Oakland Heating & Air

Oakland Heating and Air LLC
Phone: 317- 987-6002
Address: 7252 Avalon Trail Ct.
Website: Oaklandheatingandair.com
Email: Josh@oaklandheatingandair.com

This month the spotlight is on Josh Buhler, owner of Oakland Heating & Air LLC.  Josh shares his journey to starting his own business and his passion for what he does.

Why do you do what you do?  What are you passionate about? 
I loved HVAC from the moment I got into it. It was exciting to see the torches, welding, sheet metal cutting, and bending. This field is so challenging, and its demands are always changing. At eight years in the field, I still learn things every day. I’m fortunate to have some great old-timers in the trade who are always happy and willing to give advice or guidance. Currently, I am most passionate about bringing honor and respect back to the trades. I love working with my hands. I walk, talk, dress, and act professionally at work. Oakland’s guys wear uniforms and are in company-wrapped vans so we can look and be professional. I try my best to live in a way that empowers the trades. Currently, we have taken one apprentice to a full licensed tech in the last 18 months, and two weeks ago, we hired another young apprentice and will do the same with him. The future for Oakland, in large part, will be attracting good men and women here and investing the time and resources to train them up into licensed techs and professionals. 

Tell us about the events that led up to where you are now.
Initially, I started following in my parents' footsteps and studied education at IU Bloomington. I eventually decided teaching wasn’t for me and never stepped foot in the classroom. Tried my hand at a few trades and ended up loving heating and air. I graduated from a nine-month night school program at Midwest Technical Institute in Brownsburg from 6-10 p.m., M-F, while working full time during the day in the field. In 2019, I left the company I was working at and started Oakland Heating and Air LLC. We hired our first full-time employee in 2020, and today we have a total of six full-time employees.

What is unique about your business?
Oakland started with grassroots, nothing fancy. I just knew how to show up on time and do honest work at a fair price. The name Oakland comes from the street my Grandma Marie used to live on before she passed in 2005. 

Until this magazine publication, we had never even done any marketing. I basically treated each customer as if I was at my own mom’s house working on her HVAC system. I have found that when we show up on time and do honest work at a fair price, business just takes care of itself. Oakland is capable of and currently performing work ranging from routine residential HVAC maintenance, simple service/repair/install, all the way to six to eight-month-long commercial jobs with almost 100 separate units. 

What’s also unique about Oakland Heating and Air is that the owner started as a tech and still works with the techs on a daily basis. At the end of the day, I know first-hand what it’s like to be running work for a company – it can be a tough and thankless job. Long hours, hot attics, cold winters, weekends, it all adds up. No matter what, I always do whatever I can to make sure the guys in the field are happy and taken care of. 

Given your business expertise and the nature of what you do, what advice can you offer to the residents? 
CHANGE YOUR FILTER REGULARLY! If you leave your thermostat fan set to Auto, change the filter at least four times a year. If you have your fan set to online, like I do, change your filter once every month or two. The most important thing you can do as a homeowner to protect your furnace and AC is to keep a good filter in your system.

Is your business involved in the community regarding giving back? 
Each year Oakland has adopted multiple families at Christmas when we purchase and wrap all gifts for the parent and kids in each family. Oakland has participated in and sponsored a few golf charity events throughout the year. I always get at least one family from the school that I went to as a kid and then contact teachers I know at other schools and ask to be put in touch with the school counselor to line us up with another family.

What are your interests/hobbies outside of business? 
My main interest outside of work is my family! My wife, Patsy, and I have a beautiful baby girl named Charlie Marie. When I’m not working, I’m with my family. Charlie is almost 1-year-old, and we're just thrilled watching her start to grow up. I love Sunday family dinners at my parents, God Bless my brother Ben in the Marines and all the men and women in the military, both past and present. If I’m not with my family or working, I’ll be out golfing or riding the Harley! Any time I can sneak in 18 holes of golf, I’m happy!  

Why do you like being a part of The Village of WestClay Living publication? 
The publication is a great way to be involved in a one-of-a-kind neighborhood like the Village. It’s such a social neighborhood, and I enjoyed attending one of the concerts last year to meet some of the residents!