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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.

How Quickly Can Ductwork Fabrication Be Done

When adding a new unit or expanding the additional system, ductwork replacement may be necessary. The process requires careful planning and coordination, so this alone could affect how long a system takes to build. Ductwork fabrication can completed in a matter of days depending on several factors.

Factors affecting the amount of time it takes to complete a system

Design of system-The design of the system is a factor. A more complex design may require more planning and labor. Intricate planning may be required if there are efficiency requirements that must be made. Repairs are almost unavoidable whenever a system is being upgraded. There may be multiple temperature controls that have to be incorporated into the design, which affects complexity of the overall system. If additional supply ductworks are needed than originally required, then the size of the system is affected.

Size of the project-The size of the project may vary. For example, there may be multiple stories to account for in the planning, which could affect the amount of labor that could be required. The square footage of each room affects the length of the project.

Improvement or replacement-If the system upgrade involves simply replacing the existing unit with a similar one, then there will be little changes to the design in most cases. This means that ductwork may need moderate improvements to resolve leaks or vulnerable areas.

Quality of existing ductwork-If the ductwork is aging and failing in multiple areas, then the ductwork has to be replaced. If there are energy efficiency concerns, then the ductwork should be replaced.

Permitting-Agencies may affect the timeline. The permit application may take longer to process if working with a particular agency. The duct installation project timeline could be affected if there are any delays in processing the application.

Accessibility of the ductwork-If the ductwork isn’t accessible, then the project will take longer to complete. The ductwork can be replaced quickly if it is very accessible.

How long does it take to install a ductwork?

The ductwork project takes between 1 to 4 days. The ductwork is mostly impacted by the size of the project. If there are no unexpected challenges, then the system will take only a few days to install. In some cases, the installation can be completed in one day.

New ductwork may be required if a new HVAC system is being installed. Multiple variables affecting the timeline of the project such as the design of the system and the size of the project can also affect the overall cost of the system. Most installation projects can be completed in a matter of days.

Still have questions?  Call O.C. McDonald today (408) 295-2182

Is a Local Air Conditioning Repair Company Better For a Commercial Business?

Indoor climate control provides more than just a comfortable temperature. In hot areas, a broken AC can lower productivity. Tech installations and labs also need a consistent and cool temperature to protect their equipment. With so many choices for service providers in the Bay area, how do you narrow down your options?

One of the worst things you can do is just call the first listing in a service directory. Referrals from current customers or online reviews can be helpful as long as they’re legitimate. The BBB or consumer sites like Yelp provide reliable information, too.

Even if you only need a minor repair, you want to find a company that you can establish an ongoing relationship with. This gives the benefit of allowing you additional perks like discounts for service, cost-effective maintenance plans, and a higher level of satisfaction. Retaining loyal customers is one of the most important things a company can do.

When you’re running a business or organization, down-time equal money. You want fast service from an AC repair company that meets the following criteria:

  • Convenient operating hours
  • After-hours emergency service
  • Free, on-site estimates
  • Competitive rates
  • Licensed to service commercial HVAC systems
  • Fully insured

Why Local Service Providers Are Better

Locally owned businesses offer many advantages, the first of which is proximity. You want a service provider that’s close enough to give you prompt assistance. Local HVAC companies also try harder to provide a high level of customer care. We have a reputation to maintain, and a lot of business comes from referrals.

Local businesses that focus on providing B2B assistance know how important reliable service is to continuity. Because many of our clients are universities and large tech firms that house expensive technology, we want to put your mind at ease. You’ll feel better knowing that our technicians are reliable and thoroughly background-checked before employment. We’ll work hard to:

  • Schedule on your time-table
  • Show up promptly and ready to work
  • Turn the job around fast
  • Clean up completely before we leave the premises

You don’t have to suffer when we’re just a phone call away. Don’t hesitate to contact us at the first sign of a problem with your AC. We’re available at 408-295-2182 to provide 24/7 assistance.

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 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