Ep. 18_Texas Ace Heating & Air with Roger Villarreal & Shawn Bell
As a new Homeowner, there can be a lot you need to know about taking care of your new home, like how and when to change out the air filters on your heating and air system. On this episode, we bring in the experts on all things heating and air. HVAC Installers Roger Villarreal and Shawn Bell from Texas Ace Heating and Air break down exactly what you can expect from the services they provide and give helpful tips to ensure your system is running smoothly.
S2 Ep18_Texas Ace Heating & Air (Roger Villareal & Shawn Bell).mp3
Intro: [00:00:03] Welcome Home, a podcast brought to you by John Houston Custom Homes. Join hosts, Chelsi Frazier and Whitney Pryor, as they walk you through the exciting adventure of your home buying and building journey.
Hannah Lippert: [00:00:18] Hello listeners, thank you so much for joining again on another episode of the Welcome Home Podcast, where we dive into and demystify the home buying and building process. I'm Hannah Lippert, Marketing Coordinator at John Houston Custom Homes. I'm filling in for our normal podcast host Whitney. She is missed today, but I get the pleasure of being with Chelsi, who you usually hear from on the show. We welcome you to another great episode. Chelsi, how are you doing today?
Chelsi Frazier: [00:00:46] I'm doing great, Hannah. I'm really excited that we get to co-host. We haven't got to do this before. We're going to have lots of fun today.
Hannah Lippert: [00:00:52] It should be a good time! Tell us, who do we have on our show today?
Chelsi Frazier: [00:00:57] Today we're talking with Roger Villareal and Sean Bell from Texas Ace Heating and Air. I'm really excited to talk to them. Since we started the podcast earlier this year, we wanted to get Texas Ace on the podcast, so we reached out to their Marketing Director, Michelle. We've got a lot of cool things to talk about, it just took us a while to get our schedules to meet up. We're talking with them today because they are the HVAC installer for John Houston Custom Homes. We've worked with them for several years. I'd like to welcome Roger and Sean to the show, welcome.
Roger Villareal: [00:01:31] Thanks for having us.
Sean Bell: [00:01:33] Thanks, glad to be here.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:01:34] Great, before we jump into the topic, we want to learn a little bit more about you guys and what you do at Texas Ace. We can start with you, Roger.
Roger Villareal: [00:01:42] At Texas Ace, I help manage the new construction division. Our department takes care of not only John Houston Homes, as well as many other builders here in our area. They're a great partner with us. We start their house from the ground up, until we hand it over to the homeowner.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:01:57] Great, how about you Sean?
Sean Bell: [00:01:59] I help manage the residential service out of Texas Ace. We manage after the homeowner moves in. The service comes back in and takes care of anything that needs to be done after the homeowner lives in the home. We provide service twice a year on a maintenance plan and any warranty work that might come up in the future, to make sure everything's great.
Hannah Lippert: [00:02:23] That's awesome! I have a question. What does the 'V' stand for in HVAC?
Roger Villareal: [00:02:28] Many people don't know what HVAC stands for. 'AC' is your air conditioning. Your 'H' is your heating and your V stands for ventilation.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:02:39] Okay, the mystery is solved.
Roger Villareal: [00:02:42] You may not know what your ventilation is either.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:02:44] No, what is that?
Roger Villareal: [00:02:46] Ventilation consists of your bath fans in your bathroom, your dryer vent in your utility room, as well as, your cooktop heard in your kitchen. We handle those products for you during construction, as well.
Hannah Lippert: [00:02:59] Did you always just know this is what you wanted to do in life? I'm curious, how did both of you get started in this?
Roger Villareal: [00:03:08] Pizza delivery.
Hannah Lippert: [00:03:09] Okay, I like it!
Roger Villareal: [00:03:11] I did actually met Sean some 25 years ago. He was delivering pizzas and I was serving food, that's where we met. We decided we'd do some air conditioning instead of that.
Hannah Lippert: [00:03:26] That's awesome!
Chelsi Frazier: [00:03:27] I'm not sure if I believe it!
Sean Bell: [00:03:30] We started doing new construction at a young age, about 18, the construction part that y'all do during the build of a new home. Then, we both moved into the residential change out part afterwards. After a homeowner was there and their system was 10 or 20 years old, we'd actually go in and change that equipment, and then we just decided to move on from there.
Hannah Lippert: [00:03:50] That's awesome.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:03:51] That's much more believable.
Hannah Lippert: [00:03:52] Yes, we got the real story. Tell us a little bit about Texas Ace and how long have we been partnered with you guys now?
Roger Villareal: [00:04:01] With John Houston Homes, I think we're going on year number 4, as installation as a whole. we're excited about being partners together. The relationship we have together works great because of our locations. uS being in the south of the Metroplex, a majority of the homes that John Houston Homes does, are based right here South of the Metroplex. The partnership between the two of us works great.
Hannah Lippert: [00:04:26] What's the story behind Texas Ace? How did that get started?
Sean Bell: [00:04:29] Eight years ago, Joy McDaniel worked for years and years at Gerdau Steel Mill in Midlothian. He actually was a part of the AC crew there for years and years. Then finally, he decided that he wanted to start his own business, so we went off on a limb and he made this happen. We started out in Midlothian in a one building shop with three little offices and a warehouse that didn't exist. We grew and grew and grew, and now we're established in Midlothian, where we're going to stay.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:05:03] We utilize Goodman units for our HVAC Systems. What can you tell us about this product?
Roger Villareal: [00:05:08] Goodman manufacturers are fantastic product. They're manufactured here in the state of Texas, that means a lot for us. I think what's really important with any HVAC System is that it's installed correctly, regardless of brand. If you do a quality installation, you're going to get longevity and that longevity is going to come into play, if you maintenance your units correctly. Just as you do your truck or your car, doing old changes, you have to maintenance your air conditioner system. Goodman being manufactured here locally, in the Houston area, makes the parts readily available if you do have an issue. I think that's all pluses with that product.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:05:50] That's helpful. I didn't realize they were manufactured in Texas either.
Roger Villareal: [00:05:55] That's right.
Hannah Lippert: [00:05:56] For someone who's working on a new build, looking for an HVAC System and your services, what does that process look like for them?
Roger Villareal: [00:06:05] The process starts at the permitting stage of a home. After you've decided the floor plan of your home and the land you're putting it on, you're going to reach out to your contractor to have that unit sized correctly, for that size home. We have to take that plan, put it into a computer program and size the unit correctly for that house. Then, we submit that paperwork with the manual JD&S, that size as a unit correctly, and submit that to your city for permitting. That's the first step when you're looking for an HVAC System for your home. The next step is during construction, after your house is dried in, which would be your roof on and your windows put in. We come in and install the interior portion of that system, all your duct work and your inside unit. The last portion is when we do your outside unit, after your paint and your brick is all complete, we set your outside unit on your home. We have a technician come in, put on your control, and turn your system on. After the homeowners move in, it is handed over to Sean. Sean's department, service department, and customer service department takes care of the customer from there out.
Hannah Lippert: [00:07:14] Sean, what's that experience like for you guys?
Sean Bell: [00:07:17] After the homeowners in the home, we reach out and we get involved in making sure they have a service agreement and are educated on how to change their filters. They need to understand their thermostat, how it works, make sure they're comfortable, and know they can reach out to us at any time.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:07:35] Let's say the home is finished, the homeowners are in, you get them set up and they know how to work everything. If there are any issues, what types of warranties do the homeowners get with that particular product and that system when they move in?
Sean Bell: [00:07:48] They're blessed from Goodman, to actually have a 10 year parts and labor warranty. It's almost seamless to have something fixed or repaired. Luckily, Goodman does have probably the least amount of warranty work in the industry right now with their brand name. That's going to be a major plus for anybody that does purchase one of their homes. If there is an issue, we're always out there the same day. We can get a solution for the homeowners.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:08:15] They're going to see someone from Texas Ace come out and work on that in their home?
Sean Bell: [00:08:19] Yes ma'am.
Hannah Lippert: [00:08:20] What are some common questions that you get from homeowners? What questions do you get asked the most about their systems?
Sean Bell: [00:08:27] Most questions we receive from homeowners are about their filters. The secondary thing is the thermostat. We try to knock those out before there's any issues. That's just an educational problem, not actually a equipment or design fault.
Roger Villareal: [00:08:44] Sean, I think it's true that we find often that a homeowner feels like they might have a Honeywell System because when you look on your control on your wall, it's a Honeywell. You get very few homeowners that actually understand HVAC. They're buying a John Houston Home. They put the faith in John Houston that they're going to build a good home. They're not buying a Texas Ace HVAC System, they're buying a John Houston Home. When they see the Honeywell name on the thermostat, they're like, "oh, my systems a Honeywell. It works great." A thermostat question or filter question, just like Sean said, is the most common questions a homeowner might ask.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:09:25] Texas ACE offers a preventative maintenance program for filters and other things like that, correct?
Sean Bell: [00:09:31] Yes ma'am. We provide a preventive maintenance program for our customers, we come out twice a year. We want to make sure that system has a tune up at least twice a year. It's kind of like changing the oil in your car, it's very important. When we're able to come out and keep the system clean, running 100 percent efficient, it's going to extend the life of your system, keep your utility bills where you want them and make you more comfortable.
Roger Villareal: [00:09:54] We also honor the warranty. If you don't change the oil on your car, they're not going to change your engine if your engine fails, right? It's very important for that maintenance agreement and that the system is maintenance. That way if there's a failure and they want to look back and see what the history is on their maintenance, they're able to do so. The warranty is extremely important.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:10:13] I think that's really nice for people who just want to kind of set it and forget it. They signed up with the program, you guys are going to put on a schedule, take care of it and they don't have to worry about it.
Sean Bell: [00:10:22] That is exactly true.
Hannah Lippert: [00:10:23] I'm curious because the HVAC Systems have come a long way from 10 years ago. What are the biggest technological advances of the systems now vs. the systems then?
Roger Villareal: [00:10:36] Sure, in the past 5 to 10 years, we've seen a great jump in the efficiency of a system. Efficiency is your gas mileage of your system. It's your energy star, as most people would know, it's how much electricity your unit uses when it's running, both in heating and cooling. The majority of John Houston Homes install an electric system. What that means, is that electric powers both the heating and cooling, in probably 70% of the homes that we install. That systems is the heat pump system. Heat pump systems typically save about 80% of your efficiency cost in the wintertime. If you had a straight electric system that didn't have a heat pump, your electric bill might be around $150 to $200 dollars this month when it's cool, vs. a heat pump system keeping it down as low as $70 a month.
Hannah Lippert: [00:11:27] Wow!
Chelsi Frazier: [00:11:28] Oh, Wow!
Roger Villareal: [00:11:28] Efficiency wise, the majority of the systems that we install for John Houston Homes are 15 and 16 SEER, depending on if their heat pump or straight cool systems.
Hannah Lippert: [00:11:37] What does that mean?
Roger Villareal: [00:11:38] That's a great efficiency. SEERS is a seasonal efficiency energy rating, that is your gas mileage.
Hannah Lippert: [00:11:43] Got it.
Roger Villareal: [00:11:46] Customers comfort, I would because I'm an HVAC business, is the most important thing. For me as a consumer, it is important to be comfortable in my new home. Texas Ace and John Houston Homes work together to make that happen.
Hannah Lippert: [00:11:59] We have a great partnership.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:12:01] That makes me think of some more of those common questions that we receive from homeowners. One of those being, why is one room in my home hotter than the other?
Roger Villareal: [00:12:09] Oftentimes, the directionality of that home will cause one room to be warmer than the other, based upon the time of the day. If the sun is setting in the West and that room typically has quite a few windows in that direction, it might be warmer from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., which is common. It's not an uncommon thing. If you make adjustments to make that room comfortable for those 2 hours, then in the morning when that sun's on the other side of the house, it could actually cause that room to have problems the majority of the time, when your just trying to take care of it for those 2 hours.
Hannah Lippert: [00:12:40] What about when someone calls and they let you know their AC System is leaking, what would you tell them?
Sean Bell: [00:12:45] A lot of times if they have a dirty air filter, it's going to cause the system to overflow into the emergency pan. If they see water dripping outside their window, they need to call us, that could be an emergency. Anything we can do to prevent water coming into the house is very important. When the systems are maintained and kept up with properly with maintenance agreements, the drains are blown out every year and the filters are changed, it's very unlikely that will ever happen.
Hannah Lippert: [00:13:12] How often do you have to change your air filter?
Sean Bell: [00:13:14] They have special high efficiency filters and we make sure those are changed at least twice a year.
Hannah Lippert: [00:13:20] What if people call and they're noticing their AC system is leaking water. What would you say is the solution for that?
Sean Bell: [00:13:28] That's a great question. If that happens, they need to call immediately. We always put the drain outside, it's called the emergency drain. We always put that above a window by code, so that you can see it from inside if that starts happening. We want to do anything we can do to prevent water damage in the home. There's only a few things that cause that. The main reason for that is having a dirty filter. That's why we want to make sure we have the maintenance plan and the homeowners are educated. They can purchase filters and be changed at least twice a year. They need to know that the filters in their attic. A Lot of previous homes they lived in that filter was actually in the ceiling in a grill. We haven't done that in decades. The new standard is that filters always going to be upstairs, whether electric air handler. It's going to have like a 4" or 5"door that opens. That filter is going to slide in and out very easily, but it has to be changed at least twice a year.
Hannah Lippert: [00:14:23] I'm sure someone listening to this right now is probably like, "oh, that's it." I feel like in your new home, there's so many things, a checklist you got to go through, and that's probably one that gets missed all the time. I'm sure you guys get asked about your filter a lot.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:14:37] Okay, next question. I'm having issues with my air conditioner. How soon can I get someone out to fix it?
Roger Villareal: [00:14:43] Well, your first step is to call our 24/7 hotline. We're always there to help you. When you reach out to us at Texas ACE, even when the office is closed, you're going to be able to contact us, a real person, not a recording. If you happen to miss us and leave a message, we will return your call. We're going to prioritize those calls based upon need. The first step to prioritizing those calls is to determine if you have more than one AC system in your house. Many John Houston Homes have more than one system in their house. If you have two systems in your house and one is currently running and we have another John Houston Home that only has one system, we're going to prioritize those accordingly. Your first step is to give us a call. We'll put you on schedule that works both for you and us. Typically, we have a 2 hour window that we put you in and we'll give you a courtesy call on the way out. Our fantastic database is going to reach out and send you a text message when we're on our way.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:15:36] That's a good heads up.
Hannah Lippert: [00:15:37] You guys provide such quality service. What really sets you apart from other heating and air services?
Sean Bell: [00:15:43] First of all, we take great pride in our work, we invest much time and man hours into our employees. We do in-house training every week and we have weekly meetings. We have a great new program that's state of the art that actually sends the customer an email and gives them a bio of the of the service tech that will be arriving at the house. They can get a visual of who they are before they get there. All our service techs are actually certified and drug tested, so they don't have any concern about who's coming into their house. If they need anything, we're going to be there to take care of them.
Hannah Lippert: [00:16:18] That's awesome! Really going above and beyond to make sure your customers feel comfortable and they get the best quality service as possible.
Sean Bell: [00:16:26] That's most important to us, yes ma'am.
Hannah Lippert: [00:16:28] Speaking of that, you guys really value your customers. You really care about them and you also really care about your community. You show that a lot through this program you do, Bikes for Tikes. Roger, why don't you tell us a little bit about that and how our listeners can get involved?
Roger Villareal: [00:16:47] This is our 9th annual Bike for Tikes. It's a most exciting time, not just because we're helping the community, but also because of our employees, our other team members that we work with at Texas Ace and other companies that we purchase from, all pitch in and team up, as John Houston Homes did this year. We appreciate you all bringing bikes down for us.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:17:11] Oh, my gosh, it's great! We love you guys letting us do that.
Roger Villareal: [00:17:15] That's one of the highlights of the season for us because we get to work as a team to reach out and gather up those bikes. We have an event in Old Town Midlothian where we gather and have some coffee. We usually have Santa Claus there to greet the kids and load the bikes. Even more fantastic to that, is when we deliver them to the MANA House. Knowing that we've met their quota for the kids that needed those, really rallies our team together. It's good team building program as well for us. We're helping the community, so it's great.
Sean Bell: [00:17:53] When we do promote that, it's amazing how much the community of Midlothian steps up. Also, They all contribute. You'd be amazed how many people on the day of the event, that bring bicycles up and trunks.
Roger Villareal: [00:18:05] We've got that Midlothian baseball team that brings in a ton of bikes. Every year they team up as a team. They all come in 10, 11 trucks at a time bringing them bikes. It's neat to watch that.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:18:19] Yes. I think we just take another minute to thank MANA House on the podcast for everything they do for Midlothian and in our local community.
Sean Bell: [00:18:26] Yes, ma'am. MANA House has the largest food bank in the area. They help the community year round, not just Christmas. They have programs to provide clothes for people that need. Since we all live and work here, we just want to make this home and the best place to be for anybody that's around.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:18:47] This has been really great. I've truly enjoyed our conversation, the laughs we've had today and getting to know you better. In wrapping up, is there anything else that you want our listeners to know or you want to tell us about?
Roger Villareal: [00:18:59] We really appreciate yall having us here today. I want people to be aware that Texas Ace doesn't just focus on residential, new construction. That's our relationship with John Houston and we do we do appreciate that relationship. We also are a big player with commercial and multifamily. I think as a team at Texas Ace, when we come together with not just our office team, our warehouse team, our different divisions that come together, that we work as a whole to be the team we are. I think that's extremely important in the way that we run the business. All those teams together, you can tell that we just help each other out. If one person needs a little bit of help from another team, we're there to help each other out. I'd like to recognize all those team players that work together, both in the office and in all the different divisions that we excel.
Chelsi Frazier: [00:20:00] It seems like very much a family. Any time I see you at an event in the community, out on site or just really just anywhere, it's not just one or two or even four people, there's a whole crew of y'all. I think it's very evident that it's a family and you definitely all pull together.
Roger Villareal: [00:20:20] We definitely look forward to coming to work.
Sean Bell: [00:20:22] Yes we do!
Chelsi Frazier: [00:20:22] You have the coolest hats around. I think that goes without saying..
Roger Villareal: [00:20:22] Appreciate that.
Hannah Lippert: [00:20:29] Thank you guys so much, we appreciate it. I know I learned a ton today. I will remember when I build my house when I need to change my air filter. I'll give you a call. Thank you listeners, for joining us on today's episode of the Welcome Home Podcast. We really hope you enjoyed it. We want you to be sure to click the description for episode notes more about Texas Ace Heating and Air and for more information about our building process. For more information about John Houston Custom Homes, check out our website at johnhoustoncustomhomes.com. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even LinkedIn. For any other questions or comments, please call us at 866.646.6008 or send us an email email@example.com.
Chelsi Frazier and Hannah Lippert: [00:21:15] Thank you for listening. Welcome Home.