V&E Hann seeks to give free furnace to a needy family

Chris (left) and Bill Hann, co-owners of Verne & Ellsworth Hann, plan to give away a free furnace to a family or individual in need. [photo by Bill Sheck]

On Jan. 31, Verne & Ellsworth Hann Inc. will give away a furnace, including installation, to someone in need. Chris Hann, vice president of the Cleveland Heights-based heating, cooling and plumbing company, is asking for nominations from the community.

“We want to share our good fortune by giving something back to the community that’s been so good to our family all these years,” he said. "We're calling it a 'Helping Hann.'"

Nominations are being accepted on the company website (www.vehbrothers.com/helping-hann/) through the end of January, for individuals or families who live in the extended Heights area. The winner will be selected based on a range of considerations, such as age, physical disabilities, financial challenges and military service.

“We’re depending on people to raise their hand, to let us know that they or someone they know is in need of help this winter,” Hann said.

The winner will receive a high-efficiency Carrier furnace and installation with a total value up to $3,500—a typical system for the three-bedroom, 1,500- to 1,800-square-foot homes that are abundant throughout the Heights. Cost for electrical and chimney modifications, which are sometimes necessary, aren’t included in the giveaway, as those need to be handled by other tradesmen.

To make sure the winner isn’t taken by surprise about such issues, Hann plans to select a handful of finalists and then make personal visits to identify any added costs that would have to be covered. “We want this to be good news for someone in need,” he said, adding that anyone who submits information will receive $200 off an installation "just for nominating someone in need."

Chris co-owns the company with his younger brother Bill. Their great-grandfather emigrated from England and opened W.F. Hann & Sons here in 1907. He had four sons in the business, but only two wanted to continue after his retirement. So he sold the company in 1946 (it still exists without any connection to the Hann family), and sons Verne and Ellsworth started their own business in 1952.

The company relocated in January 2015 from its longtime location in the southern section of the Cedar Lee Business District to a 10,000-square-foot building farther north on Lee Road (at Yorkshire Road). They’ve invested $350,000 in the property, not including the purchase price, Chris Hann said. The company currently employs 20, including a nephew who represents the fifth generation of family involvement.

Bob Rosenbaum

Cleveland Heights resident Bob Rosenbaum is co-chair of the Heights Observer Advisory Committee, and is responsible for its advertising sales and market development.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:43 PM, 12.02.2016