About

History

Empire Comfort Systems: A Company Perspective

  • Family Owned Since 1932
  • A Full Line of Gas-Fired Products for the Independent Dealer
  • Made in the USA

ECS_ProductHistory_Timeline

Empire – A Family-Owned Tradition
Empire Comfort Systems grew out of a small sheet metal shop founded by Henry Bauer in 1911 in the city of Belleville, Illinois. Formally incorporated on August 26, 1932, Empire Stove Company produced sheet metal heaters that took advantage of the increasing availability of natural gas.

While the company has weathered the ups and downs of economic downturns, wars, labor strife, fires, and societal changes, the Bauer family has remained the one constant.

The family tradition continues. Nick Bauer and Jane Bauer represent the fourth generation of Bauers at Empire Comfort Systems – making this a continuously family-operated business since 1932.

The Products – Affordable, Efficient & Artful Heating Solutions
Empire has a tradition of listening to dealers and their customers. From early floor furnaces (a forerunner to central heating systems) to console heaters to wall furnaces, to gas fireplaces and log sets, to the super-efficient Mantis fireplace system, Empire has adapted to market requirements.

Empire was the first to market vent-free heaters equipped with an Oxygen Depletion Sensor (now standard on all vent-free products in the U.S.). In the 1980s, Empire became the first to market a gas-fired heater that achieves 80-percent efficiency, and in 2006, Empire marketed the first vented gas fireplace to achieve 90-percent efficiency. Today’s heater and hearth offerings cover a wide spectrum of gas-fired products including:

  • Vented, Vent-Free, and B-Vent Heaters and Fireplaces
  • Vented and Vent-Free Log Sets
  • Fireplace Inserts and Cast Iron Stoves

In 2002, the company purchased manufacturing rights to Broilmaster Premium Gas Grills. The addition of this line helped keep employees working during the off-peak season for heaters and fireplaces, and it gave our sales force an added tool for calling on customers. The Broilmaster brand enjoys unmatched owner loyalty due to the grill’s exceptional performance and on the lifetime warranty on most critical components. Empire still makes replacement parts for grills manufactured more than 30 years ago. We created new grills to expand the appeal of the Broilmaster brand – including infrared models and slow cookers. In 2013, we introduced the Independence, a charcoal grill backed by Broilmaster’s legendary durability.

Made In USA – Providing Opportunity for Employees & Suppliers
Empire’s heaters, fireplaces and grills are assembled at the company’s two manufacturing facilities in Belleville, Illinois, just outside of St. Louis.
Whenever possible, the company gives preference to North American suppliers.

Our Continuing Mission
Empire is committed to building high-quality products that serve the consumers’ needs and providing profitable sales opportunities for our distributors and dealers. We will back our products with thoughtful design, research and development practices. We will back our customers with exceptional training and customer service support.

Your Dealer

Empire manufactures gas heating appliances and accessories and distributes those products through a network of factory-trained distributors and dealers.

While some consumers prefer the do-it-yourself approach, we recommend taking advantage of the services provided by your local dealer for several reasons:

  • Your authorized dealer sales representative will help you select the product that meets your needs and, in the case of a heater or fireplace, size the unit to your home.
  • Your dealer will provide trained and experienced installers to ensure your system meets all codes and is adjusted to deliver optimal performance and efficiency.
  • Your dealer can provide service and repair using factory-certified parts.
  • Your dealer is your first point of contact for factory-approved warranty repairs.

To find the nearest dealer, click the Find Your Dealer banner on the right side of the page and select the product line to be directed to that brand’s dealer locator.

How to Purchase

We encourage you to buy from your local dealer.

For your safety, gas appliances must be installed and serviced by trained personnel.

While our products are available online, your local dealer has the product knowledge and the trained technicians to ensure you get the right product for your home and that it’s installed correctly.

In fact, Empire will not warranty certain products unless they are installed by the selling dealer or that dealer’s direct contract agents.

These products include:

  • All Direct-Vent Fireplaces, Inserts, and Stoves
  • All Boulevard Linear Fireplaces (Direct-Vent and Vent-Free)
  • All B-Vent Fireplaces
  • All Mantis Fireplaces, Inserts, and Stoves
  • All Ultra-Saver High-Efficiency Heating Products