The History of Bolls Heating & Cooling
70 Years of Furnace & Air Conditioner Services in Indianapolis
In the era that followed the end of World War II, the United States experienced a phenomenal post-war economic and social “boom.” Indianapolis was similarly a burgeoning market that Francis Xavier Bolls recognized as an ideal location for him to start a new heating company.
“Fran” Bolls grew up in the furnace industry with his father’s business in Springfield, Illinois, but longed for his own in a bigger market. He boldly started out on his own from scratch and elected to do it in Indianapolis in 1948. People who knew Fran described him as bombastic, loud, business savvy, good to employees, and politically and socially connected. With these traits and a team of highly talented individuals, the rapidly growing “Bolls Furnace Company” was a premier player in the Indianapolis market.
Fran was very loyal to his primary supplier, The Williamson Company, a high-end, premium manufacturer of heating and air conditioning equipment and ductwork. This plus Bolls’ reputation for flawless, hand-crafted custom sheet metal work quickly positioned Bolls Furnace as Indiana’s high-end heating contractor. The talents of Bill Boyd (Sales Management) and Bernard Johnson (Install Layout and Management) were instrumental in helping Fran achieve his rapid growth and reputation.
We take great pride in our long history of quality service and care. To become a part of our story, reach out to us today and schedule an estimate.
Keeping Up with Changing Times
The business went through many phases: coal furnaces in the late 1940s, coal to oil furnace conversions in the 1950s, and oil to gas conversions in the 1960s. Fran’s focus was on the new house market until the late 1970s when he decided to focus on the replacement market, as we still do today. Fran also had a Windows and Doors Division in the 1950s and 1960s and an Insulation Division in the 1970s and 1980s.
Bolls’ location has always been at 3648 West 16th Street in Indianapolis, where Fran originally leased an office. Eventually, Fran purchased the entire building and also bought out the Armour-Grimes Company in Indianapolis and used that location as a satellite office, but later consolidated it down to the 16th Street location.
They're very prompt.- Betsy
Very professional.- Steven
Bolls has been my heating/cooling service provider for more than a quarter of a century.- Marian
A truly great little business!!- Donna
We got 3 quotes and Bolls was by far the best.- Richard
Changing of the Guard
Fran developed Lou Gehrig's disease in 1982, shortly after his wife died of cancer. Prior to his death in 1983, he worked out a buyout agreement with his sole supplier, The Williamson Company. Bolls was operating as a retail division of The Williamson Company until it was bought out again in 1989 by a partnership of employees, Sergei Traycoff and Dick Cooley with Tom Mutz, owner of Unique Indoor Comfort.
Tom Mutz’s contracting organization, Unique Indoor Comfort, ushered in a new era for Bolls in a progressive, forward-thinking way of running and advancing the business while retaining Bolls’ hallmark quality image. Tom created Unique Indoor Comfort in the mid-1960s after he successfully ran the retail portion of the Peerless Furnace Company in Indianapolis. Unique Indoor Comfort quickly became a nationally known and respected entity in the HVAC industry, embracing Tom’s philosophy on managing heating and air conditioning business.
Tom Mutz partnered with Bolls employees Sergei Traycoff and Dick Cooley to bring Bolls into the Unique organization in February 1989. After Tom’s untimely and unfortunate death in 1992, Bolls continued to pursue his basic business premises of doing the job right the first time, telling the truth, asking for the business and keeping accounting and paperwork simple. Frank Mutz II, Tom’s son, succeeded him as the head of Unique in 1992 as well as the CEO of Moncrief Heating and Air Conditioning of Atlanta, GA (Unique’s largest entity). Frank brings a progressive perspective and technical expertise to our business as well as the other Unique affiliates.
The Bolls of Today
Sergei Traycoff started his career with Bolls in 1986. He is currently the President and largest individual stockholder. Sergei grew up in Indianapolis and is a graduate of Southport High School. He attended Indiana University and earned a degree in marketing in 1977. Sergei is responsible for company sales and management. He is best known for his enthusiasm and conviction that Bolls can and will out-serve and out-perform its competitors. He holds the Light Commercial and Residential HVAC License.
Call Bolls Heating & Cooling at (317) 830-3010 for old-fashioned friendly service and professional heating and cooling solutions.