In 1970, Chet Highfill, the owner of Air-Care Southeast, chose to give up a long-time career in the ladies’ shoe business working for the Wohl Shoe Co. He took almost all of their savings and with the support of his wife, Polly, went to air conditioning school in Houston. Chet graduated in late 1970 and went to work as a service tech in Pasadena, Texas. In 1972, he made a move to Texas Air Care as a service tech where his knowledge grew. The owner of Texas Air Care suggested that they open an office on the southside of Houston, and Chet decided it was time to go out on his own.
In 1973, Chet started Air-Care Southeast in Pasadena. His family joined the team with his daughter, Vickie, working as a secretary, and his son Carl worked afternoons after school. The office moved from Pasadena to South Houston in 1978, and Chet now had three service techs. In 1980, Carl got his state air conditioning license which opened the door for further business growth.