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Gladstone Furnace, Est. 1948

ONE OF THE OLDEST FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED COMPANIES IN TOWN

Partner Content Gladstone Furnace & AC Co

Article by Northland City Lifestyle

Photography by Gladstone Furnace

With the warm temperatures finally starting to creep up on us, it’s time to start thinking about air conditioning again. Anyone looking for a provider for an essential service needs to keep in mind several things before making a choice. For one, they’ll need to find someone who has been in business long enough to know the best from the worst. Two, you’ll want to find a provider who is honest about your needs and how to help. 

Gladstone Furnace, which started in 1948, is a company which provides both. Since their inception, they’ve been dedicated to honesty and integrity with their customers. They actively avoid scare tactics and hold a great reputation in the community for taking care of their customers in the long term.

We had a chance to sit down with Dan and Amy Becker, the current owner/operators of Gladstone Furnace and learn a bit more about the history of the business.


Hello to you both! It’s great to meet you and learn more about the business. You have been in business for a long time! I’d love to start with how it all began.

Dan: It all started with Dad - William (Bill) Becker. He was a World War II vet, and on his way back home, he stopped in Colorado for a short time where he first starting working in the heating industry and found his love for it.  When he returned to Kansas City, he continued working in the heating industry learning more about the business and in 1947 he met the other love of his life, Billie, in January 1948 they started their own heating company and were married a couple days later. The two of them ran the company together.

Amy: The company has only been through a few shifts. In 1972, Dan’s brother continued the company once dad had retired. He owned it and ran it until 2012, when Dan and I took over and now we are the proud owners.


What about the operations themselves? Have you seen many changes over the years?

Amy:  The company started with just heating actually. Hence the name, “Gladstone Furnace.” 

Dan: AC first began in 1953, then by 1955 it was a mainstream thing people were putting into their homes and buildings. That was when we began to provide it as well. Dad actually owned another business for awhile where he also helped supply the equipment for AC. He supported both his business and others for a time.

Amy: We’ve been family-operated since 1976, which has been a blast. We can be really lenient with each other and understanding. That was a big part of the reason why I came on board. I had been in nothing but corporate jobs since I was 19, but I had a son at the time who was having some medical conditions. I was finding it difficult to pull away from office work to take care of them. I officially became an employee in 2009. It made it a lot easier for me to take care of him.

Dan: It also was the beginning of me taking over the business. Amy helped with taking a lot of the work off my brother, Bill Jr. 

What do you think has made your company successful all these years?

Amy: We aren’t the kind to apply a lot of pressure to our customers. We want them to make informed decisions. Same thing with everyone who works with us - we don’t apply a ton of pressure on them to make sales. 

Dan: We always give the option between repairing or replacing. We lay out all the information, and we’ll tell them how much time we think a part might have before it’s necessary to replace it. It’s never an exact science, but we’ll say, for example, “It could be five months, or it could last five more years.” I think some competitors might stress into the five months and make a customer feel they have no choice.


Not to mention all the experience you have now, I’m sure that comes in handy.

Dan: Definitely. We’ve seen pretty much everything - every system that’s been put in. We have a wholistic knowledge about everything that’s been used and can usually tell when we enter a new house what has been done to it and what needs to be done. We know what projects are worth the time and expense and which ones aren’t, and we share that information with our customers. 

Amy: Plus, people know the family. Dad has a nickname in town, and people know Dan from when he was real little running around the shop and helping out. There’s accountability that comes with that. We don’t want to do a poor job with anyone because we know what Gladstone means to the customers we have.

What’s been one of the most difficult times you’ve faced in your business?

Amy: Oh, every Spring and Fall is a little tough - everyone is relying on their windows to cool them off and regulate their temperatures. It’s when the AC’s get turned on, or the first freeze happens that business begins to pick back up again.

Dan: COVID wasn’t even really hard for us.

Amy: Yeah, not really - we saw a lot of business because people were home. We also found it was easy to schedule with people when they were home. 


What are you both most proud of?

Amy: It’s been said already, but our honesty. We don’t push people to buy what they don’t need. Variable speeds aren’t for everyone. Not everything is an emergency. We’ll always tell customers everything and the options they have. 

Dan: I’m proud it’s been in the family this long, and that we’re family-owned and family-operated. We take care of each other. In the Spring and Fall when things are tight, we move things around and make room so we don’t have to let go of anyone and no one goes without pay. My dad did the same during down times.

Amy: My son is working with us now. He’s known Dan since he was 5 years old, and he’s our would-be apprentice. We’re hoping that eventually, he comes around to wanting to take over his dad’s business, just like Dan did.

Gladstone Furnace has been servicing the Northland area for almost 75 years. As we shed our winter coats, we may need stop to remember to take care of our home’s air conditioning as well.


Gladstone is happy to give you a consultation and quote to help you get the information and care you need to live comfortably. Call or stop by to learn more.

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