JOHNSTON, Iowa– At Schaal Plumbing Heating and Cooling, they have a warehouse office complex, which also has a learning lab. That is where they can teach some 40-50 apprentice students the finer points of heating and cooling equipment.

“We let them practice, taking a gas line apart, making sure they’re putting it back together properly thermostat wiring in here,” said Justin Bailey, The Schaal Apprenticeship Training Instructor. “We have accessories like humidifiers, different types of thermostats, as well as we can check the wiring on the gas valve.”

Apprentices come in for a three-hour class once a week. Schaal staff members come in twice a week for a total of four hours.

Schaal also advises homeowners on things they can do to get the most heat from their units. One is to make sure snow is cleared from the pipes of the unit which go outside. Also, homeowners should change the furnace filter prior to the heating season.

“The first thing a homeowner should be doing is checking the thermostat when it is super cold out you don’t want to run just set it to the temperature you want to keep it at maybe a couple degrees warmer,” said Nicholas Wanderscheid, the Schaal Service Manager. “It’s easier to maintain, rather than catch up when it’s colder.”