#UAEinnovators: Former stay-at-home dad’s AC cleaning firm a breath of fresh air for clients
Steven Curbelo, a former stay-at-home father, started his small Abu Dhabi-based business because he was concerned about his six-year-old son’s health.
“Basically my son started getting sick and we didn’t know why,” says the American owner of Brooklyn General Maintenance, an air-conditioning cleaning company that focuses on health and quality of air.
The company uses an innovative “fog technology”, which enables the firm to spray a dry fog – a mixture of disinfectant and water – into hard-to-reach crevices to kill harmful mould and bacteria – a technique Mr Curbelo, 48, says has eased his son’s condition.
“We brought him to a couple of doctors, who gave us medicine and antibiotics,” he says. “Finally we went over to a German doctor and he said it could be the AC.”
After watching his building’s maintenance company cursorily wash and replace the filter on his AC, Mr Curbelo was convinced there was more work to be done.
He removed the air-conditioning components himself, thoroughly cleaning them and the area around the unit. The reward came soon afterwards with an improvement in his son’s condition.
After posting the results on social media, Mr Curbelo, who moved to the UAE in September 2010, was inundated by requests from friends in the capital to do the same for them.
And the idea of starting up a small business specialising in deep cleaning air-conditioning units and the duct work around them was born.
“It starts with the construction process,” says Mr Curbelo. “Builders tend to leave the air conditioning ducts open while they are in the middle of their work, so the ducts pick up dust which then compacts and forms silt in the bottom of air-conditioning trays and tends to attract algae and mould. Then the system blows that same mould back into your home.”
The company, which launched in January last year, now employs five staff and in its first year of trading made an annual revenue of Dh300,000.
Mr Curbelo says the business has taken off thanks to word-of-mouth referrals from clients including Jigsaw Nursery’s two Abu Dhabi locations as well as a number of schools and homes.
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Updated: March 4, 2015 04:00 AM