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Maximizing Your AC Performance During the Summertime

During the summer heat, air conditioners can be a huge relief, but they also carry a heavy burden. They tend to work hard for a long time during the hot days to keep you cool. One of the best ways to keep your AC working in tip-top shape is to keep it well maintained. A well-respected AC service in Visalia, CA like McGee Refrigeration can help. Here are some of the other ways you can keep your AC running efficiently:

  • Lighten the burden: If you’re not home, you’re not benefiting from the air conditioner, but it’s still working. Keeping it running at full blast while you’re not there can lead to more wear and tear, leading to necessary AC repair in Visalia, CA. You don’t have to turn it off, but while you’re at work or outside, raise the thermostat a couple of degrees. Doing so will ease the stress on your AC and lower your energy bill.
  • Closed environment: You’re not cooling off the outdoors, so remember to keep windows and doors closed when the AC is running. Open windows and doors means cool air will escape and warm air will get in. Good insulation and closed windows and doors will keep the cold air inside. This will also lessen the burden on your AC, which will mean less breakdowns requiring emergency AC repair in Visalia, CA this summer.
  • Vent it all: Check all your vents. They should be open and clear of debris. Most air conditioners are designed to cool a specific square footage. If you have vents closed, your AC may not be efficiently cooling your entire home. If something is blocked, it could mean your AC is working harder than it needs to for a smaller payoff.
  • Keep the air filter clean: Your air conditioner works hard during hot weather, and problems with the AC means it will work even harder. One way to avoid this is to keep the air filter cleaned. A dirty one means the system has to work even harder, resulting in a higher chance of breaking down. An AC service in Visalia, CA can provide the proper supplies to clean and/or change your air filter. Make sure to check it once a month.
  • Keep the sun out: The sunlight that gets into your home can raise the temperature inside. By closing drapes and blinds during the day, you can keep even more heat out of your house. This simple step is just another way to keep your air conditioner from having to work harder than it has to. Less heat inside the home means less strain on the AC to cool the space.

Whether it’s these simple ways to keep your AC working efficiently or necessary maintenance, a well-respected AC service in Visalia, CA like McGee Refrigeration can assist you. We have been in business for more than 35 years and are happy to help. We’re a family-owned business and offer free estimates. Give us a call and our friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Common Summertime Issues with AC Service

As warm weather hits, HVAC units start working overtime. Property owners try desperately to keep cool, and their AC tries desperately to keep up. Throughout this season, it is common for issues to pop up that require AC repair in Visalia, CA. What can you expect this summer? Hopefully, your hot season will come and go without issue, but you shouldn’t be too surprised if you experience one or more of the following air conditioning problems.

Too Much

How often does your air conditioning unit run throughout the day? If your AC runs constantly, this is an issue. While warmer temperatures warrant more frequent cycles, your air conditioner should not run constantly. If you notice your unit never cycles off, check for common issues. First, make sure all doors and windows are closed. This may seem obvious, but you might be surprised how many people forget to close all the bedroom windows before they turn on their AC.

Second, check your filter. Is it dirty? If so, change it. A dirty filter is the fastest way to ruin your HVAC system. Change this regularly to avoid the need for AC repair in Visalia, CA. When the filter is clear, your unit works more efficiently. Lastly, check your thermostat. Is it set at a reasonable temperature? Keep in mind, most units are designed to adjust for temperature fluctuations of up to 25 degrees. If it’s 98 degrees outside, don’t try to make your unit maintain a temperature of 65 degrees inside.

If you complete all of these checks and find nothing amiss, it is time to call for AC service in Visalia, CA. An expert technician can determine the cause of your overworked unit and make appropriate adjustments to avoid damage to your air conditioner.

Too Loud

While no AC unit is silent, the noises coming from the condenser and fan should be predictable and steady. If you hear new noises, such as screeching, rattling, thumping, clanking or banging, you need AC repair in Visalia, CA. Your unit probably has a loose or worn belt, loose hardware, low oil or a failing part. If you hear strange noises coming from your unit, don’t hesitate to call a technician. Waiting can cause further damage or cause your unit to fail entirely.

Too Warm

Is your unit running, but it’s still too warm in your home? First, complete the troubleshooting steps from the “Too Much” section above. Then, check all your vents and registers. Are any pieces of furniture, rugs or drapery blocking your vents? Rearrange things so that all vents are clear. Also check your exterior unit. This should be clear of all debris as well. Remove any growth around the unit and clean off the unit. If none of these tasks improves your cooling, contact a technician for AC repair in Visalia, CA. You might have a refrigerant problem, which requires professional assistance.

Too Easy

If you experience any of these issues this season, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at McGee Refrigeration for AC repair in Visalia, CA. Our experienced technicians make your repairs easy and smooth to keep you cool all summer long.

Prep for Summertime Heat with an AC Tune-Up in Visalia, CA

When was the last time you had your air conditioning unit serviced? Last fall? Last spring? Hopefully it wasn’t long before that. The truth is, you should have an AC tune-up in Visalia, CA before each warm season. (Don’t forget your fall tune-up for your furnace, too!)

Before the hot weather hits, contact your local air conditioning service in Visalia, CA for a simple maintenance check of your unit. This tune-up will allow the technician to identify any potential issues with your unit and repair problems while they are small. This will prevent major breakdowns later in the season, saving you hassle and money. There are also several steps you can take as a homeowner to tune up your system for the season. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Change the filter: You’ve probably heard this 1,000 times. Here’s 1,001—keep that filter clean! This is a simple, affordable and easy way to keep your air conditioner working properly, yet it’s often a task people forget to do. Set a reminder to check your filter once each month. If it’s dirty, change it. This will help prevent expensive repairs down the line and will also save you money, as it keeps your unit running more efficiently.
  • Clear the debris: Before you crank on the AC for the first time this summer, perform a quick inspection of your exterior unit. Clear away any growth around the unit and keep all debris at least two feet away from the air conditioner. Dirt, leaves and other particles can clog the machinery and cause damage or inefficient operation.
  • Check the condensation: Do you know where the condensation drain pipe is located on your home? If not, find it. This is an essential part of good air conditioning service in Visalia, CA. If the pipe gets clogged, the condensation can back up into your unit or your house. No one likes flooding, so make sure this pipe is draining properly. Use algaecide to clean the pipe if it is clogged.
  • Create stability: Is your unit level? Take a look at the concrete slab on which it sits. Use a level to determine if the slab is level. An uneven surface makes your unit work harder, making it less effective and shortening its lifespan. If the slab is not level, adjust the gravel or dirt around and underneath it to even it out.
  • Correct leaks: Inspect your ductwork. Look for separated pieces, small holes or disconnected joints. These allow the cool air that should be traveling into your rooms to escape elsewhere. Use appropriate tape to seal these imperfections. If there are major issues with your ductwork, contact a professional for air conditioning service in Visalia, CA.

To ensure your system provides optimal cooling this summer, start the season with an AC tune-up in Visalia, CA. Contact the pros at McGee Refrigeration to schedule your service today. Our experienced technicians will complete a thorough maintenance service of your system to help keep it running smoothly and efficiently all summer long.


The Importance of Annual AC Maintenance

Keeping up with all of the maintenance associated with owning a home or a place of business can be challenging. There are a number of components of every building that require regular, consistent attention to continue operating and looking as intended. Thankfully, most modern heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are easy to maintain with relatively little care and expense. Procuring the help of an air conditioning service in Visalia, CA can help you keep your home’s air conditioner running smoothly and effectively for years to come.

While it may seem to be an unnecessary expense at first glance, paying for professional assistance with your HVAC care is a smart decision that will prove to make long-term financial sense. Here are just a few reasons that you should consider investing in routine maintenance for your home’s HVAC system:

  • Reduced energy expenses: One of the most immediate benefits you’ll experience after hiring a professional to care for your home’s AC system is a reduction in energy expenses. When you work with a professional provider for an AC tune up in Visalia, CA, they can optimize your system to run at its most efficient.
  • Fewer repairs: HVAC repairs can be extensive and costly. Occasionally, damage that results from AC system neglect can be so bad that it’s actually cheaper to just replace your entire home comfort system. Investing in air conditioning service in Visalia, CA, however, can reduce your dependency on HVAC repairs.
  • Increased reliability: There’s nothing worse than having your home’s heater or air conditioner go out when you need it the most. When you invest in HVAC maintenance, however, you can count on your AC system to continue running effectively and efficiently when you need it.
  • Maximizes equipment lifespan: Your HVAC equipment actually has a finite lifespan. With regular maintenance and attention, however, you can extend your AC system’s life as long as possible. Investing in routine maintenance and care will help you avoid the costs associated with full-scale AC replacement later on down the road.
  • Improved safety: AC systems rely on dangerous chemicals and lots of energy to run. This means that they can occasionally be dangerous to operate, especially when they’re not cared for properly. Obtaining routine HVAC maintenance from a trusted service provider can help you ensure that your home is safe and sound.

Since 1981, McGee Refrigeration has been the most trusted provider of AC tune ups in Visalia, CA. We are proud to provide each and every one of our clients with high-quality HVAC services that they can rely on. Our talented technicians have the tools and training necessary to maximize your energy efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint.

We take a tremendous amount of pride in our ability to provide sensible maintenance and repair solutions for homeowners and business operators with HVAC equipment of all types and sizes. Contact one of our friendly representatives today to learn more about how we can help you maximize your existing AC system.


What the R-22 Phase-Out Means for Your AC Unit

If your home or commercial space has an older HVAC system, you may be wondering what the R-22 phase-out means for your cooling capabilities. R-22, more commonly called Freon, was the industry-standard refrigerant for decades. Unfortunately, it was found to cause substantive damage to the planet’s ozone layer. The United States government, along with Canada and many European countries, has been slowly phasing out R-22 production and importation for nearly two decades.

The United States’ federal R-22 ban will take full effect in 2020, meaning that it will be completely illegal to produce or import any R-22 in the United States. There are a few things that homeowners and building managers should know as the deadline for the R-22 ban approaches. Working with a qualified provider of AC repair in Visalia, CA can help you prepare for the R-22 ban more effectively.

Understanding the timeline

It’s important to understand the timeline the federal government is using to implement the R-22 ban. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in accordance with the Montreal Protocol, first began phasing out R-22 in 2004. Prices for the gas began to rise as the government cut production levels every few years to their current rate.

Between now and 2020, the government will require R-22 consumption to drop from its current rate, which is at 30 percent of the U.S. baseline, to 0 percent of the U.S. baseline. This means that the chemical is already becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to obtain.

Steps to take from here

If you depend on an R-22 cooling system, there are a number of steps you should consider taking to mitigate the impact that the R-22 ban will have on your ability to cool your home or commercial space, including:

  • Retrofit your old systems: It is possible to retrofit your old, R-22 reliant systems to run off of new, ecologically conscious coolant. However, you should begin exploring this option sooner, rather than later.
  • Replace the systems: R-22 systems are becoming increasingly irrelevant and outdated. If you are serious about keeping your space at a cool and consistent temperature, you should consider proactively replacing all of your space’s cooling systems.
  • Wait for the breakdown: You could also continue using your R-22 reliant system as-is until it inevitably breaks down, and coolant is no longer available. This is not advisable, however, because you may not be able to replace your system quickly or cost-effectively.

Since 1981, McGee Refrigeration has been a highly trusted provider of AC service in Visalia, CA. We provide each and every one of our clients with high-quality maintenance and repair services that you can rely on throughout the year to keep your home’s or business’ heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems running smoothly. We take a tremendous amount of pride in providing each and every one of our customers with dependable air conditioning services. You can count on us to help you navigate the R-22 phase-out. Reach out to one of our friendly representatives today to learn more.


Choosing an Air Purifier in Visalia, CA

It’s no secret that air is an essential resource that we all rely on, but many people aren’t aware of the actual quality of the air that they breathe each day. You may have seen smoggy skylines with obvious pollution, but what about the air in your own home? The truth is that invisible particles and contaminants may be lurking in your air, potentially leading to respiratory irritation and illness. Because of this, many people invest in an air purifier in Visalia, CA to increase the quality of the air in their home. It’s a good idea to consider the different types of purifiers that you can choose from to help you determine which one is right for your situation:

  • Negative ion: In a negative ion purifier, charged particles attract dust and other particles and prevent them from being suspended in the air. As particles are attracted by the purifier, they become heavy and end up falling to the ground or attaching to other surfaces in the room.
  • Activated carbon: Activated carbon is a dark material that is characterized by an extremely high concentration of pores that promote absorption. As air passes through activated carbon in a purifier, the absorbent surface pulls a number of pollutants out of the air, such as smoke, dirt and allergens.
  • HEPA: High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) is a technology which is designed to trap the vast majority of particles in air to promote a sanitary environment. The purifier is able to trap incredibly small particles with a number of fibrous layers, often including a layer of activated carbon.
  • Ultraviolet: An ultraviolet air purifier uses a twofold process of particle filtration and microbial elimination. An ultraviolet purifier has a UV light that kills germs, bacteria and viruses and a particulate filter that removes larger particles from the air.

The benefits of ultraviolet air purifiers

There are many reasons why people might choose to invest in an ultraviolet air purifier in Visalia, CA. One of the primary benefits of an ultraviolet purifier is its ability to sanitize air to a significant extent. The UV light in these purifiers is capable of killing the vast majority of bacteria and germs, which increases the health and safety of the air in a given space. This is especially important for homes with small children, older adults or anyone with weakened immune systems. An ultraviolet purifier can also decrease unpleasant odors in a home and prevent the accumulation of dust.

Are you interested in investing in an ultraviolet air purifier? At McGee Refrigeration, we are proud to carry a great selection of air purification products that are compatible with your AC system, including the iWave®-R air purifier. This is a self-cleaning purifier that requires no maintenance and can be installed directly into your AC system. To find out more about air purification options or to schedule air conditioning service in Visalia, CA, simply reach out to us by phone today. Our team would be happy to provide you with a free service estimate so you know exactly what you can expect.


Why You Should Get Your AC Tune-Up in Visalia, CA Today

It’s springtime again, and lots of homeowners are taking time to do some deep cleaning and de-cluttering in recognition of the season. Even though you might feel like you’re already busy with cleaning and organization, it’s a good idea to add one more thing to your to-do list: AC service in Visalia, CA. Spring is the perfect time to get a system tune-up in preparation for the cooling season. By investing in this simple service, you can enjoy a number of great benefits, including increased longevity and even cost savings over time:

  • Increased comfort: When temperatures really start to heat up, you don’t want to be stuck with a malfunctioning air conditioner. Keeping up with routine AC service in Visalia, CA promotes effective operation of your AC system and ensures that you will be able to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature throughout the spring and summer.
  • Issue detection: Oftentimes, small problems with your air conditioning system go unnoticed until they become more severe. During a tune-up, your AC technician can identify problems with your system and take care of them before they turn into major issues.
  • Proper function during the summer: By getting your AC maintenance and repairs taken care of during the springtime, you can avoid the frustration of dealing with problems during the summer, when you need your AC the most. Take care of a tune-up this spring so you can focus on relaxing and enjoying the weather this summer.
  • Higher efficiency: Heating and cooling accounts for the majority of energy usage in most homes, so small changes in efficiency can make a big difference. Regular service and maintenance makes it possible for your air conditioner to function at optimum levels of efficiency, which translates into big savings for you.
  • System longevity: The more consistently you take care of your AC system over time, the longer it is likely to last. Since replacing an AC system can be incredibly expensive, it is far more economical to make small investments in service and repairs over time than to neglect your unit and have to replace it prematurely due to major issues.

If you need an AC tune-up in Visalia, CA, you will need to find a reliable technician to assist you. Make sure you take the time to research different service providers in your local area to find a technician who will be able to provide you with reasonable and reliable service. Pay attention to things like certification, licensure, experience and pricing transparency. It can be helpful to look at reviews online to get a better idea about the quality of service that you can expect from an AC technician.

Take care of an AC tune-up this spring and enjoy comfort all summer long with help from McGee Refrigeration. Since 1981, we have been providing commercial and residential customers with quality HVAC services, including installation, repair, replacement and routine service and maintenance. Contact us today to get a free estimate and to schedule service with one of our knowledgeable technicians.

Three Factors That Affect the Service Life of a Furnace

Do you know your furnace may be dying on you? Yes, it’s true. Without the proper maintenance, your furnace’s lifespan is reduced by five to 10 years. Considering the fact that the average lifespan of a furnace is 10 to 15 years, that five to 10 -ear difference is huge! We understand that it’s easy to forget about your furnace. All alone in the basement or utility closet, it’s out of sight and out of mind. However, giving your furnace just a little attention and care can help make it run better for much longer. If you want your furnace to have a long and happy life, here are a few factors to consider.

Replace the filter

A dirty filter can make your furnace overheat, become clogged, start a fire or simply shorten the life of your furnace. So if you want to avoid the need for a replacement or furnace repair in Visalia, CA, we’ll say it again: replace the filter. This is the simplest thing you can do to make a huge impact on the lifespan of your furnace, and on the quality of the air you breathe as well. Your furnace filter should be changed about every three months. You may need to do it more often depending on where you live, if you have pets or if someone in your household has allergies or respiratory trouble. Generally speaking, however, every three months is a good rule to live by.

Take a load off your system

If you ever left a door open on a cold day when you were growing up, you probably heard your parents say something like, “Shut the door! We’re not paying to heat the whole neighborhood.” Well, your parents had the right idea, but it’s more than just a door left open that can take a toll on your furnace. Air leaks around windows, in the attic or the basement can all make your furnace work harder than it needs to, which can then shorten the lifespan of your furnace. Give your furnace a break and seal any air leaks in your home. Another good idea is to install a programmable thermostat. This will not only save you money, but it will help your furnace to run more efficiently.

Clean your air ducts

Over time your ducts can become dirty and congested. These clogs not only impact the air you breathe and force your furnace to work a lot harder to circulate the air in your home, but pieces of built-up debris can break loose and cause damage to sensitive parts of your furnace or even cause a fire. To prevent this issue and increase the lifespan of your furnace, you should have your air ducts cleaned about every three to five years.

By keeping these three tips in mind, you will not only increase the life of your furnace, but you will also help ensure the health and safety of your family. If you do find yourself in need of furnace maintenance or furnace repair in Visalia, CA, just call McGee Refrigeration!

What Does a MERV Rating Mean?

What does a MERV rating indicate? Unless you are a professional air conditioning service in Visalia, CA, like us, the term is most likely something you’ve never even heard of. If you’re a homeowner, however, MERV rating is something you should have a basic knowledge of because it can affect the air quality in your home. So, without further ado, let’s get into the topic of MERV ratings.

What is a MERV rating?

A MERV rating is a way of explaining how effective your air filter is. MERV stands for “minimum efficiency reporting value.” This means that, the higher the MERV rating, the more effective your filter is at removing contaminants from the air. For example, most residential HVAC units use filters with a MERV rating between 4 and 8. By comparison, a MERV rating above 12 is what you would typically find in a hospital.

Is a higher MERV rating better?

It would be logical to assume that, the higher the MERV rating, the better the air quality in your home will be. However, this is not always the case. The higher the MERV rating, the more power your unit needs to pull the air through the filter. If you install a filter with a MERV rating that is higher than what your unit can handle, your unit won’t be able to circulate the air in your home properly, which will actually make the air quality in your home worse.

What’s your perfect MERV rating?

MERV ratings range from 1 to 20 and it can be difficult to determine which rating is the best for your unit and home. The best place to start when deciding on a MERV rating is to check for the manufacturer’s recommendation. To give you a better understanding of how the ratings work, here is a quick rundown of the numbers:

  • MERV 1-4: Typically found in residential systems, these filters can catch larger particles such as dust, insects and pollen.
  • MERV 5-8: Filters within this range can be found in both residential settings and commercial buildings. They can catch smaller particles such as fine dust, aerosol spray particles, pet dander and mold spores.
  • MERV 9-12: These filters are typically not found in residential systems. Filters within this range are most often used for commercial and industrial buildings because they can capture welding fumes, lead dust, automotive emissions and large bacteria.
  • MERV 13-16: As mentioned earlier, these filters are most often found in hospitals and surgical centers because they are able to filter a larger range of bacteria, including particles from sneezing and coughing.
  • MERV 17-20: These filters can capture viruses and even carbon dust. They are reserved for clean rooms where pharmaceuticals or sensitive electronics are produced.

To ensure the best quality of air in your home, you simply need to obtain the highest MERV rating while still staying within a range that your HVAC unit can handle. For assistance with this or any other HVAC-related question, be sure to contact McGee Refrigeration, your local air conditioning service in Visalia, CA.

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!