US Builders Review                                                    

A-1 Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.

A breath of fresh air for a swamped industry
Written by: 
Dale J Rappaneau Jr.
Produced by: 
John Carioti

Winning a Company of the Year award should be a spectacular event; and it is. However, for A-1 Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. (A-1 Heating & Air), 2014 is just another normal year of providing excellent air and heating services to clients, as the company does not rest on its many laurels.

Founded in 1956 by Gordon Hartman and George Wassler, the company began with a single location, which was a small cabinet shop in Idaho. Originally, the duo focused on providing customers with outstanding furnace replacement and maintenance services. Now, the company features two extensive locations in Idaho and holds more than 18 nationally recognized awards.

“We still specialize in furnace replacement work and furnace maintenance,” says Pat Minegar, president of A-1 Heating & Air. “We’re heavily involved in new residential construction heating and air conditioning.”

With the recent economic madness of the last few years, though, A-1 Heating & Air branched into providing furnace replacement services. “Now that new construction is picking up, we’re heading back into our favorite market, residential heating and air conditioning,” says Minegar. “We do very little commercial work and no industrial. We focus on HVAC for residential projects.”

In 2013, approximately 63 percent of the company’s work consisted of residential homeowners, according to Minegar. Furthermore, the remainder mostly involved residential builders. “We’ve done some apartment complexes of late and ductless systems, but most of our projects are residential homes,” says Minegar. “And we do so many homes, I can’t say that a single one is, or isn’t, my favorite. I really enjoy every project.”

Re-growing revenue

As of 2014, A-1 Heating & Air has almost 100 employees, and covers the better half of Idaho and a portion of Oregon. Although economic troubles hindered the company’s growth over the last five or six years, A-1 Heating & Air has recently been enjoying a healthy upswing.

“Sure, with the recession, we had to change our marketing strategy and go after the replacement business for furnaces and air conditioners, and not rely so much on new construction,” says Minegar. “But we’re really good at taking care of people, both customers and employees. We’re very people-focused, and able to keep on motivating our great staff, which then goes well for our customers.”

A major factor contributing to the company’s success with customers is the focus on in-house work. “We do all services in-house,” says Minegar. “We only outsource for supplies and materials, and we also have an in-house 24/7 service department available for inquiries or concerns.”

In a nutshell, A-1 Heating & Air has been able to adapt to the market changes, all while ensuring customer satisfaction through employee satisfaction. “This kind of people-focused corporate structure has played a huge part in our success with acquiring awards,” he continues proudly.

Noteworthy awards in a competitive industry

Starting in 1994, when the company earned the Building Contractors Association of Southwestern Idaho’s (BCASWI) Company of the Year award, A-1 Heating & Air has been on an award-winning streak that shows no signs of slowing. In 1996 and ’99, A-1 Heating & Air also won BCASWI’s Associate of the Year award.

Since 1996, A-1 Heating & Air Conditioning has earned an award from Lennox International Inc. (Lennox), an international HVAC producer. Example awards include: Lennox Partner of the Year award, in 2012 and 2013; Lennox Top 20 Dealer in North America award, in 2011, 2012 and 2013; and Lennox Circle of Excellence Dealer award, in 1998, 2005, 2009 and 2010.

Earning so many awards within the company’s short existence of 58 years proves that A-1 Heating & Air does in fact care about the end-user. More importantly, though, according to the numerous awards earned from Lennox, A-1 Heating & Air cares about creating a worthwhile relationship with the companies that build reputable HVAC systems.

In turn, such notable awards have helped the company attract new customers and new maintenance projects - both of which lend to the continued success of A-1 Heating & Air. “We’re very focused on quality work and growth, utilizing maintenance clients for steady growth,” says Minegar. “We like to maintain 4,000 maintenance customers at any given time, to create a steady base.”

Having now been with the company for 38 years, Minegar knows all too well about what it takes to own and operate a successful HVAC company. He strives to impress clients. He works hard to attract hardworking individuals. He seeks to maintain prosperous connections with award-winning companies. More importantly, though, Minegar knows how to take the company to the next level by continuing to provide the quality services that have come to define A-1 Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.’s status as an award winner.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Russell Sigler Inc.