‘Our successes, especially in light of our CO training and certifications? Miles continues, ‘is that we’ve been able to identify hazardous appliances and put them out of commission.

‘The challenges have been mostly from others who don’t have the training. This includes other contractors, utilities, even distributors. They contradict our diagnoses causing confusion in the marketplace. Again, this happens because they DON’T have the training. This makes our job of educating the customer a little harder.’

In the end, Miles says he believes that you need to learn what you don’t know.

‘In the HVAC Industry gas furnaces are very safe appliances, thank goodness. The industry has more than 100 years of experience building these appliances. However, there are things about the combustion process you might not be aware of and, as a professional, it is incumbent on you to learn about it.’

The Right Tools for the Job

Jerry Kelly Heating and Air Conditioning open-plan office environment
Collaboration is key, which is why Jerry Kelly Heating is set up with an open floor plan.

Training isn’t the only factor in Jerry Kelly’s success. A well-trained technician is only as good as the tools and instruments he or she has and knows how to use properly. Their field teams own all their own tools and instruments, but they buy them through Jerry Kelly using a tool fund.

‘They buy their tools through us, so we know they are using the right tools,’ Miles says. ‘They pay off the purchase or get them forgiven over time through a $25/week tool allowance program we have. As they need new tools, they can buy them on their tool account and pay them off over time.’

In addition, Miles says the company provides each tech with a $25 per week Warranty Reserve Fund that gets settled annually.

‘We are a Performance-Based Pay company. This fund is set up to pay for callbacks. If a tech has a callback, he or she can go out and resolve the issue on their own or not. If they choose NOT to go back, we pay another tech to make that fix out of the first tech’s Warranty Reserve,’ Miles explains.

‘Whatever is left in the reserve at the end of the year is used to pay off their tool fund. The remainder becomes their annual bonus.

Professionalism and Performance

For Steve Miles, success means building a professionally-operated business, one that runs not on price-to-the-consumer, but one that seeks to satisfy customers by doing quality work and delivering what you promise. That means working on the business by improving internal and external efficiencies, creating and improving procedures for everything, and performing at the highest level without causing your team to burn out.

And their ability to do these things show in the form of local and national recognition. For the last 24 years, Jerry Kelly Heating and Air Conditioning has been recognized as the number one air conditioning contractor in the St. Charles area, based on a local newspaper’s reader poll done annually.

Furthermore, they have been recognized by their peers with the following awards:

  • 2018 Ron Smith Leadership
  • Award from Service Roundtable
  • Service Roundtable’s 2013 North
  • American Comfort Contractor of the Year
  • Contracting Business magazine’s 2006 Residential Contractor of the Year
  • Excellence Alliance 1999 Contractor of the Year
  • Excellence Alliance Member of the Year.

It is for these and many more reasons that High-Performance HVAC Today magazine has selected Jerry Kelly Heating and Air Conditioning and this month’s Contractor Spotlight.