In the magazine and online at Bestofthe217.com, we present 332 winners in 222 categories, for a total of 444 awards.
In this age of a pandemic, it’s comforting to find a company not looking to make a buck off of someone else’s misfortune. But that’s exactly what customers will discover when they do business with Castle Home Comfort, a Gold Medal winner for Heat & Air Company. Serving the greater Champaign and surrounding areas for more than four decades, Castle Home Comfort will service a home whether it’s during the middle of the night, on the weekend or simply in the afternoon, and the company’s service rate remains an easy-to-manage $89. It was $79 for the longest time, but fuel costs recently forced the company to raise the rate. It was not an easy decision for the owners. “We like to say we’re here to help make a home warm in the winter or cool during the summer, not punish a homeowner for something they have no control over,” said Jeffrey Kenyon, owner, and general manager of Castle Home Comfort. “We want to make sure people are comfortable in their homes or businesses and be profitable. That’s all. I want to sleep at night and I can’t do that if people are uncomfortable.” Castle Home Comfort prides itself on its 100-percent satisfaction guarantee that states if a home or business owner isn’t happy with a repair, tune-up or installation Castle has performed, the customer needs only let Castle Home Comfort know and it will redo the work to the customer’s satisfaction at no additional charge or return the customer’s full investment. “It’s that simple. We do the work and get it right to the customer’s satisfaction,” Kenyon said. Castle Home Comfort is part of Success Group International, and as such uses its business model. It regularly shops (anonymously) other heating and cooling businesses to ensure its prices are competitive. Castle is a name to be trusted. It is not a newcomer to the industry. Though Kenyon and his wife, Kelli, bought the business in early 2020 just before the pandemic hit, Castle Home Comfort has been around for decades. Its culture, Jeffrey Kenyon says, is one that is family-focused and built on trust and excellence. The company, which only employs background-screened, drug-tested, and certified technicians, has had record sales the past two years and still trains its staff daily. There is a 15-minute training session every day, and on Fridays, Kelli and Jeffrey cook the team breakfast to review the week. It’s a casual time and aligns with why the company calls its team “home-comfort heroes.” It invites the public to meet the team and take advantage of its free second opinions to verify diagnoses other HVAC companies have made. Castle Home Comfort offers reasonably priced routine safety inspections, duct cleaning, and other maintenance to help home and business owners stay ahead of last-minute problems. For less than $200, Castle Home Comfort also offers a club membership, which includes two complete system rejuvenations (one in the spring for air conditioning and one in the fall for furnaces), and if the home or business owner does any recommended repair or maintenance and the system should break, Castle Home Comfort will repair it for members for free. Club membership also includes 20 percent off all parts and labor and a reduced service fee. On one of 12 trucks in the fleet, technicians arrive for a job and wear protective shoe covers when working in a home or office. “We believe in cleanliness, accountability, sympathy, leadership and excellence in all we do,” Kenyon said. “We urge the public to come see why we are different.”