Goettl Air Conditioning Blog

Why Schedule a Professional AC Tune-Up?

question-markYou don’t need to be a meteorologist to realize that Arizona is home to pretty serious heat for much of the year. At the height of the summer season, the heat in this area can really be unbearable. Great air conditioning is much more of a necessity in our homes than a luxury. That is exactly why you must schedule professional air conditioning maintenance in Phoenix, AZ.

Without regular air conditioning maintenance, there is just no way in which you can hope for your home cooling system to function at peak performance levels. This is a mechanical system, remember, and running it as hard as you do for as long as you do means that it will accrue some serious wear and tear over time. Let us tune up your air conditioner so that you can enjoy the level of performance quality that you deserve.

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Goettl Owner Turned A Broken Business Around

Ken Goodrich saw the usual signs of a business in need of a rescue: no profits, mostly losses and poor morale.

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Buying broken businesses and fixing them had been Ken Goodrich’s specialty for years. By the time he purchased Goettl Air Conditioning in 2013, he had done that 15 times.

But his 16th, the storied air-conditioning company that has operated in Phoenix since 1939, gave the air-conditioning and HVAC industry veteran a challenge he had never faced.

The once family-run company that was founded by brothers Gust and Adam Goettl changed ownership hands several times over the years. When Goodrich purchased it from the large out-of-state company that had owned it for five years, Goodrich saw the usual signs of a business in need of a rescue: no profits, mostly losses and poor morale.

Problem-solving new challenges

The former ownership had been cited by the attorney general for questionable business practices, Goodrich said. The legal matter was settled, but the public-perception scars remained.

“Consumer confidence and the legal issues: That was something I never experienced before in terms of fixing a broken business,” Goodrich said of the new territory he was in.

Goodrich approached this new problem the old-fashioned way. He focused on building morale within the company. He did that by emphasizing the needs of customers and employees’ roles in that process.

MORE: 10 projects, 2 education options, 900 jobs coming to Glendale, other West Valley cities

He incorporated daily conversations with employees about making positive impact on customers, other team members and the industry overall. They established charitable initiatives, such as an annual drive that delivers more than 50,000 cases of water during the summer to the homeless, and rallying around veterans’ initiatives.

Goodrich also got Goettl involved in the community. A recent example: Goettl installed for free a new unit and ducting in the home of an elderly woman in Chandler who had been coping with an aged swamp cooler for the past 20 summers.

With the company culture rebuilt on a positive cornerstone, Goodrich saw the rest come together. Employees were motivated and excited to take service from the heavy lifting of installation and repairs to interactions with clients to a higher level.

“National companies are all about the money, so I took that out of the equation,” he said. “We stopped talking about the dollars and started talking about (how) did we make a happy customer.”

From there, Goettl was built back up one customer at a time. Since the ownership change, Goettl has grown more than 500 percent, Goodrich said. It has expanded into Tucson, Las Vegas and Southern California and generates in excess of $50 million in annual revenue, he said.

Stiff competition and a customer-first strategy

A solid product helps. Goodrich said the average air-conditioning unit runs 10-12 years. He sees 30-year-old Goettls that are running strong.

The business of keeping people cool or warm, depending on the season and part of the country, has become a crucial and big one. More than three-quarters of all homes in the United States have air-conditioners, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Globally, the air-conditioning systems market is projected to be a more than $167 billion industry by 2024, according to the firm Transparency Market Research.

Competition is intense. Goodrich’s customer-first strategy may not be new, but it’s effective.

Goettl replaced Randy Pullen’s unit in 2016, and also evaluated his Phoenix home and broke it into cooling areas where little-used rooms don’t get cooled down. This has amounted to savings, Pullen said.

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It was the second unit that Goettl had installed for Pullen. The first was a brand that the company was considering carrying; it gave Pullen a nice offer to replace his old unit with this one to see how it worked. After three years, Goettl decided not to carry it and replaced it with a Carrier last year.

Pullen said all of the technicians have been professional, and he has been pleased with the service. He said they take photos and send them to Goodrich, so they know he is looking at the equipment and work. Everyone has showed up on time and the jobs have ended on time without overcharging.

“It goes back to the way Ken does business. He’s very customer-oriented and it comes from the top,” said Pullen, who met Goodrich through a business contact in 2011. “They do what they say their going to do, and they deliver.”

“People are proud to be part of Goettl”

Goodrich’s history with Goettl goes back much further than his four-year ownership.

He was 10 growing up in Las Vegas, where his father owned an air-conditioning company. One night, he had the chance to work with his dad on a job. His father asked him to hold a flashlight so he could see what he was doing. This instilled Goodrich’s interest and passion for the industry.

MORE ENTREPRENEUR NEWS: Phoenix beauty college founder goes from undocumented to successful entrepreneur

Incidentally, that flashlight shone on the first air-conditioner Goodrich saw up close. It was a Goettl — the brand that his father’s company specialized in. Goettl stopped making the units in 2007.

This inspired the radio ads that tout Goettl, the company today. Goodrich had replicas made of the old-style silver heavy-duty flashlights to give out to community members.

As Goodrich grew up, the air-conditioning company remained a big part of his and his family’s lives. Goodrich was 25 when his father died and left him in charge of the family business. Goettl was the only company that was willing to extend credit to the young, rookie owner thrust into business ownership.

“(Their) comment was, ‘We know you can do it,’” Goodrich recalled. “Without Goettl, we would not have been able to keep the family business going.”

Fast forward decades later to when the opportunity arose to purchase the company, he credited with keeping his father’s legacy going. Goodrich jumped at it.

“I am so proud to own Goettl because it meant so much to me. I know it’s heritage and quality products that have helped allow millions of people to live in this severe desert climate,” he said. “People are proud to be part of Goettl and what we’re doing.”

What: Goettl Air Conditioning

Where: 1845 W. First St., No. 108, Tempe 

Employees: 160 

Interesting stat: 86 percent of American households have air-conditioning, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. 

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Should I Clean My AC Ducts This Year?

opening-air-ductFor many areas in the country, the start of the summer season and the heat that it brings with it is still off in the distance. Here in Arizona, though, we’re already seeing temperatures reach into the nineties. You are no doubt already running your air conditioner at least semi-regularly. If so, we hope that you remember to have your system tuned up before throwing it back into regular use. Failure to do so can result in serious operational problems with your system, and the risk of potentially costly repair needs.

While you should have your system tuned up annually, you may also want to consider having your air ducts cleaned this summer. This is not a service that you’ll require every year, and it is not one that every homeowner is necessarily going to need. In certain situations, though, professional duct cleaning in Phoenix, AZ can prove to be beneficial. Consider the following information, and remember that you can count on our technicians for all of your indoor air quality service needs.

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Ken Goodrich, president and CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning and The Sunny Plumber

As a young boy, native Las Vegan Ken Goodrich often was by his father’s side when he made calls for his air-conditioning business.

Today, Goodrich owns and operates two Las Vegas-based companies: Goettl Air Conditioning and The Sunny Plumber. Goettl AC was established in Phoenix in 1939 by brothers Gust and Sam Goettl. After acquiring the Arizona-based heating, ventilation and air-conditioning company in 2013, which also had a second location in Tucson, Arizona, Goodrich expanded the business to Las Vegas in 2016.

When he purchased Goettl AC, Goodrich also started The Sunny Plumber in Phoenix and Tucson. He expanded The Sunny Plumber to Las Vegas in 2015 and then to Corona, California, the following year.

Goodrich recently acquired two additional Las Vegas-based air-conditioning businesses, and he plans to continue expanding his brands across the Southwest.

Q: How many employees do you have on staff in Las Vegas at this time? What’s the total across all your company’s locations?

A: We currently are a crew of 56 in Las Vegas and are recruiting daily to get (it) up to 70 before the first 100-degree day. It warms my heart how Las Vegas has embraced our brand, beliefs and message, which have fueled our rapid growth here, especially since I am born and raised here in Las Vegas.

Q: When did you acquire Las Vegas Air and Paradise Air, and how did it come about? What has been the biggest impact overall on your company since you took over these additional businesses?

A: We wrapped up the Las Vegas Air and Paradise Air acquisition in November 2016. I’ve acquired a lot of businesses in my career, but these were different than most. This acquisition wasn’t about adding customer base or taking a big competitor out of the market. This one was about bringing experienced talent to the Goettl brand.

Michael Gamst, Stephen Gamst and Clayton Johnson, the former owners of Las Vegas Air and Paradise Air, who collectively have over 90 years’ experience in HVAC, are seasoned operators. Their impact to Goettl started immediately, bringing leadership and energy to the crew, which are key elements of our business growth and the road to create raving fans out of customers.

Q: What do your plans include for continuing to expand your company in the next year? Next five years?

A: Our mission includes becoming the market leader in each market that we serve. In Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, we have accomplished that mission. In Las Vegas, the crew is laser-focused on taking over the market leader spot in 2018. In California, our acquisition team is busy identifying acquisition targets from San Diego to San Francisco. We plan to be the market leader throughout California, as well. After the western United States are covered, we will be heading east.

Q: Will you be expanding the air-conditioning and plumbing portions of your business or focusing on one area? Any plans to combine them under one company name?

A: Our business model is both plumbing and HVAC service and modernization. We have identified and implemented many synergies that make the model less cyclical due to weather, as compared to an HVAC-only operation.

We made the decision to brand the two trades differently because the consumer focus groups we commissioned early on suggest that most consumers have their plumbing company and their HVAC company. They believe that no one can be an expert at both, and I happen to agree.

Q: What is your ultimate goal for Goettl Air Conditioning and The Sunny Plumber? Are you ever concerned that your company might get too big?

A: Our ultimate goal is to bring our brand, our unique customer-centric culture and processes across the nation and become the gold standard for home service in the U.S.

With regards to being concerned about growing too big, our decentralized model puts the local management on the frontline with our customers, as most of our smaller competitors are structured. To a customer in any market we serve, the relationship is transparent, as they will be dealing with a local crew making swift decisions on their behalf. As we grow, our mantra will become: “Be national, act local.”

Q: What do you believe is most important for you to instill in your employees to ensure your company’s continued growth and success?

A: First, an unwavering commitment to making the customer happy and doing whatever it takes to make that happen. Next, having a high level of respect for the trade and a commitment from our technicians to “sharpen their saws,” aka continuing their education to be the best of the best in the industry.

Last, but not least, while in our customers’ homes, do the things that protect our customers’ health and safety. Change their smoke detector batteries; replace the screws in the AC unit that the last guy left out; and check the duct system and seal up any open areas that may draw dust and dirt into the home.

Q: The Goettl AC logo features a young boy holding a flashlight; can you explain why you chose that imagery to represent your air-conditioning business?

A: Our brand is about the experience, joy and life lessons a boy learns by holding the flashlight for his dad. Most men have experienced holding the flashlight for their dads and identify that as a positive impact in their lives.

I was a 10-year-old boy holding the flashlight for my dad, Duncan Goodrich, as he worked on an air conditioner for a customer. Through many years of being the official flashlight holder, I became a skilled HVAC technician, learned invaluable business lessons and, ultimately, how to be the best at what I do and make customers happy. By the way, the boy on the logo is a digital re-creation of my son, Duncan, when he was 10 years old. I’m pretty sure he resembled me at that age.

Q: Besides learning from your father, do you have any formal education in air-conditioning and plumbing? Do you think that having a technical background is essential to running the business side of things, and if so, why?

A: My formal education in the trades came from the “school of hard knocks,” which I believe I may have enough credits (from) to earn a doctorate. I have attended many trade-related continuing education courses over the years and have read something trade-related every night for 25 years. Most of my management team, however, has no experience or training in the trades. It’s just a different skill set — leading and managing people, as opposed to knowing the trades. I was fortunate enough to be trained in both worlds, as I received a Bachelor of Science in business administration and finance right here at UNLV.

Q: What made you decide to support the educational component of the air-conditioning industry? How has being involved in that aspect affected you personally?

A:I’m a believer in giving back to the industry that has done so much for my family and me, and it has been a rewarding experience. I have made trade education one of my personal missions. Helping people with education can have a big, sustaining impact on their lives, their families and the industry. Some of the areas I have supported are providing scholarships for young men and women to receive an associate degree in HVAC and providing tools for post-9/11 veterans upon graduation, so they can be prepared for their first job in HVAC.

Q: What are the other companies you’ve built and sold during your career? Why did you choose to part ways?

A: I built Racee Air Conditioning, Lang Refrigeration, Economy Air Conditioning, Gardner Refrigeration, Spud Henry Plumbing, Sunset Sheetmetal &Air Conditioning, ASSAP Services and Yes Air Conditioning and Plumbing. I sold these businesses because they gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Q: What was your reaction when you found out you were chosen to receive the Contractor of the Year Award from the SNARSCA (Southern Nevada Air Conditioning Refrigeration Service Contractors Association) this past year?

A: It was quite a surprise and an honor to be recognized by my peers. Truth be told, I teared up and thanked my industry fellows for the honor and the recognition of my industry contributions over the past 30 years.

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Management Action Programs (MAP) Announces 12th Annual Presidential Award Recipients

LOS ANGELES, March 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — There’s much debate around what great leadership looks like today. Yet there’s no denying this fact: When leaders focus on what’s vital in their business, they’re more apt to get results and sustain success. In the spirit of recognizing and celebrating this relevant truth, Management Action Programs (MAP) is proud to announce the recipients of its 12th Annual Presidential Awards.

The MAP Presidential Award calls out the excellence of leaders who demonstrate extraordinary dedication to effectively leading themselves, their teams and their organization. Yet the award also spotlights their team’s success in using the MAP Management System™ to achieve breakthrough results. A proven business-management solution, the MAP System leverages MAP’s customized consulting and an accountability process to execute Vital Factors® Goals. This process is the critical, differentiating factor that’s enabling these organizations’ achievement. It’s also giving these organizations a significant marketplace edge in providing the strategies to sustain the healthy business-management habits of their disciplined leaders.

“These are impressive organizations,” says John Manning, president of MAP, the Los Angeles-based firm that has helped 170,000 leaders in more than 15,000 organizations over the past 50+ years. “They’ve worked hard to embrace and uphold structured accountability in everything they do. They’ve transformed their organization from the top down, developing strong companies with loyal employee and customer/client followings. With MAP’s proven system, they’re experiencing greater performance, profitability and overall health. Today, we’re celebrating their commendable commitment and notable accomplishments.”

The 2016 winners have all implemented MAP’s unique process discipline to strengthen their organizations through on-target business-plan execution and the achievement of Vital Factors® Goals. The Presidential Awards criteria include:

  • Implementation of the MAP Management System™ throughout the organization;
  • Significant improvement in company Vital Factors®, the critical elements that sustain business growth;
  • Establishment of consistent, effective leadership that provides clear company direction;
  • Reinforcement of company values through consistently “walking the talk”; and
  • Demonstration of the overall, hard work of its executives, management and employees.

MAP’s 2016 Presidential Award winners receive recognition from MAP’s leadership and consulting team, media/public acknowledgement, and mentions through MAP’s website and cutting-edge communications. This year’s winners include:

CIRE Equity / CIRE Partners
COLLIER Mfg., dba 30 SECONDS Cleaners

DNG Enterprises
Goettl Air Conditioning and The Sunny Plumber
Los Alamitos Enterprises
MTI Ready Mix
Pierre Landscape
String Real Estate Information Services
Zurvita

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What Does Ice on an Air Conditioner Mean?

thermostat-going-redIn certain parts of the country, there is still snow on the ground (or even in the forecast!). In other parts of the country, signs of warmer weather are becoming more apparent, though the real hot temperatures are still a ways off. Here in Arizona, though, we’re already seeing temperatures in the upper 70’s, or even the mid to high 80’s!. Our air conditioning systems often get a much earlier start than those in other areas, which is exactly why it is so important that you have yours tuned up and ready for action sooner rather than later.

Now, routine air conditioning maintenance is definitely the best way to keep your AC up and running properly. The truth of the matter, though, is that even the best air conditioners that are the most diligently maintained are not going to function 100% reliably. No mechanical system will. The best thing to do is to learn the warning signs of problems, so that you can schedule prompt air conditioning repairs in Phoenix, AZ. One issue that you may encounter is ice building up on your system.

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What Exactly Is a Swamp Cooler?

man-with-electric-fanWe live in a very hot climate, obviously. That means that you not only need a great air conditioner that will reliably cool your home, but you also want one that won’t cost too much to run. After all, you don’t want to be draining your budget just to live comfortably.

Because we also live in a very dry climate, though, you really don’t want your air conditioner drying out the air in your home further. During the cooling process, as refrigerant evaporates and draws heat out of the air, moisture condenses and is drained away by a traditional AC. How do you prevent your air from drying out excessively? You could use a humidifier, or you could use an entirely different cooling process — one that actually helps you to add humidity to the air.

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Why Choose a Dual Fuel AC System?

thermostat-risingAs far as summer heat goes, Arizona can be pretty brutal. While we don’t have to deal with the wet, heavy, and humid air that certain other locales do during the summer season, our dry heat can still be overbearing. That is why it is so important that you have a great air conditioner in place that will be able to take care of your cooling needs day after day, in a successful manner.

If you are in need of a new air conditioner, or if you are having a home built and the time has come to get the HVAC system in place, you should really consider the use of a dual fuel AC system in Phoenix, AZ. These systems are very unique, and have a lot to offer. We’ve got some information for you to keep in mind regarding the design and function of dual fuel systems, and we offer full services for dual fuel ACs including installation, repair, and maintenance.

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Common Contributors to Poor Indoor Air Quality

allergens-from-natureAs soon as you hear the word “comfort,” your mind probably jumps right to your air conditioning system. We live in one of the hottest areas of the country, after all, so your home cooling system definitely plays a vital role in keeping you comfortable throughout the much of the year. Secondly, you may think of your heater. It’s used far less, of course, but is still important. If you are only thinking of temperature control when it comes to your home comfort, however, you are making a major oversight.

The quality of the air in your home must also be taken into serious consideration. Unfortunately, it frequently is not in many homes. There are many reasons as to why your indoor air quality may suffer. Here are a few examples, as well as some suggestions for boosting your indoor air quality in Phoenix, AZ.

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Common Problems with Insulation

man-sits-in-front-of-fanThe heat of our summer seasons around here is legendary. Our winter weather is obviously far milder than the heat of summer, but we still have plenty of uncomfortably chilly nights during that time of the year. When you think of overcoming such discomfort in your home, your mind may immediately go to your heating and air conditioning systems. There is another important factor to consider, however, and that is your insulation in Phoenix, AZ.

Chances are that you don’t think about your insulation all that much. It’s not like it is going to suffer mechanical problems the way that a heater or an AC might, right? Well, this is true. That does not, however, mean that your insulation is always going to function properly or maintain its integrity indefinitely. Here are a few problems that you may encounter with the insulation in your home. If you suspect trouble with your insulation, be sure to give us a call right away.

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