My Uncle Frank taught me everything he knew, which was a fair amount.
I worked for him for almost eight years, starting when I was 14, and when he retired and went down south he handed me his client list.
I was young, I was untested, but I knew as much as anybody inside of 100 miles. Uncle Frank had loyal customers because he had no competition, but he was still unregistered and off the books in terms of being a legal business. In other words, I worked for cash only, no credit, no paper trail, and no taxes! The fact that I was now the only HVAC repair expert in this area kept me busy, but I had to always keep quiet. I couldn’t advertise, you understand, because I wasn’t collecting taxes or paying insurance for any of my HVAC work. Believe me, there was no shortage of work, mostly from heating and ventilation systems in barns and livestock pens than in homes. There was very little call for air conditioning work, and the jobs I did get were usually for the window mounted units. With winters as bleask and harsh as we get, everyone needed a reliable heating system for themselves and their livestock. The heaters in a barn are very simple, but they need to be reliable and above all else safe, because if there is a fire then it will bring down the barn and everything in it. So far none of my customers mind that the HVAC company is off the books, in fact I think they prefer it that way.