HVAC. By definition, the acronym stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. But, those four letters mean a lot more to the industry. HVAC represents a livelihood. It symbolizes success. It exemplifies passion, customer service, a challenge, a job, and so much more.

So, what does HVAC mean to you? While it may seem like a simple question at first glance, the answers we received were multifaceted.

“To me, HVAC means Healthy Veins and Arteries Circulating in our clients’ homes.”

D. Brian Baker
President, Custom Vac Ltd.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

“HVAC is the greatest occupation ever. I haven’t been going to work every day for the last 30 years, I’ve had a fun time providing a healthy, safe, comfortable, and efficient living environment for J.R. Bolton clients. HVAC is getting better with every passing year. I can’t wait for my 40th year.”

Jeff Bolton
President, J.R. Bolton Services Inc.
Sugar Hill, Ga.

“To me this is much more than a question; it is a prod into my most inner being. The industry of HVAC, which I feel so privileged to be a part of, is much more than a job or career: It is, in fact, my way of life. Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning, cool …. Rings hollow for me.

“As a very young second-generation service technician, I learned from my father how important customer service is/was. Customer service is what provided for my family and what provided a long and prosperous career for my dad, who served this industry until he passed in 1994.

“The ability to serve others is what my life’s mission is all about. It just so happens most of these people are hot, cold, or have an abundance of heat that they need to get out of the data center.

“The unique part of my ability and desire to serve is the interaction with the young people who are just starting their careers within the HVAC community. AirTight works really hard to find and recruit high-quality people who have a good heart and a natural desire to serve others. We have been very fortunate over the years to find these types of people, nurture them, and help them get into a position in life where they feel comfortable in serving those in need.

“AirTight is a person-centric company. Person being described as customer, colleague, friend, family member, coworker, or even someone we just met who has no idea of what AirTight is really all about. We train hard, educate often, and serve with a humble mindset.”

Greg Crumpton
President, AirTight Mechanical
Charlotte, N.C.

“HVAC is the key to changing people’s lives. Keeping my clients comfortable, providing a great place to work for team members, and growing relationships through comfort.”

Jamie DiDomenico
President, N&M Cool Today, Plumbing Today, and Energy Today
Sarasota, Fla.

“The HVAC industry has allowed me the opportunity to have a positive influence in people’s lives, which provides a great deal of personal satisfaction. I am a firm believer that ‘to whom much is given, much is expected.’ I also have always believed that God gives us blessings to see what we are going to do with them. I know that may not be politically correct today, with so many people intent in removing all references of God from our society; however, I have no other explanation for the level of professional achievement I’ve achieved, only with a high school education. I view my family and personal success as a blessing, none of which I feel I deserve.

“A byproduct of working hard and doing a good job has been the significant financial security the HVAC industry has provided my family and I. We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to provide financial assistance to employees, family members, and many others.

“I am blessed to have a job that I have never thought of as a job, but as a blessing. Although there are many demands from owning a business for more than 37 years, I have never thought of the business as a burden or that I have had to sacrifice anything.

“My wife Debi and I have always put our kids first. I was home for dinner almost every night and she was a full-time homemaker. I never talked business at home or complained about the business. Our two kids were never expected to work at the shop, as our desire for them was to find what they love and to pursue it. Both of our kids and our son-in-law had careers and decided to join the business after we had received a purchase offer.”

Russ Donnici
President, Mechanical Air Service
San Jose, Calif.

“Donning the spirit of Christmas, we dwell on thoughts of giving. The HVACR-plumbing industry can be the bearer of a gift of perpetuity to the consumer, a gift that is more than a one-time event. HVAC means more than the work in the trenches. It encompasses multifaceted opportunities to serve our customers.

“Taking a managerial approach, we in the HVACR and plumbing industries can engage our serving philosophy and broaden our services. What better way than the members of this industry to showcase their valuable management services and other services the industry has to offer than through a gift of a management program crafted to guide them in their management efforts.”

Jerry Grendahl
President, Grendahl Mechanical Inc.
Edina, Minn.

“When I think of HVAC, I think of the recognition of HVAC as one of the great inventions of the 20th century. It makes me thankful that I work in an industry that makes a difference in peoples’ lives every day. We matter.”

Roger Grochmal
Chairman and CEO, AtlasCare
Oakville, Ontario, Canada

“H is for hope, which burns eternal in all our hearts. V is for volunteering, giving life to the hope in our hearts. A is for action, because if we didn’t take action, our volunteering and hope would be for nothing. C is for community — for the friends, family, and neighbors we help by taking action through volunteering to bring them hope.”

Ellis Guiles,
Vice president, TAG Home Performance
Syracuse, N.Y.

“It allows us to solve a problem. As a third-generation worker, it offered me a connection to my father and grandfather, which is very important to me. And, as you solve problems, relationships develop and you go from being someone who is a price to a professional, which makes price secondary.”

Rich Imfield
Owner, IC Refrigeration Inc.
Ceres, Calif.

“HVAC has many meanings to a lot of people. I wish to make an observation that some business owners may also have related to the holiday seasons.

“Our small company ranges between 16-25 staff members. We have two holiday events that we all share together. Christmas and the Fourth of July. We use these events to share quality time with the teams and their families/friends. The Christmas event allows us to meet at a local rented facility, such as a bowling alley, complete with a sports bar and video games. It’s amazing to see everyone having a good time together with their families … and it lends itself to many candid videos and camera shots.

“The evening for this event is a catered meal at a setting away from the first half where we share gifts and interesting slide show photos of family members at work during their time away. Fathers/mothers and kids see their dad or mom at work and they appreciate the recognition their family member receives. It is a fun time as we have usually some comments typewritten on many pictures so people can familiarize themselves with what they are looking at.

“The Fourth of July holiday is spent at Cedar Point, here in Ohio, which is the No. 1 rated roller coaster theme park in the world. Families again enjoy the time with their families, and get to experience great weather. And, how many kids hate roller coasters?

“So, HVAC does not mean so much to us here at Pro, except that we are a special breed of mechanical people who have fun at what we do for a living. We need to show our families that “specialness,” if you will, and enjoy that process also.”

Joseph Kokinda
President and CEO, Professional HVACR Services Inc.
Avon, Ohio

“To me, it means a way of life, a way to provide for my family, a way to put my daughter through college, a way to get to retirement, and a way to help people along the way. What can be better than going through life helping people solve their problems while they solve one for you and your employees, by providing jobs for all of us?

Brian McDonald
General manager, Outer Banks Heating & Cooling
Kill Devil Hills, N.C.

“HVAC means many things to me during the holiday season. First of all, it means working on furnaces and air conditioning systems in the same day. The winter weather in San Antonio is so unpredictable. One day, it may 45˚F, and the next, it may be 80°. Or, it could be 65˚ and our clients open their windows. Our technicians must put on two different hats during the day. It could be 45˚ in the morning and 80˚ in the afternoon, so he might change a gas valve on a furnace in the morning and then add refrigerant to a unit in the afternoon. It is crazy!”

Michael Rosenberg
President, Rosenberg Indoor Comfort
San Antonio

“To me, it means a great industry that provides a better life for my customers through comfort; a better life for our employees and my family through a sustainable, secure, successful career.”

Paul Sammataro
Samm’s Heating and Air Conditioning
Plano, Texas.

“HVAC is a term in the construction industry that is not as understandable as some might think and is quite broad, especially with the technological advancements in the new systems. As a mechanical contractor, the meaning is quite deep and involves a large variety of air-moving and handling systems that provides comfort, cleanliness, and hygiene with IAQ.

“I believe that HVAC is becoming much more recognized and important in the eyes of the consumer. It has become essential and is critical for our society. And, as an experienced business providing these services, I’m glad to see HVAC getting the respect it deserves.

“One of our new slogans is, ‘Our Passion Equals Your Comfort.’ We are passionate about the quality and expertise of our work every day and we feel our services are invaluable.”

Matthew W. Smith
President, Smith Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.
Stockton, Calif.

“HVAC is solving customers’ problems. We never go to a house with a system that’s working properly because a proper system will have low, unnoticeable energy bills; be quiet; will not be heard both inside and out; and is comfortable. Ideally, once my system is installed and working, they should never need to notice it. There are a lot of ‘HACs’ out there — people who install only heating and air conditioning, but we install systems for your home and integrate them into the home as a system instead of an individual component.”

Travis Smith
Owner, Sky Heating & Air Conditioning
Portland, Ore.

“HVAC is a unique industry that I found myself in after college. I didn’t choose it; it chose me. I was desperate for an engineering job after graduation, and one of the few opportunities I found was nearby at a Trane manufacturing facility. Getting the job at Trane set the course for my professional career and much of my life in general. I received excellent training and made some great friends at Trane. I eventually left the corporate world and got into design/build contracting, which has been better than I could have ever imagined.

“HVAC gives me a way to make a difference in my community every day and often in ways I wouldn’t expect. I am very thankful for this industry, the people I’ve gotten to know along the way, and the folks I’m privileged to work with. HVAC has been very good to me.”

Rick Tullis
President, Capstone Mechanical
Waco, Texas

Publication date: 12/30/2013

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