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Air systems service and installation take off during pandemic

HUGHESVILLE — Anchor Air System of 121 Cottage St. is a full-service, customer-friendly business, said owners Cody and Cindy Rutherford.

In business now for close to two years, Cody is the full-time mechanic and service provider for air conditioning and heating products and installation.

His wife, Cindy, is at the office taking telephone calls and setting up appointments.

Business has been brisk and bordering on hectic since the outbreak of COVID-19, the couple said.

Initially, it was a struggle to get equipment and parts because some of the suppliers were closed or had reduced hours of operation, Cody said.

But because Cody worked with multiple companies before the pandemic, and has “good, old-fashioned customer service skills,” the business has survived and even thrived during the emergency.

“We pride ourselves in quality craftsmanship,” Cody said.

Over the past few months, especially during the pandemic, Cody said he noticed an uptick in calls for assistant from homeowners who encounter a need to repair work done by previous contractors.

“A lot of other contractors are falling short,” he said. While the pandemic initially impacted the business pace there has been a renewed sense it is gaining traction, he said.

The business has a large radius in which is does service and installation. Calls are made from as far south as Danville and up through Williamsport region, the couple said.

The tandem said they rely on referrals and word of mouth for increasing customer base.

Specializing in heating and air conditioning system installation and service is a job that requires keeping up with the change in technology, Cody said.

As such, Cody takes part in several Webinars and training online during the pandemic.

Prior to the virus, Cody drove to training classes held locally and today he remains the full-time service and installation expert.

Cody is originally from Bethlehem and his wife is a Hughesville native.

Cody attended Bethlehem Vocational Technology school, where he specialized in heating ventilation and air conditioning.

After completing high school, he attended Pennsylvania College of Technology.

In all, Cody has 15 years of HVAC systems, sales, installation and repair.

The business is not one that keeps Cody’s clothing or skin free of dirt, grime and grease.

Cody is accustomed to getting into the most unpleasant crawl spaces.

“It’s not a pretty business,” he said.

The number one priority, however, is satisfying customers.

“We take pride in making customers happy,” he said.

A site on Facebook and a recent story in the Sun-Gazette Business Page New Business Spotlight helped increase customer base, he said. Joining the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce was another intelligent decision, the couple said.

The business guarantees an emergency response to service-contracted customers.

As local owners of a business in a small borough, the couple stayed active in support the hometown.

The Rutherfords are participants in many business fundraisers and sponsor civic activities.

More recently, they were a sponsor in the Master Sgt. Sean Thomas Golf Tournament, named in memory of one of the soldiers, a Hughesville man, to be killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The couple also take part in book bingo and gift basket give-aways.

Recently, it was a part of the Touch a Truck contest, where area youngsters got to learn more about fire trucks and ambulances by going to the station house and touching the trucks, looking at the equipment and learning from the volunteers.

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