photo of owner Scott Johnson
A satisfied customer is good for business, said Scott Johnson, noting a lot of his business comes from referrals. Johnson, owner of Precision Heating & Cooling located at 4786 West River Drive in Comstock Park, said he and his employees are on call twenty four hours a day for their customers adding, “Whenever we get a blast of cold, we get calls.”
The folks at Precision heating & Cooling sell, install, service, and repair furnaces, air conditioning, and water heaters for residential and light commercial properties. Those are big investment items, said Johnson. When purchasing a furnace he said your choice will depend on your house – its size, layout, size of the duct work, and the like – and what you can afford. He noted that high efficiency furnaces save money over the course of the furnace’s life time, which is typically 15 to 20 years.
“Most people don’t realize what a big investment your furnace is,” said Johnson. “In Michigan your furnace runs nine months out of the year, so why not go with something with high efficiency.”
Johnson said people are more “energy conscious” now than when he started in the business. Besides the savings in utility bills, a high efficiency furnace also gets you a utility rebate. Precision Heating and Cooling is what’s called a “trade ally” which means when they put in a furnace they can also make the submissions for the rebates. Johnson said water heaters “have taken a $100 jump in the last year because of the amount of insulation they have to put around them now.”
Johnson started his HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) business out of the pole barn at his Byron Center home in 1994. He became aware that the Paul B. Henry Freeway, was going to be built right through his property. Construction on the freeway started in 1997 and the road opened in 2004. Johnson took advantage of the compensation he received for his property to buy the current 2000 square foot building, which belonged to a friend, in 1999. He said he likes the location - West River Drive has high volume traffic, the expressway is close, and his supplier (Johnstone) is conveniently located just down the road on Mill Creek Ave.
There are five employees, including Johnson, doing sales and service at Precision Heating & Cooling, and one part-time office manager. Their service area is from Grand Rapids east to the Lakeshore and south to Kalamazoo and Benton Harbor.
The business has received numerous industry awards such as Platinum Dealer Awards from their supply house, which indicates their high volume sales makes them the number one dealer in the area. Besides referrals, advertising includes their web site. Johnson said he’s a big supporter of the Comstock Park Athletic Boosters and buys ads in the programs for sporting events.
Johnson didn’t set out to own and run an HVAC company. “I wanted to go into criminal justice…but I didn’t want to go to college for four years,” he said. “I’m mechanically inclined, I like working with my hands, and my dad suggested this (HVAC).”
Johnson attended Ferris State University for two years. After that he went to Grand Rapids Junior College, now Grand Rapids Community College, for two years in the HVAC program. After college, he worked for an HVAC company for four years learning the business before starting his own company.
Johnson and his wife Brenda, who works for a marketing firm in Grand Rapids, are both from Cheboygan and graduated from Cheboygan High School. They live in Rockford and have two daughters ages 14 and 9. When he’s not working Johnson is passionate about hunting, and spending “a ton of time” with his family.