SAN JOSE − People get involved in the HVAC industry for a variety of reasons, from growing up in the family business to simply enjoying the work. For Michael Ziegler, his HVAC career started with a fascination for the scientific aspects of the trade. “I took a refrigeration class as a high school elective and it really piqued my interest in the HVAC field,” he explains. “I really enjoyed working with my hands and was amazed by how refrigeration worked, so I decided I wanted to pursue it as a career.” Later, after returning from a tour with the Navy, Michael furthered his industry education at trade school. After completing a year of training, he began working for an HVAC company in the East Bay.
Today, as general manager of Valley Heating, Cooling and Electrical, Michael says his favorite part of the job is the simple satisfaction derived from making customers happy. “I love the rewards I get from repairing air conditioning units and furnaces. When I see the happiness in a customer’s face when comfort has been restored to their home, it’s a great feeling.”
Michael lives in San Jose and he has two sons, Dylan and Austin, and he says he enjoys the many outdoor opportunities the local setting has to offer. “My boys and I love taking advantage of the diverse landscape, from hiking at Castle Rock to fishing at the local lakes. We’re also sports enthusiasts—every weekend we’re occupied with some kind of sporting event, whether it’s the boys’ leagues or A’s, Raiders and Sharks games.”
In regard to a personal philosophy, Michael finds inspiration in a phrase he appropriated from a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial. “Every morning when I wake up my boys, I say, ‘It’s time to get up and make the donuts,’” he laughs. “It may seem silly, but I’ve taken it to mean that it’s time to start the day and be productive, which is something I can apply both in my personal life and at work with my crew.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Michael says he’d gear up for a long road trip. “I would love to jump in an RV and just travel across the United States. I got to travel the world a bit when I was in the military, but I haven’t taken much time to see and enjoy this country, so that’s definitely what I’d do.”