June 22, 2020 Geek Corner: Interview With Appolo Senior Tech Rick Dennison Our staff here at Appolo Heating is a group of truly exceptional, skilled and thoughtful individuals, which is exactly why we want our customers to get to know them a little bit more. In the first in our series of interviews, we spoke to Senior Appolo tech Rick Dennison about what life on (and off) the job looks like. Hey Rick! Let’s jump right into the questions. First things first: how long have you been working in HVAC? It’s been 36 years now! I’ve spent all of those 36 years here at Appolo Heating, which is pretty wild to think about. That’s a long time. How would you describe your experience at Appolo for the last 3+ decades? Appolo has done me a ton of good over this decade. I came into the company back in the ’80s, and at that point, I was by no means an expert in HVAC at all. I can confidently say that they’ve taught me everything I know about the industry, and for that, I have a lot of gratitude. It’s been a better experience than I could’ve imagined. How did you get into the industry? Well like I mentioned, I came in and came up at Appolo. Back in the ’80s, there was this huge building boom, and with that came a boom in needed HVAC work. I had a buddy of mine who said it was a good industry with a bunch of money and opportunity, so I figured, “Why not? I’ll give it a shot.” I’ll say it’s the best decision I’ve ever made, at least in my professional life. Tell me a little bit about your day to day. I’m a senior technician, and I’ve been here longer than just about anyone. Right now what we’re doing a lot of is emergency type service calls: furnaces and ACs that break down and need immediate fixing and all that kinda stuff. Usually, we’re doing a lot of routine maintenance around this time, particularly on air conditioners. People are gearing up for those hot months, and they want to be sure their AC is good to go for that. And we’re more than happy to provide that. You said you’ve been in HVAC since the 80s. How have you seen the industry change since then? It’s night and day. What we can do now is totally different. You absolutely need schooling, and you have to keep up with your HVAC knowledge almost constantly. We have this cool thing at Appolo that we call the Appolo Technical Institute, and it helps keep us up to date on all of the newest HVAC tech that’s coming out. You absolutely need that constant training and reinforcement because the equipment is changing yearly, which is a lot different than it was when I started out. We can do a lot more with the new technology, but it’s definitely more of a constantly evolving process than it was back then. If you like a job that will keep you on your toes, and where you can learn a ton of valuable skills, HVAC is one of the best there is for that kind of thing. Any crazy stories or situations that have surprised you? It’s hard to surprise me nowadays, but what I do run into a lot- and I think a lot of people do- is people who let their ACs or furnaces get to the point where major repairs are needed, and those repairs can sometimes get pretty costly. If those folks had just kept up with routine maintenance they would’ve saved a lot of money. It’s tough to see because you just know that level of damage could’ve been prevented if the customer had gotten regular maintenance. I just wanna tell them “We have regular maintenance! This was totally avoidable!”. But hey, it’s a learning experience, and at least they know for next time. What’s your favorite part of the job? I love going on no heat and no air conditioning jobs. You almost feel like a hero once you get everything fixed up and running properly. It’s also nice to be able to tell people “Look, it’s not all doom and gloom. This might seem like a bad situation but we can get this fixed, no problem.” Being able to help people like that when they’re really feeling nervous and uncertain is something I truly enjoy! What kinds of skills do you utilize as an HVAC tech that you use in your day-to-day life? Believe it or not, almost all of them. When you’re an HVAC tech, you learn skills all across the board: you’re an electrician, you’re a plumber, you’re a sheet metal worker. How’s that? Well if you’re working on a furnace you very well might have an electrical problem, so you need to use and grow that skill. Maybe there’s water on the floor with a leaking boiler and boom, and all of a sudden you’re a plumber. Or you’re out doing the ductwork and BOOM: you’re a sheet metal worker. You learn so much about all of these different skill sets and taken all together, you get a great sense of what it’s like to be a homeowner in general. That knowledge really comes in handy almost constantly. What’s your favorite thing to do outside of the job? I live for hunting and fishing. I’m a big-time deer hunter; it’s really an incredibly exciting sport. I start up right in the beginning of the hunting season and keep going all the way through the end of the season. I like the sport of the thing, and who doesn’t love some good Venison? Last one. Describe Appolo Heating in one word. One word? Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.