Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

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.

Estes Heating and Air Conditioning is the Contracting Business 2010 Residential Contractor of the Year. Tommy Estes, pictured right, is president of the company. Estes Heating and Air Conditioning was founded by Tommy's father Nap, in 1949, and remains a family run business today. Tommy started leading the company in 1986, and is in the process of training his son and vice president, Brian Estes, to take over one day. Estes Heating and Air Conditioning prides itself on its excellent customer service and satisfaction.


  • Number and type of trucks/vans: 15 Ford E-350 KUVs; 5 Ford F-250 trucks; 15 Ford F-150 trucks; 38 Ford E250 vans; and 1 Ford F-450 flatbed.
  • Inventory on trucks/vans: $4500-$5000.
  • Preferred tools and test instruments technicians carry: Reclaim machine; refrigerant scales; vac cleaner; Gallo gun; variable speed motor tester; volt/ohm meter; capacitor tester; amp meter; monometer; refrigerant guages; thermometer; micron guage; and an electronic leak detector.
  • Preferred field communications method: Nextel, Direct Connect and text.
  • Preferred ladder type: Werner


  • Preferred business management software: Sawin Pro.
  • Preferred sales management software: Sawin Pro.
  • Preferred computer/printer equipment: HP and Samsung.
  • Preferred photocopier equipment: Canon and Samsung.
  • Business connection to the Internet via: Metro Ethernet.
  • Preferred uniform supplier: Buy from G & K.
  • Credit Cards Accepted: Visa, MasterCard, and Amex.


  • Preferred heating equipment brands: Carrier; Trane; Mitsubishi.
  • Preferred cooling equipment brands: Carrier; Trane; Mitsubishi.
  • Preferred accessory brands: Honeywell
  • Preferred zoning equipment: Honeywell
  • Dollar amount of equipment inventoried: $350,000 parts and accessories.
  • Preferred distributor(s): Mingledorff’s and R.E. Michel
  • Number of technicians currently certified and type of certification: 24 NATE certified (multiple categories); EPA.
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