April 2001 Web site of the month: JC Heating & Cooling

One doesn't usually visit a heating and cooling company's Web site for amusement. But www.jc-heating-cooling.com's well-designed site has enough features, facts and fun to keep you entertained for a long time. This site goes the whole nine yards -providing much more than the typical store hours, phone number and list of services that comprise the vast majority of Web sites. It's loaded with bells and whistles, but not to the point of it being annoying - every bell and whistle has a purpose.

J.C. Heating and Cooling was founded in 1989 and is located in Cross Lanes, W.Va. It performs mostly residential heating and cooling of which most is duct work and geothermal systems.

One of the most interesting features of this site is a link that initiates a chat session with an employee of JC Heating and Cooling. The chat room sees an average of five to 10 customers per week. Owner Juan Cardona is especially pleased with the chat room's ability to "provide a personal touch" to the site, since he and the site's designer, Todd Carpenter are almost always online.

Juan first employed a Web site about 3 years ago, but it was vastly different than it is now. The latest version of www.jc-heating-cooling.com has been in existence for about a year and gets updated every week.

Juan says his site "was never designed as a business generator." The site's main purpose is an information page. It seems that the site is achieving its goal. By far, the most popular section of the site is the "Free Information," section, which contains interesting details about the history of the company, including a personal story of Cardona's flight from Cuba.

Other handy tidbits include a Frequently Asked Questions page, articles relevant to heating and cooling published by Contractors 2000, common p-h-c mistakes to avoid, and common rip-offs that contractors try to pull on customers.

From an artistic standpoint, the site is eye-catching. It has professional graphics subtle enough to allow users to navigate the page with ease. Todd Carpenter deserves the credit for actually putting Juan's excellent ideas to work on this site. If you think you may be in need of the Computer Carpenter, e-mail him at computercarpenter@albertweb.com.