Name: Sidney McGilton

Title: Senior service technician

Why He’s Tech of the Month: Sidney “Gene” McGilton enjoys spending time with people and working on HVAC systems. Unfortunately, the senior service technician at Eanes Heating and Air Conditioning in North Carolina hasn’t been able to do either during the past few weeks during the COVID outbreak.

McGilton was drawn to the HVAC business by a lifelong interest in, as he put it, “fixing things.” While he waits out the outbreak, McGilton is working on the several cars he has at his house to tinker with.

McGilton started doing HVAC installation work in the 1970s. He eventually switched over to service in the ‘90s.

“I spent a lot of years putting them in and never knew anything about them,” McGilton said.

He wanted to know more than how to cut metal and stick the system in. He eventually switched over to refrigeration for a few years before joining Eanes nine years ago. On his first day at the new firm, McGilton realized he had worked with about a half dozen Eanes employees in the past.

Even with the current situation, McGilton plans on working for a couple more years. During that time, he’ll continue passing on his knowledge to the new generation of techs. Madison Carter, Eanes’ human resources manager, said McGilton’s days vary based on training and new hires.

“If there are new hires, his day consists of training them on his calls,” Carter said. “If there are not new hires, he might be fielding calls from the other technicians of questions they encounter, or he might take on letting one of the newer technicians ride with him for some additional training.”

Carter said there are many times McGilton helps out both his fellow technicians and Eanes’ customers at the same time. McGilton will take calls from other techs at night when they can’t figure out how to get a customer’s system back running.

“I don’t mind showing people the right way to do things,” McGilton said. “We need more young people coming into it because there will always be demand. And we need people who want to learn, because it is a constantly learning business.”


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