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What Air Conditioner Repairs Require a Contractor or Other Repair Technician?

Having purchased an air conditioner unit, it’s every homeowner’s dream to experience unrivaled comfort in their home during the summer and winter season. The unique ability to regulate both warm and cool air undoubtedly promotes healthy living and creativity. Despite their substantial benefits, air conditioners tend to break down once in a while and fixing them can be a daunting task, especially to first time owners. The constant debate of whether to consult an air conditioner contractor or simply fixing it by yourself can ultimately push you over the edge. As a homeowner, you might want to get acquainted with several repairs that immediately demand the attention of a seasoned contractor or repair technician.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant leaks are critical problems that must be taken seriously to preserve the durability and efficiency of your air conditioner unit. Contrary to common perception, adding refrigerant to a leaking unit doesn’t necessarily fix your HVAC unit. Far from it, such a problem is a manifestation of deep-rooted issues. An air conditioner running on low refrigerant simply denotes that the unit was undercharged during installation. In such a situation, it’s in your best interest to hire a seasoned technician to not only fix the leak but also test the repairs and ascertain that the right levels of refrigerant have been topped up. After all, an air conditioner’s efficiency and performance are optimized when the refrigerant coincides with the manufacturer’s specification.

Broken Compressor Fan

Your air conditioner’s exterior extension consists of a fan, condenser coils, and a compressor. Such apparatuses work in unison to dispense warm air from your home and provide a cool indoor climate. When the outdoor fan is compromised, the heat transfer process is disrupted leading to a subsequent chain of problems. For starters, the air conditioner wouldn’t be in optimal condition to provide cool air while the system’s compressor runs the risk of overheating. With an overheated compressor, your air conditioner’s safety controls can frequently turn your HVAC unit off. By hiring a qualified contractor or repair technician, they shall diligently diagnose the problem and repair or replace your compressor fan if necessary.

Frozen Condenser Coils

When the air conditioner’s condenser coils freeze up, it’s a tell-tale sign that your heating and cooling system won’t run properly. Poor airflow within the cooling system can cause freezing on the coils. Commonly caused by obstructions such as blocked return air ducts and dirty air filters, such issues can be solved with the aid of a refrigerant charge. However, such repairs must be done by an experienced technician who can diagnose the specific problem behind the frozen coils, liquefy the ice and restore your unit’s cooling capacity.

At O.C. McDonald’s, we have cultivated a stellar reputation for identifying and fixing air conditioner problems with finesse. Over the years, we have amassed tons of experience providing exceptional services tailored to meet the specific needs of each customer. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at 408-295-2182 and let us restore your air conditioner to its former glory.

What’s the average cost for a central air compressor?

The four parts used in most central air systems are the compressor, evaporator, expansion valve, and a condenser. Of these parts, the compressor is responsible for circulating coolant through the unit. It does this by compressing freon into a high temperature gas that is then pushed through to the outdoor coil, where at this time the heat is radiated away. From here the coolant returns to liquid form to be pumped back through the interior coils to suck up heat and turn back into gas again. This process cycles over and over again to maintain a cool temperature inside your home or office.

Depending on the model and make of your unit, on average the cost of a replacement compressor can run from anywhere between $300 to $600. However, this is only the cost of the part itself, and hiring a technician will cost you about $1500 to $2000 on average. Seeing the difference in price, it may be incredibly tempting to make a repair job yourself. The caveat is that you need to have an HVAC license in most states to legally work on an air conditioning unit. So while it doesn’t hurt to do further research into what could be a small issue, if it’s something you can’t fix without opening up your air conditioning unit, the chances are that you’ll need to call someone.

Signs a Compressor Needs Replacing

Like many machines, there are several common signs that can tell you whether or not your compressor needs to be replaced by a certified technician. Below is a list of some common problems caused by a faulty compressor. These issues can be caused by wear and tear due to high usage, power surges burning out the circuits of the compressor, or excess moisture buildup causing chemical damage to the unit.

  • The number one sign a compressor needs to be replaced is that your unit no longer blows out cool air.
  • The fan is no longer audible when you turn on your air conditioning unit.
  • Loud noises are coming from the inside of your A/C.
  • The clutch of your air conditioning unit remains still and does not move.
  • Fluid leaks develop at the connectors of your compressor.
  • Dust and other material clogs the compressor’s fan and causes the motor to burn out.

If you happen to be experiencing issues with your HVAC system, give us a call so we can help! Call now at 408-295-2182

What type of air conditioner repairs can you do yourself?

Have you had your central air unit quit working on you? Have you noticed that it isn’t as cold as it should be? Something may be going on with your appliance that needs some tending to. Air conditioning units are great to have for staying cool on the warm weather days. However, like any other major appliance things can go wrong that will cause it not to work.

You can call in a repair person to diagnose the problem and get it fixed for you. But, if the repair is something minor, you might be able to handle it yourself. Thus, saving you a little money in the long run. Here are a few central air unit problems you could repair on your own, to get your unit working properly again:

  • Poor Air Flow
  • Unit Working Harder Than Normal
  • Blowing out Warm Air Instead of Cold

Air Conditioner Repairs You Can Do Yourself

Change filter- One of the easiest repairs you can do yourself is changing the filter. Filters will get dirty over time. Leaving them that way will cause your air conditioning unit to work harder. Sometimes, it won’t blow cool air at all, because of the dust blocking the filter. Changing it out periodically will keep your unit working efficiently and extend its working life. Check your manual to see which filter you will need and how to replace it.

Clean out condenser coils- Your air conditioning unit, often, will pull in leaves, dirt and other debris. These can stick to the coils, making it work harder. To get your unit working properly again, clean out your condenser coils. Each unit is different, but most can be cleaned out simply with a garden hose. Spray water at the coils to get the debris off, or use a special cleaner that attaches to your garden hose. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to see if there are any special instructions on how to clean it.

Check breaker or thermostat- If you’re experiencing problems with your air conditioning unit, one of the first things you can check is the breaker or the thermostat. It may sound strange, but more times than not, your breaker has tripped or your thermostat isn’t properly set. Check those items first before calling in a repair person. If something trips the breaker, you can un-trip it to get it going again. If the breaker trips again, then you must contact a repair person, because something else is going on that’s electrical in nature. A professional would be the best choice in that scenario.

Repairs to an air conditioning unit don’t always have to be done by a professional. You could do the above minor tips to save yourself a call to a repair person. For major repairs, though, contact a professional to avoid getting yourself hurt or accidentally breaking your coil unit. If you have questions, call us at 408-295-2182.

Can You Just Replace an AC Compressor Instead of The Whole Thing?

The HVAC system of your business is a critical component of your building and its function is vital to the overall health and ability of your business to function, whether you are running a small office building or a large industrial complex. Keeping the air temperatures regulated and airflow moving steadily can impact your bottom line.

Often, as the HVAC unit or units for your business age, they show symptoms of failure before complete breakdown. Symptoms such as failure to produce cool air can be tracked to a number of smaller issues, such as a coolant leak or a line blockage, but a thorough inspection by an HVAC professional may also uncover major issues such as a compressor failure.

In the case of a compressor failure, you need to decide whether your business will best be served by replacing the compressor or by replacing the entire AC unit.

Replace the Compressor or Replace the AC Unit?

  • Consider replacing just the compressor if the existing AC unit and component parts are still under warranty. In this instance, the new compressor should not cost you anything but you will still need to pay for the labor to do the job. Make sure to get a quote on the labor, time, and materials as replacing a compressor can be a challenging and time-intensive job.
  • Consider replacing the AC unit if the system is past warranty. While you could opt for replacing just the compressor in this case, bear in mind that the cost of a new compressor, as well as the cost for labor and materials, may be close in range to the cost of installing a new AC unit.
  • Consider as well that a new compressor may only come with a limited warranty, up to
    1-2 years, and that you may find yourself back in the same situation in a short amount of time, facing the same issue without the benefit and security of a warranty to offset the cost.

Dealing with the advanced and technical needs of your HVAC system can be daunting, especially if your business is impacted by changes in temperature and loss of cooling due to AC problems. Let us solve your AC problems so you can focus on what matters most: the success of your business. We can help, call now 408-295-2182

Can anyone change a thermostat?

As with many home repairs, changing a thermostat might seem like it requires a specialist. Whether adjusting your current aging thermostat has become a guessing game or you have a new smart thermostat, rest assured changing it is an easy process.

Let’s walk through the steps.

First, identify the type of heating and cooling controlled by the thermostat. Some people have unique systems which require a certain replacement. Examples include having separate heating and AC units, having designated high and low speeds, or having a direct current power source powering the thermostat.

To begin, turn off the power to your air conditioning and furnace units controlled by the thermostat. Do this by flipping the correct switch in your breaker box or by individually turning each of the units off at their source.

Check and make sure they are off by adjusting the temperature to a high or low temperature to see if anything turns on. From there, remove the face of the thermostat.

Make note of which wires will go where on your new thermostat. To accomplish this:

  • Draw the wire locations
  • Take a picture
  • Refer to the old or new thermostat manual

Next, begin disconnecting the wires. Depending on the design of the thermostat, this may require a tool, likely a screwdriver. With the wires disconnected, remove the mount of the old thermostat, which will also likely require a screwdriver.

Out with the old, in with the new (thermostat)

With the old thermostat out of the way, it’s time to put on the new mount. To save yourself time and trouble, make sure that you will be able to screw the new mount to the wall. This likely requires two drywall anchors being in the correct location. If it looks like it works, slide the wires through the hole in the mount.

Connect the wires to the new mount. Refer to the method you used from earlier for this, otherwise the letters on the mount correspond to the color of the wire. Newer thermostats no longer use screws, so refer the manual to confirm the wires are securely in place. Once wired, screw the mount to the wall.

Now attach your new thermostat face and turn the power back on. Depending on your thermostat, you can now configure it and adjust the settings to your preference.

Still need assistance or advice? Call us today at 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

Why Air Quality is Important in Bay Area Restaurants

It is imperative for restaurants in the Bay Area to have good, clean, fresh air if they want to be a success. When customers come in to dine, they expect to be able to relax in a comfortable and inviting environment. Your air conditioning system and filter can play a big role in the overall air quality of your business. If you want to keep your customers happy, be sure to have it checked out on a routine basis to make sure that dust, smoke, and other allergens are not floating around your restaurant. Your indoor air quality is going to play a big role.

A Bay Area restaurant should have its air filters changed regularly. A high-grade filter will help to keep allergens out of the air so that everyone in the restaurant can breathe easy. A good filter will also help to keep your duct work cleaner leading to fresher indoor air. If you want your restaurant to be its best, good air quality is very important year-round.

 

Why Should You Worry About Air Quality In Your Restaurant?

The air quality in a restaurant can cause health risks if it is not clean and fresh. This could lead to customer complaints or health concerns for your valued staff members. By making sure that your restaurant has clean air, you can avoid all sorts of issues. There are many signs that your restaurant may be dealing with poor air quality.

Look Out For:

  • Bad odors
  • Complaints of headaches or feeling dizzy
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

Your air quality plays a bigger role than you might imagine in the comfort and popularity of your restaurant. It is important to get assistance at the first sign of problems so that your air quality can be improved. A good air conditioning system can help in many ways to keep your air clean and circulated. If you are interested in having a welcoming place for your customers to dine, make sure that your restaurant’s air quality is up to par.

By having your filters and duct work changed regularly, you can have peace of mind that you are improving your Bay Area restaurant. Your air quality should be excellent so that your customers and staff feel good when they enter your establishment.  Call us today for a free consultation:  (408) 295-2182

The Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Local HVAC Repair Company

There are lots of HVAC repair companies and choosing one can be a challenge. There are several things you need to consider when hiring these companies, and the most important is their level of experience. Hiring an experienced local HVAC company comes with many benefits.

First, HVAC technology is improving at a fast pace. The systems are now designed to work more efficiently and with minimal noise. Repairing these systems requires a well-trained and highly experienced technician. Almost all experienced HVAC repair companies require their technicians to continuously educate themselves on the repair and installation of heating and cooling systems. That way, they are able to provide high-quality services and can even recommend better systems for your business premises.

It is highly probable that better systems have been developed since you last purchased HVAC systems. Experienced repair companies make it their job to learn about the new systems so they can provide the best recommendations.

It is much easier to establish the reliability of an experienced HVAC repair company since they have been in business for a long time. In fact, such companies will always get mentioned when you ask around for recommendations. The companies have provided services to many businesses, and you can, therefore, use the reviews to make an informed decision.

Licensing and Insurance

Licenses and certification indicate that a technician has been trained well and is unlikely to make errors on the job. Experienced HVAC repair companies require their technicians to get certified first. Such technicians have fewer callbacks and can guarantee you of satisfactory services.

In case of any blunders, you will be covered by the HVAC insurance of the company. The different types of HVAC insurance include:

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Commercial Vehicle Insurance
  • Commercial Property Insurance

 

Commercial property insurance will provide coverage for any hazard that may result from the repairs. Your business premises and its contents will also be covered by the insurance company. Smaller inexperienced HVAC companies don’t usually have insurance, and that is why you have to constantly ask for proof of insurance when working with them.

Our company has been operating for over a 100 years. We make sure that all our technicians are well-trained in order to guard our reputation. If you need HVAC repair services, be sure to call us for the best services.  Call O.C. McDonald today (408) 295-2182

Preventative Maintenance for Commercial HVAC Units

Are you looking for a professional Bay Area preventative maintenance team that can work with your commercial HVAC units? The Bay Area is the cutting edge of technology and innovation, and there are one-of-a-kind models of engineered HVAC machines that are only found in the area. From new age to old-fashioned boilers, we can maintain any make or model of HVAC equipment you have in your commercial properties. In addition, we have the preventative maintenance plan to suit your brand, style and needs. To learn more about what we have to offer, take a look at our outline below.

What sets us apart from other Bay Area HVAC teams

On top of being bonded, certified, licensed and insured, our HVAC preventive maintenance team sets itself apart by being brand-aware while having a genuine set of skills that work well with environmentally friendly corporations. Although we are proud of the unique engineering skills that our team has, are preventative maintenance for HVAC systems in commercial buildings also comes with a crew that respects the professional environment you have created. This means that we can work seamlessly with your other staff and have a professional demeanor while working around your clients or customers to perform the basic technician services you need.

Why HVAC preventive maintenance is environmentally friendly

If you are looking for a way to have a greener edge, keeping the machinery that heats and cools your commercial buildings in optimal condition is a good way to start. Although you may have invested in environmentally friendly HVAC equipment, if it is not running properly because it has not been maintained, it will overdraw on utilities. Over time, a machine that has never been maintained could end up costing twice as much in utilities in less than a few years time. The quick solution that costs a great deal less is scheduling a preventative HVAC maintenance team to regularly inspect and repair your commercial heating, air-purifying and cooling equipment.

Let us schedule your HVAC preventative maintenance plan today

To learn more about how we can help your tenants at your commercial properties feel they are in good hands when they see us show up to maintain your HVAC system, call us today. We are available to talk about our preventive maintenance plans, and we offer transparent pricing to all of our customers in order to set clear expectations of our services. Thank you in advance for choosing us, and we look forward to hearing more about you.

Call OC McDonald today (408) 295-2182

How to Choose a Commercial HVAC Company for Your Educational Facility in the Bay Area

The heating and cooling system (HVAC) is among the most complex yet significant components of any building. Any malfunction and lack of proper maintenance can render your building uncomfortable and uninhabitable, particularly in the Bay Area. It is important that the HVAC company you hire for repair, maintenance or replacement do a good job and restore things to normal.

Four HVAC Things to Consider

Here are a few things you need to consider to get the right HVAC company for your educational facility in the Bay Area.

  • Consider Licensure and Certification. Any company that offers HVAC repair, replacement or maintenance services in the Bay Area must have a valid operating license from the State of California. A license shows that the company has met all the requirements and has proved beyond any reasonable doubts that they have the capacity to deliver high-quality services. Ask the HVAC contractor to produce copies of their current license as well as certification.
  • Determine If They Are Insured. Accidents often occur. One of the HVAC workers might trip and injure himself, or equipment might fall on a fragile item and cause a lot of damage. You need to be sure you won’t be held financially responsible if an accident occurs. Make sure the HVAC company has an insurance policy that covers against any injury or property damage that might occur.
  • Research the Company. You need to research the company online to determine whether they have a decent rating and fewer customer complaints. You can visit the Better Business Bureau to see what people say about them and how they are rated. A good company should have a rating not less than 4 stars and fewer negative reviews.
  • Ask for References. Ask the company to give you a list of five previous clients. Reach out to each one them and ask them to give you an honest review about their experience with the company. Let them tell you how the company handled their projects and whether they were satisfied with the final outcome. Also, let them tell you if the company answered their questions to their satisfaction.

 

Your educational facility should have highly effective HVACs so that the students and other occupants can feel comfortable and at peace. Our company has got what it takes to repair, replace and maintain your HAVC systems, regardless how many or how complex they are. Our technicians have a lot of experience spanning over 30 years. Ready to get started? Feel free to call us now for free consultations and evaluation.