Yates Maintenance Heating & Air is run by a family with Prescott origins and Hope training and experience. It was begun by Matthew and Misty Yates in 2009 in Little Rock and recently the business, thriving in Arkansas’ biggest cities, has opened a location on 124 West 1st Street South in Prescott, a return to full circle.
As Misty Yates tells it in an email to SWARK.Today, her husband Matthew started his quest to be a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning pro in Hope and ended up starting Yates Maintenance in Little Rock to do business according to a high standard of conduct toward customers. “Matthew completed HVAC school in Hope, and after working for Red River Heating & Air in Hope, and moving to Little Rock, he worked for a company and had many great referrals for his quality of work, [then] decided to start his own business to be able to provide for us as we had our first child, but also to provide honest, ethical work.”
The move from Prescott to Little Rock came in 2005 after Misty got a job running a doctor’s office there. When Yates Maintenance began, it did not have to run TV or print ads to drum up customers. “We took pride that we built a business on referrals alone, and no paid advertising. Social media eventually played a part in helping us to grow our team, but almost all of our loyal base of clients are still with us today,” Misty Yates says.
Misty Yates also compliments Matthew on his willingness to build a business in a new and bigger town based on his skills and values. “He was consistent with doing a good job at businesses he worked at, and you just had referrals. It was just not ever a question of if he could make it or not. He wasn’t afraid to commit to doing his own business,” she says.
Now Yates Maintenance has 11 employees and contracts with two crews who do duct installation. Their daughters, Chandler, 14; and Eden, 8 have also been known to chip in, learning in the process how a business is run. “They kind of already know what it takes, and it is hard work and it is almost but not 24/7 But it’s not just nine to five. So, I think they’re used to that, but they also see how rewarding it is and how we’re able to travel,” Misty Yates says.
Asked what are the latest trends in new HVAC equipment customers are buying, Misty Yates says there is now more interest in heat pumps, which do not use natural gas and tend not to be as burdensome in energy costs. Matthew Yates says that more recently he has been replacing furnaces with more energy efficient designs. He said the newest units are as much as 75 percent more efficient than units made just ten years ago.
Another, more difficult trend, has been the effort needed to recruit new HVAC professionals. With 60 HVAC businesses in Little Rock, the competition for quality help is fierce. This is partly why the Yates both encourage more young people to think of their field when considering future careers. (The other reasons are the monetary, job security and personal rewards that come with the profession.)
Matthew Yates says entering the HVAC industry does not require going to school. His own business, in fact, has the means of training those interested in joining the team. “It’s mainly just training and learning hands on. Trying to hire some young guys, and just train them.” He adds that the company has training videos and also emphasizes the teaching of good customer service.
He recommends that any young person interested in the field apply to local HVAC businesses for summer work. “It’s the best way to do it. You can go to school for a year … that kind of gets you your basics. But to be honest, I think you learn a lot more out here,” Matthew Yates said, but he cautions that while the pay is good and the job security is real, the work can be hard, especially in the higher demand summer months. And, as it pertains to working under crawlspaces and in attics, he says, “You just have to do it,” though coveralls are good protection.
Training is a major activity at Yates, with its HVAC pros undergoing training on a regular basis to fulfill the company’s certifications. Misty Yates provided a list of the many certifications Yates Maintenance has earned through its training and its skills:
- Yates Maintenance is “one of only 3 Energy Star Credentialed contractors in Arkansas … The Energy Star program is focused on using a credentialed contractor to properly commission the systems using rigorous checklists and measurements, which lead to energy savings for the customer.
- “We are one of only a few Heil Elite Dealers in Arkansas, which requires us to complete continued training annually to hold that status, and allow our clients to receive extra warranties on top of the manufacturer’s for equipment investments.
- “We also hold a Residential Remodel License and have various other projects we work on from time to time a little broader than HVAC.
- “We are a member of Associated Builders & Contractors of Arkansas, and we are able to continue training and engage our techs there as well.
- “We are a member of the National Home Builders Association of Arkansas, and work with top builders there.
- “We have a BBB A+ rating and have had that since 2015.
- “We are a Housecall Pro Superpro, meaning we are in the top two percent of users of the software we use to complete our service and installation. We also use that community and share knowledge with other new and growing business owners in many construction trades. We really love that community, and we’ve been a part of that since 2015.
- “Misty completed the Arkansas Business Executive Leadership Academy in 2019, which selects accomplished leaders from emerging businesses and nonprofits poised to take the next steps within their organization and community.
- “Matthew has completed specialized Elite Dealer training and continued training on new technology for systems each year as we’ve continued to grow.”
Then there is the company’s recognition for excellence from Little Rock media: “We have been nominated the last two years as one of the Top 5 and Top 3 HVAC companies in Arkansas by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, and was listed in the Arkansas Times’ Best of Arkansas.”
Now, with Yates Maintenance Heating & Air having an office in Prescott, it has expanded its territory to include Cabot, Conway and Jacksonville, both Little Rocks, then southward along I-30 through Benton, Bryant, taking an eastward jaunt through Hot Springs Village and Hot Springs, then back on the interstate through Arkadelphia and stopping at Prescott. The Prescott location has hours from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and can be reached at 1-501-960-8971.