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History

Our original location was built in 1895.The Welsch Furnace Company (now Welsch Heating and Cooling Company) was founded in 1895 by current president George Welsch’s great-grandfather. The company was located for more than 75 years at 5601 Manchester Road in the historic Forest Park South East neighborhood. In the early days the company more resembled a general store than a heating and cooling company. Pot bellied stoves were the most notable heating devices the company sold. When coal furnaces started being built, the company became a supplier, assembler and installer of those coal furnaces. Due to their size they came in pieces which had to be assembled in the homes basement. The warm air was circulated into the living rooms by round pipes in the basement, angled up from the furnace to the floor above to allow the warm air to rise naturally into the home. The return was normally a single large grille on the floor near the middle of the homes first floor.

Also, in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, Welsch began to provide specialized sheet metal items such as architectural sheet metal items that included gutters and downspouts, bay roofs, etc. This is a field in which the company continues to specialize today.

Following WWII, natural gas became available and the company installed thousands of gas conversion burners so that the coal furnaces would be fired by gas without the dust, dirt and inconvenience of coal. In the late 1940’s furnace manufacturers finally developed what was called a “gas designed” furnace. That meant merely that the furnace was designed to heat with gas and was NOT a converted coal furnace.

Shortly thereafter the Manufacturers’ added blowers to these furnaces and we had “Forced air (with a blower), Gas designed (no conversion) furnaces. Their introduction coincided with an unprecedented building boom as soldiers returned following the war.

In the “boom” building times after World War II, and well into the 1950’s, the company became a St. Louis leader in the installation of residential heating systems. From 1929 thru the late ’70’s, George “Butch” Welsch’s father, Vincent Welsch, headed the company.

In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, with the advent of air conditioning, the company became heavily involved in the custom design, construction and installation of air conditioning systems on many of the thousands of St. Louis area homes already relying on Welsch heat. By the end of the 1960’s, nearly all of the homes that could be air-conditioned were air-conditioned.

From the early ’70’s to mid ’80’s the company again focused its efforts on the new residential market. In the late 80’s several things occurred which changed the future direction of the company.

First, there was a slowdown in the new residential construction market and for the first time it was reported that more air conditioning units were sold for replacement than new construction.  Also, the public began requiring more and better service in all areas including heating and air conditioning.

As a result, the company became very involved in the service and replacement of residential and commercial heating and cooling systems. Since then, the service end of Welsch has grown from 4 service technicians and 0 service contracts, to 20 service techs, over 5000 service contracts.

Reviews

I have always received good service from Welsch. Today Brian C. came for my annual furnace service. He was very professional, yet friendly. He happened to arrive at a moment of crisis, as the float broke off of my sump pump just a few minutes before. He was extra patient,...

Helen P.

On Sunday evening during the high heat, I called as the a/c was providing warm air.  I received a call that Service was alerted.  Without any intervention on my part, the problem was determined and a new a/c was in operation by 2:00 PM.  That’s “organization”.

Russ B.

Rick did an outstanding job of assessing my needs, making appropriate suggestions, and fielding follow-up questions in a timely manner. The install crew was efficient and completed the install by early afternoon. While the crew did remove all the old components the basement floor could have used a sweeping –...

Larry M.

Enclosed is payment for my new A/C and furnace. Your workmen were exceptional. Ilene O.

Ilene O.

I would like to again compliment one of your fine employees.  He comes two times a year and is always on time, I told him if he is early come anyway, so now he is a little early, great.  He is very efficient and I think does a good job,...

Dan V.

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