For more than 30 years, local homeowners have confirmed their go-to HVAC choice is Affordable Service. Through the Howland family’s leadership over the years, the company has been serving Albuquerque and Rio Rancho faithfully with quality heating and cooling. Founded in 1986 by Bill and Laurie Howland, Affordable Service is a family company. It’s a place where staff are encouraged to bring their children to work when they need to. Back in the early days, it wasn’t uncommon for the owner, who started as a one-man crew, to bring his own daughter, Leah, out on service calls — a point of pride where both father and daughter could experience the trade together.
“At Affordable Service, we primarily focus on the residential sector — providing plumbing, heating, cooling, air conditioning and electrical services including repairs, maintenance, installations, AC conversions, whole home re-pipes, and evaluations,” explains Leah Howland. “We also offer duct cleanings, drain cleanings, water heater installs, furnace installs, cooler change-overs, blown-in insulation and more. We do not service wells, pools or irrigation systems.”
Over the years, Affordable Service has assisted a variety of customers and installs. When asked about their favorites, Leah thinks back, “There are so many, it’s hard to choose! We recently had to finish a job another contractor could not. It involved returning some drain lines to working condition. The family was special needs and without working plumbing for some time, and they had already made a significant investment with someone who had torn up their flooring and failed to follow through, so we came and finished the job at cost.”
Leah continues, “It’s not terribly recent, but we donated our time and resources to help install the plumbing for the public restrooms at the Rio Rancho ‘A Park Above.’”
“My personal favorite project we completed is the AC conversion we did on my own home. My home had two coolers, two outdated furnaces and a tremendous heat gain in the upstairs. We removed the coolers and old furnaces and installed two refrigerated air systems and a mini-split for the upstairs. We also added blown-in
insulation in the attic space. Now my home is the most climate-controlled home on the block!”
However, serving the greater Albuquerque area isn’t always a cakewalk. Oftentimes, the team at Affordable Service runs into difficult projects and they have to rise to the challenge. Leah elaborates, “Converting homes from evaporative cooling to refrigerated air, where the furnace is located in an attic, can be tricky. This frequently necessitates widening the opening into the attic and sometimes removing trusses so that the old equipment can be taken out and the new equipment brought in. Extra bracing sometimes needs to be added to the ceiling joists to facilitate the crew working in the attic. In the summer, special precautions are taken to ensure the technicians stay safe and healthy — especially since attics can frequently reach 120 degrees or more in the summer.”
Affordable Service’s commitment to their community tells a story of proven passion and service. Leah and the team believe that a person’s home is their sanctuary, their safe place. “There is hardly anything scarier than when your safe place turns on you and suddenly you have a water emergency, or your home becomes too hot or too cold to be healthy. People want someone they can trust to make their home whole again, and we want to be the people that trust has been placed with,” says Leah.
Leah and the crew at Affordable Service are confident they’re the right choice for their customers. “At Affordable Service, we maintain a high standard within our crew, ensuring that our customers receive the service they should each time they call. We also offer the highest quality HVAC equipment on the market. We are a Carrier Authorized Dealer because Carrier is simply the best,” she adds.
While there are many HVAC companies in town, Affordable Service’s continued track record proves their dedication. Last December, in honor of the season of giving, Affordable Service donated a total of $14,000 to local charities — a charitable mark they intend to meet or exceed in 2021. “We donated to Clothes Helping Kids, Storehouse West and St. Felix Pantry. We made the donations publicly as a challenge to other businesses to give generously,” Leah said.
Here’s more proof of Affordable Service’s dedication to technical excellence as well as family: At the end of May, Leah became one of only a few women in New Mexico to hold a contractor’s license required to do business in the field (MM98). “I went to school at CNM working towards an HVAC certificate, I got my EPA license to handle refrigerants and I apprenticed as a part of an install crew for years,” she explains. “I worked my way up, becoming NATE certified, and ran a service truck. After some time off to start a family with my husband Kevin, I went back to work in the office, but not before I earned enough experience in the field to qualify for the MM98,” Leah says proudly.
It’s a more-than-fitting testament to the continuing legacy of their family business. “Following in my dad’s footsteps — who’s been training me my entire life, since I was age 7 — I will be a licensed contractor in the State of New Mexico. And someday, if he chooses, our young son Quill may do the same. He will have a head start as he didn’t wait until he was 7 years old to start looking into furnaces — he wasn’t even 7 months old!” Leah laughs.
To learn more about Affordable Service, stop by their office at 3200 Northern Blvd. NE in Rio Rancho, or call them at 505-255-COOL or 505-891-8907. Or visit their website at www.ASPH.com.
3200 Northern Blvd. NE, Rio Rancho