Case Studies

Conrad Watson Air Conditioning Inc.

Monroeville's go-to contractor
  • Written by: Kadie Jepsen
  • Produced by: Conrad Watson Air Conditioning Inc.
  • Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Conrad Watson Air Conditioning Inc., CW, provides HVAC service and installation and is also full of southern charm.

“The company started April 1, 1973,” details Nick Tatum, current president of CW. “Conrad Watson and his wife Diane initially started the business out of their home.”

Through the assistance of friends, Conrad and Diane were able to grow the business and eventually became a Carrier dealer. Tatum, who started with the company in 1987, says that the company began at just the right time and saw success soon after it started.

Conrad Watson Air Conditioning Inc.

Commercial and residential

The company works in many different avenues, including residential, commercial, industrial and refrigeration work. “Anything concerning air conditioning, refrigeration or ventilation, we’re involved in,” explains Tatum.

CW’s services include heating, cooling, indoor air quality, thermostats and zoning. In the last 10 years, CW has gone from performing primarily residential work to mostly commercial work, “Ten years ago we were at about 60 percent residential work and 30 percent commercial and now the company does between 65 percent and 70 percent commercial.”

The housing market was affected by the economic downfall in recent years and that change really affected the company’s business and client base. Tatum explains that CW had to adapt to the economy in order to grow and succeed.

Working in the HVAC industry, CW provides vital materials to its customers and the company’s project list illustrates the diversity of clients that it serves. “In 2014, we did a remodel and retrofit on a state department of transportation building in Troy, Ala., we went in and took out the boiler and the chiller,” Tatum states. “We retrofitted the building and each room has its own evaporator that hangs in the middle of the room from the ceiling and each room has its own thermostat.”

CW retrofitted Trustmark National Bank, as well. “We were able to cut their operating costs, as far as utility bills, down about 47 percent,” details Tatum. The company was able to provide the bank with tremendous savings through its expertise.

CW really enjoys the larger projects when the company can sit with the client and illustrate the energy savings or the VRF system verses the conventional type of systems. “The VRF system costs about 40 percent more than the conventional systems up front but there is a six- to seven-year payback period on the VRF,” says Tatum. The VRF system is more costly of the two; however, the pay back and the benefits of the system far outweigh the more conventional options.

Future plans

Tatum is looking forward to the future with Carrier. “Carrier is coming out with a five-speed inverter heat pump system, I’m looking forward to that and I think it’s going to be really good for the economy,” he details.

The systems operate in a unique way. “Consider a building needs 100 tons of air conditioning at 95 degrees outside air on an 80 degree day it may require 70 tons and that is what the system will deliver,” Tatum weighs. The higher the temperature, the more load a customer will get from the system, the lower the temperature the lower the load. That’s where the savings occur with the new system, it comes equipped with an inverter driven compressor making it load-sensitive.

PHCC proud

As a member of the PHCC, CW is grateful for the opportunities granted as members of the group. “They work with the legislature, which is beneficial for us and they also help us in so many other areas,” says Tatum.

The work that PHCC does, as well as the assistance that the group provides in the state senate, has also been a tremendous aid to the company. “It’s been one of the best benefits, to be honest with you,” Tatum continues. Even though the members of PHCC work in the same industry, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of competition among them. “I don’t consider them the competition and I try to have a good relationship with all of them,” continues Tatum.

There are a lot of ways that a company can measure its success, CW measures its success by the work that is being completed and in its efforts to go the extra step to ensure everything is done professionally. The employees have also become an important part of the company for Tatum. “I enjoy seeing my employees happy and watching them succeed,” he says.

As a proud supporter of its PHCC membership, Conrad Watson Air Conditioning Inc. continues to grow and succeed in the HVAC industry.

Published on: July 6, 2015

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