Wi-Fi and Smart Thermostats

Are you looking for a way to take control of your home’s energy expenses? Recent technological advances have made that process substantially easier! Investing in a Wi-Fi enabled or smart thermostat can allow you to better track your home’s usage, and lower your overall energy expenses. Making a small, one-time investment in smart thermostat technology is a surefire way to make the most of your home’s existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Consulting with an HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA is the best way to determine if a smart thermostat is right for you and your home.

Smart thermostats connect to your home’s internet network so that you can digitally perform a variety of tasks, including setting the desired temperature and tracking long-term usage. Depending on the type of system that you invest in, your Wi-Fi enabled thermostat may also include other features.

Myriad options

Depending on your budget, your needs and the type of HVAC system installed in your home, there are a number of different brands and models of smart thermostat that you may want to consider.

Some smart thermostats learn from your behaviors, and automatically adjust to your preferences. Others require you to set schedules for heating and cooling. The type of Wi-Fi enabled thermostat that you end up investing in will ultimately boil down to personal preference.

Programmable, smart technology

Smart thermostats offer a wide range of ways that you can program them to meet your specific comfort requirements. Many more advanced models even adjust their heating or cooling efforts to reflect ambient conditions, such as time of day and humidity.

The main benefit that sets smart thermostats aside from simpler programmable thermostats is their ability to display and lower usage in real-time. Because they can track the way that you change settings during the day, they can optimize your usage habits so that your energy expenses are as low as possible.

Easy to control

Another key benefit of having an HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA install a smart thermostat in your home is the fact that they are easy to control from nearly anywhere in the world. You can adjust your home’s temperature while you’re at work, or even while you’re on vacation.

Many smart thermostat systems now also offer integration with prominent voice recognition technologies, including Amazon Alexa and Google Home. This means that you can simply ask your voice-operated assistant to change the temperature in your home, and have it instantly respond.

McGee Refrigeration has been a premier HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA, since 1981. We are proud to provide our clients with high-quality, dependable HVAC services. Our hard-working employees take a tremendous amount of pride in their ability to deliver consistent HVAC repairs and installations. We employ a team of talented technicians who have a wide range of expertise in the HVAC world. If you are wondering whether you should begin the process of installing a Wi-Fi enabled smart thermostat in your home, you should reach out to one of our friendly associates today!

Why Winter Is the Hottest Time to Prepare Your Home for Summer

Are you looking for a way to prepare your home for the summer season? It may be the furthest thing from your mind in the dead of winter. Getting your home’s air conditioning and other cooling systems ready for the heat, however, can spare you from a number of uncomfortable days during the summer time! Performing everything from regular AC repair in Visalia, CA to preventative bug maintenance can help you make the most of the warmer weather once it arrives.

There are a number of ways that you ensure that both you and your home are ready for the summer months. Taking preventative steps in the winter months will allow you to do nothing but relax and enjoy yourself once summer finally does arrive.

Here are just some of the most helpful ways that you can prepare your home for summer this winter:

  • Schedule air conditioning maintenance: After a few months of disuse, there’s a pretty solid chance that your home’s air conditioning system is in need of some attention! Working with a qualified provider of AC repair in Visalia, CA is the best way to ensure that your air conditioning unit is ready for whatever weather the California sun throws its way.
  • Establish a bug barrier: With warmer weather often comes unwelcome guests. You should consider ways that you can stake out the front lines of your battle against bugs by establishing an insect barrier between your home and the outside world. Resealing doors and windows is a good way to start. You should also ask someone who specializes in AC repair in Visalia, CA to check your home’s vents for vulnerabilities.
  • Repaint and stain outdoor surfaces: During the more mild winter and spring seasons, you should consider repainting and staining any outdoor surfaces on your property. The summer sun can take a substantial toll on paint and stain, and may cause irreparable damage to the wooden surfaces that lie beneath. Welcome in the heat and dazzle your neighbors with a fresh and inviting coat of paint!
  • Optimize your HVAC system: You should also optimize your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system before summer hits. You can do this by investing in a smart thermostat that will allow you to minimize energy expenses. You should also ask an HVAC specialist to clean your system, and make sure that there are no points that are leaking cooled or heated air.

McGee Refrigeration is the premier source of AC repair in Visalia, CA. We are proud to be among the region’s most trusted HVAC contractors. You can rely on us for a number of heating and air conditioning services, including installations, regularly scheduled maintenance and repairs. We are capable of working on both residential and commercial properties, and pride ourselves in our ability to immediately diagnose and address HVAC problems.

If you are looking for a dependable, trustworthy contractor to help you prepare your home for the summer months, you should reach out to one of our friendly and talented technicians! Call McGee Refrigeration today to learn more.

Tips for Winter: How to Stay Warm, Save Energy and Avoid Furnace Repair in Visalia, CA

As temperatures drop for the season, homeowners look for ways to save on winter heating bills. Fortunately, several solutions are available to stay warm and reduce your furnace usage to keep heater repair in Visalia, CA to a minimum. Applying these tips will help you save energy, increase the longevity of your furnace and create more comfortable surroundings this winter.

Use Your Curtains

Window treatments offer more than decoration. Thick curtains also provide great insulation. Once the sun goes down, close your curtains to help trap the day’s heat inside your home. During the day, be sure to open the curtains in rooms that get sunlight. Even if you’re not home to enjoy the view, the open curtains allow the warmth of the sunlight to enter the rooms. Use this free, natural heat to reduce the amount of heat your furnace must produce each day.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Consider reducing your thermostat setting by even one degree. You might be surprised how much this saves on your utility bill. Throw on a hoodie or sweater to make up the difference in comfort. Don’t forget to adjust the thermostat even further at night. Lower temperatures create better conditions for healthy sleep, and they lower your utility bill.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

Are you away from home for much of the day? It’s easy to forget to adjust your thermostat. If you are gone or sleeping, the temperature can be much lower than when you are home and active. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat that will help you keep the temperature consistent while you’re home and reduced while you are away. You’ll see the difference in your billing, and your furnace will enjoy a longer life due to less unnecessary use.

Seal It Up

If your home is like most, it features many nooks and crannies that allow hot air to escape and let cold air in. This winter, seal up these places to keep your home toastier. Lay draft-stoppers at exterior door thresholds. Replace worn rubber seals around doors and windows. Check your attic for openings and add insulation if it’s not present. Maintaining a tight ship will make a huge difference in your comfort level and heating bills.

Move the Furniture

Is your couch covering your living room vents? Does your bedroom dresser block the heat? You may enjoy a cozy, heated seat on the couch, but it’s hogging all the hot air. Consider rearranging your furniture to allow the heat to property distribute throughout the room and house. Don’t forget to check all vents each season as well, to ensure they are fully open. By enhancing this ventilation, you will reduce the amount of work your furnace must do to heat the home, which will also reduce the likelihood of furnace repair in Visalia, CA.

More Winter Tips

Would you like additional tips for energy savings and reduced heater repair in Visalia, CA? Contact the experts at McGee Refrigeration today. Our experienced technicians offer in-depth knowledge to answer all your questions and offer the tips you need for comfort and savings this season.

EPA Regulations and Your AC Unit: What You Need to Know

New laws mean new requirements. As technology advances and we learn more about best practices in AC service in Visalia, CA, we must adhere to new standards. The most recent change in regulations comes directly from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Policy

The EPA is requiring that the common refrigerant, R22 (which you probably know as Freon), be completely phased out over the next couple of years. The product will be illegal as of January 1, 2020.

The Price

When 2020 arrives, any air conditioning units that use R22 will be obsolete. If they need Freon-related repairs or recharging, this service will no longer be available.

This does not mean all owners of R22 units will have to immediately replace their AC service in Visalia, CA; however, this will eventually be the case. Some units may continue to work for quite some time after this date and function fully without repairs. Some units can be retrofitted with replacement parts that use other refrigerants. Still, all units will eventually need coolant repairs and require replacement if they are outdated.

The Plan

If you have an older air conditioner, it’s likely you will be affected by this new regulation. R22 was the standard refrigerant, so your unit probably uses this product if it was manufactured more than seven to 10 years ago.

With this in mind, start planning now for replacement costs. Most AC units offer a lifespan of 10 to 20 years, so your unit may be nearing the end of its service anyway. The EPA has given homeowners and business owners time to prepare for this changeover. There’s still time to start saving.

The Preparation

Your replacement unit should use the new, environmentally friendly product R410A. This has become the new standard for AC service in Visalia, CA. Look into your options now so you can avoid an emergency situation.

If you do not prepare for this new regulation, you could be caught in a frustrating and costly situation. When a unit requiring R22 breaks down after January 1, 2020, it might not be reparable. If you have not saved up or researched your options, you may be scrambling to find a solution. As a homeowner, you may experience extreme temperatures without an AC unit. As a business owner, your profits, inventory or employees may suffer due to uncomfortably warm surroundings.

It’s best to start preparing now for this changeover to make the transition as smooth as possible.

The Pros

Are you unsure whether your unit uses R22? Ask an HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA to come take a look. They can provide an overall inspection of your unit and inform you what type of refrigerant it uses, whether or not it’s near the end of its lifespan and what your best options are for replacement.

Make the Call

To start preparing for 2020, contact your local HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA today. The experts at McGee Refrigeration are available to inspect your unit and partner with you to determine the optimal solution for your air conditioning needs both today and in the future.

My Heater Isn’t Blowing Air—Do I Need Furnace Repair?

It’s a problem no homeowner wants to encounter, yet it happens to the best of us. Your furnace is running, and you suddenly notice the heater is no longer blowing hot air. What’s going on? Is this something you can troubleshoot yourself? Should you call for furnace repair in Visalia, CA?

If you experience this problem, it may be caused by one of several issues. Some of these you can fix yourself. For others, it is best to call a professional:

  • The filter is dirty: When the filter gets filthy, it blocks the return airflow to the furnace. This will reduce the volume of hot air that the furnace blows into your home. Before you call for heater repair in Visalia, CA, check your filter. If it is dirty, change it. This could solve your problem. Remember to check your filter each month and change it at least every 90 days.
  • The thermostat is to blame: If your thermostat isn’t working properly, your furnace won’t either. First, check the batteries in your thermostat. Blow out any debris and dust that have accumulated in the thermostat panel. Next, make sure the thermostat is set to heat instead of cool. Lastly, set your thermostat five degrees above the current room temperature to see if it will come on. If it is still not working, contact a professional for furnace repair in Visalia, CA.
  • The blower motor panel is open: If your blower’s motor panel is not fully closed, your furnace will not run. A safety device prevents the furnace from operating. Shut this securely for proper operation of your furnace. This quick fix could help you avoid the cost of heater repair in Visalia, CA.
  • The power is out: This may sound obvious, but it’s possible there is an issue with the circuit breaker. Verify that the circuit breaker to your furnace is on. The fan may have its own breaker, so be sure to check it, too. Then, look for an on/off switch near your furnace that may be in the off position. If you turn these on and a breaker trips again, you may have an electrical issue. In this case, contact a professional for furnace repair in Visalia, CA.
  • The gas valve is closed: During repairs or inspection, the gas valve may have been shut off. To resume proper operation of your furnace, simply turn it back on. The handle should be parallel with the gas pipe for the “on” position.
  • Your ducts are leaking: First, check to make sure your vents are fully open. If they are, but some areas of your home are still not receiving hot air, you may have leaky ductwork. The ducts probably have gaps, holes or cracks that are allowing the hot air to escape. This wastes energy and creates poor heating for your home, so be sure to call a professional for heater repair in Visalia, CA sooner rather than later.

Never hesitate to contact your trusted local HVAC contractor if you’re experiencing problems with your furnace. Professional heater repair in Visalia, CA will help you determine the issue and restore your furnace to optimal operation.

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Keep Your Restaurant Running Smoothly with Restaurant Equipment Repair in Visalia, CA

Your business depends on having reliable equipment. If something stops working, your operations suffer. That’s why it’s important to perform routine maintenance on your restaurant equipment. This will keep things running smoothly and help you avoid restaurant equipment repair in Visalia, CA.

Proper care for your equipment involves three key components.

  • Routine maintenance: How often do you service your commercial refrigeration in Visalia, CA? Too many business owners assume their equipment will continue to work properly if left alone. The truth is, this machinery requires regular maintenance to operate optimally. It is essential to perform this routine maintenance to enjoy reliable performance from your equipment. Contact professionals who specialize in restaurant equipment repair to schedule regular servicing of your equipment.
  • Inspections: Equipment that is inspected regularly is less likely to break down. An experienced technician can identify problems early and make the necessary corrections before it becomes a major issue. These inspections will save you time, money and headaches. Similar to maintenance service, regular inspections should be performed by an experienced technician who possesses in-depth knowledge of commercial refrigeration in Visalia, CA.
  • Repairs: If your equipment is experiencing problems, don’t hesitate to call for restaurant equipment repair in Visalia, CA. If you wait, the problem will only worsen. Contact a professional right away so they can diagnose the issue and make repairs immediately. Neglected repairs can lead to costly downtime, lost inventory and unhappy customers at your restaurant.

When you need expert repairs for your equipment, contact the professionals at McGee Refrigeration. We specialize in all major restaurant equipment, including:

  • Commercial refrigerators: We know you rely on these units to maintain your key ingredients. If these don’t work properly, your restaurant suffers greatly. Our team specializes in commercial refrigerators, including walk-in units. We’ll keep your kitchen up and running with precision repairs for your commercial refrigeration in Visalia, CA.
  • Prep tables: Whether you use them for your employees or customers, these units are an important part of your service flow. Keeping the prep items properly cooled is essential. Our team keeps your team working smoothly.
  • Commercial convection ovens: You rely on these chambers for heating, roasting and baking. If they aren’t operational, you’re in trouble. McGee Refrigeration specializes in more than commercial refrigeration in Visalia, CA. We offer the expertise needed to keep your ovens running hot, too.
  • Fryers and steamers: No restaurant kitchen would be complete without fryers and steamers. To keep your full menu available, trust our experts to service and maintain your equipment. Using industry-leading methods, we will ensure your fryers and steamers remain reliable.
  • Mixers: At McGee Refrigeration, we know the importance of automated mixers. If you lose the ability to stir, whisk or beat, contact our mixer experts. We can inspect, service and repair your mixers to keep things properly prepared in your kitchen.

Restaurant owners must properly prep their equipment as well as their food. To maintain regular service that keeps your kitchen running smoothly, contact the experts at McGee Refrigeration for maintenance, inspections and repairs.

Why Does the Filter on My HVAC in Visalia, CA Get Dirty So Quickly?

It’s a simple maintenance task, but many people forget to do it. Changing the filter on your HVAC in Visalia, CA is essential for proper system functioning. Homeowners should check the filter once a month to see if it should be replaced. Typically, filters should be replaced at least every 90 days. However, certain conditions may require more frequent filter replacement.

If you notice your filter gets dirty more quickly than average, this could be due to one or more factors. Following are a few of the most common reasons an HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA encounters dirty filters:

  • Pets: Do you have pets in your home? The filter on your HVAC in Visalia, CA is designed to capture debris and prevent it from entering your system. With pets wandering around, shedding constantly, it only makes sense that you’ll find more debris in your filter. One low-shedding pet may not make a large impact, but more than one pet in the home or those that are high-shedding definitely make a difference.
  • Foot traffic: How much traffic do you experience coming in and out of your house? Do you host a lot of guests? Are your children (and their friends) constantly in and out? All of this traffic brings in particulates and kicks up dust in your home. The result is a dirtier filter in your HVAC system. The bad news is, you have to change the filter more often. The good news is, your house is full of life and fun activity!
  • Smoke particulates: Does anyone in your household smoke? Have you had any crazy kitchen misadventures? Smoke, ash and burned debris easily float through the air of your home and end up on the filter of your HVAC in Visalia, CA. If you experience any fire mishaps or if smoking occurs regularly in your home, be sure to check your filter more often. Change it frequently to avoid the need to call an HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA for repairs.
  • High-quality filter: What size filter are you using? One-inch pleated filters get dirty faster than cheaper, thicker pleated filters. The tighter filter is designed to catch more. The “holes” between the netting are very small, so they let fewer particles into your system. While this is a good thing, it can mean more frequent filter cleaning or changing.
  • Duct leaks: Have you inspected your ductwork recently? Leaks in the return ductwork allow dust to be pulled in from areas like attics or crawl spaces. The extra dirt accumulated from these areas can quickly clog a filter. If your system has not been serviced recently, ask a certified HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA to inspect your ductwork for leaks.

Changing the filter on your HVAC in Visalia, CA is a simple, affordable way to extend the life of your furnace and enjoy more efficient operation. You’ll save on utility bills and furnace repairs. If you think your filter requires more frequent changes than normal, don’t hesitate to contact your local HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA. A quick inspection can determine if there is a problem that should be addressed, before major repairs are needed.

Adjust Your Thermostat for a Better Night’s Sleep

Did you know Abraham Lincoln suffered from insomnia, so he took long walks in the middle of the night? Vincent van Gogh was also an insomniac. He treated his condition by dousing his pillow with camphor, which historians suspect may have slowly poisoned him. Based on modern research, these men may have simply needed cooler temperatures to get a good night’s sleep. If only AC repair in Visalia, CA had been available, their insomnia may have been cured.

Fortunately for you, if you are having trouble sleeping, you can easily obtain heater repair in Visalia, CA to maintain comfortable temperatures and get a better night’s sleep. Research has shown that adjusting the temperature can be a major factor in your ability to sleep and your quality of sleep. Here’s the full scoop.

Your brain likes it cool

Your body has a “set point” for temperature. This is the temperature it is constantly trying to achieve for comfort. When you sleep, this set point goes down. In fact, the slight drop in body temperature is part of what induces sleep. If you can’t achieve this drop in temperature, you will have trouble falling asleep. Similarly, if the room becomes too hot or cold while you are sleeping, you are likely to wake up. If the temperature in your home is hard to maintain, consider AC repair in Visalia, CA. Complete the necessary maintenance to ensure your brain can achieve the proper temperature to send you off peacefully to slumberland.

REM requires stability

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is the sleep stage in which you dream. You need to reach this stage to achieve quality sleep. If your bedroom does not remain at a comfortable sleeping temperature while you rest, this affects the quality of your REM sleep. Extreme temperatures can pull you out of REM sleep as your body fights to achieve a comfortable heat level.

The ideal temperature

Individual preferences may vary slightly, but experts typically recommend maintaining a temperature between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit for sleeping. Some may find their comfortable zone is closer to 60 degrees. For babies and small children, ranges between 65 and 70 are usually best.

The ideal conditions

In addition to the right temperature, other conditions can create an ideal sleeping environment. If you’re having trouble sleeping, consider the room where you sleep. Is it cave-like? In other words, is it dark, quiet and cool? If not, make adjustments to achieve these conditions. You may need to use room-darkening blinds, a sleeping mask, earplugs or other tools to block light and sound.

Controlling your environment

Now that you know how important the right temperature is to a good night’s sleep, how can you achieve it? If your system doesn’t properly maintain your comfort level, contact a professional for heater repair in Visalia, CA. A trained technician can diagnose the problem and recommend the best solution for your setting. One simple fix could be to install a programmable thermostat. This will automatically reduce the temperature in your home during sleeping hours to your pre-programmed level, and maintain this temperature until morning.

Call for sleep reinforcements

Sleep is essential to healthy living. If you need help with AC repair in Visalia, CA to get a good night’s sleep, don’t hesitate to call the pros. The experts at McGee Refrigeration are ready to assist you. Our trained technicians can perform the necessary heater repair in Visalia, CA to help you get the rest you need.

Avoid Heater Repair in Visalia, CA This Winter with Proper Preparation

Don’t get caught in the cold this winter. Prepare your heater with a few easy steps that will keep your system operating smoothly this season. These simple maintenance tips will help you avoid costly heater repair in Visalia, CA. Before the cold weather hits, check off the following maintenance items:

  • Professional inspection: Before winter arrives, call an HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA for a routine inspection. This professional once-over will help identify any potential issues with your heater. The experienced technicians at McGee Refrigeration will inform you of any needed repairs or maintenance, so you can be prepared for the season. We can fix minor issues before they become major repairs.
  • Remove hazards: Furnaces are often located in prime storage areas of the home. This makes it tempting to pile items around your furnace. While storing items nearby is typically fine, you must be careful about what you store there. Remove any potential fire hazards stored near your furnace. This will keep you and your property safe from blazes that can begin when items get too close to the heat source.
  • Replace the filter: If you haven’t done so recently, replace the filter in your furnace. This is the easiest way to prolong the life of your furnace. A fresh, clear filter will keep it running optimally and save on energy bills. You should replace your filter every 30 to 90 days, depending on use and the number of pets in the home. A good rule of thumb is to check it at the beginning of each month and replace it if it’s dirty. Never go more than three months without replacing it.
  • Clear the airflow: You or your HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA should inspect your vents for blockages. Remove anything that could prevent or restrict airflow. You may need to clean vents, move furniture or make other adjustments to ensure proper airflow for the season. If airflow is blocked, your furnace has to work harder to achieve the desired temperature level. This results in wasted energy as well as less comfortable surroundings. Maintain clear airflow to prevent your furnace from overworking and help you avoid the need for heater repair in Visalia, CA.
  • Consider a new thermostat: Is your HVAC system equipped with a programmable thermostat? This will allow you to set the temperature for varying conditions. The system will automatically reduce the temperature at night, raise it during waking hours or lower it while you are away at work. This enhanced control can help you save on your utility bill this winter. With today’s technology, some thermostats even allow you to adjust the temperature remotely.

How many of these items have you checked off your list? Contact the professional technicians at McGee Refrigeration today to schedule your inspection. We will ensure your system is ready for winter with a thorough overview of your furnace. This quick and easy appointment can save you time and money down the road. Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment.

Have You Changed Your Air Filters Recently?

The best way to ruin your HVAC system is to never change the filter. If you want to shorten your system’s lifespan, simply ignore this easy maintenance step. It’s frequently overlooked by many homeowners. Make it your goal to not be among their number. For proper HVAC preventative maintenance in Visalia, CA, change your filter regularly.

Why is this so important? Since many homeowners don’t realize the significance of this preventative maintenance, let’s answer some of the most common questions about air filters.

Why should I change my air filter?

Replacing the air filters in your heating and cooling units is one of the cheapest, easiest and quickest ways to prevent HVAC emergencies. This filter is designed to prevent damaging dirt and debris from entering your system’s internal engine parts. Particles as small as a grain of salt can lead to costly damage. Keep the filter fresh to ensure its effectiveness in protecting your system.

How often should I change my filter?

Air filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, depending on use. If you are running your system daily in a home occupied by pets, don’t wait longer than a month to change the filter. In a home without pets, where no occupants have allergies, you can usually wait to change it every 90 days. A good rule of thumb is to check it each month and, if it’s dirty, replace it.

Which air filter should I buy?

For effective HVAC preventative maintenance in Visalia, CA, it’s essential to pick the right size filter for your unit. To find the right size, you can usually look at the air filter currently installed in the unit. If this is not possible, you can measure the air filter location. Measure from the bottom of the air filter compartment to the top. Then, measure the width of the slot. Lastly, extend the tape measure into the compartment until it touches the back wall and measure to the front of the compartment. This will give you the three numbers you need. For example, a common filter size is 16” x 25” x 1”.

How can I remember to change my filter?

Most filters have a place directly on the item to write the date you install it, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll remember to check that date or change it when it’s due. A good trick is to get in the habit of changing your filter when you pay monthly bills, or simply plan to always do it on the first of the month. If you’re on a 90-day schedule, change your filter at the beginning of each season. With today’s technology, you can also easily set a repeating reminder on your phone to tell you to change it.

If you’d like more tips on HVAC preventative maintenance in Visalia, CA, contact your local experts at McGee Refrigeration. With our in-depth knowledge of HVAC systems, we can answer your questions and provide professional support if needed. We look forward to hearing from you!