Founded by Bill Swanson, Sr., Tri County began as a small shop installing, maintaining and repairing air conditioning and heating systems. In 1987, his son, Bill Swanson Jr., joined the company. Bill Jr. graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in mechanical engineering and is now the President and CEO of Tri County Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. Although its beginnings were small, a commitment to excellence has propelled Tri County to become one of the largest air conditioning companies on the west coast of Florida.
With a 100 percent customer guarantee, Tri County takes customer satisfaction to a whole new level. Educating the consumer on ways to save energy and improve the environment, both inside and out, has been a commitment from Tri County’s inception. Swanson is always looking for new ways to provide service and comfort to his customers. To that end, in 2009, Tri County went green. Already offering the most energy efficient AC units on the market, the road to becoming a green company wasn’t difficult. The desire to be good stewards of the earth and its natural resources prompted Swanson to explore new ways of providing the energy to operate the AC systems that have been the mainstay of Tri County. The next logical step was solar power. Advances in the photovoltaic industry started Swanson thinking, “Why not make it possible for our customers to produce their own energy?”
Here’s where Swanson took a different road compared to fellow competitors in the industry. Always concerned about his customers comfort, he had to be comfortable himself before offering these new “energy generating” systems. First step was to install a 5 kilowatt Photovoltaic System in his personal residence. “I never want to sell my customers anything that I don’t personally believe in. Just looking at data didn’t make me comfortable enough to take a chance with their hard earned money.” Then he added a 22.2 kilowatt photovoltaic system at Tri County’s 19,800 square foot headquarters. However, once the systems were installed and he began to see the decline in not only his electric bill, but also the company’s, it was a “no brainer” to start marketing Photovoltaic Systems to businesses and homeowners alike.
Needless to say, Swanson’s a believer in the benefits of creating your own energy if possible. That’s why he’s so excited about the federal incentive of a 30 percent tax credit and the state of Florida’s rebate program that nets residential customers up to 20,000 dollars, and business up to 100,000 back on systems installed before June 30, 2010. “The two programs working together allays the biggest fear most people have about going solar, which is price,” says Swanson. “No matter how environmentally conscious you are, products still need to be affordable in order for people to take advantage of them.” Tri County is seeing a daily increase in solar related questions and Swanson attributes it to the government backed incentive programs. “No doubt, businesses and homeowners want to produce their own energy, now they can afford to.”
Tri County now offers Photovoltaic Systems along with Solar Hot Water Systems, however their commitment to sustainability doesn’t end there. Indoor Air Quality has always been a topic of concern. Again, advances in technology have opened the door for Tri County to not only provide HVAC systems and create the energy to operate them, but now to actually do a better job of “cleaning” the air its customers breathe. According to Swanson, “at Tri County we not only want to decrease our carbon footprint outside the house, we also want to provide the best inside environment possible for our customers.”
Offering green products to customers is something Tri County is proud of, however, it doesn’t stop there. They’ve also “gone green” at the office. A recycling program has been instituted for all trash. Guardian Air™ Purification Systems and Austin Air Filters have been installed throughout Tri County’s home offices. The new practices and products, coupled with the photovoltaic system is an effort to decrease Tri County’s overall carbon footprint, while providing a safer, cleaner, greener environment for employees and anyone who visits their showroom. The move to green made Tri County a natural fit for the Sarasota Green Business Partnership of which they are now a member of in good standing, not only employing green practices but also educating the community about the necessity of thinking about tomorrow.