Welcome to Taco Comfort Solutions
As Taco approaches its 100th anniversary in business in 2020, many significant changes have taken place in recent years. With an eye towards building a greatly expanded and diversified Taco, we remain committed to the core values that have guided us from the start.
A New Name & Organizational Structure
Taco is now Taco Comfort Solutions ™, a business unit of the The Taco Family of Companies, consisting of Taco Canada, Ltd., Hydroflo Pumps/Fluid Solutions ™ of Fairview, Tennessee, Askoll/Taco Flow Solutions ™ of Sandrigo, Italy, Taco Dubai, Taco Korea, and Taco Trading/Supply Chain Solutions Ltd. ™ with offices in Kowloon, Hong Kong, Suzhou, China as well the Taco Precision Investment Foundry Asia located in Binh Duong Province, Vietnam.
As the 3rd generation owner of Taco, John Hazen White, Jr. is Chairman of the Board of Taco Family of Companies and Wil VandeWiel is CEO.
From a RI Pump Company to a Global Brand Based in the U.S.
Taco has production, sales and distribution operations around the world – in Europe, the Middle East and in Asia. Our acquisition of Italian high efficiency pump manufacturer Askoll®’s space heating company, now called Taco Italia, is of great importance: Askoll is a world leader in ECM (electronically commutated) motors for pumps and is a leading pump supplier to the European hydronics market.
Hydroflo Pumps, a 2012 acquisition, is now called Hydroflo Pumps/Fluid Solutions. Hydroflo’s pumps are used in irrigation and agricultural applications.
Taco plans to branch out into new industries for our heating-cooling-plumbing products and also into brand new products outside of our core area of hydronics. We are the solutions provider and will grow our business from that platform.
True to Our Core Values
As a family-owned company, Taco’s core values place a firm emphasis on relationships. We are committed to remaining profitable and financially stable and we owe an obligation of trust and support for our employees, suppliers, customers, the community around us, and to the environment. These values have served Taco well since 1920, and they will continue to serve us for many years to come.
The Taco Philosophy
Profitability + Stability + Relationships = A Strong Future for Taco Comfort Solutions ™
“Every day, no matter where I am, I get up with one overriding purpose in mind: to do my very best to ensure a strong future for Taco based on profitability and financial stability. As a family-owned company, that’s my responsibility and one I will never waver from. I owe nothing less to the people who work at Taco. It is their hard work and dedication that have made this company the enduring success it has been since 1920, and who will make Taco a success well into the future. The White family’s first responsibility will always be to them.” – John Hazen White, Jr.
The Taco Pledge
To Our Employees: We will provide our employees with a clean, safe and accommodating work place. We will provide training for self-advancement and opportunities for personal growth through free educational offerings. We will also embrace and engage their families to become part of the larger Taco family.
To Our Suppliers: Many of our suppliers have loyally served us for many years. We will continue to treat them fairly and with the special respect they deserve. We will remain a stable customer for them, one they can count on through thick and thin.
To Our Customers: Every day we must earn and protect the loyalty of the contractors who purchase Taco products and the engineers who recommend them. We will do so by providing them with the very best products and services that are available anywhere in the world.
To Our Community: We are a part of the community around us – schools, places of worship, neighborhoods, open spaces and cultural centers. That larger community helps support and nourish the Taco family. We are obligated to give back to our community by purchasing locally whenever possible and by financially supporting the non-profits that work tirelessly for all of us through our charitable arm, the Taco White Family Foundation.
To Our Environment: We are obligated to respect the environment, to protect it, and help to restore it in whatever way we can through the choices we make as a company.
The Taco Story: 1920 to Today
Established in 1920 in Elizabeth, NJ, the Thermal Appliance Company (T.A.CO.), as it was known then, has been owned and operated by members of the White family for three generations. Their stewardship of the company for over 90 years has resulted in today’s Taco Comfort Solutions ™: a leading ISO 9001 manufacturer of hydronic-based heating and cooling equipment, accessories and systems for use in buildings of all kinds – from the homes we live in to the largest commercial and institutional buildings that serve us.
Taco is an international brand based in the U.S., as well as one of the leading brands in the American-Canadian HVAC industry. Its brand identity is associated with innovation, excellence, product diversity, and commitment to people. Overseas, the company’s Italian-based European pump entity – Askoll/Taco Flow Solutions?, has brought Taco products into the largest hydronics-based heating market in the world.
Most Taco products are proudly made in America by a dedicated workforce of individuals with many years of continuous employment at Taco. Production also takes place in Sandrigo, Italy for the European market.
The company goes to market through distributors serving plumbers and contractors. On the commercial side, select boiler OEMs include Taco components with their products; specifying engineers also recommend them as the basis of design. The company also develops popular, easy-to-use software-CAD design solutions like FloPro Designer for residential applications and Load Tool, System Analysis Tool, HS2 (Hydronic System Solutions) and Project Builder for use by engineers and mechanical contractors alike.
The company invests heavily in employee education/training and professional development training for plumbers, contractors and engineers through its FLoPro Team/FloPro University and Taco University, respectively. Classes and training sessions take place in Taco’s state-of-the-art $20 million Innovation and Development Center (IDC) that combines classroom training with hands-on learning.
A community-minded company, Taco Comfort Solutions operates a charitable foundation, The Taco/White Family Foundation, which assists local non-profit organizations dedicated to missions involving the arts/music, education, healthcare, community and the environment.
John Hazen White, Jr. is the family’s third generation owner of Taco. He was preceded by his father and grandfather, and now has his two sons, representing the family’s fourth generation, working in the business.
A Leading, Trusted Brand
Taco’s story resembles so many American entrepreneurial success stories: a small fledgling enterprise founded and maintained by passionate owners who take risks to grow and stay competitive, and who stay close to the source of their success over the generations: their people.
From its first product in the 1920s, a firepot generator that heated water over a coal fire, Taco went on to develop the tankless water heater and a tempering valve that mixed hot and cold water. In doing so the small company eventually came to control the household water heater market in America and the “Taco Heater” became a generic name known throughout the developing indoor heating industry.
During World War II Taco served the war effort, manufacturing gun mounts for U.S. Navy carrier planes and steel tube heat exchangers for warships. In 1945, Taco Heaters, as it was then known, earned an Army-Navy “E” Award for reducing the cost the government had been paying for such components by almost 50%. In 2016 Taco Comfort Solutions received the President’s “E” Award, this time for excellence in exporting under the award’s current stewardship by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
After the war, John Hazen White, Sr. returned Taco to the domestic heating industry. He traveled to Europe to secure the rights to what became known as the “wet rotor circulator,” a revolutionary product development that transformed Taco’s fortunes in the years ahead.
From its first introduction under the name Perfecta, through its various succeeding models as the “007”, the “00” line continues to evolve as an iconic, high demand product in the North American HVAC industry. Today’s “007e” high-efficiency ECM circulator represents the latest leap in the product’s evolution.
Learning from the company’s experience during the war, Taco added the fabrication of heat exchangers and tanks to the company’s product offerings by purchasing a welding-fabrication facility in Fall River, Massachusetts.
Johnny White and Taco
Taking over from his father in the early 1990s, John Hazen White, Jr.’s impact on Taco has resulted in dramatic company expansion over the years. Through strategic acquisitions and organic growth, Taco’s product line now encompasses controls and systems, high-efficiency circulators, variable speed pumps, building management controls, and domestic hot water recirculation systems. In the past two years Taco has acquired two key pump manufacturers to grow its business: Hydroflo U.S.A., a manufacturer of vertical turbine pumps used in agricultural, irrigation and mining applications, and Askoll SEI, now Askoll/Taco Flow Solutions, a leading manufacturer of high-efficiency pumps.
In his home state of RI, John Hazen White, Jr. is a respected and admired business leader, well known as a successful manufacturer and active supporter of good government measures and tax reform.
From its manufacturing headquarters in Cranston, Rhode Island and a fabrication facility in Fall River, Massachusetts, Taco Comfort Solutions develops and manufactures products and systems for both residential and commercial applications. These include circulators/pumps, valves and controls, air-dirt separators, heat exchangers, buffer and expansion tanks, domestic hot water recirculation and accessory products, and sophisticated building management controls.
Training & Education at Taco
An Early Pioneer in Workplace Training & Education
Taco Comfort Solutions was an early pioneer in workplace training and education, establishing its Taco Learning Center (TLC) in the early 1990s by designating space for classrooms, labs, and a library/reading room within its Cranston facility for a dual purpose which continues to this day:
- Train Taco workers in job-related skills and tasks
- Provide educational & personal enrichment opportunities
Training its people is critical to keep abreast of technology advances. Allowing its employees to use company-provided educational pathways assists their well-being and provides opportunities for personal growth and achievement.
All Taco production employees take on-the-job training in job-related skills and tasks. Taco also cross trains its production workers so they can fill-in or be assigned to new tasks in the cell-focused production process. While there is automation equipment on the Taco floor, much of the assembly process is hands-on, so cross training allows all members in a cell to perform each individual function in the process.
Opportunities for Personal Advancement
Today, Taco also provides its employees opportunities for educational and personal enrichment through courses and programs offered at its Innovation and Development Center (IDC). Over the years Taco employees have been able to take English as a Second Language (ESL), citizenship and GED classes, classes dealing with hobbies and personal pursuits, as well as general study classes on a range of subjects. Employees seeking degrees can also take advantage of full tuition reimbursement for associate, bachelor and Master’s level degree programs.
In addition to Roger Williams University and the University of Rhode Island, other RI-based schools that have worked with Taco in providing educational opportunities for employees include: CCRI, Bryant University, Johnson & Wales, and RI College.
Taco provides full reimbursement for tuition, books and materials as well as other related expenses for degree-based coursework. In providing these benefits, the company does not require anything in return from the employee, considering its financial outlays to be “investments” in its people. This generosity reinforces loyalty and productivity.
The Innovation and Development Center
As Taco moved into the 21st Century, the Taco Learning Center struggled to keep up with the volume of individuals using its facilities. The need for state of the art audio-visual, web, and digital capabilities sparked John Hazen White, Jr. to embark on an ambitious $20 million capital expenditure program to create a new training facility. This two-story building addition would also include new offices and meeting spaces as well as a series of state-of-the-art equipped classrooms. Thus the IDC was born.
A Showcase and Living Laboratory
The IDC contains multiple classrooms, labs and meeting rooms as well as new office areas and a library. The building was designed to showcase the latest in energy-saving and sustainable products from Taco Comfort Solutions and provide “Living Laboratories” of installed and operational products for hands-on demonstrations and teaching purposes.
A Destination for Industry Training
The IDC is a destination for architects, mechanical engineers, HVAC contractors, plumbers and other industry professionals from all over the world. It’s a place where they can learn about and experience first-hand the latest heating and cooling technologies from Taco Comfort Solutions. Employee training and education continues as well within this new facility.
This powerful combination of technology and education makes the Taco IDC a truly unique and innovative facility, and was awarded LEED Gold for its green technology and sustainable features.
Why teach a few dozen in a classroom when you can teach thousands online? In the 1990’s John Hazen White Jr. grasped the potential of online learning when it was in its infancy. His vision and commitment to leading the industry in free web-based learning for engineers and contractors alike has kept Taco at the forefront of this technology, much to the gratitude of its customers.
Taco Comfort Solutions’ sourcing of materials and the production of them into our products makes an impact on the natural world that has consequences we should not turn away from.
We need to be good stewards to the natural world that sustains us so our children and grandchildren will have the same opportunities we have enjoyed. We want those who come after us to lead healthy and productive lives within a sustainable future.
So we are obligated to respect the environment, to protect it, and help to restore it in whatever way we can through the choices we as a company make.
Employees: For our employees and their families, Taco Comfort Solutions provides job stability, a caring environment, a clean and healthy workplace and numerous opportunities to grow through continuing education and training.
Community: In addition to providing a base of stable employment, Taco Comfort Solutions supports hundreds of worthwhile local area non-profit organizations through the wok of the Taco/White Family Foundation.
Our Customers and Industry: Each work day, we strive to bring the finest HVAC systems and components to market, all of the highest quality, reliability and priced fairly. Additionally, we support our customers through extensive in-person training programs, online education and freely-shared technical advice and expertise.
Our Products: Water-based hydronic heating and cooling systems are more energy efficient, comfortable and healthy than other types of HVAC systems. Taco Comfort Solutions manufactures a wide range of high-efficiency pumps (to include state-of-the-art ECM pumps), valves, heat transfer products, plumbing specialty products, electronic controls and building management systems. Raw materials for these products are responsibly sourced on a global basis. Many of Taco’s products require fewer components and less finite materials, and they require less energy to operate.
Examples of energy-efficient Taco Comfort Solutions products include the 00e® Series of ECM circulators, the LoadMatch® circulator-LOFlo injection mixing system, the TacoGenie ™ domestic hot water recirculation pump, the Zone Sentry Zone Valve, and solar hot water products.
Taco has expanded its operations in Cranston, RI by adding two extensions to its original facility and earned LEED certifications for both. These include an expanded warehouse/delivery dock (completed in 2006) and its 2012 $20 million Innovation and Development Center (IDC), which earned LEED Gold. IDC LEED points were earned, in part, for energy use reduction and incorporation of sustainable elements such as:
- Enhanced building envelope beyond code
- High performance glass
- Radiant flooring
- Electric vehicle charging station
- VOC free carpeting
- Use of renewables: solar & geothermal systems
- Energy recovery systems
- IAQ monitoring & control
- Reflective white rooftop covering
- Advanced lighting controls & day lighting
Taco Comfort Solutions is a recognized recycler. Waste Express, which is Taco’s trash disposal and recycling service, has recognized Taco as its “top recycling corporate client” for 2015, a record Taco has held for the past 8 years. Taco’s recycling diversion rate of 78.27% ranks as Waste Express’s best ratio among all its hauling-recycling accounts, with all of that amount being recycled.
Taco recycles 100% of its metals waste (copper, bronze, brass and cast iron). It also recycles wood, paper and cardboard. Wood disposal that gets recycled is at 65% of total. Last year the company received a $3,454.90 credit for its cardboard recycling. Taco also recycles all the water used in its test labs.
Taco/White Family Foundation
Giving Back to the Local Community
As part of the community, Taco believes it has an obligation to give back. The Taco/White Family Foundation provides monetary gifts to deserving RI non-profit agencies serving others in our community. The Foundation is able to make such grants because of the hard work of Taco employees, through which Taco remains profitable and prosperous.
For more on the work of the Taco/White Family Foundation, click here.