Goettl Air Conditioning Las Vegas Blog : Archive for the ‘Home Improvement’ 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.

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Ken Goodrich, CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning

Friday, December 8th, 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’s Tips to Beat the Summer Heat & Save you Money

Monday, August 14th, 2017

By Ravi Mandalia

With the heat of summer in full swing, it can be difficult at times to not long for a cooler place. But while the only way to get to that cooler place in reality might be using your HVAC system with Goettl, doing so doesn’t have to bust your budget. Financially responsible HVAC use involves nothing more than knowing and applying the following money-saving tips. Maybe you’ll save up enough to travel to that cooler climate in real life after all!

1. Choose a Programmable Thermostat

If you don’t have one of these, your HVAC unit will work overtime to keep your home at a specific temperature no matter what time of the day it is or who is actually home. With a programmable thermostat, you can set a different temperature for different times of the day, meaning your HVAC unit won’t be working in overdrive when you aren’t there. You can also program settings for different rooms.

2. Check the Vents

Vents that are closed or dirty can make it much harder for your HVAC unit to operate properly. If a particular room in your home seems warmer than the others, a closed vent could be to blame. Dirt and dust can also easily collect on vents, which makes it harder for that refreshing air to circulate in the room.

3. Change the Air Filters

The air filters in your HVAC system should be changed at least every six months and preferably every three. Some experts even suggest changing them monthly. If your filters are clogged or dirty, they will block airflow and reduce overall system efficiency. Just taking this step alone can reduce the energy consumption of your unit by up to 15 percent.

4. Block the Sun

If your unit is located in direct sunlight, you could be forcing it to work much harder than it actually needs to. An awning or tree to cover the unit might do the trick, although it’s important not to let parts from any trees get into the unit. Blocking the sun inside your home by keeping blinds and curtains closed is also important since direct sunlight through a window can easily heat up rooms inside your home and make your unit work that much harder.

5. Keep It Clean

It is a good idea to keep both the indoor and outdoor components of your HVAC system clean. Keeping the outdoor condenser fan clean helps it run efficiently, and cleaning the indoor evaporating coil means that your system can do a much better job of keeping the air that moves through it cool.

6. Use Ceiling Fans

Hot air rises, meaning that during those hot summer months, you can expect to find more heat near the ceiling or on the upper floors of your home. Ceiling fans can help move this air out of your home. They also help circulate the cool air coming from your system around the room.

7. Replace Older HVAC Units

Just like any other kind of machine, HVAC systems wear out and break down over time. They become less efficient at doing their jobs and need replaced. Technology has also improved over time, so newer HVAC models are generally more efficient than their older counterparts.

Goettl Air Conditioning is an HVAC company that has been around since 1939. Based out of Phoenix, Goettl serves the areas of Phoenix, Tuscon, Northern Arizona, Las Vegas, and Southern California. The company was founded by brothers Gust and Adam Goettl and is currently owned by Ken Goodrich.

Goettl provides a full range of HVAC services. Some of the services they provide include:

Air Conditioning

Goettl installs new air conditioning systems as well as repairs and maintains existing units. They offer cleaning services, check refrigerant levels and perform a complete inspection of your air conditioning unit to ensure it is in good working order.

Heating

You also need your HVAC system to work in the winter, and Goettl is here to help with that as well. They can install new heating systems as well as inspect and maintain existing ones.

Heat Pump

If you are looking for something that combines heating and air conditioning into one unit, a heat pump is the way to go. It looks like a standard air conditioner but is capable of moving heat both into your home and out. Goettl can install and maintain these units.

Thermostats

A smart thermostat is a smart way to save money, and Goettl both sells and installs these products. Take complete control of your HVAC system no matter where you are with a smart thermostat.

These are just some of the many services Goettl has to offer to those in need of a good quality HVAC system. However, it’s not just their expertise and range of services that makes Goettl shine. Goettl’s work ethic is also superior within the industry. Their skilled and highly trained technicians take pride in doing a job right the first time, meaning you get more value for your money. They also seek to provide an unmatched quality of customer service to all of their customers. Goettl’s goal is to have customers seek them out again and again for their HVAC system needs, and they know the best way to make that happen is to do an excellent job the first time.

While summer is hot and generally means cranking up the AC in order to make it a little more bearable, draining your bank account in order to stay cool is not something you have to bear. With a little knowledge of how to keep your system running efficiently, saving money while still running the AC is still very doable. Goettl can help you keep your system in top shape with the unique blend of expertise and customer service that only they can provide.

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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.”

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Sadie says “Remember we get hot too! Take care of us with these tips and tricks!”

Monday, June 19th, 2017

List of General Tips

  • Beware the Sidewalk

Cement, asphalt, and even truck beds can be hotter than they look! The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends trying to stay off hot surfaces during the summer as they can burn your pet’s paws. If you can’t hold the back of your hand to sidewalk for 10 seconds without feeling the heat, consider moving your walks to the morning or late evening.

  • You pets can get sunburn too!
    Pets can get sunburn too, and pets with light colored, short coats are especially susceptible. To beat the heat, apply a pet safe sunscreen to their ears and nose 30 minutes to outdoor activity.
  • Set an appointment with your groomer!

Keeping your pets well-groomed in the summer months helps them regulate their temperature. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends keeping your pet’s properly groomed to provide better circulation and temperature relation.  Call your local veterinarian to figure out the best cut for your pets.

  • Heatwave

Because your pets can’t sweat like you do, it’s harder for them to keep cool during the summer. The Humane Society of the United States recommends making sure your pets have access to fresh, cool water and shady places during the summer, and keep an eye out for dehydration while they are outside.

  • Splish-Splash!

Consider getting a doggie pool for your pets to play in during the heat. A doggie pool will give your pets a way to keep cool while also provide them with a new toy to play with at the same time. It’s a win-win!

  • Gardens, Garages, and Grass oh my!

Summer temperate can cause antifreeze to leak from overheating cars, leaving sweet tasting puddles that are harmful to pets. Keep an eye out for leaking cars, and make sure to keep your pets away from the mess. Some lawn and garden products could be harmful to your pet’s health. Keep fertilizers and other garden related products up and out of your pet’s reach.

  • Day at the Beach (Lake)?

While the cool water may be tempting to a hot dog, make sure they don’t drink too much (lake? salt?) and the salt in the water could make them sick. Did Fido make a splash? At the end of the day, make sure to rinse their coat with freshwater, as salt and other minerals found in ocean (lake?) can cause damage to your pets coat.

  • BBQ and Fireworks

With BBQ season in full swing, Make sure to keep your dogs and cats out of foods containing grapes, avocado, chocolate, fatty meats, and onions, as these foods are harmful to your pets. When it’s time for fireworks, remember your pets might get scared! According to the ASPCA, more animals go missing around 4th of July than any other time, so give your pets a safe, comfortable place to hide during the festivities, and make sure their collar tag is up to date.

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Sadie the dog decides who works for Goettl

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

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