Local HVAC shop caters to do-it-yourselfers
By BRITTANY FHOLER
It is easier for Copperas Cove homeowners to DIY. their heating, ventilation and air-conditioning needs now with the Samuel and Sons Heating and Air Conditioning Supply, located at 309 S. 1st St, in downtown Copperas Cove.
The store, which opened earlier this year in February, has parts and supplies for the homeowner who wants to fix their air-conditioning or heating problem before calling a professional, or instead of calling a professional. If the parts needed aren’t available in the store, they can be ordered, said owner Samuel Duffing.
Duffing has been a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) technician for over 15 years and started working as an HVAC tech for Cove Plumbing before eventually opening his own business in October 2015 along with his son, Cody.
He decided to open a supply store because there were no places that would sell parts to the general public, and the wholesalers only sell to licensed contractors, he said. Duffing isn’t a wholesaler, but rather has an HVAC company with a storefront, he said.
Cody Duffing explained that their storefront lets residents have the opportunity to do things themselves.
“Everyone has their own right to work on their own stuff if they want to and a lot of companies don’t give that option because they want to get out there and do it themselves,” Cody said. “We just give them the chance to do their own stuff before they have to have us professionals do it for a higher price.”
If a customer came in with a problem, such as their A/C unit leaking water in their house, Duffing would offer to show them different videos that show how to find the problem and fix it. Duffing said there are things he wouldn’t recommend a homeowner try to do themselves and things he would not sell, such as gas parts for gas furnaces or Freon. However, if someone comes into the store and buys a part and wants to have a professional do the work, a Samuel and Sons technician will come out for a discounted rate since the customer had been in the store before, Duffing said. What would normally be a $75 service call would then be a $50 call.
Samuel and Sons charges $75 an hour, which includes the first hour, during which the majority of repairs can be completed, Duffing said. An estimate will include the hourly rate and the cost of parts.
“I’m not going to charge you more than what it takes to run this company,” Duffing said. “I need X amount to run a company and that’s all I get, nothing less.”
In the store, the cost of parts starts as low as less than $1 and goes up. Duffing said he sells parts at the same price, no matter if the homeowner buys them at the supply store or if a technician comes out to their house.
“I’m not going to charge them three times the amount that I would charge them just because they’re a homeowner,” he said.
Samuel and Sons has a Facebook page, called Samuel and Sons Heating and Air Conditioning, where they share tips on how to perform routine maintenance on heating and A/C units without having to call a professional. Duffing also recommended YouTube as another resource for the homeowner who may need to save money and do it themselves.
“That’s the people that I sort of want to cater to, is the people that are hurting for money and want to do it themselves,” Duffing said. “They can’t afford to call that high-dollar guy.”
Prior to working with heating and air-conditioning, Duffing worked in construction pouring concrete, ceramic tile, roofing and framing, he said. He switched to HVAC work because it was easier on his body and since then, has built a name for himself.
“Every air conditioning company is going to have good things to say about themselves, but me being in the area for a long time, I see what a lot of these companies do, I see a lot of the work that they do and there’s a lot of shoddy work going on around in this area,” Duffing said. “All I can say is [with Samuel and Sons] you’re going to get quality. That’s why on my sign it says ‘Expect the best and drop the rest.’”
Duffing said he tries to be his best and tells his sons to be the best- there is no slacking and no cutting corners, he said.
“If somebody wants you to cut corners, then we won’t do the job,” Duffing said.