How Will a Building Automation Installation Make Your Building More Efficient?

Perhaps you’ve thought about building automation before and wonder what it can do for you. By incorporating building automation into your place of business, you can streamline your business in several key ways, such as:

  • reduced energy consumption
  • fewer errors
  • time savings

Automation conserves energy by ensuring systems are active at the best possible times. While basic setups may have things like heating and cooling on simple timers, modern automation techniques allow for a host of advanced optimizations. In some cases, this increases a building’s efficiency even beyond its original energy specifications.

One of the biggest cost savings comes from, not only how much, but also the time of day when electricity is consumed. Software-based automation solutions can take advantage of a building’s natural ability to store thermal energy. By using clever balancing acts, they can distribute the demand for electricity further away from peak hours. This saves businesses money and allows power companies to produce more of their electricity from sustainable sources.

The ability to craft precise and detailed automation schedules also helps to prevent mistakes which may interfere with business operations. This could be as simple as detecting and alerting personnel to conflicting energy demands, such as a room being actively heated and cooled at the same time. Or it could be the reassurance of knowing that each room in the building will be comfortable for staff from the moment they show up for work. Or perhaps your business finds itself with unique scenarios when it’s crucial to craft the right environment at the right time. Automation gives your business a powerful means of staying agile and flexible from the ground up.

Automation Empowers Your Building to Work for You

While the immediate difference in energy savings is a crucial benefit of this technology, the benefits go far beyond just that. By implementing automation, you gain another valuable member of your team, who works hard to manage the minutia so that others don’t have to.

This frees your staff to focus on what they do best: tackling the most creative challenges that shape the way you do business. If you’re ready to explore your options, we’re here to help you find the right automation solutions for your business. Give us a call at 408-295-2182 and see what we can do for you!

Is Hiring a Design/Build Mechanical Contractor More Efficient Than Breaking the Project Up?

There are many benefits to hiring a design and build mechanical contractor rather than just breaking the project up. It is important to think about all of the factors that go into hiring a company that works on multiple parts of a project. Different companies work in different ways, but you can expect the same level of excellence in all parts of your project when you hire one company to handle it all.

Benefits of Going With a Design and Build Mechanical Contractor:
. Great teamwork since you are dealing with one company
. Faster completion time
. Easier to change things if you need to

Have a Smooth Experience With a Design and Build Mechanical Contractor

When you hire one company to handle the design and building process for you, you can enjoy it. You can know that different teams will work together to complete your project for you in a smooth and easy way. When you deal with one reputable company for all of your needs, you can be certain that everything will be done right.

Since your company will have teams that are used to working together and providing excellent services, you can often experience a faster completion time. By hiring one professional company, you can enjoy having everything done to the standards that you expect. When you need your project completed by a certain time, you can count on a reputable company to be able to meet your needs. Instead of working with a bunch of different companies, you can have peace of mind when hiring one good company to handle your design and build.

Another perk to hiring one design and build mechanical contractor is that you can make changes easily. Instead of having to get in touch with several people when you need to make a change, you can get in touch with your contractor and know that everything will be resolved. When you choose to go with an experienced company, you can know that your design and build will turn out just the way that you want it to.

Hiring a design and build mechanical contractor can make your life easier. To get in touch with a company you can trusts, give us a call. You can reach us at 408-295-2182.

How Can a Plumbing Maintenance Contract Save You Money Down the Road?

Owning a home is a great thing, but with that comes great responsibility. Your home will need regular routine maintenance and repairs. If you do not keep your home up, it could lead to extremely costly repairs and extensive damage to your home.

One of the best ways to protect your home is to get a plumbing maintenance contract. A plumbing maintenance contract will help prevent issues with your plumbing, helping you to avoid costly repairs. Over time, your plumbing equipment may wear down. For example, you may have a pipe that is slowly leaking up under your house. This leaking pipe can cause an extreme amount of damage. Rotting floors, joists, and causing mold build-up. When you have a maintenance agreement, the plumber will look for these issues. Having proper routine maintenance can help to extend the life of your plumbing equipment. Equipment like your hot water heater, sump pump, and faucets can all be serviced during this yearly service agreement.

What is Included in A Plumbing Maintenance Agreement?

During your yearly plumbing maintenance check, the following will be addressed:


Inspect toilets for leaks.
Inspect shower faucets and sink faucets for leaks.
Inspect cabinets for leaks.
Check for any clogs in the shower/bathtub and toilet.
Ensure that the toilet is functioning properly.
Check water pressure.

Inspect the faucets for any issue and proper water pressure.
Check for any clogs.
Check for leaks under the cabinet.
Check out the dishwasher for any leaks and clogs.

Outside the home:

Check the sump pump and discharge the lines.
Check gas riser and meter if the home has gas.
Check hose connections.
Check outside water for any leaks.

What Happens Next?

After the above steps are complete, the plumber will also inspect the rest of the house plumbing for leaks as well as inspect any gas lines to the home. He or she will then flush the hot water heater as it builds up with sediment. They will also check out the hot water heater thoroughly to ensure that there are no issues with functionality.

A plumbing maintenance agreement is a great way for you to save money while ensuring the proper function of your plumbing. Doing this will help to prevent issues, and if there is a need for repair, it can be done before the issue becomes a larger issue. If you want to learn more about a plumbing maintenance agreement, call O.C. McDonald today at 408-295-2182. We are happy to help you with all of your plumbing needs.

What Type of Contractor Can Handle Industrial HVAC Installations?

It is important to hire the right contractor to handle your industrial HVAC installations. The right company will be able to help out with everything from the design process to the final inspection. Our company has the experience needed to tackle jobs of all sizes.

Look for a Contractor Who:
. Has experience in the industrial HVAC industry
. Can meet deadlines
. Knows industrial codes
. Can work on a budget

The Right Industrial HVAC Contractor

It is important to hire an experienced industrial HVAC company. Industrial HVAC services are going to be different than residential. By hiring a company familiar with industrial services, you can be certain that everything will be done right. An experienced contractor can help you with everything from choosing the proper equipment for your facility to making sure the ductwork is run the way that it needs to be.

By hiring a reputable contractor, you can be certain that deadlines can be met. A good company will be able to work around your schedule. An established company should be able to give you a good time estimate and be able to take care of all services in a timely manner.

Local building codes will have to be met, so you should work with a contractor who is familiar with everything. You want to be certain that your HVAC installation will be done right and up-to-code. By going with a contractor that is licensed, insured, and reliable, you can be sure that your industrial needs will be taken care of.

A budget-friendly contractor is also going to be a smart choice. You want to work with a contractor who can give you a realistic bid. You want to be able to plan for the costs that will be involved in the industrial HVAC installation process so that you are prepared. A good contractor will be transparent about costs and able to provide quality services that you can trust.

If you are in need of industrial HVAC installation services, we can help. Our team has the experience and knowledge needed to take care of your facility. When you are ready to learn more, we are here to answer all of your questions. You can also easily schedule an appointment with us. Go ahead and call us now at 408-295-2182 for fast and efficient services.

What Materials Can Be Used for Industrial Process Piping?

The materials used to manufacture industrial process piping often differ from those used in traditional pipework due to the differences in regulations and various chemical stresses. Machinists must ensure that process piping is constructed with materials that can withstand certain levels of pressure, temperature, and vibrations depending on which industry they will be used in. Four of the main materials utilized in the construction of industrial process piping are:

  • standard steel
  • duplex steel
  • nickel-based superalloys
  • aluminum

The Use of Steel in Process Pipework

Perhaps the most common material used for industrial process piping is standard steel. Contractors tend to lean towards this affordable option since it is known for its resiliency. Standard steel has the ability to not only withstand high temperatures but also maintain its functionality and form while being exposed to high-pressure variations. The material is highly malleable, so manufacturers are able to easily bend and cut each unit to form.

Duplex steel is another material frequently seen in process piping, especially in the pharmaceutical industries. Piping that is manufactured with duplex steel often consists of stainless chromium steel mixed with nickel, ferrite, and austenite. This material is heavily used in systems that transmit gas and petroleum since it can handle high levels of saline exposure while being under intense pressure.

Nickel-Based Superalloys

Piping made from nickel-based superalloys typically includes Inconel, austenite, iron, chromium, titanium, and aluminum all in one. They are known for being extremely heat resistant, which is why they are often used in setups that conduct dangerously high temperatures such as combustion chambers. Nickel-based superalloys are regularly seen in both the aeronautic and nuclear engineering industries.


Not only is aluminum inexpensive, but it is exceptionally flexible and easy to assemble. Aluminum is highly light-resistant, and it is also less prone to corrosion when compared to other materials used in industrial process piping. Since aluminum has higher levels of thermal conductivity, it can actually cut at higher speeds while maintaining its structure.

These resistant materials used to manufacture industrial process piping products allow systems to transport, separate, mix and halt various chemical compounds that would not be possible in traditional plumbing systems. Each material has its own qualities that help the machinery withstand and transport process fluids such as industrial gases and chemicals in a safe and effective manner. Contact our team of experts at 408-295-2182 to see which industrial piping material would best accommodate your company’s day-to-day operations.

What Licenses Does a Mechanical Piping Contractor Have?

What Licenses Does a Mechanical Piping Contractor Have?

Mechanical piping contractors are usually required to obtain the same licensing that conventional HVAC professionals receive. The procedure associated with this licensing process varies from state to state, but most require going through an extensive application process paired with two different exams: mechanical then business and finance. These requirements are regulated by the Department of Public Health, along with the Division of Labor. The licenses can be issued to applicants as individual technicians, or to larger commercial entities.

The Initial Step in Mechanical Piping Contractor Licensing

The first thing any individual applicant or business entity should do is start the application process. Although these requirements differ in each state, most areas require you to prove that you have the following:

  • the appropriate application fee
  • a surety bond
  • recent credit reports
  • a list of education and experience
  • proof of insurance
  • any company or technician information

The application fee is often associated with registering as a mechanical piping contractor, and it is generally under $100 for each applicant. Depending on the region, the surety bond is several thousand dollars, and it used as a way to prove that the applicant is stable enough financially to take on a commercial license. A full credit report should also be provided that includes a recent FICO score to prove an even higher level of financial responsibility.

Applicants are also required to prove that they have the appropriate amount of experience and education to take on mechanical piping work. For instance, Florida requires that if a technician or business head does not have four years of education from an accredited university, then they must have enough experience as a foreman to make up for it. Someone who has only received three years of formal education in the construction field will be required to provide proof of working as a foreman for one year.

Testing Protocols: The Mechanical Exam and Business and Finance Exam

The mechanical exam is usually an all-day test that includes morning and afternoon exams. Most states provide applicants with 130 questions on subjects such as pre-installation, installation of HVAC systems, and maintenance services. There will also be sections quizzing the applicant’s knowledge on safety and equipment.

The business and finance exam is also quite lengthy, consisting of around 120 questions in most scenarios. Technicians and businesses will be tested on how to establish contracting businesses, as well as how to manage administrative responsibilities. They will also have to prove that they are knowledgeable in areas such as government regulations and human resources.

Each state has its own requirements in regard to the licensing of mechanical piping contractors, but these are the general procedures that are most often followed. It may seem like it comes with a demanding list of prerequisites, but these requirements are put in place to ensure that contractors provide reliable, quality work. Contact our licensed mechanical piping contractors at 408-295-2182 to see how we can help with your latest project.

Are HVAC Installations Time-Consuming?

The average replacement time associated with full HVAC systems is approximately three days, but this time frame is truly dependent on a few different variables. These variables include factors such as the type of system that is being installed, the size of the system itself, and how much ductwork needs to be replaced. When it comes to mainstream HVAC systems, there are four primary types that commercial and residential customers opt for:

  • hybrid systems
  • split systems
  • duct-free systems
  • packaged heating and air systems

Each of these systems is made up of different components and ventilation systems that come with their own suggested installation times.

The Modern HVAC Set Up: The Hybrid System

Since energy efficiency is becoming a priority in more American homes, hybrid systems are beginning to trend. A hybrid system works by choosing between two different energy sources for power. These power sources consist of natural gasoline engines or battery-powered options. How long these systems take to install relies on how much ductwork needs to be replaced. Since most property owners are looking for heightened efficiency with these systems, they typically choose to replace all of the ductwork for lower energy costs in the future. This will usually take approximately three to four days to complete.

Split Systems

Split systems are perhaps the most common HVAC systems installed in residential units, and they consist of exterior and interior cabinets that hold their important components. The exterior cabinet holds the condenser and compressor, while the interior cabinet holds the evaporator coil. These can usually be installed within one or two days, but like hybrid systems, this is dependent on how much ductwork needs to be done.

Duct-Free Systems

A duct-free system still utilizes a compressor, but the heat is sent outdoors through a high-powered air fan. There are two main forms of duct-free systems: mini-split and multi-split. Mini-splits can usually be installed within one to two days, but multi-split systems may require more time if several indoor air handlers need to be installed.

Packaged Heating and Air Systems

Investing in a packaged heating and air system will give you both air conditioning and gas heating from a singular unit through electricity and natural gas. The air conditioner is powered by a high-efficiency electrical unit, while the heating component is driven by natural gas or propane. Since these units are typically assembled at purchase, the amount of time needed for installation is solely dependent on ductwork. If very little ductwork needs replacing, then the setup time should only require one to two days.

Having a trusted team of professionals by your side throughout the installation process will ensure that you get it done in an effective yet timely manner. The contractors at O.C. McDonald in San Jose has the skills and tools necessary to make the HVAC installation process as quick and hassle-free as possible. Give us a call today at 408-295-2182 see how fast we can get your new HVAC system up and running!

If I Have an Ongoing Contract with a Commercial Plumbing Company, Will They Help in Emergencies?

Your plumbing system is arguably one of the most critical components in your home. A properly working plumbing system keeps fresh-water flowing throughout the house and safely redirects waste and sewage from the house. The average household will use the plumbing system more than frequently. Problems tend to pop up once in a while unexpectedly. Some of these problems won’t go away even after applying some of your basic hacks. So, what do you do during such a plumbing emergency? Will your contracted plumber come to your rescue?

What are the plumbing service contracts?

These are agreements between a homeowner and a plumbing company that outline regulations to follow during their business relationship, including plumbing emergencies. They are designed to offer customers the comfort and support needed whenever there is a plumbing emergency. You will always be at peace in the event your plumbing system begins to misbehave.

Types of plumbing emergencies

Most contracts identify plumbing emergencies as follows:

  • Plumbing failure that results in interior flooding.
  • Dry taps, shower-heads and toilet facilities in parts or the entire home.
  • Discolored or smelly water that endangers the safety and health of house occupants.
  • Appliance failure that could trigger secondary damages to the house.

If you notice any of the following problems, you are required to call the plumbing company immediately.

What is the purpose behind plumbing contracts?

We all know that preventive measures are better than curative measures. Contracts ensure that there is ongoing preventative maintenance to reduce the probabilities of avoidable damages. If a plumbing system is clean and in mint condition, emergency plumbing services are reduced significantly.

Does a contract protect you in case of a plumbing emergency?

Contracts differ depending on a homeowner’s needs and desires. If your contract covers emergencies, the plumbing system is required to deliver their services as per the terms and conditions outlined. The agreement should include circumstances that will be considered as emergencies. Anything that doesn’t fall within the definition of a plumbing emergency may demand separate terms and conditions. Be sure to understand the terms in your agreement before signing the contract with your plumber.

Are contracts the right choice for you?

Contracts include frequent plumbing inspections that detect even the smallest problems and rectifies them before they grow into expensive and complex issues in the future. Most contracts require you to pay an annual maintenance and inspection fee. In the long run, it saves your money by avoiding damages. Also, in case of a plumbing emergency, the contract covers your costs.

Are you considering applying for a plumbing service contract? Call us today at 408-295-2182 for all your plumbing concerns and let us help you regain your sanity.

How Often Should You Be Cleaning Your Air Ducts?

HVAC systems need maintenance and cleaning just as any similar household or commercial appliance or piece of equipment does. In order for an HVAC system to function correctly, it’s important that the AC ducts are properly cleaned. Moreover, the cleanliness of these AC ducts will affect the health of those that use it as well. While it’s important to consistently clean one’s air ducts, the time frame in which to do so will vary.

Consulting local HVAC experts is the best way to determine how often your AC ducts need to be cleaned. However, there are a few standard guidelines HVAC owners should follow when considering the cleanliness of their AC ducts.

Clean AC Ducts Every Few Years

AC ducts should be cleaned every 3-5 years. While each HVAC system will vary, this is a general time frame that includes the best time to clean the system. Just as AC ducts should never go five years without a good cleaning, HVAC systems that require multiple cleanings a year aren’t functioning properly. HVAC ducts shouldn’t need to be cleaned every year, as this is a sign that the system needs to be fixed rather than cleaned.

When determining how often to clean the AC ducts, it’s important to recognize signs that the ducts need to be cleaned:

  • There is dust build-up along the vent register
  • The HVAC has excessive debris in the filter area
  • There is thick dirt inside the ducts
  • There are signs of vermin infestation
  • There are bursts of waste exiting the supply registers
  • There is a mold smell flowing from the air vents

In addition to paying attention to the above signs, HVAC ducts should be cleaned during specific circumstances. You’ll need to deep clean your HVAC in the following situations:

  • After a remodeling project
  • After building a new house
  • After moving into a house
  • If you own pets
  • If chemical irritants have spread through the house
  • If individuals using the HVAC experience allergic reactions

Whether it’s been 3-5 years and your ducts are due for a cleaning or the situation warrants a deep clean, it’s best to trust this task to the professionals to guarantee your HVAC system is properly cleaned. Ready to get started? Call us today at 408-295-2182.

What’s a Good Checklist for HVAC Preventative Maintenance?

You will want to do everything that you can to help your HVAC unit run efficiently. Minimizing breakdowns will not only help with the life of your unit, it will also help you to save on your energy usage. With a preventative maintenance package, you can do this. You should have both a spring and fall package to ensure the functionality of your cooling system as well as your heating system. Here is a good checklist for both spring and fall checkups.

Spring Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Here is a list of what should be done during the spring maintenance for your HVAC unit.

·      Cleaning the coils of both the evaporator and condenser
·      Checking for drain line clogs
·      Cleaning drain pan
·      Cleaning or replacing air filters
·      Inspecting the ducts
·      Checking for refrigerant leaks and charge
·      Checking humidity levels
·      Changing batteries in the thermostat
·      Checking fan motor
·      Lubricating pars
·      Checking blowers for proper air flow
·      Inspecting cabinet
·      Inspecting outside unit
·      Checking the electrical system

Fall Preventative Maintenance Checklist

During the fall months, your HVAC technician should do preventative maintenance that ensures that the unit is ready for the cooler months. The checklist should include:

·      Checking the ignition burner assemble
·      Checking the flue system
·      Inspecting for any gas leaks if you have a gas furnace
·      Assessing gas pressure
·      Checking belts
·      Checking drain lines
·      Checking all the electrical components
·      Replacing filters
·      Checking thermostats for proper functionality
·      Checking the fan and blower system
·      Inspection of the outdoor heat pump
·      Checking vents and ductwork for any issues
·      Lubricating bearings, motors or any other moving parts

Once these inspections are done, you will be good to go to use your heating or cooling system. Avoiding these maintenance appointments is never a good idea. You may think that you might save money, but the reality is that you could spend even more money repairing your broken HVAC unit. Proper maintenance helps you to avoid costly repair issues. Proper maintenance also helps to ensure that your utility bills are low. If you are ready to get started with preventative maintenance, please call us today at 408-295-2182. Our customer service staff is ready to help you get started on a preventive maintenance package that will help your HVAC unit be in the best shape each season.