Everyday conveniences have changed so much over the last couple of generations, including many that we take for granted, but depend on night and day. Nowhere is this truer than in heating and cooling, where Season Comfort owner Vito Palella has a unique double distinction. He stays on top of the latest advances in his field, yet has more than 30 years experience in helping customers spend smart now and save for years to come.
“Because the technology has changed so much over the years, we can almost always help people save money and energy,” says Palella, a native of Ceglie del Campo near Bari who came to America at age 16. “I can help people make the best decisions about how to update their heating and cooling systems. It’s all about energy efficiency.”
Launched in 1981, Season Comfort now boasts an 11-truck fleet. About 80 percent of the company’s business is commercial, and the other 20 percent is residential. On the latter end, homeowners may not know that the federal government and utilities offer rebates for energy upgrades. Palella shares this information so customers save two ways: generous cash back on the front end, and greatly decreased heating and cooling bills on the back end.
Never will Palella push a customer to strain their finances. “It all depends on how much you want to spend,” he says. “Some customers want more insulation and are willing to spend more money, and some have to watch what they spend. But we always help them. We make them aware of what the rebates are, and how much value they’ll get if they invest a certain amount of money.”
For Palella, the success of Season Comfort caps a dream that began when he immigrated to America in 1949. He was prepared — he took four years of English in school prior to landing here — and soon found work at a succession of blue-collar jobs, from the Chicago Carton Company to Western Electric.
He went back to Bari in 1956 to marry his sweetheart, Rosa DiMonte. The couple returned to America to raise a family, which grew to include three children: Donna, Michael and Laura. After 10 years with Western Electric, Palella attended the Utilities Engineering Institute to learn HVAC systems, and he then spent 22 years at Systems Engineering Corp. He rose to field supervisor and then service manager before striking out on his own.
Anything connected with heating and cooling, installation or service, Season Comfort can do. Yet the complex array of options boils down to a simple business philosophy that centers on one thing: la famiglia.
“The main thing is to give people good service, be honest with them, and get them what they need, to keep their business and their families comfortable and safe,” Palella says.
He is also equally passionate about his two avocations: calico and the Italian-American community. At the tender age of 17, Palella played for the Rangers of the national soccer league. Next, he moved on to the Italo-American Soccer Club “Maroons” and then Chicago Sparta before returning to the Maroons to stay. In later years, he served as president of the Maroons and has donated his resources and talents to Casa Italia, the Italian American Veterans Museum and other causes in the community.
Season Comfort Heating & Cooling
107 W. 61st St.
Westmont, IL 60559