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West Oakland Senior Feels the Heat

Oakland, California – Honoring a long tradition of community volunteer work, an Oakland heating and air conditioning company donated a new central heating system to a West Oakland family last month, just in time for the fall season. Atlas Heating and Air Conditioning, which recently celebrated their 101st anniversary as a family owned business in the Bay Area, installed a new furnace and ductwork in the home of 88 year old Adelle Mattox who lives with her oldest daughter Zola. She has survived with a gas stove and portable electric heat since 1945. Atlas thought it was time for a change.

On a recent early Saturday morning, Atlas brought in six volunteer crew members to install a new York furnace and ductwork. Almost all of the work took place in an attic which reached 110 degrees by the time the job was done. After a visit from Honest Electric to complete the power hookup, Atlas fired up the system and gave Mrs. Mattox her first taste of central heat.

Atlas Heating recruited other East Bay companies, including U.S. Air in Hayward, who donated the new York furnace and Slakey Brothers in Martinez who donated the ductwork and thermostat. Tom Judt of Rebuilding Together Oakland brought the Mattox donation opportunity to President Bob Tuck of Atlas Heating. Bob, grandson of the company’s founder, was part of the team and said “Over the years, these donated community projects have been very rewarding for all of us here at Atlas.” He added, “Our experiences with Habitat for Humanity, Christmas in April and now Rebuilding Together have always given us so much more than we put in.”

Adelle Mattox might disagree. Her youngest daughter Darlene said about Atlas, “They gave up their time and brought comfort to the lives of seniors. Words cannot express our gratitude for everything.”

Elderly Oakland Couple Warmed by Donated Heating System

Oakland, California – To celebrate 100 years of service, a West Oakland heating and air conditioning company donated a new furnace system to a Maxwell Park couple in their late seventies who had gone without heat for over a year.

The new furnace system, installed by Atlas Heating and Air Conditioning, allowed Mr. Pickens and his wife Glana, to be comfortable in the home where they have lived since 1975. Mr. Pickens, a diabetic with an enlarged heart, also suffers from kidney failure and has to stay warm between dialysis treatments to avoid further health complications. Mrs. Pickens has severe arthritis that had become acute during the below normal temperatures in January.

On a Saturday, Atlas Heating and Air Conditioning brought in seven volunteer crew members to remove an ancient gravity style furnace and installed a new Bryant furnace and new ductwork. Atlas followed Synergy Environmental who donated the abatement of the Pickens’ asbestos ductwork and worked with Honest Electric who ran a new electrical circuit to support the new furnace system. Slakey Brothers in Concord donated the new Bryant furnace. Rebuilding Together Oakland brought the Pickens’ dire situation to President Bob Tuck of Atlas Heating and they said “he jumped at the chance to help as Atlas has many times over the years.” Bob, the grandson of the company’s founder had praise for this non-profit, formerly know as Christmas In April, “Rebuilding Together does a great job of finding worthy projects for our company volunteers. The homeowners come away with a warm feeling, and so do we.”

After a month of bone-chilling subnormal temperatures in the Bay Area this January, Mrs. Pickens could be found in front of the heat register in her living room at the end of the installation. “This is the first time my legs have been warm in a long, long time.”

Robert Tuck Elected to SMACNA Board of Directors

Waikoloa, Hawaii – Robert Tuck, of Atlas Heating and Air Conditioning Co., Oakland, Calif., was elected to the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association’s (SMACNA) Board of Directors. His four-year term began Oct. 12 at the close of SMACNA’s 57th annual convention.

“Because of the opportunities the industry has provided me, I want to be of greater service and continue to assist in addressing the challenges of the industry,” comments Tuck. “I feel that service on the board of directors will provide the forum to facilitate constructive change.”

Tuck currently serves as chairman of the National Residential Contractors Steering Committee and as a member of the Products and Programs Coordinating Committee.

Locally, Tuck serves on the board of the directors for the Bay Area Association of SMACNA Chapters as well as trustee for the Greater Oakland Industry Fund. He also serves as a member of the Bay Area Industry Promotion Fund, the Bay Area Association Labor Task Force and the Bay Area Association Marketing Committee. He has served as president and member of the board of directors of the former Greater Oakland Chapter, now known as the Bay Area Association of SMACNA Chapters.

Tuck first entered the sheet metal industry in 1976 as an estimator for Atlas Heating and Air Conditioning Co., a family-run company that has served the San Francisco Bay region since 1908.

A Fair Trade: One of the Oldest for Newest Hills Publications August 13-14,1998

When Mr. and Mrs. Andre Todd bought their home in Oakland, they were told that it had historic significance as one of the first homes in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, that also meant that the family was stuck with an ancient energy-guzzling furnace: one that looked just like something out of the boiler room of the Titanic. But recently that bad news turned into good when their furnace was discovered to be one of the oldest operating furnaces installed by the Bay Area’s oldest furnace company, Atlas Heating.

As part of Atlas’s 90th anniversary, the Todds will be treated to an entirely new heating system absolutely free. Atlas Heating will carefully dismantle, remove and restore the old furnace.

The Todd’s old Atlas furnace was originally coal fired, and was upgraded to natural gas in 1932. Since then it has been faithfully, though inefficiently, heating the home. Founded in 1908, Atlas heating opened its Oakland office in 1916, and operates today under the direction of the third and fourth generations of the same Tuck family who started the company.

“As the oldest heating and ventilating company in the Bay Area, Atlas has been as much a part of San Francisco as the cable cars and the Golden Gate Bridge,” said Robert Tuck. “Our company was there helping to rebuild San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake.”

Indeed, Atlas’ history is a veritable history of the furnace itself. In 1908 potbellied stoves or kitchen ranges heated most homes. Atlas founder, George Tuck, designed and manufactured wood and coal furnaces, establishing Atlas as the largest installer of “warm air” furnaces in the Bay Area.

Always an innovator, Tuck next developed the Atlas gas furnace for manufactured gas; he also invented the first integrated blower furnace and safety pilot light. With the advent of natural gas, the firm’s all-steel furnace became an industry leader.

Atlas’s reach extended beyond the Bay Area with projects from Alaska to the Philippines, and from the Panama Canal to Saudi Arabia. Thanks in part to Atlas Heating, San Francisco became the largest builder of gas furnaces in the country from the mid-1930’s to World War II.

“Atlas Systems have warmed such notable structures as the Fort Mason, many University of California buildings, the Mark Hopkins and,” said Tuck, “clients have included Jack London and Melvin Belli.”