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When it’s Time to Upgrade Your HVAC Unit

You may have an older HVAC unit that’s causing you some problems. Older heating/cooling appliances can be tricky when determining what’s wrong with them. Pinpointing the issue is one thing. Deciding if you should repair or just replace the unit is a little more difficult.

If you are wondering if you need to replace your appliance, then check out the following signs to determine if an upgrade is in order.

Signs Your HVAC Unit Needs Upgrading

Higher bills- If you notice your utility bills are higher than usual, your HVAC unit may be using up more energy than it really should. Older appliances tend to need more power to run as they start to wear out.

Too much maintenance- If the repair costs of the unit far exceed the price you paid for it, upgrade your appliance. A new one would end up saving you money in the long run.

Noises- You may notice some loud, scary sounds coming from the unit. Often, parts loosen up or wear out. In older appliances, it may be hard to find replacement parts, or they may be costly to swap out.

Runs longer or there’s no heat/ cold air- The unit runs a lot longer than normal to warm up or cool down your home. Or, you may notice that it’s not kicking out heat or cool air at all. Ineffective parts can cause the appliance to work harder to get the job done. Or, you may have parts that just aren’t working.

Bad Odors- You might start noticing unusual odors coming from your unit when it’s trying to run. Parts, like motors, often smell bad when they’re going out. That smell will only get worse.
Age- Older units are doomed to go out eventually. If you find that yours has been around for more than 15 years or so, it’s probably time to upgrade your HVAC unit. It’s best to swap it out before your older heating appliance goes out.

Upgrading your heating/cooling device will bring you far more benefits in the long run. You’ll see your bills, as well as your repair costs, go down. You’ll also improve the quality of the air you’re breathing in, while eliminating respiratory problems you might have. If you need more information about HVAC upgrades, or just want to get started having one installed, call and talk to a live person, 24/7, at (408) 295-2182

Why You Should Replace AC Ducts

When you are outside, you can breathe fresh air from all directions. In a building, you might receive the majority of your air from your air conditioning (AC) ducts. Learn why you should replace AC ducts.

Most air is a combination of many different elements, including oxygen. The dirtiest air is filled with germs, dust, smoke and other airborne contaminants. Some diseases are spread through the air.

When your workers have the freshest air with the highest percentages of oxygen, they are the most productive. They can concentrate and complete tasks faster. Here are some of the reasons for replacing AC duct work:

  • Fresh Air
  • Reduce Airborne Contaminants
  • Prevent Diseases
  • Indoor Air Quality

Do you know what is breeding in your air duct work?

Replace Air Ducts

When an athlete goes to the sideline, he gets oxygen to reinvigorate him. Fresh air can increase your workers’ productivity. They can process information faster and complete their tasks on time.

Do you want your workers to be coughing into their keyboards? This prevents them from completing their assignments. It also spreads germs and increases the chances that others will get sick too.

More sick time will lead to fewer productive hours. Airborne diseases can cause simple fatigue or lead to more serious lung problems. This is especially true during the flu season.

There are many other types of contaminants that simply make breathing more difficult. Dust can clog up the lungs. Coal mine workers eventually get “black lung” due to long periods of exposure to airborne contaminants. How do the lungs of your employees look?

As a building owner, you are not only responsible for your employees, but also guests and vendors. What do they say about your Indoor Air Quality behind your back? Do they rue visiting your establishment or leave with a hacking cough?

If you care about promoting an image of excellence, does this not extend to having superior Indoor Air Quality also? Rats, squirrels, bats and birds nest inside your air ducts. Vermin leave all sort of waste material that are then recycled into the air, you breathe.

Replacing your AC ducts can help all people breathe easier, avoid airborne diseases and work more productively. Are you convinced that your AC ducts need cleaning? If so, call us today at 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

What Exactly is Custom Sheet Metal Used For?

Custom sheet metal fabrication involves cutting and bending a metal sheet that is typically less than ¼ inch thick. Custom sheet metal fabrication is needed when standard parts do not fit, or when the job has specific manufacturing challenges. The ability to do this helps solve problems that cannot be solved using off-the-shelf parts. The range of applications is nearly limitless.

Custom sheet metal fabrication has its use in restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes, architectural applications, and supermarkets. It also has a place in production design such as for specialized hoppers and holding tanks. One of the most common uses is in specialized HVAC systems that must bend around existing structures or other building systems.

Why Choose Custom Components?

In some applications, the only choice is custom sheet metal fabrication because the exact component needed is not available or does not exist at all. Even when a standardized component or fitting does exist, there are reasons why custom sheet metal is preferable.

· More choices. With custom sheet metal fabrication you can choose different materials than those from which standardized parts are made. This means that you can use a heavier or lighter material, as the needs of your project dictate. It is possible to create a component that works better than the original and has better performance.

· Better quality. Custom fabrication provides better quality because the piece is expertly manufactured on an individual basis. It is not stamped or cut using a mass production process. This means that care is taken in each step of the process to make certain that it is within engineering tolerances.

· Exact fit. Sometimes standardized parts may not fit precisely. This can create problems such as leaks, movement, or component wear. When an exact fit is needed, custom sheet metal fabrication can provide better long-term results than a mass manufactured part.

There are many reasons why you may need custom sheet metal fabrication services. Whether you need a custom component, or want to upgrade or change an existing one, it is important to find a firm with experience in all types of projects. If it is new construction, or a retrofit, experience is the key to success. You also need a firm that has the latest in design and fabrication technology.

If you have a project that calls for custom sheet metal fabrication, be sure to call our experts for an estimate at 408-295-2182

Getting Your HVAC Units Ready For The Winter Months in Silicon Valley

The central heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system that serves your facility is important to your operations in the summer months, but it can take on even more significance in the winter if your facility includes data-center infrastructure. This is because, during colder weather, both your indoor heating and cooling systems must work in concert to keep your equipment at the proper operating temperatures.

If you take proactive steps to prepare your main and server-room cooling equipment for impending cold weather, you can prevent weather-related damage, repair existing issues, and optimize the performance of your climate-control systems. Some critical elements of the main-facility HVAC winterization process include:

  • Energy Audits: This process involves an overall check of the energy-efficiency of your facility. By weighing your existing energy usage against established baselines, our auditors can detect inefficiencies and suggest ways of improving energy-usage.
  • Infrastructure Inspections: Your HVAC system likely includes a network of pipes, coils, ducts, fittings, and more. These vital components require regular maintenance checks, and especially so before major seasonal weather changes. Some common service items include refrigerant tests, pressure and leaks tests, and thermostat calibrations.
  • Temperature Zone Consistency Check: If your facility is large, it likely includes several temperature and environmental zones within its structure. Keeping the temperatures in each zone at the proper levels requires regular maintenance of related environmental control hardware and software.

Server-Room Cooling Systems

The soundness of your server-side cooling systems is just as essential to the health of your enterprise. These systems keep your servers and their surrounding environment within temperature and humidity ranges set by the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) data-center guidelines. Common cooling system designs include:

  • Liquid Cooled Systems: These cooling designs use liquid-antifreeze to capture and remove server-generated heat. Checks of these components may involve antifreeze fluid level and chemical composition tests. In addition, structural integrity checks are often performed on piping.
  • Air-Cooled Systems: Air-cooled designs use chilled air to cool hot server racks and rooms. Maintenance checks for these types of systems often include duct, inlet, and outlet inspections. Technicians often use this opportunity to sample and adjust humidity levels.

Keeping your data-center cooling apparatus in good operating condition is key to the success of your enterprise. At our firm, we field teams of certified and experienced HVAC system maintenance specialists with experience in inspecting, repairing, maintaining, and installing a variety of server-room and facility cooling systems. To begin your HVAC system winterization process, contact us now for a conversation about the unique needs of your facility.  Call (408) 295-2182

Saving Time and Money By Using a Professional Sheet Metal Company

When facing sheet metal projects that need to be completed on commercial or residential buildings, it isn’t uncommon to wonder if the project can be done without professional intervention. The DIY processes of sheet metal fabrication may initially seem like an effective way to save money, but many find themselves spending more in the long-run. Even with the financial aspects aside, failing to hire a reputable professional to tackle your sheet metal needs can result in safety issues and code violations as well.

Many people associate sheet metal workers with just roofing alone, but their expertise is truly expansive to say the least. Becoming certified in sheet metal fabrication requires workers to be able to:

Becoming well-trained in these areas give sheet metal workers the experience and skills necessary to successfully complete your sheet metal projects with the most cost-effective approach. They also carry licensing and insurances that are regulated on state and federal levels, giving both you and their employees the protection and accuracy that you need to get the job done. Attempting to complete these sheet metal projects on your own will not guarantee the desired result, which can end up costing you in terms of future renovations. The obligations of the sheet metal company will be listed out in their insurance policies and contracts, legally providing you with reassurance that you will get the result that you desire.

 

Safety Should Be a Central Priority

A professional sheet metal fabrication company will also have access to the proper equipment to perform any sheet metal tasks that you send their way. Attempting to complete these projects on your own without the right tools can put you and anyone else involved at immediate risk. Hiring a professional sheet metal fabrication company will give you peace of mind knowing that the projects are being completed with the necessary safety equipment, as well as the appropriate skill level.

Hiring a professional sheet metal fabrication company will save you both time in costs when it comes to successful renovation, building, and other mechanical contracting needs. Our team will address any projects you have with the most affordable and productive approach available. Reach out to our San Jose office today to get a quote or to set up a consultation. Call (408) 295-2182

Avoiding High Costs For a Plumbing Company Even For After Hours Emergency Calls

Eventually you are probably going to be dealing with some sort of plumbing emergency, but you do not have to be overcharged. If you decide to go with a reputable company, you can feel confident that you will receive a competitive rate and not be ripped off. Experienced plumbers may charge a little more for their time, but you can feel confident that they will get the job done right the first time. Since plumbing problems can only get worse if they are not fixed properly, you can save time and money by choosing a qualified company that can work quickly to resolve your issues and prevent water damage from occurring if possible.

Look for a Plumbing Company That:

  • Offers reasonable prices
  • Is available at any hour
  • Has a good reputation
  • Offers reliable customer service
  • Has experience dealing with issues like you are facing

 

Look for a Plumbing Company You Can Count On

Even in an emergency situation, you want to make sure that you are hiring a qualified company to handle something as important as your plumbing needs. A subpar company can make you spend even more money in the future if they do not resolve your plumbing needs quickly and efficiently.

 

Look for a Plumbing Company With the Right Credentials

It is important to choose a company that hires skilled technicians who are well-trained and able to handle all sorts of plumbing emergencies. You also want to go with a company that is licensed and insured. You should never settle for a company that does not look honest. You want to know that you are dealing with professionals when you invite people into your home to help you in an emergency situation.

 

Search for a Company With Fast Response Times

It is necessary to find a company that will be able to arrive at your property as fast as possible. When your home is being flooded with water from a burst pipe or your bathroom flooring is being soaked from an overflowing toilet, quick workers are going to be the best choice. You can consider it in a good investment to choose a company that can help you when you need them the most.

If you are facing any type of plumbing emergency, we are here to help. Give us a call today at (408) 295-2182 for fast and reliable services.

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

After Hours and Emergency Service Technicians and Plumbers in San Francisco

With over a century of service in San Francisco, we at O. C. McDonald are dedicated to providing all our customers with the best quality technical and plumbing services at a considerable competitive price. Anytime you’re in need of a high-quality plumber in San Francisco, our plumbers and technicians are always ready to help. We know what expertise and dedication mean to our customers and that is why we aim at providing the best quality service.

 

Providing Excellence for over a Century

We are experts in both commercial and residential plumbing emergencies. Our company is fully licensed to offer mechanical contracting services in San Francisco. Our professional team is knowledgeable and abides by industry standards and local building codes. Expect our experts to be there every time you need them. At O. C. McDonald, we want all our clients to not only receive the best services but also understand every step of what we do and appreciate the experience they have with us.

 

Exceptional Service Providers

We offer a range of general plumbing and mechanical services for industrial, commercial and residential clients in San Francisco and its surroundings. Here are a few services we provide:

  • Installation and building automation system design
  • Process piping and HVAC
  • Plumbing
  • 3D modeling with BIM coordination
  • Gas fitting
  • Building services
  • Custom sheet metal fabrication

Our experts use the most advanced data analysis and technology to ensure that their work is efficient, and at the same time, cost-effective. Whether your project is new or was existing before, we can offer exceptional field supervision and meet all your building’s code standards and still stay within the proposed budget.

We are located in San Jose and have been known to provide excellent services throughout Silicon Valley. With more than a hundred years of experience, we understand all common, occurring problems in businesses and local homes, as well as the best solutions to them. This has enabled us to work with many corporations, data centers, healthcare, hospitality, education, and government facilities such as Stanford University, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and Lockheed Martin.

O.C. McDonald is your number one 24-hour emergency plumbing solution in San Francisco. Call us at (408) 295-2182 today to have all your contracting or plumbing issues solved quickly and efficiently. We will have one of our professionals sent to address your concern in time.

What is Sheet Metal Fabrication?

Manufacturing any product out of metal requires sheet metal fabrication. It is the fundamental process of taking a plain sheet of metal and forming it into the shape required for a part or component part of a larger manufactured good. Companies in the computer, electronics, medical equipment, and appliance industries are common sheet metal fabrication users. They require metal fabricated parts for a wide variety of projects. Some fabricated metal components are large, such as those needed for a household appliance, while other are tiny, such as those often needed by the computer and electronics industry.

There are three methods of sheet metal fabrication: cutting, forming, and finishing. Anything constructed of or containing metal must go through one of these processes. Here is a detailed description of each:

Cutting

Cutting is just what it sounds like, the process of cutting sheet metal into smaller pieces. However, one cut does not fit all. The size and application of the fabricated part indicates which cutting process is employed. Shearing uses a cutting machine to cut large pieces of metal into smaller ones. Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) uses an electrode spark to melt conductive materials. Abrasive cutting uses a saw to cut through the metal. Precision parts require laser cutting.

Forming

Once the metal has been cut using one of the above processes, it must be formed.

Depending on the specifications, one or more forming processes are employed. Metal can be shaped through the rolling process, which uses a roll stand to roll over the metal. Bending and forming are the methods of shaping metal by hand. If the metal requires a design, we employ the metal stamping process. When necessary, metal pieces are joined through welding.

Finishing

No metal product is ready to ship until is has gone through finishing. During this process, all rough spots and edges are made smooth. The parts are cleaned and rinsed so they are ready as soon as they are shipped.

Sheet metal fabrication requires a provider with the equipment and experience to create metal components that fit the often tight specifications of many manufacturing projects. The components must also be durable, so they support the finished product’s quality. We have provided this level of service and quality in our manufacturing division for decades. Many Silicon Valley companies have come to rely on us for fast and high-quality sheet metal parts. If you need a sheet metal fabricator, call us today (408) 295-2182