About

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

Dependable service. I have worked with John for several years. He is nice and always on time. I trust his advice. It is reassuring to have someone who knows my home system so well. The company has always been responsive to my heating and cooling needs and they are very...

Robert P.

They did a great job on installation of new duct work & installing furnace with new outdoor unit.

RHK

Removed old equipment and installed new heating & air-conditioning system in our home. All work was completed in one day as promised, and performed in a very professional manner.

Horace P.

Just sending a note of thanks for a job well done with the furnace and air conditioner replacement at my home.  I appreciate your efforts on the sales side of this project.  I also want to thank the men for the professional installation.  They were prompt, friendly, informed and answered all of...

Tom P.

• Had to call Welsch this morning to ask about a thermostat issue. Both of the people I spoke with (the receptionist and the service tech) were extremely nice and helpful. The service tech gave me a few different options to try to rectify the thermostat issue before scheduling a...

John H.

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