In Central Oregon, sitting on the eastern edge of the Cascade Mountain Range along the Deschutes River is the city of Bend. This high-desert area was one of the few crossing points for pioneers in the early 1800s as they journeyed along the famous Oregon Trail. It is an area also traversed by the Lewis and Clark Expedition and eventually was settled, becoming a critical logging community.
It is also one of only three continental U.S. cities with an extinct volcano within its city limits. Today, it is known for its outdoor recreational activities, and its primary industry is tourism.
Setting the Stage
Bend, OR, is also the place that Home Heating and Cooling calls home. Owner Ric Secor and his wife, Cecilia, started this High-Performance HVAC contracting company in November 2010.
“My journey in the HVAC Industry began working for my Dad. He had a commercial HVAC company in San Diego during the Vietnam War, and I worked for him for 10 years after high school.
“Dad always said that air conditioning is just not air conditioning or air. It’s all the other stuff that you can do with air: the humidifier humidifying air and bringing in fresh air.
“I always took his words to heart. That’s why I’ve always liked the idea behind a total comfort system. Total comfort comes from doing all the right things with air.”
When Ric decided to hang out his own shingle, he took all his retirement savings and started Home Heating.
“From the very beginning I wanted to be a highly rated company by consumers,” Secor explains. “I wanted to be known locally for doing good work. “So that’s how we started our journey. We focused on add-on replacement work,” Secor adds.
Home Heating Today
Home Heating has 11 employees today, plus Secor and his wife. The team includes one full-time salesperson (one of his sons), and Ric is a part-time salesperson. They also have three service experts, two lead installers, and two assistant installers.
Home Heating also has two technicians who focus on indoor air quality. They use the company’s Aeroseal equipment to seal ductwork and handle the company’s in-house duct cleaning business (which includes dryer vent cleaning and dryer vent performance upgrade work).
In 2022, the company achieved a little more than $2.8 million in gross sales, and Secor says they are currently on track to do between $3 and $3.3 million.
“Despite supply chain challenges, we had a strong finish last year. We’re also counting on finishing strong in 2023,” Secor says.
Tools of the Trade
Secor explains that when managing the company, he wants to automate and digitize as much as possible. Today, Home Heating fields 14 service and installation vehicles, which he tracks using a system called Verizon Connect Reveal.
He says, “This GPS lets us know where all our vehicles are at any time. That helps control fuel costs, cover scheduled services when something goes wrong, and keep customers informed when their service expert will arrive.
“Plus, we own an Aeroseal machine and do a lot of duct sealing. We’ve been doing this for nearly 10 years.”
In April of 2023, Secor attended his first NCI High-Performance HVAC Summit, where he discovered the power and advantages of TrueFlow® Grids and DG-8 manometers. “We bought six of them, and our team is already using them in the field,” he says.
Another tool Secor says is a vital part of their operation is CompanyCam, a tool for posting images and documents to the cloud and works like a database. It is highly searchable, and Secor says it is a great tool to help educate customers about their systems and Home Heating’s solutions.
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