Business Matters: New Hope Heating Company a Finalist for Ethics Award
Employees with Blue Ox Heating & Air in New Hope have a common mission.
“Customer is king. That’s our motto,” said Jeff Johnson, CEO of Blue Ox Heating & Air.
While the customer is king, the Blue Ox technicians who do the work aren’t far behind.
“You’ll hear the owners when they come in, ‘I like hearing when our staff is laughing and joking, having fun at work,'” said Johnson. “They spend more time here than they generally do with their families, and we try to make it a family environment.”
It’s a family environment that started generations ago by people from the same family.
“Tim and Pat Maguire, who are a part of our ownership group here today, actually, their grandfather started the company back in the 1900s as Maguire & Sons,” said Johnson.
Several family-owned companies came together to form Blue Ox in 2013.
“All the entrepreneurs that came together, all had their own idea. That’s why I’m here,” Johnson laughed.
“It’s a Culture”
The transition may not have been easy. But finding out the company was a finalist for the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota’s Torch Awards for ethics made it all worth it.
“It’s a culture. It doesn’t happen just by saying that,” said Johnson about the honor. “It’s treating everyone correctly the way they would want to be treated.”
Blue Ox Heating & Air is one of five finalists for the award in the 11-50 employee category. Standard Water Control Systems of Crystal is another. The winners will be announced Oct. 24.
Tips to Save on Heating
Blue Ox technician John Werth went over the basics of a routine inspection as he was servicing a home in Crystal.
“There’s a lot of parts, a lot of working components, motors, switches,” said Werth. “It’s a huge investment for the customer, we want to make sure they’re safe.”
Inspections can range anywhere from $50 to $100. Technicians will check sensors, clean the blower motor and make sure carbon monoxide levels are safe. Besides inspections, there’s another simple things homeowners can do too.
“The biggest thing most homeowners don’t think about is changing the filter,” said Tom Gehle, general manager with Blue Ox Heating & Air.
Your standard one-inch filter should be changed every month. If you have a thicker media filter, think about replacing it every 90 days.
“Changing the filter, making sure, you’re keeping it from getting clogged up,” said Gehle. “Because when it gets clogged up, the pressures change, causes the systems to go down during the cold times.”
Gehle says set-back thermostats are another way to save money. He suggests lowering your home temperature by two or three degrees at night or setting it back during the day and then program the temperature back up a half hour before you get home.
“Based on the type of systems you have, you could save anywhere from $25 to $50 a month,” he said.