The art and science of plumbing and heating today involves much more than leaky pipes or oil burner maintenance – and for JV Mechanical Contractors, Inc. in Webster, the palette includes all things from hydronic snow melting systems to oil-to-gas boiler conversions using the latest technology.
While JV Mechanical will fix your leaky pipe, much of their work today involves installation of radiant heating, solar hot water systems, and other high efficiency products.
Victor J. Waskiewicz, a partner in the company, explains that the word “mechanical” in the company name is intentional. “We want to let customers know that we deal with entire plumbing/heating systems.”
JV Mechanical was founded in the 1970s by Victor's father Joseph V. Waskiewicz, a Webster native and plumbers' union member working as a foreman on projects in Boston. In the early 80s he became a manufacturer's representative for a European company selling efficient oil/gas burning boilers. “It was during the oil crisis,” said Vic, “and he sold a lot of them.”
In 1987 Vic finished school and joined his father in the business. Today JV Mechanical has a staff of twelve, including installers, sales, and office personnel. Vic's wife Kathy is the office manager. She joined the company in 2007 after 13 years at Hanover Insurance in Worcester.
In the 27 years Vic has been part of the business, he's seen the focus change, with efficiency now being a key consideration due to escalating fuel prices.
People are reinvesting in their homes, he says, to take advantage of newer, more efficient and cost effective HVAC systems. People may be remodeling bathrooms and add radiant heat, or install solar panels for hot water systems. Other drivers are tax credits, rebates, and interest-free energy loans available for systems and improvements that tighten up a home. The energy cost savings can pay off the loan in some cases, he says.
Mass Save offers rebates and incentives for just about every possible product that impacts energy consumption, for both existing homes and new construction.
The efficiency gained is a function of the equipment you choose, explains Vic. For example, JV Mechanical installs European boilers manufactured by Viessman and Buderus under a mandate to produce high efficiency systems.
The business is about 60% residential and 40% commercial. “We've done work at almost every church in Webster and Dudley,” says Vic, “installing AC systems or converting from oil to gas heat.” The commercial side of the business includes everything “from commercial bathrooms to process piping in a manufacturing facility.” The customer base includes homes and businesses in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Two major areas of specialization are radiant floor heating and thermal solar hot water systems. In new construction especially, radiant heating is becoming more popular. Radiant heat is more comfortable and quieter than a conventional heating system, though it's installation cost is a bit higher. “There is always a price to pay for comfort,” asserts Vic, “It's just like a car: if you want a better car, you're going to pay more.” But he also cites the energy cost savings potential gained by heating water to just 110 degrees versus 180 degrees.
Another significant and popular part of the business is the installation of wall mounted, ductless air conditioning systems, Mitsubishi Mini Splits, which is keeping the JV Mechanical crew very busy this summer. These systems can also heat the home very efficiently.
Vic sums up the JV Mechanical philosophy about heating and cooling products and services: “There is a lot of flexibility. We ask our customers about their goals, how to make them comfortable in their home. Then we come up with a solution that provides comfort and efficiency.”
He doesn't forget about the more mundane side of the business, however. “We do everything related to plumbing and yes, sewer cleaning too. We're on call 24 hours a day.”
JV Mechanical Contractors can be contacted at 508-943-3222, or via email at [email protected]. The company website is www.jvmech.com, and it has more detailed explanation of the benefits of radiant heating and solar power technology.