DeKalb Mechanical Leaders in HVAC innovation & service

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One of the great perks of my job is to get out and meet the people who make this industry move. Recently, I was fortunate to meet with the good folks at DeKalb Mechanical (DM), DeKalb, Ill. I had arrived shortly after lunch, where owner and president, Steve Doonan, had just bought corned beef and cabbage for the crew in observance of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day weekend.  “We encourage creativity and we like to have fun. This really is a different place to work,” said Doonan, as we walked through the 25,000-sq.-ft. shop.

Steve Doonan, president of DeKalb Mechanical, takes a break from the tour.

DeKalb Mechanical started out in 1991 as a branch office of Miller Engineering Co. located in Rockford, Ill, with Doonan running the office. Doonan has become the sole owner of the company since 2008.  The business is run on good, ol’ fashioned principles, “ We have created strong relationships and pride ourselves on quality work,” said Doonan, who, by the way, is on the Board of Directors for the local and National Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ Associations (SMACNA), and is its immediate Past President, serving out his term earlier this year. (The Chicago annual trade show is March 26, 2013 in Oak Brook, Ill. —

DeKalb Mechanical engages in the remodeling and new construction phases of the residential, commercial and industrial markets, serving DeKalb and its surrounding areas. A well-respected and well-recognized name in the mechanical contractor field, DeKalb Mechanical is also the area's largest residential heating and air conditioning contractor. In fact, unique to DM, the shop produces its own sheet metal, getting the material straight from the mill. Metal fabrication at the shop sees the flat sheet steel cut and folded, bent and welded to form various pieces and designs of duct and fittings for many purposes. DM has capabilities to fabricate ductwork from various materials. Some of those materials are galvanized steel, iron, black iron, stainless steel, aluminum or clad steel.

Part of DeKalb Mechanical’s success, really, is that it follows its loyal customers. They service the northern Illinois area into Chicago, and the surrounding ‘burbs. In fact, one of DM’s biggest clients has been Monsanto, one of the largest hybrid genetic seed producers in the world, as well as Northern Illinois University.

Encouraging creativity. Hmmm. Creativity could be an understatement when it comes to DeKalb Mechanical. In addition to servicing and installing HVAC and sheet metal — gutters and downspouts, the 50-employee union shop offers KoolDuct® HVAC ductwork system, and Doonan’s own invention, the FIDO fire damper opener tool.


The KoolDuct® System
Several factors have introduced the need to revolutionize HVAC ductwork. Energy use has continued to escalate, and thus the demand for energy reducing solutions has intensified. Requirements for clean air are becoming increasingly prevalent.

Speed of construction has become a valuable asset. Floor space and headroom are under constant pressure.

Ductwork fabricated from The Kingspan KoolDuct® System is the only premium performance pre-insulated ductwork in the world to be UL Listed as a Class 1 Air Duct, to Standard for Safety UL 181 (Underwriters Laboratories: Factory Made Air Ducts & Air Connectors), when fabricated to a specification clearly defined by UL.

Traditionally, HVAC ductwork is constructed from galvanized sheet steel, which is installed first and then insulated separately as a second operation. The Kingspan KoolDuct® System however, is an advanced and innovative pre-insulated rectangular HVAC ductwork system, which is installed in a single-fix.

In addition, ductwork fabricated from The Kingspan KoolDuct® System can reduce air–leakage rates to a fraction of those typical of rectangular sheet metal ductwork. This cutting edge System thus offers the triple benefits of cutting energy use, cutting operational carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and cutting costs.

FiDO fire damper openers help to safely check fire dampers and replace fusible links per NFPA requirements, while also allowing these tests to be performed in less time. NFPA requires all fire dampers to be tested 1 year after installation and then every 4-6 years thereafter depending on the building type. Resetting fire dampers by hand after a test has been performed, can be an unsafe, difficult, and time-consuming process. FiDO fire damper openers help make this process safer and easier, while also saving significant time and money. See the following video to learn how it works! FiDO-S14 can open fire dampers up to 14″ in height, and the FiDO-L20 opens fire dampers up to 20″ high. Interested?

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The FIDO fire damper opener helps to safely check fire dampers and replace fire links.

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