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!

What’s the Best Temperature for Your Air Conditioner in the Summertime?

It can be surprisingly difficult to nail down the perfect temperature for your air conditioner to be set at to keep your entire family comfortable and cool. Trying to balance different temperature preferences for different family members while keeping your energy bills down is not an easy task, which is why your local AC service in Visalia, CA is here to help you with some information about the optimal temperatures for both the daytime and evening hours.

Daytime temperatures

On the summer days that you will be spending inside, keeping the temperature around 78 degrees will keep you comfortable if you dress seasonably. Utilizing a ceiling fan can create a wind chill effect that can cool the room off an additional four degrees so that it will actually feel like it is 74. On days that you will be out, turning your thermostat up to 85 degrees while you are gone can help you save between 5 and 15 percent on your cooling bills.

Nighttime temperatures

Because everyone has different temperature preferences when they sleep, pinning down the right nighttime range might not be as straightforward. If you are someone who has no problem sleeping in a warm room, it is recommended that you set your overnight temperature four degrees higher than your daytime temperature. For the most part, though, many prefer to sleep in a cooler room, which means that you will likely need to turn your thermostat down from its daytime setting before you go to bed. If the outdoor air cools off enough at night, you should open some windows when you go to sleep, and then close them in the morning to trap the cool air in the house before it warms up outside.

Install a programmable thermostat

Although it isn’t likely that your temperature range will vary that much throughout the day, installing a programmable thermostat will free you from the responsibility of having to remember to make the adjustments on your own. If you turn your temperatures up while you are out, programming your air conditioner to kick into your comfortable daytime temperature 30 minutes to an hour before you get home ensures that you will still be able to come home to a nice cool house each evening after work.

If you are one of those individuals who likes a cool night’s rest, zoning your home might also be helpful. Zoning will allow you to keep your bedroom temperature cooler without dropping the temperature throughout the entire house, which can go a long way toward keeping your energy bills down.

Since 1981, the AC service team at McGee Refrigeration has worked tirelessly to make sure that businesses and homeowners alike are getting the most out of their HVAC systems. It is our mission to provide you with the highest level of air conditioning service in Visalia, CA while also providing you with the best customer service around. If you do run into any issues with your system, we are ready to tend to any AC service needs you might have. Give us a call right away!


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!

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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!

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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.


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.