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WEEKLY BRIEFING – Summer Heat Wave Is Boosting Cooling Firm

WEEKLY BRIEFING

Summer Heat Wave Is Boosting Cooling Firm

The summer of 2003 has been a busy one for Stuart Rose Heating and Air Conditioning in Agoura Hills. Unseasonably high August temperatures have had the 32-year-old company’s repair staff putting in hours of overtime every day to keep up with demand from overheated customers. The firm’s general manager, Jason Rose, is the son of its owner, Stuart.

“We started with my dad and some employees working out of the house. Then they were able to afford a small shop in Westlake Village. It has progressively gotten bigger over the years. We now own the building we work in in Agoura. We’re always looking to grow, but we want to do so efficiently. Right now we’re expanding significantly in commercial business.

“We’ve grown into a nice size, with 35 to 40 employees doing residential, commercial and industrial work. We do everything from standard air and heat to radiant heat. Parts of L.A. have very old housing and very old equipment but then you have the new units in Beverly Hills and Malibu. There’s nothing that we don’t work on.

“Every day is a small emergency with customers. We’re in a business where people calling us are always upset. They’re either hot or they’re cold.

“We’ve been waiting for a hot summer because this is the time to make some money. The last five years have been slow, but we’ve stayed busy because of commercial work.

“When the weather gets really hot, we’re typically open on weekends. In Southern California, the weather is so comfortable that there’s usually just not the demand. In the heat of summer and the cold of winter we’ll work extra hours. It’s pretty much from 7 to 6 during the busy season and 7 to 5 in the off season.

“We’re pretty fussy on who we hire, we’re picky on the training. Everyone has different needs, and we like to propose different solutions.

“Our prices stay consistent year round. We write out every proposal for equipment and labor rate. We don’t do a lot of advertising. We don’t need to spend thousands on ads. The majority of our new customers are from referrals and those who have seen our trucks driving around for years. We’ve had customers for 15 to 20 years who will wait two to three days in the heat for us because they don’t trust anyone else. You develop a trust you can’t put a price tag on.

“We do a lot of high-end people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and we do regular people. Any homeowner, it doesn’t matter who you are, we provide the same service. We’ve been known to be the one stop shop. We solve other companies’ problems and do what others say can’t be done.

“Preventive maintenance is the key. My advice is to get your unit looked at from mid-February to late April. Have someone come out twice a year. Commercial units need to be looked at four to six times a year.”

Katherine Wang

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