Boonville Sheet Metal is a 4th generation business and is owned by the Bechtold family and has been in business since 1924. We were known for many years as Boonville Sheet Metal and Furnace Works. In the 1970s the name was shortened to its present form. In addition to furnaces we did custom metal work and gutters in the early years of our business. Guttering was phased out in the 1970s, while some metal work continues in the form of flue and chimney tops.
Boonville Sheet Metal LLC has seen many changes over the years as technology has changed the way we heat and cool our homes. We have seen our share of coal furnaces, stokers, and gas conversion burners, and have torn out many of these as well. Individuals of a certain age can remember the first hulking gas furnaces of the 40s, 50s and 60s. These units were revolutionary. No coal to shovel, no clinkers to remove. What a relief! Just set the thermostat and warm air filled your home.
Boonville Sheet Metal LLC installed our first air conditioners in the 1950s. What luxury on a hot July or August afternoon. At first whole house air conditioners were a luxury, then as the years went by became standard. Today, it’s a rarity to find a house without one.
Heating and air conditioning continue to evolve and new technology provides new options. Furnaces with efficiencies as high as 97% and air conditioners up to 19 Seer and above. The future is comfort.
Boonville Sheet Metal LLC is all you need for your heating and air conditioning needs.
Established in 1924
Boonville Sheet Metal was founded by Frank Bechtold in 1924. The business did primarily metal work, such as, gutters and tin metal. Aubrey P and Clarence Bechtold both starting working for their father when they were 16 years old. After Frank’s death in 1929, Aubrey P. and his brother Clarence took over as proprietors and called the business, Boonville Sheet Metal and Furnace works (BSM&FW). In the early days the business was located at 316 Grand Avenue here in Boonville. As with most businesses it moved several times, before finally locating at 210 4th St. in 1949. In the book, Cooper County Missouri, by E.J. Melton published in 1937, he had this to say about Boonville Sheet Metal:
The Boonville Sheet Metal and Furnace continued to do metal, guttering, and furnace installation throughout the 1930’s and 40’s. They sold Front Rank coal furnaces. After Front Rank went out of business, they sold Lennox coal furnaces, since natural gas was not available. Later when natural gas was available they sold conversion burners to convert coal furnaces to natural gas. With the introduction of natural gas in Boonville, they sold Lennox gas furnaces and continued to sell Lennox until the early 1950s. Clarence Bechtold passed away in 1949 at the shop building on 4th St. Aubrey P. became the sole owner of Boonville Sheet Metal and Furnace Works.
In the 1950s BSM&FW sold Lennox and American Furnace Co. (AFCO) furnaces. Aubrey dropped selling Lennox because AFCO was outselling the other brand. Aubrey liked AFCO because of its quality and ease. Some of the early AFCO furnaces are still operating today. They were indestructible. In 1953 Aubrey’s son Aubrey Ray started working part-time BSM&F. Aubrey R started working full-time after graduating from high school. In 1955 they sold their first whole house air conditioner. Air conditioning was a luxury in the 1950s. Also, in the 1950s and 60s they worked on many new houses and installed AFCO furnaces and did guttering work on the houses.
The 1970s bought some changes to BSM&FW. AFCO was bought out by the Singer Co. in the late 1960s with the official change in 1970. The furnaces and air conditioners then became known as Singer American Furnace. Aubrey P. and Aubrey R. formed a partnership of the business and the name was shortened to Boonville Sheet Metal. Sadly this partnership didn’t last, Aubrey P. passed away in October of 1978. This left Aubrey R. as the sole owner of the company and continued to sell Singer equipment, but dropped gutter work.
Continued Service 1990
In the 1990s Phillip, Aubrey’s son joined the business. First by working part-time and then full-time after graduating from college with a degree in Business Administration. Aubrey’s other son Matthew chose to go to medical school and became a doctor and currently lives in Columbia. SynderGeneral sold out to Intercity Products. Brands under the ICP banner include; Airquest, Arcoaire, Comfortmaker, Day & Night, Heil, Keeprite, Maratherm, and Tempstar. We switched distributors and started selling Arcoaire because the distributor was closer than the one we was using. With the rise of distributorships, equipment purchased in different areas had different names. Arcoaire was sold by Winnair in Jefferson City, while Comfortmaker could be purchased out of Kansas City. It was all the same equipment but with a different label. This practice continues to today. In 1999 ICP was purchased by Carrier and became a division of that company.
The 1990s saw emphasis on higher efficiencies for furnaces. Companies began marketing 83% efficient and above units. With the advent of the 90% efficiency furnaces PVC pipe was used for venting and could be vented through the side wall of houses. Air conditioners rose in efficiency as well.
In the 2000’s Aubrey, Shirley and Phillip formed a partnership and became a limited liability company known as Boonville Sheet Metal LLC. We switched distributors and began selling Heil equipment sold by Brauer Supply Company in Columbia, because Winnair dropped Arcoaire and added a different brand. Again Heil, Arcoaire, Comfortmaker and a few more furnaces/air conditioners are the same unit with a different label. In July of 2008 Shirley passed away leaving Aubrey and Phillip the sole partners in the business.
The 2000s and beyond saw furnaces with greater efficiencies. 92% and 95% efficient units vented with PVC and a greater use of computer modules. Air conditioners also have gained in efficiencies and now go from 13 Seer to 21 Seer. The high seer units are using inverter technology and computerized thermostats, now called wall controls. Also R22 being phased out and 410a refrigerant has become dominate gas in air conditioners. 410a Refrigerant’s days are numbered. It too is a greenhouse gas. Who knows what the future holds are refrigerant. As for us we continue to sell Heil equipment because we like the quality and reliability of it.