Nobody loves your furnace, air conditioner and plumbing the way I do. Here’s why!
Heating and cooling systems are in my blood. I’ve said, and people laugh, that I don’t have blood type A, B or O. I have blood type HVAC. See I was born in 1955 in Indianapolis and raised in the home of a “furnace man.” My Navy-veteran dad sold furnaces for Indianapolis companies, including Dison Heating, Bolls Furnace Company and Dolence Heating. In 1962, he became co-owner of a heating and cooling business in Broad Ripple and gave me the opportunity get involved at a very young age.
Even as a 7 year-old, I was proud of his place. I loved to go to the “shop” to wash floors, bathrooms and windows on the weekends, and occasionally ride with dad on sales calls and collections. He was the best salesman and company leader I have ever known. As a teenager I started working as a “helper” and got to assist installers with their daily tasks. A great promotion!
In October of 1975, sadly my dad passed away at 49 years-old. I was a junior at Ball State University and had a tough choice—continue in school or come home to manage the business. I did what I knew was right for the family and our business. I quit school to take over and help my mother keep our Broad Ripple based heating and cooling company in business.
I remember the day I asked all 11 people who worked for us to hang in there with me (they did and some are still with us today). I told them that I could not do it without them. I needed them.
I figured if I started selling as much as I could, we would make it. I had never sold anything in my life. I quickly discovered just being honest with the customer was the best path to success—a basic company (and life) philosophy to this day.
In 1977, I married my wife Gina and we started a family of daughters. We quit at four and they are amazing girls.
I continued to emulate my dad’s leadership and sales style coupled with our honesty philosophy. Through the years, my mother, sister, daughters and wife were actively involved in the business. We became sole owners in 1994. Guess what? Our little family-owned business started to grow. Best of all we were having fun. To say we cared about our customers is a simple understatement. We truly appreciated them and the success they brought to our business.
As everyone in Indianapolis knows, the 1990s brought an era of consolidation among businesses throughout the nation. The HVAC business is no exception. We made a very thoughtful decision to sell our business, but stay involved in daily operations. I did this for about 11 years always feeling like something was missing and knowing that eventually I would have to leave.
In February of 2011, it was time for me to go. It was tough and sad, but time. Leaving surprised my family, employees, and customers. Within 24 hours I decide to restart our family-owned and -operated business promising to provide customer service with a personal approach treating customers like family.
Heating and air conditioning is all I have ever done and want to do. My family and friends are thrilled we are back in business. Many of the same men and women that I have worked with for years are working with our family owned business today. We open in September 2011. By March 2012, we added plumbing to our service line. Our customers kept asking for it, so we said ok, what the heck. let’s do it.
So here we are—Howald Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing. When you call, you’ll talk to me, my sister, my daughters or any of our very special people (all who we consider as family). We’re continuing our tradition of working with customers honestly and ethically. Whether you are a new customer, or someone who has worked with us in the past, thank you for your business.
Coming home never felt so good!
Howald Heating and Air Conditioning