people and pets, the more particles are getting into the air. More dirt and debris are being carried into the home on each person, and having pets just adds to that. With pets come dander, dust, pollen, and dirt. If you have even one pet, you should change your filters at least every 2 months. If you have more than one pet, you should actually change the filters each month. For a single person home with no pets, the filters could be changed as little as every 4-6 months. If more than one person lives in the home, but there are not pets, the filters could be changed every 3 months.

  • The type of filter you use

If you use a high-quality filter, you will get more life out of it. The high-quality filters work to filter out even more particles and debris than less effective ones, lengthening the life of the filter.

  • If you follow the replacement recommendations

Each manufacturer will suggest how to properly replace a filter. If you follow those suggestions, you will likely get more life out of them than if you replaced them incorrectly.

  • Allergies

If someone in your home has allergies, changing the filters more often can be beneficial to their health. When this is the case, your air filters should actually be changed every month. If you need help changing your air filters, or if you have any questions, call us at 408-295-2182. We can help make the process easy on you.

How Much Can You Expect an Air Conditioner Compressor to Cost?

The home ac compressor unit is one of the integral parts of the central air conditioning system. Installing your compressor is a significant project. The cost of the compressor will also depend on whether you want to install a new one or if you want a replacement. Replacement costs will also consider whether your old compressor is still under warranty or if it is over eight years old.

The comparison between the cost of replacing a complete ac and coil or the evaporator coil helps to determine whether it will make more sense to replace other than repairing the ac compressor. An additional cost to consider is the labor cost that you will incur for installation. Therefore, below is a review of the amount you can expect to pay for an air conditioner compressor.

AC Compressor Cost Factors

The cost of replacing a compressor for your home AC system is dependent on certain factors. These factors include:

  • The availability of a warranty for the compressor parts
  • The size of the AC compressor
  • The type of compressor and,
  • The consumer brand ratings

Usually, the warranty covers the cost of the parts. Replacing an Air Conditioner Compressor that is still under warranty will incur an average cost of around 645 dollars. If the air Conditioner Compressor is not under warranty, buying a new one will cost you an approximated amount of 1280 dollars inclusive of the installation cost.

Additional supplies are also needed. In most cases, the supplies are never warranted even though the air conditioning compressor might be warranted. Below is a list of the supplies and their cost:

  • Cost of Installation Supplies
  • Copper fittings and connectors with the cost between 35 to 100 dollars
  • Line filter or dryer with the cost between 35 to 75 dollars
  • Contractor, capacitor and hard start kit with the price between 35 to 150 dollars
  • Misc silver solder, electrical connectors with the price between 15 to 25 dollars
  • Refrigerant recharge with the price between 150 to 300 dollars

AC Compressor Installation Cost

You will also incur labor cost or a diagnostic fee unless the compressor is under warranty. A diagnostic fee ranges between 59 and 129 dollars. The typical cost for a service technician ranges between 60 to 90 dollars per hour, and the service helper is paid 60 to 75 dollars per hour.

Conclusion

Now that you know what to expect, call us today on 408-295-2182 so that we can help you get started.

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.

How Do You Pick the Best San Jose Plumbing Company?

With so many San Jose plumbing companies in the area, it’s important to choose the best one for your plumbing purposes. Even in a plumbing emergency, your choice in a company can be the difference between solving your plumbing problems or making them worse. As you start your search for the right company, be sure to look for one with a good reputation. Start this process by reading online reviews and asking family and friends for their suggestions.

Additionally, you will want to ensure that the plumber you pick has the proper qualifications. There are certain exams and courses they must pass before becoming certifiable in their industry. Hiring a plumber without the right qualifications will likely leave you with an even bigger problem on your hands. All qualified plumbers will have a Contractors State License, showing that they have a clean background check, as well as adequate education and training.

Things to Do Before Choosing a Plumber

In addition to doing your research and assessing a plumber’s qualifications, it is important to do the following things before picking a plumber:

  • Get Five Estimates or More: Part of choosing the right plumber is getting five or more estimates, as this is the best way to choose the most cost-effective plumbing company.
  • Review Their Complaints: In addition to looking at reviews, it’s important to check a plumbing company’s complaints on the state licensing website. Ideally, you’ll be able to find a plumbing company without complaints.
  • Review Their History: When deciding on a plumbing company, it’s important to consider how long the company has been in business. A company that has been around for a longer time will have a more established history of performing quality work.
  • Ask About Insurance: Even in an emergency, it is important to work with a plumber that is properly insured. Liability insurance and worker’s compensation will protect both you and the plumber in the event of injury.

When choosing a plumbing company, keep in mind that you will likely need them on more than a one-time basis. With this in mind, you’ll want to choose a plumbing company that is readily available, especially in emergency situations.

As you consider the cost, be sure to keep the rest of the aforementioned information in mind. Ready to get started with the best San Jose plumbing company? Call us today at 408-295-2182.