Phillip Bozzelli was 13 years old when he started riding to work with his father. Soon enough, he was crawling under houses and running ductwork for the heating and air conditioning company that his dad owned. Once he graduated high school, he went to work full-time, and before long, he was in his own truck with the family name emblazoned on the side.
“I tried to get him to go to college,” John Bozzelli recalls. “And I remember him telling me that he liked what he was doing, and he couldn’t imagine being in an office all day, every day. He wanted to work with his hands, pursue the training that we and the business had, and make something out of it.”
He certainly did that. These days, Phillip Bozzelli’s young sons sometimes ride to work with him in Bozzelli And Sons Heating and Air trucks that carry on a trusted family legacy stretching back 50 years. Early on, Phillip Bozzelli learned from his father how to install and maintain heating and air systems in the delicate surroundings of a century-old historic home on the peninsula, amid the harsh, corrosive environment on the beachfront—and everywhere in between. He’s still putting those lessons to use in the Lowcountry today.
“I feel good that I can go out there and carry on the name and bring it into the 21st century,” Phillip says. “It’s just really continuing the family tradition of small business service, good communication, and putting out a quality product that we stand behind.”
Still a local, family business
John Bozzelli started young, as well. He was around 13 years old when he began running water lines, wiring trailers, and doing just about anything else that needed to be done in the trailer park his family owned in North Charleston. That led to enrollment at Trident Technical College in one of the school’s first HVAC courses, after which John went to work for a heating and air company founded in 1923 that specialized in historic homes on the peninsula.
Eventually, John Bozzelli started his own heating and air business, forging a reputation for quality and trust that continues today. John retired in 2018 when Phillip took over the family legacy by starting his own company with the Bozzelli and Sons name. It remains very much a family business: Phillip’s company includes cousin Michael Gaudet, who began working for the Bozzellis in the 1980s, as well as Phillip’s wife Cassidy overseeing the office. And John Bozzelli is still in the office three or four days a week, working as a consultant and helping with business development.
“A lot of people know me and trust me because they know I’ll be honest with them,” John says. Phillip is certainly cut from that same cloth as the rare company owner who gives clients his cellphone number—while also introducing high-efficiency Heil inverter systems and other technological advancements and digitizing contracts and billing to modernize a business his father largely conducted with pen and paper.
The cornerstone of the business, though, has never changed. Phillip Bozzelli was born and raised in downtown Charleston and now lives in Mount Pleasant with his wife, three sons, and three dogs, and is highly attuned to the community he represents. “This is a local, family business,” Phillip said, “one I plan on passing on to my kids.”
South of Broad to the beaches
Phillip Bozzelli spent much of his youth crawling under homes South of Broad, often helping his father figure out how on earth to get an HVAC system into a residence that was never designed to accommodate it. He’s still a fixture on the lower peninsula today, specializing in historic downtown Charleston homes and the quirks and challenges they can present.
“There’s no vapor barrier, no insulation, so the sizing of the unit is critical—you want one that will cool it properly, but not overcool it,” Phillip says. “And then you’re working in some old house with molding and trims that can’t be disturbed. And anything exterior has to go through the city and the Board of Architectural Review, which is a whole different aspect. They’re definitely more challenging than a suburban-type house.”
It’s a similar situation on the barrier islands, another area Phillip specializes in, where heating and air conditioning units have to be positioned so the rain will wash off the salt that’s carried in from the ocean, and corrosion and parts sweating from humidity are constant concerns. Bozzelli and Sons is also one of the few companies that service HVAC units on Goat Island, which can be accessed only by boat. All the while, John Bozzelli beams at how his son has carried on the family legacy.
“I couldn’t be more proud that he’s been successful,” John says. “He’s carried on the family name, which means a lot to me. To watch him grow and take the reins of it has been great to see. And he’s doing a great job—in some ways, doing better than I did.”
Do you have heating or air conditioning needs and are looking for a local, family-owned company with a 50-year legacy of customer service? Contact Bozzelli and Sons Heating and Air at (843) 743-1035 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website at BozzelliAndSons.com for further information.