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Air Solutions keeps Corpus Christi cool

Celebrating four years since the company first began in May 2014 is the staff at Air Solutions Air Conditioning and Heating, including owners Cliff and Carrie Tonne (front row, left), son Cameron Tonne, office manager Dawn Taylor, dispatcher Dani Swinderman, operations manager Vern Mehan (back row, left), installer Rolando Blanco, technician D. Bryant, technician Frank Garcia, and senior technician Gabe Perez (not pictured). Photo by Jane Kathleen Gregorio

The continual heat advisories being issued in South Texas this summer highlight the importance of keeping air-conditioning units maintained in top-notch condition. The owners of Air Solutions Air Conditioning and Heating LLC, Cliff and Carrie Tonne, know the importance of helping residential and commercial customers keep their cool.

With that in mind, they shared a few tips on how to help your AC survive this blazing hot summer.

• Change air filters at least once a month. Filters work as a buffer between the handler and ducting system and the pet hair and dust that can cause a motor to burn out.

• Add a bleach tab to the AC unit to help prevent clogging in the system. The most common problem during the summer is an overworked A/C unit, causing clogged drains that eventually lead to leaks.

• Call Air Solutions to sign up for a maintenance agreement to check between fall and summer. Air Solutions offers a package for biannual maintenance that puts those customers at the top of the priority check list.

• Install ultraviolet lights to stop microbial growth and use ozone products that prevent allergens in the AC system. Air Solutions offers both products and installation.

As one of the first air-conditioning companies to use Facebook for its marketing, Air Solutions offers more tips on AC maintenance and service every Tuesday online. All you have to do is like the page and advice shows up in your own personal Facebook feed.

This especially hot summer marks the four-year anniversary of the company, which was first profiled in Corpus Christi Business News in 2015.

“Since we opened our doors May 2014, we have kept growing,” Cliff Tonne said. “We started off with two people working from our home, then we upgraded to two service vehicles and a rented office space in downtown, and now we have a staff of 10 people, four service trucks, a shop, and a growing client base who continues to refer family and friends to us.”

Tonne has 20-plus years’ experience in the HVAC industry and four years and counting with Air Solutions

“We love everything about this business,” said his wife, Carrie Tonne, who manages business operations. “Many customers turn into friends, and some of our clients from 20 years ago are still with us today.”

The couple attributes a large part of the company’s success to the talents and efforts of their employees, such as office manager Dawn Taylor. Taylor runs a tight ship, the Tonnes said, answering customers’ questions, coordinating field technicians, assisting with dispatch duties, and taking care of accounts receivable.

“I really love working for a family-owned business because they treat customers with more compassion, unlike corporations, where the focus is more on numbers,” Taylor said.

Taylor left the oil and gas industry to work for Air Solutions. She has flourished in her current field, which needs special attention during certain times of the year.

“South Texas can be freakishly hot, and we know how distraught people can feel without AC, so we want to make sure they are comfortable and are happy with our services,” Taylor said. “And in the two years I’ve worked here, my single file cabinet of customers has multiplied since our clients have more than doubled in number.”

Rounding out the family business is 14-year-old son, Cameron Kohl Tonne, who has been helping his parents since he was a child. This summer, his duties will include cleaning the shop, mowing the lawn, and organizing old equipment into scrap piles.

“My dad doesn’t let me just sit around — he puts me to work,” Cameron said with a laugh. “But thanks to my family business, I was taught responsibility at an early age.”

He plans to pursue mechanical engineering in college.

His best friend, Chase Culberth, 15, has a summer job with the company. He believes working at Air Solutions is teaching him the skills he needs to run his own business some day.

“I only started this week, and although it’s hard work, it’s also fun working with my best friend,” Chase said. “The pay is better here, and I am learning how an AC-repair business operates.”

Focusing on customer service and providing cool comfort in the South Texas heat are just a couple of the ways Air Solutions continues to grow. Future plans for the company include adding a sheet metal shop and electrical and plumbing services.

Air Solutions Air Conditioning and Heating is located at 410 44th St. in Corpus Christi. For more information, call (361) 855-2665 or visit airsolutionscc.com.

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