You might be familiar with the latest chapter in the Chas Roberts story, where we provide HVAC and plumbing services to businesses and families throughout the Valley. But do you know where the story started? To understand how we got to where we are today, as one of Arizona’s top HVAC and plumbing companies, it’s helpful to look back and start from the beginning. From a small family business to an industry pioneer, here are eight things you didn’t know about Chas Roberts.
Today, Chas Roberts is one of the most successful HVAC companies in the Southwest. But, in 1942, we started as a humble one-man and one-woman operation. Alice and Chas Roberts began by repairing and replacing everything from home appliances and coolers to furnaces and air conditioners. While Alice handled administrative tasks and kept the office running, Chas handled repairs and service calls.
Fun fact: Chas Roberts served in the military as an aircraft mechanic, retiring in 1939, and Alice Roberts was a competitive pilot that flew cross-country on multiple occasions.
Alice and Chas Roberts started the family tradition of superior HVAC service in 1942, and it’s a story with multiple generations in the making. Chas Roberts’ son, Chuck, took over managing the company in the 1960s and provided the vision for future growth. In 1999, ownership and management of the company passed to Chuck Roberts’ children, Don Roberts and Roberta “Sissie” Roberts Shank. Today, Chas Roberts is still run by Sissie Roberts Shank. In 2013, she was honored by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the year’s 25 Dynamic Women in Business.
Home cooling and heating looked a lot different back in our early days. Evaporative coolers, otherwise known as swamp coolers, were widespread and installed in most homes following World War II. But, when modern air conditioners began to take shape, our largest source of business in the 50s and 60s consisted of retrofitting homes with coolers to newer equipment. The prevalence of air conditioning helped Phoenix grow from a sleepy desert town to an oasis of life, culture, and population. A residential construction boom followed in the 70s, and we were at the forefront of installing air conditioning systems in new homes.
As the Phoenix area grew and expanded in the 70s and 80s, Chas Roberts was there to help outfit new homes with the air conditioning systems they needed to conquer the sweltering summers. Residential services and new construction became, and remain, a significant portion of our business. With over one million units installed, we’re proud to say that most of the air conditioning systems in Arizona were installed by us.
Over the years, Chas Roberts and our employees have donated thousands of dollars and thousands of hours to local and national charities. Chas Roberts has installed air conditioning units for many Habitat for Humanity and HomeBase Youth Services homes and sponsored numerous charitable events. When the company heard about a local young girl with cancer who won a new home from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in 2005, Chas Roberts also provided a new air conditioning system. Chas Roberts has sponsored numerous youth athletic teams and often makes financial contributions to causes that are close to their employees’ hearts. No matter what the cause, giving back to the local community is one of our top priorities.
Chas Roberts gives back to the local community in many ways, but perhaps our most prominent giving program is the Cool Play A/C Giveaway, which began in 2009 and is still going strong. Each year, Chas Roberts gives away air conditioning & heating systems to deserving families in the Phoenix and Tucson areas. If chosen, winners receive the new system and its installation at no cost to them. Winners are selected based on their stories of need. The Cool Play A/C Giveaway is our way of helping local families and organizations that may be undergoing hardship due to lost income, illness, or emergencies. The 2020 winners included:
From technicians to office staff, everyone who works for Chas Roberts is an extension of our family. Many of our team members have remained with us for 10, 20, and even 30 years. These strong relationships help us deliver superior service and results for each and every customer we serve.
As more and more homeowners start to prioritize energy efficiency, we’ve made it part of our business for longer than any other company in the state. 85% of the homes we install air conditioning systems in are Energy Star Homes, which is well above the average for the state of Arizona (53%) and the country as a whole (10%). As opposed to older homes, Energy Star Homes are far more efficient when it comes to heating and cooling, helping homeowners save money while also benefitting the environment.
After almost 80 years in the business, you might think we’d start slowing down—but we’re just getting started. The Valley is growing, and as more families join our community, we’ll be there for all their plumbing and HVAC needs. With new technology, new innovations, and the same great customer service, Chas Roberts is ready to serve the next generation and beyond.
Whether you’re a new homeowner looking to get started with annual maintenance for your new system, or you’re dealing with a troublesome plumbing, cooling, or heating problem, contact Chas Roberts for the best solution.