By Chuck Howick, Sr. VP Core Mechanical, Inc., Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Division
1. How and where did your company start?
Core’s IAQ Division naturally evolved from Core’s roots as a company performing HVAC installations, service, & repairs. Simply put, our clients needed more. They came to realize that routine cleaning was a key element of “servicing” their systems, directly leading to fewer repairs and longer lasting units.
2. What area does your company service?
Total Indoor Air Quality.
3. What does your company stand for?
Core Mechanical, Inc. is committed to continuously improving its services in order to better satisfy the needs of its customers, exceed their expectations and deliver on time, high quality services.
4. How did you get started in the KEC industry?
When you think of HVAC, you picture conditioning the air you already have (Heating / Cooling / Filtering / Dehumidification / Humidification), but to achieve Total IAQ, you must be able to isolate and remove contaminants prior to them becoming part of the interior atmosphere. Kitchen exhausts do just that. So to maintain their performance we needed to keep them functioning as designed… by cleaning them.
5. What did you do in your prior life before KEC?
USN Nuclear Enlisted Machinist Mate, Engineering Laboratory Technician, and Officer.
6. What surprised you most when you started in the KEC industry?
The misconception that kitchen exhausts sole purpose was to keep grease from entering the buildings air. Very few consider the enormous amount of heat, moisture, smoke, and cooking odors that accompany that grease. A typical HVAC system would be overcome by these contaminants well before the grease built up to problem levels. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen grease an inch thick with multiple fungal growths thriving in the slime!
7. How did you get your passion for KEC and describe your passion for the industry in words?
I may have already partially answered this in question 4. You can’t have total IAQ without a fully functioning kitchen exhaust. Cleaning & servicing KE’s is a necessary step to reaching total IAQ.
8. How did you go about making the quality control changes that brought your company to where it is today?
IKECA is all about risk mitigation through training, awareness, and compliance. Delivering these attributes to my team inherently brought about the quality we desired. Technicians typically show up to work thinking they are going to do a good job. With tools in their bag including this training & awareness, they are guaranteed to succeed. With a company climate strongly embracing compliance, you get a win – win every time.
9. What were some of your goals that IKECA helped you to achieve and how did IKECA help you to achieve them?
IKECA provided the resources I needed to perfectly execute my projects in order to get return customers!
10. What do you think is the greatest value of being an IKECA member?
Immediate access to knowledge sharing. Goes back to question 8, providing the tools my team needs.
11. What would you most want to say to the AHJ’s about our industry?
Consider making IKECA membership a requirement to receive kitchen exhaust cleaning contracts. Continue to increase awareness of IKECA.
12. What would you most want to say to the restaurants about our industry?
I borrowed this from the IKECA website: “Hire Only the Best Trained and Certified IKECA Members” to clean & service your exhaust systems! The lowest bidder may not be the “best value” for your kitchen exhaust needs. Take the time to determine “best value”, it will pay dividends.
13. What is your favorite hobby?
Target shooting all types of firearms. I am thrilled by the engineering behind them and the skill needed to use them. The kid in me still likes the big boom also.