Tools of the Trade

Dec. 1, 2011
Each month, Contracting Business picks a leading contractor and takes a look at the products, tools, and services that he or she has chosen to help make their company successful.

Each month, Contracting Business picks a leading contractor and takes a look at the products, tools, and services that he or she has chosen to help make their company successful.

Comfort Matters, Hanover, MN

Comfort Matters Heating & Cooling, Inc. services the Twin City Northwest Metropolitan Area. The company was founded by Corey Hickmann, pictured here. His goal was to build a customer-focused heating and air-conditioning company with a strong focus in providing the best customer service and quality available. Comfort Matters' specialty is designing, engineering, and installing complete comfort systems for owners of existing homes and buildings. Comfort Matters won Contracting Quality Home Comfort Awards in 2010 and 2011.

"I see an increasing demand for clean, professional home service to keep up with today’s customers’ expectations," Hickmann says. "The new construction boom provided a tremendous amount of new homes, built so fast, that comfort, efficiency, and healthy air wasn't a priority. Today, customers are looking for efficient, reliable service by a clean, trusting company to fit their busy life schedule. Comfort Matters' focus is to provide the best education to our coworkers in safety, energy savings, even air flow, and clean indoor air."


  • Number and type of trucks/vans: 5 Chevy 3/4-ton express vans, a Chevy one-ton box truck, a Chevy 3/4-ton Silverado, and a Ford Windstar.
  • Tools provided: Appion vacuum kits, Appion refrigerant reclaimation equipment, J/B and Robinaire vacuum pumps, ladders, Ridgid cordless drills, Ridgid wrenches, Ridgid propress, Turbotorch.
  • Tools and test instruments technicians carry: Testo digital refrigerant gauges, Testo humidity/temp probes, digital manometers by Testo, Dwyer, Fieldpiece, UEI multi-meters, UEI combustion analyzer, digital micron gauges by J/B, Supco, CPS, NSI Low Level CO monitor, .3 micron particle scanner, Alnor flow hood.
  • Preferred field communications method: HTC Evo Cell (Sprint) and iPad.
  • Preferred ladder type: Werner.


  • Preferred business management and sales management software: Aptora Total Office Manager, Microsoft Office.
  • Preferred load calculation software: Adtek Accuload.
  • Preferred fleet tracking software: GPS Technologies.
  • Preferred computer/printer equipment: Dell computers, Brother printers.
  • Preferred photocopier equipment: Local printer.
  • Business connection to the Internet via: Comcast.
  • Preferred uniform supplier: Buy from Soaring Image Productions.
  • Credit Cards Accepted: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa.


  • Preferred heating equipment brands: Amana, Goodman, Trane.
  • Preferred cooling equipment brands: Amana, Goodman, Mitsubishi, Trane.
  • Preferred accessory brands: Aprilaire, Carrier, Trane.
  • Preferred zoning equipment: Arzel, Honeywell.
  • Preferred Indoor Air Quality equipment: IQ Air, Trane CleanEffects, Guardian Aire.
  • Preferred distributors: Don Stevens, Inc., Auer Steel, Johnstone Supply, Gustave A. Larson Company.
  • Technician certifications: National Balancing Institute commercial air balance, National Comfort Institute certification in residential air diagnostics, and combustion safety analysis, North American Technician Excellence (NATE).
About the Author

Terry McIver | Content Director - CB

A career publishing professional, Terence 'Terry' McIver has served three diverse industry publications in varying degrees of responsibility since 1987, and worked in marketing communications for a major U.S. corporation.He joined the staff of Contracting Business magazine in April 2005.

As director of content for Contracting Business, he produces daily content and feature articles for CB's 38,000 print subscribers and many more Internet visitors. He has written hundreds, if not two or three, pieces of news, features and contractor profile articles for CB's audience of quality HVACR contractors. He can also be found covering HVACR industry events or visiting with manufacturers and contractors. He also has significant experience in trade show planning.