Family-Owned Business A Success After Three Generations

Lockwood Furnace not only in business for generations, but gives back to the community.

Harlow Lockwood is the third generation to help Joliet-area residents keep their heating and cooling systems in tip-top shape. His grandfather started Lockwood Furnace business when they were still selling coal furnaces. And the business is not only still family-owned, but also Harlow Lockwood's wife Margaret works in the business as a secretary. She told Patch a little bit about the business, her husband and how to keep heating and air conditioning units in top-running condition.

It may sound obvious, but Margaret Lockwood said heating and cooling units are mechanical and they need the same kind of care and maintenance you give your car. 

"People don't think about their a/c and furnace, but those are probably used more often than your car," she said.

Getting a yearly inspection is so important, in fact, that it could save your life. Margaret Lockwood said the company was doing a routine inspection of a customer's furnace last year and found a cracked heat exchanger. That kind of damage can be deadly as it could release carbon monoxide into the home. Carbon monoxide is odorless, and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning mimic flu symptoms. If, however, homeowners take another precaution and get a working carbon monoxide detector, it will go far to keep the residents safe.

"Make sure (you) have an operating carbon monoxide detector," she said. "One of the secrets is, if you have a carbon monoxide detector that is ceiling mounted, they only have a life-span of five years."

Lockwood Furnace's popularity as a company may have to do with its staying power in the community, but also the company gives back as much as it can.

"We select a charity every year," Margaret Lockwood said.

She added that Harlow Lockwood, who served on the Joliet Park District Board of Commissioners, put the heating and air conditioning systems in at the Pilcher Park Nature Center in for no charge.

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