The core values that William Lewis, owner of Southern Air Pros, learned during his time in the U.S. Navy — honor, courage and commitment — have stayed with him since his first deployment in the 1980s aboard the flagship USS La Salle (AGF-3) in the Middle East. In fact, the same values are the foundation of his heating and air conditioning company.
William, along with his wife, Zora, founded Southern Air Pros in 2014. Since that time, the business has grown at a steady pace by adding staff and vehicles, and increasing warehouse space multiple times. The company has achieved Elite Dealer status with its primary manufacturer, Day and Night, part of the Carrier Corp. family. Southern Air Pros also is a factory-authorized dealer for Lennox, Carrier, Amana and Rheem.
Current plans for Southern Air Pros are to add at least two more team members this year, upgrade the customer service and scheduling software, and look for a new office/warehouse space in Cherokee County to accommodate future growth.
Clean Air Matters
“What most people do not know is that your HVAC system does three things: it changes the temperature, yes, but also dehumidifies the air and, most importantly, filters or cleans it,” William said. “Therefore, the effects this one system has on the quality of air you breathe is far more important to someone’s health than most people realize.”
Improperly maintained equipment is more than just costly to operate; it can be dangerous, William said. He cites a memorable example of the effect poor air quality can have: Legionnaires’ disease.
This outbreak got its name when an HVAC system infected more than 200 people and killed 29 Legionnaires during the 1976 American Legion convention in Philadelphia, according to www.cdc.gov/legionella/about/history.html.
A scientist isolated the bacterium that caused this type of pneumonia, which was determined to have spread through the hotel’s air conditioning system.
Why Southern Air Pros?
The team and culture of his business is what William said sets his business apart from others.
“The cheesiest, most overused answer is the truth: our team. I can teach someone to fix an air conditioning system; I cannot teach them to be a good human. We try to hire the best people and train them to above-industry standards,” William said. “I count myself among the fortunate to be surrounded by the character and quality of people who have chosen to be a part of Southern Air Pros. “
The care that the Southern Air Pros team takes with each client extends beyond HVAC services, William said. The staff does a great job of responding to customers’ life events, whether it’s a happy occasion, such as a baby or wedding, or a sad situation, like a loss of a pet or sickness in the family.
“Hilda Westergren, our customer service manager, leads the charge in building the caring relationships that define us as a company,” William said. “When we learn about a situation, we send our customer a handwritten note or card, or make a phone call. Knowing that we truly care resonates with our clients.”
The team at Southern Air Pros works to provide each customer with the best possible products, service and people for your investment. “When you are comfortable, only then can we say we are done,” owner William said.
- Southern Air Pros is a registered training facility with the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER). Lewis is a Certified HVAC Craft Instructor.
- Each full-time technician is enrolled in the NCCER nationally accredited training program and placed on a path to receive a technical degree at the company’s expense.
- Technicians are not commission-based, allowing for honest assessments and recommendations.
- Their approach of maintenance first, repair second and replacement as a last resort offers the customer a longer lifespan of their equipment, healthier air to breathe and lower operating costs over time.
“If the community that embraces your company and the people that make up that company are both happy, you have the secret sauce,” Lewis said. Here are a few examples:
“Andrew and Dakota are the nicest HVAC guys I have ever used. Bill, the owner, is incredibly friendly as well, and always takes good care of us. Thank you for cleaning up my unit and making sure it was ready for another hot summer.” — Joey O.
“This company is fantastic! After working with another local company for a week and getting no results, the Southern Air Pros team came through for my family. It was less than 24 hours from diagnosis to a fixed system and cool air for my family. I’m so glad to have a local AC partner I can count on!”— Tara J.
”Now, I am getting stellar training in a stable career … and I get the opportunity to serve others and make them happy as well.” — Team member at Southern Air Pros