Chris Walters: His Background & Teaching Method
Chris Walters is the Director and Instructor of The Training Center of Air Conditioning & Heating. Chris has over 30 years experience in the HVAC industry and holds a Class “A” air conditioning license in the State of Texas with refrigeration and process heating and cooling endorsements. He is the past President and CEO of Extreme Air Conditioning Services, Inc., a commercial HVAC corporation that was in business for 21 years.
In The Beginning
Chris started his education in the A/C field in 1976 at Houston Technical Institute. It was clear this would be a challenging and rewarding field and would lead to job opportunities in different areas. During training, Mr. Walters went to work servicing commercial refrigeration systems and ice machines. He learned to build ice machines from parts and prepare them for lease. He then was put in a service van and repaired ice machines, beverage coolers, and dispensers all over Houston.
Working in High Rise HVAC
He continued to work in HVAC during a 16-year employment at a high-rise building. It was here that Mr. Walters learned commercial HVAC, obtained his maintenance electricians license, and obtained his class A State HVAC License. He obtained the universal EPA certificate and attended training at Liebert School in Ohio for computer room air conditioning. He has attended numerous other seminars on cooling towers, R-410 refrigerant, and kept up with all continuing education training required of license holders.
Working in the high rise offered experience with chillers, boilers, cooling towers, and all the many different components of high rise HVAC. Promotions allowed for Mr. Walters to experience the HVAC field from the building management point of view. During this time he was responsible for multi-floor build outs, hiring the mechanical work, and running the in-house construction and maintenance departments.
Mr. Walters was in charge of nationwide programs such as ADA compliance and Green Lights energy efficiency that furthered his knowledge of mechanical workings and infrastructure of commercial buildings. Mr. Walters is an accomplished welder and in the past, frequently welded process chilled and condenser water piping for Extreme Air Conditioning Services, where he was the CEO. Owning an air conditioning company was a lifelong dream that came true in March of 1996. Mr. Walters left his high rise job and opened the doors of Extreme with focus on both residential and commercial service.
Starting His Own Business
For 18 years, as owner-operator of Extreme Air Conditioning Services, Mr. Walters was responsible for thousands of jobs from simple residential work repairs to large commercial HVAC projects. With his past knowledge, he took Extreme Air to a prominent position as a select commercial contractor in Houston. Having spent time on both sides of the fence, Mr. Walters knows what customers want from HVAC contractors and what services are least covered by the industry.
As the past CEO of Extreme A/C, Mr. Walters designed and built custom computer room units, airplane ground cooling units, and other custom A/C units for export to other countries. In addition to building custom air conditioning units, the company also built custom controls for many purposes.
Under Mr. Walters direction there have been controls designed and installed for pumps, computer room temperature alarms, water under the floor alarms, and power loss alarms. Custom designed timer systems can shut down multiple units during unoccupied times. Mr. Walters has a railroad commission exemption that allows service and installation of propane-fueled equipment and stays current with all changes in the industry. He keeps up with many trade publications and stays prepared for changes that affect his customers and employees.
Deciding to Open an HVAC Training School
Mr. Walters noticed a continued shortage of qualified and dedicated service technicians. The biggest challenge in running an air conditioning company constantly came back to a lack of quality and quantity in the job pool. Mr. Walters decided to open The Training Center of Air Conditioning & Heating to fill a need that keeps growing. He decided to take his years of experience in residential and commercial service and apply it to this training center.
Mr. Walters designed The Training Center and program to replicate actual conditions. Over the years of hiring technicians that were “trained”, he realized they had not received the type of training that could actually put them to work. Mr. Walters has designed a unique program that will teach each part of the program separately with mostly hands-on effort. Students who pass the final exam will have completed their first installation and will be ready to go to work. Students will also have been taught that this is only the beginning and that education in this field never stops. Using Mr. Walters’ work history as an example, students will see the potential available to hard working and motivated individuals who start with the proper training and continue learning.