Young Business Leader
by Kim Cameron
Few people find their career niche as a teen, but Chris Hinkel, the owner of High West Heating and Cooling, did just that.
He began helping install heating and cooling systems when he was 16 in his hometown of Montgomery City, Missouri. He was blessed to mentor with a locally-owned company with a great reputation and, when he had an opportunity to attend a two-year tech program after graduation, he leaped at the opportunity. He soon graduated with an Associates in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) and was employed full-time.
Being from the south, Chris was able to perfect his skills in forced air cooling and heating, but admits the change to boilers wasn’t difficult when he and his wife decided to make their move to Colorado in 2014.
Chris and his wife Jenna had traveled to Colorado shortly after they were married. While traveling over Vail Pass, they experienced car trouble. After helpful and welcoming folks in the mountains got them back on the road, they were convinced this would be their new home.
Within a year, Chris had secured a job with a local mechanical company and planned their move to Summit County. Eventually, the couple gravitated toward Kremmling and founded High West Heating and Cooling.
Eventually, the couple gravitated toward Kremmling and founded High West Heating and Cooling, and now their two sons ages 3 and 1 are Colorado natives. As a family, they enjoy camping, hiking. and recently their 3-year old experienced the thrill of a reeling in his first trout.
Although Chris and his family spend as much time in their pop-up camper as possible, during the work week with busy jobs, Chris’s main priority is customer service. “I get a lot of satisfaction helping people.”
At 34 years of age, Chris has spent half of his life refining his skill set and has challenged himself to go above and beyond in his field. He is EPA and NATE certified. NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certification is a rigorous written test. Chris explains, “It basically restates that you know what you are talking about and are familiar with HVAC equipment, troubleshooting and installation.”
Chris’s expertise with cooling and heating spans furnaces, water heaters, refrigeration, air conditioners, and custom sheet metal. He is also a Bryant dealer. He takes pride in duct work and appreciates a finished product that is clean and professional. Much of his work is covered in drywall, but his spiral ducting at Kremmling’s Dean West restaurant is all exposed. “It is fun to see the finished product,” says Chris of his handi-work.
He enjoys working with homeowners to create their heating and cooling systems and encourages homeowners who are looking to improve their heating and cooling systems to give him a call for a free estimate. “We are happy to help people in the community warm their winters and cool their summers,” says Chris.
Hinkel can be reached at 970-724-9208. High West Heating and Cooling also has an active Facebook page that often offers special deals and promotions.