Goettl Air Conditioning Phoenix Blog : Archive for the ‘Indoor Air Quality’ Category

Ken Goodrich, CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Originally published: 12.01.17 by HVACR Business Staff

Ken Goodrich, CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning

We sat down with Ken Goodrich, owner and CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning. Recently, Goettl made a $10 million investment on a mixed-use building that will become its headquarters and state-of-the-art technician training center. Goodrich discussed growing up in the industry, the art of acquiring companies and the need to give back to the community.

1. How did you get started in this industry?

I was recruited by my father, at the age of 10, to hold the flashlight for him while he worked on air conditioners. By the time I was old enough to drive, I was proficient as an air conditioning technician and ran service calls.

2. Is this what you always wanted to do?

No. I grew up in Las Vegas and it can be miserably hot on those roofs. I decided that wasn’t the way I wanted to make a living, so I went to college and got a degree in finance. When I interviewed for finance jobs, I’d get offers that were half of what I was making in HVACR. I couldn’t wrap my head around making half the pay, so I just decided to start my own business and go with what I knew.

3. So, you actually started your own company?

About the time I decided to return to HVAC, my dad fell ill and passed away. I purchased the business from my mother, it was called Racee Air Conditioning. I went to work on building an enterprise rather than a family business.

4. How did that business evolve?

Over the next 10 years, I had my struggles learning how to run a business and understanding how to implement business systems and processes, as well as creating management teams and leading people. Eventually, I built a fairly successful company, which attracted an HVACR industry consolidator in 1997.

5. What did you do next?

I sold the company and worked for them for a couple of years. Being a part of a larger company exposed me to operating processes, acquisition strategies and new perspectives on how bigger business is done. I was intrigued to see if I could take that knowledge and apply it to another company.

6. So, you started another company?

In 2001, armed with my new-found perspective, I started putting some businesses together in Las Vegas and Phoenix, and we grew sizeable in those markets. We had five locations and ended up selling them to the same buyer as last time, in early 2008. I became the division vice-president, then the president of the Western Division for several years, when the opportunity presented itself to purchase Goettl Air Conditioning. It was something I could not pass up, as Goettl has been a part of my career since I started.

7. What intrigued you about acquiring Goettl?

Goettl was the brand of the first air conditioner I shined the flashlight on for my dad when I was 10-years-old. Goettls were designed to operate in the high ambient temperatures of the Sonoran and Mohave Deserts. So, when I was growing up and learning the business, my dad installed Goettls.

8. How many businesses have you acquired?

In my career I’ve acquired 60 or more businesses. In my latest venture, I have acquired four, one in California, and three in Las Vegas. We currently have branches in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson and Corona, Calif.

9. Are there more plans to grow?

Yes. We’re aiming to significantly increase our footprint throughout California. Our next move is toward Sacramento, and then going further into Los Angeles. We’re in what they call the Inland Empire, Riverside County area, which is hot weather. But, we want to expand that office to service further towards the coast and the L.A. county border.

10. How do you ensure you’re not too big?

I’m the guy who says, “Okay. We can go now” or “We need to slow down a little bit”, and it’s all based on performance metrics. We count 22 things every single day. We talk about the cause and the effect of why those numbers are right or wrong, and what to do about it. If we’re not routinely hitting those metrics, we slow down and regain our focus.

11. What’s the key to acquiring a company?

The number one thing you have to start with is leadership — leadership inside the branch or the business. Usually, when I find struggling companies, it’s because they’re struggling with management.

12. How do you fix that?

We establish a culture of achievement, customer service, accountability and teamwork. We create that culture, and then we accelerate the performance of the business. If I had to break it down to one thing, its leadership.

13. Once you install leadership, what’s next?

You have to find the talent. This is one of the key reasons for the new Goettl University, because we’re not only going to train our technicians and installers, we’re going to train our next management teams. Leadership skills and management skills will be part of our curriculum.

14. How are you setting up that curriculum?

We’ve recruited two industry trainers and they’re currently preparing the curriculum for all the key, basic understandings of the trade, and repairing and installing air conditioning systems. We’ve also taken that to the next level whereby we’re really close to being done McDonaldizing our business.

15. Can you explain that?

We have every repair, every type of installation documented — pictures and a training curriculum on each and every one of them, so that we can bring a guy in who has some experience, and then we’re going teach him to build a Big Mac our way, so to speak.

16. Can you tell us about your sponsorship at the College of Southern Nevada?

When the economy was down in 2008, they were looking at programs to cut out, and the HVACR school was one on the chopping block. I really respect the head of the program, Dennis Soukop. He’s put out some great people and done so much for the industry, I couldn’t let the program fail. I created a $250,000 endowment to basically show the college and the governor that the program had meaning and supporters.

17. What else has Goettl done to help the school?

We’ve also done an endowment for $100,000 to help veterans who graduate from the program. It gives them their first set of tools of the trade. There are two other scholarships: one is the Son of a Gun Scholarship which you’re eligible to receive if you’re the son of a contractor and want to learn the trade.

18. Why is it so important to give back like that?

It’s incumbent upon all business owners to give back to the communities in which they earn their livings. It’s also an effective way to rally your team around things other than the business to create a good work environment. If we rally the team around giving back to the community, helping the veterans or helping the homeless, it builds a stronger team.

19. How important is a company culture?

It’s everything. Culture is one of the key elements to a good turnaround. It’s the leadership and the culture.

20. How do you ensure you’re getting the quality you expect from your team?

I clearly define who we are and communicate that to the team. I define our vision and our mission, and we establish best practices to achieve these things. We also develop a culture of accountability to ensure we deliver an outstanding customer experience each time we are in a home and we motivate our team to achieve our goals.

Continue Reading

Goettl leaving a legacy as a longstanding cooling company in EV

Monday, August 7th, 2017

For 78 years, Goettl Air Conditioning has been cooling off the sweltering East Valley. Now, the hard-to-spell company is adjusting to new consumer needs and technology while expanding its footprint to Southern California and Nevada.

Gust and Adam Goettl developed the Phoenix area’s first evaporative cooler and refrigerated air conditioning unit in 1939 to battle the severe desert temperatures, according to the Goettl website.

Dan Burke, chairman of Goettl, joined the company in 1989.

“At the time I came, the business was focused on building and manufacturing of air conditioning equipment,” Burke said of the Tempe-based firm. “As time went by, we could see there was a growing need for high-quality and expert contracting to repair and replace units.”

Goettl survived and thrived in its small-business phase.

“We were one of the fewer smaller manufacturers still operating,” he said. “Most had already been gobbled up by bigger companies. In this business, you can’t be a small manufacturer.”

Times have changed for Goettl.

“We’re a big contractor but we’re a relative small company and we do what we can,” Burke said.

“We do have a shortage of technicians and will probably always have that going forward. There is a lot of movement of employees, and a lot of competing for technicians.”

Burke listed reasons Goettl is a great place for an air conditioning tech to work.

“We have work year-round, at a level that will keep anybody who is good and wants to be successful in this industry busy,” he said. “We have a great operation here.”

The company’s unique Southwestern base helps it approach the job differently.

“For us, it’s not a hobby,” Burke said. “Back East and in the Midwest, you can open a window. But here, it’s not that way.

“It’s not just temperatures but dust storms and the monsoon. You need compression systems to deal with that. Otherwise, your utilities bills will continue to increase.

“Goettl provides comfort at a decent price.”

The company also made the shift to service because of government regulation.

“I’m not sure the typical homeowner realizes the regulations in this business,” Burke said. “We had to shift our focus to become expert in service. That has allowed us to grow.

“We decided to let the bigger companies make the best equipment and we would focus on the best service and installation. That was a good decision for us.”

Goettl and Burke have seen a lot of new innovations in their years. Among the most current are variable-speed and variable-capacity units.

“Now, units can operate at a lower performance level when you have less areas to cool or the temperature is less demanding,” Burke said. “That saves money and gives more comfort.

“Having it not run, then run like hell, then not run doesn’t provide the best comfort.”

Networked units and apps are also changing the game.

“Another thing being implemented now is self-diagnostics systems that will alert the homeowner or service company to things it detects,” he said.

“Now, you can get applications through your wireless device to control the thermostat. When you’re getting on an airplane, you can tell your home in Phoenix to turn on the air conditioning.

“It’s really a wireless thing. The next generation of people are quite comfortable with those kinds of apps.”

Despite all the new tech, gadgets and gizmos, the best thing a consumer can do to help keep the air conditioner in good shape is a simple one.

“Make sure the filters are changed regularly,” Burke said. “If you don’t do that, you can get debris, cat hair and dust into the coils of the equipment, and that reduces the efficiency and slows down air flow.”

Burke also recommends maintenance.

“Units should be checked every year,” he said. “Refrigerant, tuneups and a general tightening would avoid a really extensive, serious failure later.

“Relatively modest repairs can help avoid major repairs.”

Continue Reading

Sadie the dog decides who works for Goettl

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Continue Reading

Ways to improve indoor air quality

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

When you think about “comfort” during summer months in the Valley, 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 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. In recognition of May being Allergy Awareness Month, here are a few examples, as well as some suggestions, for boosting your indoor air quality.

1. Pollutants from outdoors can make their way into your home, aggravating allergy and asthma symptoms. Plant matter is a common cause of such issues, along with grass clippings, etc.

2. Do you live near a busy roadway? If so, the dust and dirt from a heavily traveled road could lead to problems with reduced indoor air quality. You don’t want to have to keep your windows shut on a nice day to avoid the problem.

3. Are you in a rapidly developing area? Are there new buildings being constructed near your home? The construction process can take a toll on the air quality surrounding your home, and that can lead to issues indoors.

4. General cleanliness is a major factor, as well. If you don’t keep up with vacuuming and sweeping, for instance, settled dust and dirt can be sent airborne with the basic day to day activities in your home.

5. We all love our pets, but the fact of the matter is that your dog or cat could be one of the driving forces behind your low indoor air quality. From shedding fur to dander and more, pets can drag down air quality.

Obviously, we are not going to tell you that you need to pull up your roots and move away from major roadways or wooded areas. We certainly wouldn’t suggest giving up beloved pets to avoid allergens in your home. So, what can you do about it?

It’s simple, really. Call indoor air quality specialists that can outfit your home with the systems that you need to boost the quality of the air that you breathe. Just remember that no system is a cure-all solution. You may need a multi-pronged approach to get the job done.

Possible steps could include:

1. Air cleaners can be used to remove pollutants from the air in a more proactive way than basic air filtration. Electronic air cleaners can trap pollutants that may otherwise pass through filters.

2. UV germicidal lights can be used to deal with biological pollutants. These are pollutants that are living microorganisms, capable of reproducing. Destroying them is necessary.

3. Duct cleaning is a service, not a system. Technicians can thoroughly clean out your ducts to ensure that they are not distributing pollutants and allergens throughout your home.

Ken Goodrich is the president and CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning, a company that operates in Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson.

Continue Reading

Should I Clean My AC Ducts This Year?

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

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.

Continue Reading

Common Contributors to Poor Indoor Air Quality

Monday, February 13th, 2017

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.

Continue Reading

Protect Your Health with UV Germicidal Lights

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

There are a lot of factors that can influence your comfort in your home. It is possible to get so caught up with your HVAC system, though, that you overlook an important facet of your comfort: the quality of the air in your home. Not only can poor indoor air quality negatively affect your comfort, after all, but your health as well. If you are serious about preventing such issues in your home, you need the right indoor air quality systems in place. 

Continue Reading

Clean Air Ducts Are Ideal

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Nobody really enjoys cleaning his or her house, but it is something that we all, as civilized homeowners, accept as a part of life. The finished product is generally worth the aggravation of getting there, in most cases. While you may not be willing or able to pay a professional to come do your laundry and dusting, there is one particular cleaning project that you really must leave to the pros. This is your duct cleaning.

Keeping your air ducts clean can benefit you in a number of different ways. Just keep in mind that this is one cleaning task that you cannot handle on your own. Feather dusters, paper towels, and residential vacuum cleaners just aren’t the right tools for the job, and you don’t have the training necessary to clean your ducts even if you had the right ones in your possession. We recommend leaving your duct cleaning in Phoenix, AZ to the professionals on our staff.

Continue Reading

3 Ways That Professional Duct Sealing Can Benefit You

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

When your air conditioner breaks down on you, you are obviously going to want to have that system repaired as soon as possible. It is important to keep in mind, though, that there are many issues that may negatively affect the ability of your air conditioner to successfully cool your home. Leaky ductwork is among the most common.

It is for this reason that we like to educate homeowners about the benefits of professional duct sealing in Phoenix, AZ. Read on to learn more about how duct sealing can improve your comfort and save you money. When you suspect that you have leaky ducts in your residence, ours is the number to dial.

Continue Reading

How Can UV Germicidal Lights Benefit Me?

Monday, May 16th, 2016

There are many different issues which may lead to subpar indoor air quality in our homes. Because many problems with indoor air quality may actually adversely affect our health, as well as our comfort, it really is important that we have the systems that we need in place in order to protect the quality of the air in our homes.

For many residences, basic air filtration systems will do the job. Others may choose to use electronic air purifiers in order to better tackle the issue of airborne pollutants.

In some cases, though, pollutant removal is not the answer. Pollutant destruction is necessary. In such instances, using UV germicidal lights in Phoenix, AZ may be the way to go.

Continue Reading