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Cool friendship leads to hot idea

Former childhood neighbors launch refrigeration, cooling business

Caption
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Longtime pals Dustin Drew (left) and Brandon Reuter started Accurate Heating and Cooling in June.

DIXON – Brandon Reuter and Dustin Drew grew up across the street from one another, on Sherman Avenue, a decade ago.

Even after Reuter moved to New Mexico, the two never lost touch.

Now the longtime friends also are partners, owners of Accurate Heating & Cooling.

The two-man show operating out of 1420 S. College Ave. installs air conditioning and furnace units, revamps older units, and services existing units, among other things.

“When I moved away, [Drew would] come out and visit,” Reuter said. “He’d been in the field for long enough, and he was very passionate about it. Because of him, I really started getting into it and learning a little bit here and there.”

During his time out of state, Reuter, 26, did electrical troubleshooting, which is finding the source of and repairing electrical problems.

“I like tearing into things and seeing why it’s not working,” Reuter said.

The 28-year-old Drew, on the other hand, has been working in cooling and refrigeration since his teenage years for various contractors in the area.

“I like working with the people, and working with my hands,” Drew said. “I’m not the type of guy who can sit at a desk all day.”

Reuter moved back to Dixon more than a year ago and joined Drew on the job.

The duo was working at Stewart’s Heating & Air Conditioning when they decided to branch out on their own and be their own bosses.

“We’d been talking about it, and we just decided if we’re going to make a move, we should just do it now,” Reuter said.

The business has been open since June 20.

Reuter and Drew make solid business partners, because they both know where they stand with each other, they said.

“Brandon’s a straightforward person, that’s what I like about him,” Drew said.

Business has been about as good as can be expected after a mild summer, they said.

Right now, they are using a three-car garage on College Avenue to store equipment. They have two trucks and plan to buy a service van. The goal is to move into a bigger building soon and set up an office.

In the meantime, they are handling 24-hour service calls and doing their own bookkeeping.

“It’s been a learning experience as we go,” Reuter said. “With the physical work, we know what to do there.”

“Between accountants and lawyers, there was a lot of legality to getting started,” Drew said of the business. “I didn’t realize there was this much legality, but it’s worth it in the end. This is something we’ve built.”

And it’s something that the friends and former neighbors have talked about for years.

“At the end of the day, we just talk to each other,” Drew said of their friendship. “We never have to go home angry.”

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