Don't Sweat It This Summer - Call SUPERIOR HEATING & AIR
Author: Michele Roldán-Shaw | Photographer: John Brackett
It’s hot. The heavy air clings to your skin, preventing evaporation of the sweat that beads up on your forehead. Slowly, a drop slides past your ear and trickles down the back of your neck, irritating as an insect. Inside your clothes, hot moisture is trapped—you’re like a pot of steamed rice with the lid on. Just sitting down seems like hard work in these conditions. Desperate, you jump in a cold shower and this provides the relief you’ve been seeking…but only temporarily. As soon as you get out, you begin to sweat again before you’ve even finished toweling off. What sort of nightmare is this?
An AC-less nightmare, that’s what. Without a breeze, you’re dead in the water.
“Life here before AC?” muses Dave Miller of Superior Heating and Air. “I’ve never thought about that, and I don’t want to think about it. It would be miserable.”
Miller grew up on Hilton Head, but he’s not quite old enough to remember the days before air conditioning. Climate control has been a way of life, although he never imagined it would also become his livelihood. Having worked with his dad, a general contractor on the island, since he was 13 or 14, Miller wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. But after passing the state exam to get his commercial license, he did a bit more “deliberating” and determined to start something on his own. But what? Knowing that the heating and air business was not likely to be affected much by the economy (“Everybody needs AC,” he says) Miller started Superior in 1999. He was only 20 years old.
“It’s your typical story,” said Miller. “We started with one or two guys and a couple of trucks. Now, 12 years later, we’ve got about 20 employees and 15 trucks. If it’s heating and air related, we do it—from residential service calls to new construction on high-rise buildings.”
Superior specializes in indoor air quality and energy-efficient, or “green” products. They install a lot of geo-thermal air conditioning systems, which use the earth to transfer heat, making them one of the most efficient systems to heat and cool a home. Geo-thermal technology has also become popular lately, thanks to a 30 percent tax credit given on installation. Miller and his staff have also pioneered a program they call Air Concierge, which relies on remote monitoring of heating and air systems—if something begins to break down, they are likely to know about it before you do, which means a quicker fix. And the program is great for people who aren’t here all the time, because the equipment is being monitored while they are away.
No matter what type of system you have, the main thing to expect from Superior is a satisfactory result. “Our primary focus is customer service,” said Miller. “If you were to ask my employees what my number one priority is, they would say it’s keeping the customer happy. A third party surveys our customers, and we currently hold a 97 percent satisfaction rate, and a 99 percent referral rate.”
As for that other 3 percent, there are always going to be factors beyond human control, says Miller. Though they have a huge inventory and staff working around the clock, sometimes things simply can’t be done on the spot. But if they can get your air to kick on again before that first bead of sweat pops out on your temple, they will.
General contractor Hugh Hobus has been a loyal customer of Superior for seven or eight years. “They’re very professional and very talented,” said Hobus. “The technicians are extremely knowledgeable and they always leave the worksite clean.”
Hobus says he not only uses Superior to install new units and remodel old ones, he also recommends them to clients and friends for service work. In accordance with Miller’s assertion that customer service is top priority, Hobus has found that Dave’s accessibility is part of what makes Superior a top-notch company.
“I can contact Dave directly, 24/7,” said Hobus. “He answers his phone and sends someone out promptly. In my business, that’s rare; it’s usually hard to get to the owner. But Dave’s very hands-on when it comes to running his business, and I like that.”
As the weather kicks into high gear this summer, don’t get caught red-faced—why suffer when there’s Superior?
Superior Heating & Air Inc. is located in Bluffton, but they come to you. Call 843.682.COOL (2665) or visit them on the web at www.superiorairinc.com.