2016 Oldest Working AC Search Winner: George & Jill Snyder
Location: Ayden, NC
Home Built: 1930
Air Unit Age: 50 years
Brand: Chrysler Airtemp, company went out of business in 1975
Unique Fact/History About Chrysler Airtemp Corporation:
When Walter P. Chrysler wanted to cool his new Chrysler Building (finished in 1930), his decided that contemporary equipment was too bulky and too pricey, and enlisted the Chrysler Engineering staff and Charles Neeson to create something better. Thus was born the first fully air conditioned skyscraper — and the Airtemp Corporation.
The greatest advance was a new high-speed radial compressor, which made the new Airtemp Corporation — incorporated in October 1934 — many friends as they started building cooling systems in a former Chrysler stamping plant in Detroit. In 1936, they moved into the former Dayton, Ohio Maxwell plant at Leo and Webster, cooling not just buildings but also Pullman (rail) cars.
When World War II came, the Airtemp leaders went to the War Production Board and asked how they could best help; after being told there was no need for their services, Airtemp pointed out the need for air conditioning in hospitals, not to mention refrigeration for serums, blood plasma, and other supplies. The Army went with Airtemp after all.
The company even played a role in the creation of the nuclear bomb; the diffusing operation needed to purify uranium required both air conditioning and strong filtration to provide commercial sterility (the Lynch Road plant actually made the diffusers). Their huge Chicago aircraft plant needed air conditioning as well. Thus, after the war, Airtemp still had its air conditioning assembly lines.
Chrysler Airtemp created residential window units as well as whole house cooling units.
The good times did not last, as other companies were able to catch up in features and production if not in quality, and the industry quickly shifted to commodity pricing. In 1975, its final full year at Chrysler, the Airtemp division lost $20 million. The Airtemp division had a full line, reaching 1,100 tons, but its focus on well-qualified dealers had hurt market penetration.
On February 23, 1976, Chrysler sold Airtemp to Fedders, which had expanded through acquisitions. They closed the plant less than a month later, and eventually sold it to General Motors; by 1982, it was making Corvettes (it still does).
Dour Currin of Washington, NC has had ‘lady luck’ on his side.
In 2013, little Washington had an EF-2 tornado rip through the area with Currin luckily and narrowly surviving a fallen Oak tree that came smashing through the front of his home after the Tornado tumbled it over.
Currin has found that lady luck is still on his side. “Thank God that the tornado didn’t take the entire house, otherwise, it would have taken me and my wife and our 44 year old air conditioner.” That’s right, the 44 year old, American Standard/Coleman AC is still going strong. Currin and his wife are the winners of Delcor’s Oldest AC search. Later this month, Delcor will install a new Trane system for free…the grand prize for having the Oldest AC in the area. Over 100 entries hoping to have the Oldest AC came in from all over ENC, and Currin once again narrowly won…by less then 3 months, beating out a Farmville homeowner that also had a 44 year old system.
“This was a great contest, that shows if you take care of your AC system, they can last a long time”, says Delcor’s owner, Larry Osborne. Delcor was happy to be part of Currin’s lucky streak and glad they will be able to replace his system with one that will save him a few dollars on his energy bill too.
The contest entry is now over. Thanks for looking.
There is no purchase necessary to enter. One entry per household. Entrants must be 21 years or older. Winner must own the home entered in the contest and reside within Delcor service area. “Most Wanted Search” entries from previous years are not eligible to participate. Employees of Delcor Inc and family members are not eligible. Some restrictions apply. In event of a tie, the person that was first to submit their entry will be the winner. Chances of winning the top prize based on number of entries received. The winning entry will receive one installed Trane system up to a value of $5000. The winning entry agrees to allow Delcor, Inc. to use images and likenesses of the old and new unit, the homeowner’s name and photo in promotional materials. All qualifying entrants win choice of $25 Delcor Gift Card to use on replacement or repair services, or $500 off HVAC system replacement. No prizes can be redeemed for cash. Taxes will apply to grand prize only and is the responsibility of the winning homeowner. Contest runs July 1- September 30, 2016. Grand prize winner will be contacted after September 30th. The winner will be selected and informed via phone call and a website and social media posting. All qualifying entrants will be contacted no later than October 10th, 2016 for prize distribution. All decisions are final.
*System valued at $5000. The winning entry will receive one (1) new Trane air conditioner and matching coil up to 5 tons, as well as complete normal installation. The winning entry will be responsible for: taxes, permits, duct system modifications (if necessary), any hazardous material removal and abatement (e.g., asbestos), and any improvements needed to bring the installation in compliance with existing building and mechanical codes (any applicable costs will be discussed beforehand).