• "I am Francis Pass. Thanks for visiting!"
  • 618-266-8086
  • "Always On Time...Or You Don't Pay A Dime!"
About Pass One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

About Pass One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

We’re kinda big on time around here at Pass One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning. So we’ve got two versions of this "about us" thing that will let you learn a little or learn a lot, depending on where and when you’ve got to be someplace.

About Pass One Hour – The Short Version

Have you ever heard of something called an elevator speech? That's where you tell someone about your company and its values in two minutes, or the time it takes to ride from top to bottom in a tall elevator.

Two minutes? Alright … here goes. I'm Francis Pass and we’re the company that actually does what we say we’re going to do. We do it with sharp-dressed, friendly, drug-tested, background-checked employees with "yes sir, yes ma’am" values. We’re always on time, or you don’t pay a dime. That’s it. At Pass One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, we don't like to waste your time. And we don't need two minutes to tell you what we're all about. Besides, there are no real tall elevators around here as far as I know. Can you think of one?

About Pass One Hour – The Long Version

My wife, Patricia, and I started the original company – Pass Refrigeration, Heating & Air Conditioning – in the basement of our Herrin, Illinois home back in September of 1971. At that time, gas furnaces were replacing coal furnaces as the popular heating option and most people did not have central air conditioning. With the oil embargo in the mid 70’s, natural gas was limited to the residences that already had meters. New home subdivisions were primarily all-electric. Electric furnaces or baseboard heat with central air were the systems installed in these homes.

Because of this, equipment manufacturers reintroduced the heat pump after the product made its debut to limited success in the early 60’s. A decade later, the idea of using a heat pump for home heating was very appealing and provided a turning point for our business.

Schedule a FREE Estimate

Fields with (*) are required.

Pass One Hour Guarantees

Get peace-of-mind with a comprehensive array of guarantees from Pass One Hour:

  • 100% Money-Back Guarantee
  • Temperature Selection Guarantee
  • Exclusive “No-Lemon” Guarantee
  • Installation Workmanship Guarantee
  • Lowest Price Guarantee

Learn more [+]


Air conditioning manufacturers were committed to the training and certification of heat pump dealers. Our company was one of the first to be certified and focused on specializing in heat pump design and installation.

During this time, we became known for our quality and leadership in the maintenance, repair, and installation of heat pump systems. The second quarter of 1978 saw the beginning of high inflation, which brought about high-interest rates and high unemployment. New construction basically ended. We redirected our company to  focus on service.

The years 1979 through 1981 were difficult, yet I credit this period of time as a defining stretch for our company. It caused us to focus on customer service to a much higher degree than before. We downsized and cut all the operating costs that we could to survive.

Before the economic downturn, we had purchased land that is now 208 Rushing Drive in Herrin. We had constructed a storage building and rented individual storage units at this location. We decided to move our business to that location in April of 1982 and completed the move just before the Memorial Day holiday. On May 27th of that year, we lost almost everything to a tornado that destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses along with ours. We picked up what we could salvage and moved back to our home. It was during this time that Richard Pass, my brother, became a partner in the business.

Reconstruction was not complete until March and we moved back to our current location on April 1, 1983. During the '80s we expanded our business to include commercial construction as well as residential construction while still trying to grow our service business. In the fall of 1984, at a business meeting in St. Louis, I met Mike Callahan. That meeting with Mike changed my business and life forever. Mike helped me change my business philosophy and shaped the way Pass One Hour still does business today. We began to implement some of the business practices Mike had suggested, and I attribute this approach to part of our success today:

  • Take care of the customer.
  • Always be the cutting edge of technology.
  • Take care of the customer.
  • Always strive to improve.
  • Take care of the customer.
  • Make no less than 80% of your business proactive.
  • Take care of the customer.

In June of 1994, I met two people: Jim Abrams and John Young, who impressed me with their knowledge of our industry. In September of that year, we joined C.S.G. (Contractor Success Group), an organization owned and operated by Jim and John. From that date, we reorganized the business, dropping all new construction and limiting our commercial service to a select few. Through the marketing ideas we received from C.S.G., we grew our business with a laser-like focus on delighting residential customers. When the opportunity to purchase a One Hour franchise became available, we jumped on it. It was a natural fit with our business philosophy. Today, our focus is our mission statement:

Our Clients’ Time Is Our #1 Priority.

We are always on time, or you don’t pay a dime. We fix it right the first time. We do it with convenience, courteousness, competence, cleanliness, and character.

On October 15th, 2003, Pass One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning became the 33rd company to join the franchise. Today, even though we’re in one of the smallest markets, we routinely grace the national leaderboards for sales, service, and satisfaction.

From our meager beginnings as husband and wife, we worked together to fulfill a dream and build a business that will stand the test of time. After we complete a job in your home, I hope you feel the same way. It’s our dream for Pass One Hour to prosper, provide job security and create career opportunities for men and women of character and their families. We seek to generate the finest word-of-mouth recommendations of any service company in Southern Illinois.

I have to be one of the luckiest people on the face of the earth. I love what I do. I work with fine Americans. I love my country. And I’m striving to become the greatest grandpa in the world. And, heck, if you read all this, I hope you’ll imagine me chuckling. It’s hard to believe anyone would be interested in reading about the life we’ve been blessed to live, but I sure enjoyed writing it. Thanks for sharing in some of the foolish dreams of an old soldier. Also: If you’ve got a question or comment, I’d love to hear from you.

-- Francis

208 Rushing Drive, Herrin, IL 62948