Total Air Solutions service tech Matt Bonnell inspects an air conditioning unit. The Tampa office of Total Air serves Wesley Chapel, New Tampa & Lutz. (Photos: Charmaine George).

Total Air Solutions has been serving not only the Tampa Bay area, but areas up and down the Gulf Coast, for the last 19 years. But, over that time, Total Air has mostly dedicated its business to commercial properties — from offices to medical clinics and more.

It was only about two years ago that Total Air started servicing residential customers and co-owner and co-founder Bill Albert knows that’s one reason why there are those in our area who may not be familiar with his company.

“We’ve been in Tampa a lot longer than people realize,” Albert said. “We hire local techs and we’re continuing to grow and very interested in growing in the Lutz, New Tampa and Wesley Chapel areas.”

While Total Air Solutions has made strides in its quest to become the go-to service provider for air conditioning in our area, Albert points out that the recent “new normal” brought on by the novel coronavirus and subsequent quarantining from the pandemic — such as working from home and virtual schooling — has led to a very large uptick in the residential air conditioning business.

“Everyone is in their houses now,” Albert says. “It was fine when you left your house at seven in the morning (and could turn the air down). But now that you’re there 24/7… everyone needs the service much more because the air is always running. And, it’s Florida. So it’s been a banner year for our residential side.”

On The Grow From Day One

Albert figures that Total Air, which he started in his garage with fellow co-owner/co-founder Frank Decarlo, has nearly doubled in size in less than a year. 

“To put it frankly, it’s going like gangbusters because everyone is staying home and they’re concerned about their air conditioning,” he says. “Our commercial side slowed down a bit, especially in April and May, but we’re seeing that pick back up, too, as offices are reopening.”

Bill Albert

Albert worked for six years as an HVAC distributor for Carrier Florida, first in Tampa and then in Orlando, and prior to that, he held positions in a solar hot water heating and installation company and a home energy design system firm. 

Decarlo previously was the VP/general manager at a heating and cooling company in North Port for seven years, where he was initially hired as a service manager and grew that company’s annual sales fourfold. Prior to that, he was a service technician at an air conditioning firm in New York.

Now, 19 years later and having combined their efforts, Total Air Solutions has offices in Tampa and North Port and 92 employees.

“There are a lot of air conditioning companies out there, but there are very few qualified technicians,” Albert says. “We’re also Carrier-certified and (have won Carrier’s) President’s Award three years in a row, but we can also fix any brand because when you call us, we send you service technicians, not salesmen. There’s an industry term for that — an SID, or “salesman in disguise” — but that’s not what you get from Total Air. We’re not going to sell you things you don’t need. We try to find the total air solution for our customers.”

Like any business, Albert adds, Covid-19 has affected the way Total Air Solutions meets its customers’ needs. The offices were initially shut down and the employees were working remotely. And then, the  technicians would go out to calls and drive separate vehicles.

And, Albert says, Total Air is adhering to every guideline put out by the U.S. Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

“While we’ve been very lucky that we’ve been touched very sparingly with our employees and personally with this disease,” Albert says, “we are still taking every precaution provided by the CDC. (We use) masks, gloves, sanitizer, booties, covering the (cost of) testing for our employees — we’re just doing the best we can, like everyone else.”

Hurricane Season Mode

Albert adds that Total Air also is handling the “new normal” of visiting customers’ homes well, but also is in full hurricane season mode at our press time, knowing that any storm that hits the area could require a lot more service requests.

“We’re very conscious of hurricane season because we know there can be damage or people can be without air conditioning,” Albert says. “We want to help them get it back up and running as quickly as possible.”

And, Total Air does that very well and efficiently. It’s one of the reasons they been able to keep customers from the very start.

“I’ve been a customer with Total Air Solutions for about three years,” says Carroll Grant of New Tampa. “It all started when my air conditioner went out in the middle of the night. They were here at 7 o’clock in the morning to install the new unit with no hassle at all, and I’ve been happy ever since.”

Grant is aware that, as a Floridian, having a working air conditioning system isn’t a luxury. 

“Living here in Florida, having reliable air conditioning service is not just a request or a hope, it’s an absolute necessity,” he says. “So, my suggestion would be to anyone who needs air conditioning solutions, give Total Air a call. I would very much recommend them to friends and family, and I have.”

Especially since Total Air is now offering three inspection for the price of two, a package which costs just $149.The special is only for new customers, who need to mention that they read about it in the Neighborhood News before the service is started.

Albert says this special offer is one of his favorites because he knows it offers a great value to his customers, especially if they are using Total Air Solutions for the first time. 

He says the maintenance of an air conditioning system, even a new unit, is vital to keeping your house cool.

“Just because it’s running doesn’t mean it’s perfect,” Albert says. “I ask (customers), ‘Don’t you change the oil in your car?’ So, you get the maintenance right there, and then you have another maintenance for the next year. It’s a great deal.”

And of course, Total Air Solutions also provides residential and commercial heating services, including installing heat pumps, and offers indoor air quality and filtration solutions (more in demand these days, due to Covid-19), as well as duct work services, and you can even finance your new Carrier AC. 

Total Air Solutions’ Tampa office is at 1015 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. For more info, visit TotalAirFl.com or call (813) 247-2665.

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