The Meyer family first got into the HVAC business when Karl Meyer’s grandfather started Meyers Refrigeration in 1958 near 7th St. and Highland Avenue. Bob Meyer, Karl’s father started working for his father’s company at the age of 16 when the two men did residential air conditioning work on some of the first hand built a/c systems imported from California by wealthy families. The company also provided some light commercial services to restaurants and bars.
After completing college and wanting to earn more money, Bob Meyer left Meyers Refrigeration and struck out on his own, sold his family’s house and bought a truck to start Bob Meyer Air Conditioning. Bobs brother Jim Meyer later took over Meyers Refrigeration after he returned from the military.
“As my Dad grew his business, I started riding along with him in the summers when I was 12 years old and would help with carrying tools on the weekends,” Karl said.
Eventually Karl went to work with his father, but shortly after returning from college, he was fired.
“I wanted to grow the company and make more,” Karl said. “Dad hit a plateau and was not interested in growing.”
The same day he was fired, Karl met with Jim Donley at Donley Service Center and what Donley said helped Meyer regain his confidence.
“He took me into his office and said ‘Yeah, you can have a job, but it won’t be the right fit for you and you need to figure out what you’re going to do, because you come from a long line of very independent people,’” Karl said. “The next day I dedicated myself to starting my own company.”
Karl used his truck to earn money working with Apartment Movers during the day and studied for his contractor license at night. In 1994, he started his business and brought in customers by handing out flyers and business cards to “anybody and everybody who would listen.”
“I gave a business card to a guy at a gas station and he called me…I never forgot that moment,” Karl said.
Within the first five months of business, Meyer did $70,000 in work and realized he was on his way.
“I couldn’t solicit any of our families and friends because they were already using my Dad, but I never felt like I competed with my Dad or my uncle because there is just so much work out there,” Meyer said.
Around 2008 or 2009, Bob Meyer retired and Karl Meyer acquired the business and merged it with his own. This meant that he worked with customers from as far back as when his grandfather first installed their units.
“Only a year or two ago, I took out an old belt drive Rheem system that my grandfather installed in 1958,” one from his first year in business.
Today Karl said he’s focused on providing the same trustworthy and dependable service to his clients, but hopes to have another technician on board to help Karl Meyer Air Conditioning and Heating grow.
“For a two-man operation, I run a really big little company,” Karl said. “It’s a massive clientele base.”