Posts

How To Verify A Legitimate Contractor In California

If you have spent any length of time in California, then chances are you will deal with an HVAC contractor sooner or later. Like everyone else, you are probably very concerned about avoiding getting scammed or ripped off. How do you verify a California contractor? That will be the scope of this article, and there are two good ways and one great way. Consider the following options:

•Word of mouth
•Internet reviews
•Licensure checking

Word of Mouth

Word of mouth would be one okay way to verify a legitimate contractor. However, it definitely has its limitations. Even if you know someone who has used the contractor in the past, the pool of people you can sample from is limited to how many you might know. Frankly, this method would probably only work effectively within a smaller community.

Internet Reviews

Internet reviews are, in some cases, a more effective way to verify a HVAC contractor. However, even and internet reviews, there is the potential for a smaller sample size. There are only a certain number of people that might take the trouble to go onto the website to leave a review. So, even though it might be better then word-of-mouth, the sample size might still be fairly low.

Licensure checks

Calling up the license your agency might be the best way to legitimately verify an HVAC contractor in California. This is because it is one great way to determine if there have been any complaints lodged against the individual, and to note the severity of any complaints that are present. The state license your boards keep meticulous records regarding each and every incident that one of their contractors is involved in. This means that if you call them you can have peace of mind that they do quality work if the licensure board reports no incidents against them.

Other Considerations

Besides the three mentioned above, there are other considerations that could come into play. The length of time the contractor has been in business could play a definite role. In that case, a combination of all three might be the best approach.

Conclusion

Would you like more information about finding the best HVAC contractor? If so, give us a call at 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

What To Look For In a New Construction Contractor

It’s a beautiful day and as you settle into your morning routine at the office, sipping on your second cup of java your office line rings. A pipe has burst in the lobby restroom and water is everywhere. The company’s largest client is coming by for a lunch presentation and time is of the essence. If you’re prepared, you’ll have your construction contractor on speed dial. If not, you’re going to have to move quickly to find a reliable and reputable firm that can handle the situation stat. Don’t put yourself or your business in that situation.

Identifying a new construction contractor doesn’t need to be daunting. Hopefully, you’ve not waited for a plumbing or HVAC crisis to look for a new construction company to work with. If you’re a large corporation or small to medium sized business, the same evaluation strategy applies.

Key Qualities to Look for in a New Construction Contractor

Company history. The length of time a company has been in business says a lot. There are construction contractors that come and go. Look for a business that has a solid history. Factor in how many years they’ve been in business and if they’re family owned, even better. A construction contracting company that has generations of experts behind it is a find.
Reputation. If the company has been in business for years, they must be doing something right. Take a look at their reputation. What are customers saying about their work? Do they get the job done in a professional manner? Are they dependable? If they’re keeping their clients happy and expanding their business, give them another positive check on your evaluation list.
Expertise. Your construction contractor should be well-versed in the basic mechanics of everything from piping, gas fittings, new and old construction, to HVAC and more. They should be able to handle it all. You want to use an expert firm. One that keeps up with proper licensing and training for all crew members and leads their industry when it comes to cutting edge technology.
Safety. Safety first should go without saying, but this needs to be taken into consideration. You want a new construction contractor that put this as a top responsibility.

Ready you ready to make your move? We can help, call us today at (408) 295-2182

How Much Should It Typically Cost To Repair an AC Unit?

Average repair costs for an AC unit would depend on the type of repair needed, and how complicated it may be to perform. Repairs can range from minor, quick fixes, to more difficult, time-consuming ones so that costs will vary.

For the smaller, quick fixes, you could expect it to cost anywhere from a few bucks to $100. This would include jobs like replacing simple parts or even regular maintenance on the unit itself. For repairing leaks, it could run around $200- $1,000 depending on what needs to be done to stop the leak and get the unit running smoothly again.

If you’re replacing refrigerant, it could cost you probably in the $200-$400 range. The cost would vary with the age and type of unit that’s being fixed. Older AC appliances require more work to fix. Sometimes the parts for them are more expensive and can be much harder to find.

A clogged condenser line can typically cost you around $100-$200, or less if it ends up being a simple and quick job for the repairman to do. It isn’t too difficult to repair, but some units could take more labor than others to fix.

Average costs for Complex Repair Jobs

For more complex repair jobs, the prices can get on the higher side quickly, due to parts being much more expensive to get, and the time it takes to perform the part replacement. Typical price ranges for some of the AC unit parts without the cost of labor:

  • Thermostat- $100-$300
  • Condensing Fan Motor- $300-$500
  • Condenser- $800-$1,000 and up

Of course, AC unit repair technicians will charge for labor, which could be anywhere from $50 an hour to $150 an hour. Every repairman charges differently, so you need to check before hiring one. Also, the cost of the parts is just a general price range. You may find some that are cheaper or some that are more expensive, depending on who you end up going with.

To eliminate the need for some of these expensive repair costs, you will need to keep your AC unit adequately maintained, so it stays running smoothly. The need for repairs will diminish significantly with annual maintenance with only a few repair fixes along the way. As your AC unit gets older, parts will start to break down, and they will need replacing. A new appliance may be the better investment in the long run if you’re not keen on spending the money just to replace some parts. Call us at 408-295-2182. We can help you with any questions you may have.

Are HVAC Service Contracts in San Jose Worth It

Air conditioning problems aren’t avoidable. The age of the system often determines the frequency of the repairs needed; however, a service contract may be the only way to avoid significant repairs. HVAC contracts in San Jose may be worth it for some people.

Overview of Maintenance

The purpose of maintenance is to extend the service life of your HVAC system. HVAC maintenance may include cleaning coils, closing open spaces, changing filters, and replacing failing parts. Additionally, the ductwork may be checked in order to make sure that there are no leaks.

What is a service contract?

A service contract includes one or two home visits. During the visit or service call an inspection is performed. There may be parts replaced as a part of routine maintenance. Some companies allow you a certain number of tune-ups, annually. Multiple service appointments can cost more, especially when emergency calls are made. The point of a service contract is to lower cost of maintenance and eliminate emergency repairs.

Is it worth the money?

The basis for comparing the worth of a service contract is to compare it against the most expensive repairs. A service contract can cost between $100-200. The refrigerant leak repair costs approximately $1,500. A circuit board malfunction can cost as much as $750 to correct. If the condenser fan motor fails, the cost for repair could be as $750. With most repairs ranging from $200-$3,000, a service contract valued at $200 is sensible. Installing a new unit can cost around $5,000 for replacement. A service contract contains maintenance costs, limiting them to a particular threshold.

The value of the service contract

HVAC professionals can prevent units from failing if a system has a minor problem. They have the knowledge to safely complete the required repairs. Effective at troubleshooting, HVAC professionals hired to serve a maintenance contract can usually quickly pinpoint a problem with the system. They have the tools, expertise and experience to protect your costly unit.

A service contract’s use is debatable among many. What’s worth considering is, the cost for an emergency repair exceeding $1,000 can be particularly devastating to a household. A system is much more likely to fail if the unit is neglected and not maintained. A service contract on a system includes multiple visits that could consist of an inspection and minor repairs. Talk to your HVAC specialist today to determine the value of a service contract.

What Does Air Conditioning Repair in San Jose Cost?

When airflow seems less than optimal and performance starts to drag, it may be time to repair the unit. Repair costs vary depending on the type of unit and overall age of the system. If the system has been well-maintained over the life of the unit, repair costs may be lower. Costs for repairs in San Jose usually falls in the low hundreds.

Do I need air conditioning repair services?

Air conditioning repair services are necessary whenever there is the slightest change in performance. Delaying repairs for the smallest changes in the system can only lead to even more costly repairs. When there is no cooling when unit is on, the system may have a compressor problem. Low air flow is a sign that the duct work may need to be repaired. If the air isn’t circulating the way it needs to, the unit’s compressor may probably need to be checked. If your air conditioner turns off and on, the thermostat may be failing. Squealing and grinding noises could mean that the system has loose or missing pieces. If you notice a change in your utility bills, it might be time to consider getting your system checked and possibly upgraded. Older systems tend to have greater repair costs when compared to newer units. Repairs made during the hottest months tend to be much more expensive because of the increased demand for services.

Could I restore my AC with just a tune-up?

If you have just recently purchased a system in last few years, you may be able to get by with just a tune-up. AC tune-up costs about $150. If this is done annually, you will be able to control the cost of repairs and prevent them altogether. The maintenance extends the unit’s service life. A reputable HVAC professional can develop a service plan that will keep your system functioning well for years to come.

What are emergency repairs?

What’s considered an emergency is basically determined by you and the season. If the system suddenly stops working, then that could be considered an emergency. If the system happens to fail in the middle of the warmer months, then this, too, could also be considered an emergency.

AC units are complicated in nature. A small failure of a single part can ultimately lead to a complete system breakdown. As a general rule of thumb, if a system is older than 10 years, it may be time to replace the unit. AC units are only designed to last 15 years. Some problems may be resolved by a simple tune-up while others may require even more attention.

Call us today to schedule your tune up to avoid costly repairs:  (408) 295-2182

When to Replace Your AC Unit

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

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

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

Other Signs You Need to Replace Your AC Unit

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

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

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

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

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

How Your Business Can Benefit From a Preventative Maintenance Contract with a Commercial Plumbing Company in San Jose

Instead of worrying about resolving problems after they have occurred, go ahead and choose to have a preventative maintenance contract that will help professionals find small problems before they get worse. You can be sure that minor problems can turn into plumbing emergencies if they are not taken care of right away, so it is always important to find problems as fast as possible. You can have peace of mind when you choose to have a preventative maintenance contract with a professional company that has the experience and know-how needed to keep your plumbing working the way it should.

Water leaks, floods, and sewer backups can destroy your home or business. Everything from your flooring to items that the water touches can be damaged, and you could also have to deal with secondary problems like mold if the issues are not resolved fast enough. Instead of having to be in this type of stressful situation, a preventative maintenance plan can help you to avoid emergencies. Trained professionals will know what to look for to make sure that there are no problems about to occur that can be fixed beforehand. This can help you to go on with your normal daily routine with the knowledge that your plumbing is in good and safe working order.

 

You Can Trust Plumbing Professionals to Look For:

  • Dripping faucets
  • Clogged drains
  • Leaks around your sink, water heater, basement, or crawlspaces
  • Toilet issues
  • Problems with your main line

 

Prevent Problems Before They Start

Go ahead and call the professionals before small issues get out of hand. You can feel good about having a preventative contract that will allow expert plumbers to be able to look for common problems that can be resolved fast before they turn into major plumbing concerns that will cost you a lot of money.

You can avoid many problems thanks to preventative maintenance. Imagine how much money you can save by taking care of your plumbing instead of waiting until something happens to call in the professionals. Along with avoiding major issues in the future, you can also enjoy prolonging the life of your plumbing system with preventative care. If you are interested in stopping problems before they start, please call us to take care of all of your plumbing needs 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

How To Avoid Emergency AC Repair Calls in San Jose

It is easy to avoid emergency AC repair calls in San Jose if you keep up with the regular maintenance of your unit. You can often prevent many problems from occurring by making sure that your unit is well cared for and by getting professional assistance at the first sign of any trouble. Small problems can turn into big ones if they are not taken care of promptly. If you want to have an AC unit that works well and helps you to stay cool all year, be sure to keep up with your unit’s regular maintenance.

Keep Your Unit in Good Shape by:

  • Changing filters
  • Watching out for signs of problems
  • Making sure your air conditioning coils are clean

One of the best ways to keep your unit running smoothly is to keep the filter clean. If you have a dirty filter, it stops the unit from running as efficiently as possible. This can cause your unit to work harder and not be able to put off as much cool air as it should. Your filters should be cleaned or replaced on a regular basis. If you have furry pets or are using your unit all of the time during the hot months of the year, you should clean or replace your filter about once a month.

Ways to Avoid Emergencies

Along with cleaning out your filter, you should also make sure that your unit has enough refrigerant in it. Be on the lookout for loud noises or other signs that your unit is not working properly. You should also make sure that your air conditioning coils are clean to make sure that your unit runs as well as it should.

You can prolong the life of your unit and avoid costly emergency costs by making certain that your unit stays in great shape. If you notice that your unit is not putting off enough cool air or that it is not working steadily, go ahead and get assistance to prevent small problems from getting worse. Since your air conditioning unit plays such a big role in your comfort level, you should be vigilant towards it. If you are ready to get assistance to help your air conditioning unit to continue working its best, go ahead and call us today at (408) 295-2182