ACSI celebrates 35th anniversary with intense client focus and cost savings initiatives


American Combustion Service Inc. (ACSI) is celebrating its thirty-fifth anniversary in 2019. The company has thrived through a combination of specialized expertise and an intense client-focused service outlook. These observations are reflected in client testimonials.

Consider this letter from Ray Tuazon, manager of utilities, facilities administration at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital sent to ACSI president and founder Frank Lacny about an energy- savings burner project.

“Instead of taking the chance that it would save money, you took the time to conduct an ROI study on the burners so we could better understand our potential cost savings,” he
wrote. “I wanted to thank you for your help in confirming the energy savings with the burners which became an important factor in making our decision to proceed with the project.”


“Not only was your estimation correct, but it was even better than expected,” Tuazon wrote. “You had projected a 6.2 percent cost savings in natural gas resulting in a 3.8 years
payback. We surpassed that number significantly and are now looking at a 2.4 years pay back. It has contributed to the efficient operations of the hospital’s heating and cooling systems, as well as to the bottom line.”

While this letter (written a decade ago, in 2008) tells part of the ACSI story, the photo from another hospital in 2018 indicates the success isn’t an isolated example. St. Joseph Hospital, Chicago, garnered $235,770 in rebates from the Peoples Gas Natural Gas Saving Program . . . saving 119,630 therms.

“It’s a no-brainer,” Lacny said in a published article about helping companies to earn the rebates. “We have been pushing energy efficiency for years — before all these utility companies started offering rebates. When our technicians tune-up a burner, we don’t just go in and take readings. Our goal is to make meaningful adjustments — to squeeze out all the efficiency attainable. Between burner tune-ups, steam trap surveys,or installing a highly efficient burner, we have helped our clients receive well over $1 million dollars in rebate money from area utility companies.”


Lacny was quoted as saying in Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration NEWS, that incentive applications can be difficult to understand and the difference between filling it out correctly or incorrectly, can mean several thousand dollars of incentive funding.“Our team is familiar with the rules, and we help our customers get the funds they qualify for,” he said.

ACSI works on far more than hospital burners and energy saving retrofits. The company has three divisions, including Piping and Mechanical Installations – (ACSI Mechanical), Refractory Repairs & Installations – (American Refractories), and – vital for businesses and organizations with critical requirements, a 24-hour Service Division – (American Combustion Service, Inc.)

“We work and service anything that burns a fuel,” Erik Lacny says. “This includes crematories, thermal oxydizers, melting furnaces, annealing furnaces, baking ovens, boilers and more! We work as well with alternative types of fuels including natural gas, light and heavy oils, sawdust, digester gas, landfill gas, coal and oxygen enriched burners, just to mention a few.”

Lacny indicates the core business is installing high efficiency gas burners, which qualify for gas company rebates. This can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The ACSI staff understands that their work goes far beyond saving clients’ money. For hospitals especially, reliable burners with emergency back-up dual fuel capabilities are essential for safety and life, and need to function properly 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions.

The company currently averages around 25 employees, including highly qualified service technicians from its home base in Mokena, southwest of Chicago.


The testimonials tell more of the story about the technicians and ACSI’s service culture.

“I just wanted to comment on the outstanding job Jeff and his crew did when they rebuilt our oven the week of May 16,” one client, a maintenance manager wrote. “They were
professional and courteous in all respects. I really appreciate the willingness to work around the clock to get us back on line. I also appreciate their dedication to doing things correctly the first time and ensuring that we had a safe oven to operate. The oven has operated perfectly since the rebuild.”

Erik Lacny says the company is always looking for additional ways to service clients’ needs. “We will grow and expand as demands require,” he says. “We have been blessed with a great internal staff and field personnel that take pride in their work and are focused on serving our clients.”

“We rely on repeat business,” he said. “We have clients still using our services – from our first year in business.”

The business primarily works in the Chicago area and northwest Indiana. Clients have asked ACSI to provide services as far as Mexico, New Jersey, Green Bay, and all the way to
Juneau, Alaska, and many places in between.

ACSI belongs to the Mechanical Contractors Association of Chicago (MCA), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chief Engineers Association of Chicago (CEAC), among others.

You can learn more (and read more of the testimonials) at or call (773) 737 – 9200.

From Left to Right: Frank Lacny, American Combustion Service, Inc., Rick Lavacchi, Vice President, Support Services,
Presence St. Joseph Hospital – Chicago, John Moran, Senior Leader, Energy Efficiency & Major Accounts, Peoples
Gas and North Shore Gas, Pat Michalkiewicz, Manager Energy Efficiency & Major Accounts, Peoples Gas and North
Shore Gas, Dr. Roberta Luskin-Hawk, CEO, Presence St. Joseph Hospital – Chicago, Spencer Kowal, CFO, Presence St.
Joseph Hospital – Chicago, Frank Kraut, Lead Engineer, Presence St. Joseph Hospital – Chicago, Jim Hauser, Energy
Advisor, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas Natural Gas Savings Program, Chris Petri, Weishaupt America Inc.,
Stuart Hampson, Director Facilities & Safety Services, Presence St. Joseph Hospital – Chicago


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