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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Bay Area – Air Duct Cleaning CATEGORY

Steve Moore is a veteran of the HVAC industry and owner of Moore Mechanical, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2007. He can be reached at (925) 560-1505 or by email.

Steve Moore

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Steve Moore: A Fresh Opportunity

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

DUBLIN — As a union tradesman, Steve Moore was in between projects when he decided to take advantage of a fresh opportunity. “Before I got into residential HVAC, I was working out of a union shop in San Francisco,” he recounts. “I had just finished a big project and was waiting around for the next job, as is often the case with union work, and in the meantime I started doing jobs for friends and family. It wasn’t long before I realized waiting for union jobs didn’t make much sense when I had people ready to give me work. Ultimately, I decided to leave the union and start doing residential HVAC work, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.”

Today, as owner of Moore Mechanical, Inc., Steve says his favorite part of his job is interacting with employees and customers alike. “I enjoy training my employees and watching them grow and be successful in the industry. Of course, I also get a lot of satisfaction from providing our customers with a high level of expertise and professionalism.”

A resident of Danville (where he lives with his wife, Wendy), Steve expresses his appreciation for the character of Bay Area work and life. “We’re very lucky in that we have both great weather and access to outdoor activities with the beach and mountains close by. From a business perspective, the Bay Area offers everything from excellent demographics to cutting-edge technology, so it’s great being able to offer the best systems to customers who appreciate quality.”

Outside of work, Steve engages in a variety of active pastimes, from outdoor pursuits to charitable activities. “I’m an avid cyclist and enjoy both mountain biking and road biking, the latter of which I do somewhat competitively,” he says. “I also do a lot of camping in the mountains with my family. Other than that, my wife and I are very involved in our church and like taking part in missions, both locally and abroad.”

In regard to a professional philosophy, Steve espouses the importance of the customer experience. “We’re committed to providing our customers with a great experience from start to finish,” he affirms. “This starts with the initial phone call and goes all the way through the job’s completion. We want each customer to feel great about the decision they made in hiring us, to the point where they can’t help but tell their friends and family about it.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Steve says he’d take his cycling hobby to a new locale. “I’d go for a week-long cycling trip in Italy. Of course, long-term, I would continue contributing to my business through training and teaching, and just make sure it continues to be healthy going into the future.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Coffee or tea?
A: Coffee.

Q: If you could live in the city or the country, which would you choose?
A: The country.

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco 49ers.

Q: Did you play any high school sports?
A: I played football and wrestled.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Old-fashioned, wall-mounted thermometers.

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Addressing the Big Picture with HVAC Estimates

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DUBLIN — When getting an estimate for a new heating, cooling and ventilation system, make sure it addresses the big picture. First of all, the estimate should address all aspects of system operation, not just the HVAC unit itself. The estimate… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: What’s in an HVAC Estimate?

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DUBLIN — Host, Sarah Rutan: When reading an estimate for a new heating and cooling system, there are several things you should be looking for. Today we’re… Read more

Norman Grimes is a veteran of the HVAC industry and president of Connolly Heating and Air Conditioning, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 269-4614 or by email.

Norman Grimes

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Norman Grimes: Out of the Warehouse, Into the Field

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

PACHECO — When Norman Grimes got a job shipping HVAC equipment, he never thought he’d one day be an HVAC service technician—or, for that matter, owner of an HVAC company. “As a young man, I worked for an HVAC supplier that shipped equipment all over the country,” he explains. “During my time there, I nurtured connections with a few of our clients and eventually started working for one of them. After 10 years of doing HVAC service and installation, I started my own business, which I’m still running today.”

Today, as owner of Connolly Heating and Air Conditioning, Norman says his favorite part of his job is interacting with customers. “When I worked in shipping, most of my interactions were with truck drivers, but since switching to HVAC service, I get to deal directly with homeowners, which I really enjoy. Often, customers are a bit distressed when they call us, so I like taking care of them, coming up with honest solutions and gaining their confidence.”

A resident of Martinez (where he lives with his wife, Amor), Norman expresses his appreciation for the unique character of Bay Area life. “I moved up here from Southern California, and it’s just a whole different vibe,” he says. “The people are a big part of it, but it’s also the weather. Down south, the climate is kind of monochromatic, whereas in the Bay Area, we get to experience the four seasons, which I like a lot.”

Outside of work, Norman stays busy with a variety of hobbies and pastimes. “I’m an avid golfer, bicyclist and soon-to-be pilot—I’ve almost finished getting my pilot’s license,” he says. “I also enjoy playing guitar, which is something I’ve been doing since I was 14. When we go camping, I always bring my guitar and sing songs around the campfire.”

In regard to a professional philosophy, Norman espouses the importance of honest, helpful service. “I’m all about being true to the customer,” he explains. “We professionals possess a world of knowledge, and it’s our responsibility to impart that to our customers and help them make informed decisions. That’s a big part of the culture I’ve created at Connolly Heating and Air Conditioning—a culture based on honesty and integrity.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Norman says he’d put more energy into the activities he currently enjoys. “I would probably compete in some golf tournaments and join a band. I’d also be more active in my church and invest some time into working with young people.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: 88 Noodle House in Martinez.

Q: Who’s your favorite professional golfer?
A: I have two: Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson. They’ve been big inspirations for me personally.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: An early bird—I go the gym every morning before heading to work.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Guitars and other musical instruments.

Q: If you could immediately master any musical instrument, what would you choose?
A: The piano. I have a grand piano that I inherited from my grandmother and I’d really like to be able to play it.

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Ductwork and Indoor Air Quality

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PACHECO — An often-overlooked factor for indoor air quality is the impact of ductwork. Since air ducts accumulate dirt and dust buildup over time, having them professionally cleaned is an important part of ongoing maintenance. On average, air ducts should be… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Consequences of HVAC System Neglect

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PACHECO — Host, Sarah Rutan: Even if your old HVAC system is still functional, if you haven’t maintained it, you could be headed for an adverse situation.… Read more

Juan Sandoval is a veteran of the HVAC industry and president of Carol Flynn, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2005. He can be reached at (650) 530-0965 or by email.

Juan Sandoval

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Juan Sandoval: True Potential

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

SAN MATEO — While he’s found success as the owner of a Bay Area HVAC company, Juan Sandoval may never have reached his true potential if it wasn’t for an insistent employer who pushed him beyond his comfort zone. “I started in this industry back in 1987,” he says. “I had applied for a job as an air duct cleaning technician with a local service company, but the owner wanted to put me in sales. I didn’t feel that I was salesman material, but he insisted, so I decided to give it a shot. As it turned out, I actually did very well at it.” A couple of years later, Juan went to work for another company called Carol Flynn, Inc., where he gradually worked his way up the ladder until he reached the uppermost rung.

Today, as president of Carol Flynn, Juan says his favorite part of his job is the simple satisfaction of improving people’s day-to-day lives. “I enjoy meeting new customers and helping them increase their comfort by providing heating and air conditioning systems that meet their needs.”

Born in Mexico, Juan was brought to the United States at the age of three and grew up in Redwood City. Today, as a resident of Antioch, he expresses his appreciation for life and work in the Bay Area. “I like the diversity we have here, with so many different nationalities in one place,” he affirms. “Also, the weather is great, and there are a lot of good opportunities for aspiring professionals.”

Outside of work, Juan devotes most of his time to being with his family, which consists of his wife, Catalina, their four children and two grandchildren. “I really enjoy my family,” he says. “We have a pool in our backyard, so during the summer our kids and grandkids come over a lot for swimming and barbequing.” Juan has even found a way to turn his favorite hobby of golf into a family activity. “My kids, my wife and I all play golf, so we regularly go out to the course and play together.”

In his life and career, Juan espouses the wisdom of a motto passed down by his grandfather. “My grandfather used to tell me, ‘If you help people get what they need, you’ll always have what you need,’” he recalls. “Over the years, I’ve found that this holds true. More often than not, if you do right by others and project positivity, you’re going to get positivity in return.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Juan says he’d tee off for an extended holiday. “I would probably start by playing a round of golf. Then, I’d go on vacation in Cabo San Lucas and just relax.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco 49ers.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Christmas—I like the lights, cheerful atmosphere and family time.

Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A: My children.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Mr. Teriyaki in Burlingame.

Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: “America’s Got Talent.”

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The Other Reason to Change Your Furnace Filter

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SAN MATEO — When people talk about the importance of changing furnace filters, the conversation usually revolves around air quality. Obviously this is a concern, as 85 percent of the air you breathe inside your home is first circulated through your HVAC… Read more

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Video: Replacing Your Air Filter

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SAN MATEO — Host, Sarah Rutan: In order to maximize both furnace performance and indoor air quality, it’s important to change your air filter on a regular basis.… Read more

Ron Frediani is the second-generation owner of AWC, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (650) 273-5410 or by email.

Ron Frediani

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Ron Frediani: Capable Expansion

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

MILLBRAE — As second-generation owner of AWC, Ron Frediani hasn’t just maintained his family’s company—he has also managed to expand upon its capabilities. “My dad and uncle started AWC in 1946 and I started working for them in 1965,” he remembers. “Over time, we’ve branched out from mainly doing window cleaning to providing services like gutter cleaning and power washing. About 12 years ago, we added air duct cleaning to our repertoire. Not only that, the company is now in its third generation with my son, Joe, who will take over when I retire.”

Today, after more than 50 years with the company, Ron says his favorite part of his job is interacting with customers. “For many years, I was out in the field doing the work, so I appreciate the fact that I’m now able to focus solely on dealing with customers. This allows me to put all my energy into making sure we’re providing great service and keeping our customers satisfied.”

A resident of San Mateo County (where he lives with his wife, Carol), Ron spends much of his time outside of work volunteering in his local community. “I’m a longtime Lions Club member, and I previously served as president of our local chapter,” he explains. “I do a lot of community service through the club and help oversee a lot of our projects. One of our big programs right now is providing free eye exams for local children.” When he’s not busy serving his community, Ron likes to relax by watching sports and taking the occasional trip to Hawaii.

In his life and career, Ron espouses the importance of the family dynamic. “We try to treat our customers like we would treat our family and friends,” he affirms. “I think the family dynamic has always been the greatest aspect of our business. Since we’re a family-run business, we get to know our customers and they get to know us.”

When asked what his future retirement will look like, Ron says his life won’t change too much. “I’m the kind of guy who needs to stay busy, so I’ll probably keep doing a lot of the same things I do now. Wherever I am, I like to be active and involved with whatever is going on around me.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What are your favorite sports teams?
A: The Golden State Warriors and the San Francisco Giants.

Q: Did you play any sports in high school?
A: I played basketball and baseball.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Relax and listen to music.

Q: What kind of music do you like?
A: I’m a ’50s guy, so I enjoy Elvis, Little Richard and other artists from that era.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Popcorn.

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3 Ventilation Tips for Homeowners

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MILLBRAE — When it comes to in-home ventilation, there are some crucial aspects all homeowners should know about. Here are three tips to keep in mind: Change your furnace filter. In order to maintain proper ventilation for your home and HVAC… Read more

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Video: Furnace Filter Replacement

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MILLBRAE — Host, Sarah Rutan: Most people know it’s important to replace their furnace filters, but not everyone knows how often it should be done. To learn… Read more

Kevin Comerford is president of Service Champions, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 444-4444 or by email.

Kevin Comerford

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Kevin Comerford: Taking the Lead

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

PLEASANTON — Kevin Comerford has roots in the HVAC industry, but it took some time for him to realize his place in his family’s legacy. “My father, Don Comerford, started his business, Comerford Heating and Air, in 1971, so I basically grew up in the industry,” he recounts. “After graduating from Cal Poly with a degree in journalism, I went to work for the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce. I enjoyed working with small-business owners so much that it renewed my interest in my parents’ business. I was also fascinated with the innovative developments that were happening in the HVAC industry at the time. I got involved and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Today, as president of Service Champions, Kevin says his favorite part of his job is developing people. “Another reason I got involved in HVAC was the opportunity I saw to incorporate my passion for developing people. That’s why my favorite part of my job is interacting with our team members and training them on different skill sets—not just work skills, but life skills as well.”

Born and raised in Pleasanton, Kevin espouses his appreciation for life in the Bay Area. “I’m a homegrown native of Pleasanton and I love being part of this community. In general, I love living and working in the Bay Area—the people are great and there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity for businesses, as well as plenty of activities and events to partake in. There’s always something going on.”

When he’s not working, Kevin stays busy with a variety of active pastimes. “I love to watch and play sports,” he details. “I play tennis competitively and typically play three to four times a week.” Additionally, Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife, Carolyn, and their three children, Emily, Brendan and Landon. “I love doing things with my family, especially outdoor activities. During the summer, we spend a lot of time on the lake.”

In his life and career, Kevin espouses the virtues of good leadership. “I’m a firm believer in the phrase, ‘If you lead, the world will follow,’” he says. “The world needs more leaders. I believe I can make a difference by taking a leadership role, whether in my business, my community or my church.”

When asked what he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Kevin says he’d continue to focus on developing people. “Like I said, that’s my passion, so I would find other avenues for doing that. It might be helping my boys become better students or baseball players, or doing volunteer work in my community. I would also like to help other small-business owners and share the secrets of Service Champions’ success.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What are your favorite sports teams?

A: The Oakland Raiders, Oakland A’s, San Jose Sharks and Golden State Warriors. What can I say, I have an East Bay slant!

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?

A: An early bird—I wake up at 5am every day.

Q: What’s your favorite season?

A: Summer, because I get to be outdoors and spend time relaxing with my family at our lake house.

Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

A: In 1985, I received a jet ski from my parents.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?

A: Nuts, carrots and hummus.

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How to Measure Attic Insulation

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PLEASANTON — Attic insulation is a key component of an energy-efficient home. By keeping hot and cold outside air from entering the home, a well-insulated attic can go a long way toward minimizing your heating and air conditioning bills. However, simply having… Read more

5 Steps to Prepare Your HVAC System for Winter

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PLEASANTON — Following the heat of summer and the mildness of fall, the cold winter weather brings an entirely different set of heating and ventilation needs for the home. To ensure your HVAC system is equipped for optimal performance, consider these five… Read more

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Video: 5 Ways to Prepare Your HVAC System for Winter

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PLEASANTON — Sarah Rutan: As winter draws near, you’ll want to make sure your HVAC system is equipped for optimal performance. Today we’re in Pleasanton with Diamond Certified… Read more

Chris Street is a longtime veteran of the HVAC industry and president of Enviro Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2014. He can be reached at (707) 809-5969 or by email.

Chris Street

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Chris Street: A Second Trade

By James Florence

ROHNERT PARK — When a debilitating injury ended his roofing career, Chris Street found himself starting from scratch in a new professional field. In the end, however, his twist of fate resulted in a greater success than he’d ever imagined. “I developed carpal tunnel syndrome early in my roofing career, and when I had surgery to correct it, I lost about 20 percent usage of my wrists,” he explains. “Since I wasn’t able to do roofing anymore, the workers’ compensation department offered to send me to school to learn a new trade. I decided to go into HVAC—I used to see HVAC technicians doing installations on the sites I worked at, and it always seemed like interesting work.”

After completing his term at the Denver Institute of Technology, Chris returned to California and got a job doing residential HVAC work. A few years later, he joined the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association and spent 16 years working for Aaero Heating in Novato before switching to the commercial side of the field. Eventually, after garnering a well-rounded industry expertise, Chris decided it was time to start his own business.

Today, as president of Enviro Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., Chris says his favorite part of his job is improving the functionality and comfort of people’s homes. “I like the process of designing and installing heating and cooling systems, as well as the overall gratification of making our customers’ homes more efficient.”

Chris was born in Missouri, grew up in Novato and today lives in Rohnert Park with his wife, Lori, and their children. Outside of work, he engages in a variety of family activities and personal hobbies. “We’re big Giants fans, so we go to a lot of baseball games,” he says. “I also coach baseball and I’m on the board for the local Cal Ripken league, in which most of our kids have participated.” Chris also enjoys fishing at local reservoirs like Lake Sonoma and going on family vacations to Hawaii.

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Chris says he’d head back to the big island. “I’d take a couple of weeks to relax in Hawaii. Then, after I got back, I’d probably look for some more volunteering opportunities and spend more time working with kids in the community.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Did you play any sports in high school?

A: Yes, I played football.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Cricklewood in Santa Rosa.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Music.

Q: What’s your favorite style of music?
A: Country.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: A cheese Danish from Starbucks.

Q: Who’s your favorite superhero?
A: Batman.

 

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Preventative HVAC Maintenance

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A little preventative maintenance can go a long way toward keeping your home’s heating and cooling system performing optimally. The best way to ensure this is by having a professional HVAC technician perform an annual maintenance service on your system.… Read more

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Video: Preventative HVAC Maintenance

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ROHNERT PARK — Host, Sarah Rutan: To ensure efficient performance and maximum lifespan, your home’s heating and cooling systems need to be preventatively maintained. Today we’re in Rohnert… Read more

John Honey is president of Bragg Plumbing & Heating, a Diamond Certified company since 2013. He can be reached at (415) 702-0907 or by email.

John Honey

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

John Honey: A Tangible Transition

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

NOVATO — After more than two decades in the tech industry, John Honey was ready to transition from the virtual world to something more hands-on. “I was in the sales and marketing side of the high-tech field, working for Fortune 500 companies, and eventually I decided to get out and become an independent business owner,” he explains. “While looking for a business to purchase, I came across Bragg Plumbing and Heating, and it seemed like a good fit. Besides having a fair amount of business knowledge, I had done a lot of plumbing work in my home, so the industry wasn’t totally foreign to me. After taking over the company in 2003, I got my licenses in plumbing and HVAC, as well as my general contractor’s license.”

Today, John says he appreciates the palpable nature of his second career. “I like the fact that what I’m doing now is very tangible and hands-on, as opposed to the tech industry, where everything is very abstract. Fixing a problem with a router just isn’t as satisfying as fixing a leaky pipe or a broken faucet. I really enjoy the simplicity of seeing the results of my work and making a concrete difference in someone’s day.”

Raised in Oakland, John now lives in San Rafael with his wife, Jane, where he enjoys the many attributes the Bay Area is known for. “Besides the rich diversity and vibrant culture, the Bay Area is a very economically viable place to own a business. Plus, since I’m an avid tennis player, I appreciate the good weather.”

In regard to his professional career, John espouses the importance of transparency in business. “To me, transparency means being honest about your intentions and doing what you say you’re going to do,” he explains. “We’re very open about how we do things here, so our customers understand up front what to expect, without any misrepresentation.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, John says he’d volunteer his time to be a resource for younger generations. “I’d like to be a mentor to young people and share some of the knowledge I’ve acquired over my 59 years, whether in regard to business or just general life skills. Of course, I’d also spend some more time playing tennis.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Talk radio or music?
A: Music.

Q: Do you have a favorite band or musician?
A: Burt Bacharach.

Q: Do you have a favorite local restaurant?
A: Servino Ristorante in Tiburon.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Edamame beans.

Q: Do you have a favorite newspaper comic strip?
A: Bizarro.

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Hiring the Right Duct Cleaning Technician

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NOVATO — Unlike many contracted home maintenance services, air duct cleaning is unregulated, which means it doesn’t require a special license to perform. For this reason, a common misconception is that any service provider can do just as good a… Read more

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Video: Who should I Hire to Clean My Air Ducts?

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NOVATO — Host, Sarah Rutan: Since air duct cleaning isn’t a regulated industry, you should be selective about who you hire to perform this service.… Read more

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