Your Guide to 2018 HVAC Tax Credits

Tax Day is here! Have you already filed your return this year, or will you be scrambling at the last minute to make the deadline? Either way, don’t forget your heating and cooling system when considering any improvements you made in 2018. Taxpayers who upgraded their HVAC system or used renewable energy during the calendar year could be eligible for a tax credit that will offset some of the costs.

Read on to learn more about the HVAC tax credits homeowners could be eligible for when filing their 2018 taxes. Contact an HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA to learn more!

HVAC tax credits

First, some bad news: the HVAC tax credits that could once be applied to many high-efficiency HVAC equipment have now expired. Previously, homeowners could get a $150 to $300 tax credit for installing a high efficiency furnace, air conditioner, boiler or air source heat pump. That credit expired at the end of 2017. However, homeowners can apply for HVAC tax credits for 2018 that focus on renewable energy systems, including geothermal heating and cooling equipment in addition to other alternative energy systems.

The following improvements are eligible:

  • Solar panels or photovoltaics used for generating electricity.
  • Solar-powered water heating equipment. The water heated by the system must be used inside the home, and at least half the home’s water-heating capacity must be solar.
  • Geothermal heat pumps that comply with federal Energy Star guidelines.
  • Fuel cells using renewable resources, such as hydrogen, to generate power. The equipment needs to generate a minimum of 0.5 kilowatts of power to qualify.

The improvements must be installed on a home you own and use as a residence. Second homes also qualify, but rental homes are not applicable. This credit is equal to up to 30 percent of the total cost of the purchase and installation of solar, wind and geothermal equipment. Fuel cell systems could be eligible for a credit of a maximum of $500 per half-kilowatt of power capacity. These tax credits will be available through 2021.

Your HVAC contractor in Visalia, CA can help you determine whether any previous installations are applicable and, if so, how much of the cost you can expect to recoup. Homeowners will then have to file IRS form 5695 if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Why invest in HVAC improvements?

Investing in any of these improvements can help you save significantly on your annual taxes. In addition, these heating and cooling methods are also safer for the environment. These HVAC systems reduce harmful emissions and greenhouse gases, which is crucial to protecting the ozone layer and the environment.

Ready to learn more about improving your home with any of these HVAC additions? Contact McGee Refrigeration today to speak to one of our expert technicians about upgrading to a renewable energy system. We’ll use our more than 35 years of experience in providing HVAC services in Visalia, CA to identify the best HVAC solutions for your home, lifestyle and budget. Give us a call today to get started!


Summer Energy Saving Tips for Your Air Conditioner

To contend with the summer heat, you are probably running your air conditioning system around the clock. While this does keep your family cool on the long, scorching hot days, this comfort also come with a hefty price tag. During the summer months your AC service typically represents 50 percent of your total energy bill, making finding ways to improve efficiency a top priority. Whether your system is new or on the older age, here are some tips from your local AC repair company in Visalia, CA on how you can help you keep your family cool and comfortable at an affordable price.

Monitor your thermostat

The addition of a programmable thermostat is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to monitor your energy use. While it is vital that the temperatures remain comfortable while you are at home, programming your thermostat to rest at a higher temperature while you are away can actually save you a substantial amount of money. For example, programming your thermostat to stay between 80 and 85 degrees every day while no one is in the home can save you between 10 and 15 percent on your normal cooling costs.

Also, you should make sure that your thermostat is set to auto mode. If left in the on position, your fan motor will continue to blow even if cooling is not actively taking place. In auto mode, the motor will remain off when your system is not cooling. This simple measure can actually end up saving you up to $25 on your monthly energy costs.

Improve your home’s overall energy efficiency

In order for your air conditioning to reach optimal efficiency, your system will need some help so that it doesn’t have to work as hard every day. If you are able to cut down on the amount of heat that is entering your house in the first place, your system will require less energy to cool off your home. One way you can do this is by utilizing window coverings. Whether it is with tint or film, shutters or blinds, keeping your windows covered from the sun during the day can save upwards of 25 percent more than windows without shades.

Also be mindful that certain electrical appliances within your home give off heat during operation, such as the oven, dishwasher, washer and dryer. To avoid any added strain on your system during the day, try completing your household activities that use these appliances either early in the morning or later in the evening when the temperatures aren’t as hot.

The key to maintaining your air conditioning system so that your energy bills remain under control is routine AC service in Visalia, CA. With regular preventative maintenance, our team at McGee Refrigeration can make sure that your system is ready to keep your home cool for another summer. If anything goes awry, we can make the necessary AC repair in Visalia, CA before your energy bills begin to skyrocket. Give us a call for an estimate today so that both you and your wallet remain comfortable this summer!

, ,

The Effects of a Hot Summer Day on Your AC Unit

An air conditioner works harder the hotter it is outside, and on humid days, the workload gets even heavier. Keeping the air conditioner working efficiently as it takes a heavier burden is important. Calling ahead of time for an AC tune-up in Visalia CA can help keep the unit from overworking despite the hot summer workload.

Heat vs. cold

An air conditioner cools the air it pulls from the outside while expelling the hot air from inside the house. This means the hotter it is outside, the harder the AC works, because there is more heat coming into the home and the outdoor air is even hotter. It also means the AC works harder when it starts up. In the simplest terms, the hotter it is outside, the more work the AC has to do. This is obvious, but the wear and tear on the unit may not be. An AC is made to cool homes during hot days, but keeping your air conditioner in working condition means understanding the degradation happening to the unit. Hotter weather means more work for the AC, so after a heat wave, checking the unit or getting an AC tune-up in Visalia, CA may be a smart idea to keep the unit from breaking down.

Humidity is not your friend

It’s not just heat that affects the AC’s workload. High humidity also increases the amount of effort the AC has to put in to cool the home. Air conditioners have to remove the excess moisture when they’re cooling the air. Some air conditioners may not have the cooling capacity to handle the high humidity. This means the home won’t be as cool. Even if it doesn’t feel hot outside, the AC may be working harder than it seems because of humidity. So in addition to getting an AC tune-up in Visalia, CA after a heat wave, your AC should also be checked after especially humid weather.

Maintain the AC

An air conditioner is made to take the wear and tear of hot days, but it requires regular maintenance to do so. Without proper maintenance, the AC can wear down quicker. Like all mechanical equipment, the longer a unit goes without an AC tune-up in Visalia, CA, the higher the chance of a breakdown. An experienced air conditioning service in Visalia, CA can help explain how to properly clean and maintain an AC. An AC tune-up in Visalia, CA can also keep the unit in tip-top shape to efficiently cool your home.

McGee Refrigeration is a family-owned business that specializes in heating and air conditioning service. We’ve been in business for more than 30 years and are an experienced air conditioning service in Visalia, CA. We can offer free estimates and service agreement discounts. Our excellent staff is always ready and willing to answer any and all questions you may have. If you give us a call, we’ll help you out with all your air conditioning needs. Get in touch today to learn more or schedule a visit!

, ,

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!

, ,

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.


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.

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.

What Causes My Air Conditioning System to Rattle?

It is not unusual for air conditioning systems to have a problem or two during the many years of its use. Whenever there is a problem, there is something that has caused it, and getting down to the root of the problem is important because you can figure out how to fix it and possibly avoid encountering similar issues in the future. A rattling noise is no different than many of the other issues people experience with their air conditioning systems, as there can be various causes, but the good thing is there are many ways to fix it.

Here’s what can cause your air conditioning system to rattle and require professional AC repair in Visalia, CA:

  • Fans: The fans inside your AC can sometimes cause a rattling noise when they are coming into contact with the AC’s casing. This can happen when the fans aren’t properly aligned as a result of poor installation or even debris buildup. As time goes on, this problem could easily get worse and leave you with fans that don’t work at all. Luckily, addressing this particular problem with your fans is one of the more affordable, less expensive fixes.
  • Panels: Everyone knows that air conditioners have a lot of different parts that are necessary for them to function. Some important components of your AC are housed inside cabinets. These cabinets have panels, and when the screws have worked themselves loose or haven’t been properly screwed back in, the panels can rattle. Fortunately, loose panels, although extremely annoying when they rattle, are a problem that can easily be fixed by ensuring they are secure.
  • Debris: Debris can often find its way into your AC’s cabinet. When leaves, dirt, gravel and other small items enter the cabinet, they start to get knocked around and cause a rattling noise that can annoy you and compromise your comfort. The best course of action to take when you discover that debris is causing the rattling is to remove it and figure out how it is getting in, so you can keep it from happening again in the future.
  • Motors: Your AC is designed with motors that play a huge role in your being able to keep cool and comfortable in your home when you want to avoid the heat. After years of use and general wear and tear, the motors tend to wear down and the internal parts may become loose or dislodged. If the motors are causing a rattling noise, these internal parts are likely the culprits. Of course, if there is an issue with motors or the parts within them, a repair will be necessary.

There are a lot of different things that can go wrong with your air conditioning system. Even if it is something small, you might need to consider AC repair in Visalia, CA to get your unit functioning properly again. Should your unit be rattling, a professional can address this issue and potentially prevent a bigger, more complex repair from being needed later on.

Do you need AC repair in Visalia, CA? You can contact the experts at McGee Refrigeration today to discuss your needs.