DIXON — Founder Harvey Hansen’s secret for Dix0n-based and family owned Dependable Heating and Air Conditioning’s 45 years of success is simple – the customer always comes first.
“The people can depend on us,” said John Stone, Dependable’s sales manager. “Our main goal is to stay within the spirit of our name.”
Almon Holmes of Fairfield is one of those longtime customers who found Dependable in the Yellow Pages 20 years ago. Spurred by a friend’s endorsement of the company, he had them put in his air conditioning system.
“I have been their customer for quite a few years,” said Holmes. “They do good work. I also worked with them to get a contractor for work at St. Stephens Community Church (which Holmes is a member of). I would recommend them to anybody. They have got the right name, Dependable.”
Jackson Maynard of Vacaville has never directly done business with Dependable, but the new house he moved in to has one of their systems.
“This has been one of the best parts of the house,” Maynard said of the heating and air conditioning system that has been working great for years. “If I ever need a new one, I will have them put it in.”
Harvey Hansen was an heating and air conditioning installer in Vacaville when he and several partners joined together to found Dependable Heating and Air Conditioning in 1968.
“There were very few other heating and air conditioning companies around then,” Stone said.
The company’s name was selected by Harvey Hansen’s wife, Helen, who stepped up to run the company after her husband died in 1992.
In time, Harvey Hansen bought out his partners and steadily grew the company, which started working with many of the area’s developers to put in air conditioning systems in the growing number of residential subdivisions that were being built in Solano County.
Dependable not only installed heating and air conditioning systems in new homes, but upgraded the systems in a lot of the area’s older homes that previously only had furnaces, according to Stone.
The new company established its offices at Elmira Road in Vacaville. As business grew, it moved to Callen Street and then to a site right off of Eubanks Drive and Aldridge Road.
Seven years ago, Dependable bid Vacaville goodbye, bought property on the north side of Dixon and constructed the building it now calls home at 1855 N. 1st St.
Dependable’s growth took a hit when the housing bubble burst and it dropped from 127 employees to 40. But thanks to its loyal customers who love Dependable’s service and the slow revival of the economy, the number of employees has climbed back to 70.
Dependable is one of the few air conditioning companies in the area that is still a union contractor.
The company has installed and now services heating and air conditioning systems from San Mateo to Tracy and from Sacramento to Petaluma.
While its business is located in Dixon, it has a small legion of on-call installers and maintainers located throughout its service area who put in between 1,500 and 2,000 new heating and air conditioning systems a year, according to Stone.
“We offer a fair price, not the cheapest, but not the most expensive, either,” said Stone, stressing that giving the customers the most value is very important.
Dependable’s technicians not only go through four years of training and apprenticeship, but also continue to take classes to stay on the cutting edge of all the changes to heating and air conditioning systems.
When it comes to new home construction, they make a point of testing every system to ensure the new homeowner has heating and air conditioning that they can depend on.
The company sends out cards to all its customers twice a year to ensure they can take advantage of the preventive maintenance offered by Dependable so that nothing goes wrong during the summertime heat waves and the chilly winters.
When a first-time customer calls to either get a new system installed or a longtime customer wants to replace their older system, Dependable is able to get the work done quickly because it maintains an on-site warehouse of available heating and air conditioning systems.
“We have the product on the site so we are able to meet our customers’ needs faster,” Stone said.
For those customers who want to see the system first-hand before they make a decision, Dependable has a “comfort room,” where all of the heating and air conditioning systems it offers are on display.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.