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Ten Questions To Ask Your Range Ventilation System Provider

As demand for commercial indoor shooting venues grows, more players are rushing in to get a piece of the range ventilation(RV) business. Companies with inadequate
funding, staff or resources are struggling to look bigger than they are in order to enter
the market for RV. They’ll hit you with a hard sell that is in many ways deceptive.

Carey's Small Arms Range Ventilation realizes you have a choice, and we encourage
you to thoroughly research your options before selecting a Range Ventilation System
provider. In making your decision, be sure to ask these questions. Make sure the
provider you select can answer each question to your satisfaction.

Psst … We’re confident that Carey’s can provide the answers you’re looking for.

1. Are you who you say you are?

Carey’s is an open book. It’s easy to identify our owners and leaders, including Pat Tovey, CEO, as well as Sam Pappas (head of Project Management and Installation), Kris Williams (leader of Engineering and Design), and Brian Wright (in charge of Sales and Marketing). We’ve been doing business under the same name since our company was founded by Bill Provencher in 1992.

But some people who claim to be players in our industry are not as transparent. Exercise caution if –
• You’re unable to confirm that individuals who are identified as company officers,
directors or patent applicants in fact hold positions with the company.
• The company’s website provides no clue as to how and when the company was

2. Are you where you say you are?

Carey's has worked from out Tinley Park, IL Home Office location since inception and we're proud members of the local Chamber of Commerce.  If you stop by our office, we'll be happy to give you a tour.

But before you make a road trip to visit some of the others who claim to provide RV, you may want to check Google Maps carefully.  Does the image look anything like a company home office?  Do unrelated businesses show up at the exact same address?

3. Who are your customers and what do they say about you?

The Carey's website includes extensive customer lists in each of the major industries that we serve - commercial ranges, educational facilities, manufacturers, law enforcement and military.  And it's easy to find our online customer reviews;  Carey's is currently rated 4.8 out of 5.0 based on recent customer reviews.  Many of our customers have posted detailed testimonials and /or videos showing how Carey's has worked with them to provide superior Range Ventilation and service.  

As you select an RV provider, be sure they have served customers with needs similar to your own.  If there is no customer list on the company's website, or if there are very few online reviews, watch out!

4. Do you have the financial wherewithal to guaranty your work?

You're in it for the long haul and, rest assured, so are we.  Carey's is a well-established, financially strong company with a 26-year track record of success.  For you protection, Carey's will provide - 

  • A surety bond  that guarantees satisfactory completion of your installation project.

  • Insurance against Environmental Pollution.

  • Insurance against Errors and Omissions.

If uncertain about the financial strength of an RV provider, you may wish to check their UCC filings and Dun & Bradstreet credit report before entering into a relationship.  Also check public records pertaining to company CEO and officers to identify personal bankruptcies, unpaid or discharged personal debts, IRS liens, or other potential red flags.  

5. Does your organization have a culture of innovation backed by the resources necessary to test and validate?

Carey's has a comprehensive R&D function supported by an in-house IT lab that includes extensive airflow testing and modeling.  Our proprietary radial air diffusers and plenums are custom built and have been tested by the US military, independent test and balance contractors, and Industrial Hygienists proving they provide laminar air flow at the firing line after proper commissioning.  The benefit to you is complete elimination of any turbulence or reverse airflow in the shooting range.  These custom plenums and diffusers are manufactured in house by Carey's.  

Others attempting to enter the industry may make wild claims about superior technology and may even apply for patents.  But do the patents have any substance to them or do they simply rehash existing methods and practices?  Do they back their claims with operating data and independent certifications?

6. Does your organization have a deep bench of technical talent to draw upon?

Carey's provides advanced RV technology through our team of skilled experts in systems design, engineering and R&D.  Our team includes - 

  • Saeed Razfar - PhD in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University.  Saeed has served as a professor at Illinois Institute of Technology and has participated in a think tank at U.C. Berkeley.

  • Nolan McNicholas - BS Technical Systems Management from the University of Illinois.  As Controls Engineer, Nolan works with the controls team to coordinate the design and building of control panels as well as taking service calls to troubleshoot any operational questions and minimize range down time for active ranges. 

  • Kris Williams - BS Technical Systems Management from the University of Illinois.  As project Engineer, Kris is responsible for designing all systems, writing specifications, compiling submittals, and providing technical oversight through the design phase as well as throughout construction.  

Check for the bios of key team members before signing on with an RV provider.  If team members are not identified or if biographical information is missing, this is a red flag that the company lacks the resources to design, deliver and support well-engineered systems.

7. Do you have strong working relationships with well-qualified range builders?

Carey's has exceptionally strong working relations with industry ballistic contractors, general contractors and architects.  We can help you identify and recruit qualified partners in each of these professions to round out your project team.  Or, if you already have a ballistic contractor on board, ask them about Carey's.  We are willing to bet they will give us a strong recommendation.

8. Can you provide me with a realistic estimate of future Operating Costs based on actual data?

Many variables enter into Operating Costs for a shooting range, and Carey's can provide a fact-based estimate for your specific range design.  Our estimates are based on 25 years of cost and temperature data from hundreds of actual shooting ranges with full HVAC systems.  

Not every vendor has the track record that it takes to reliably estimate Operating Costs.  Be wary of promises of low costs based on "data" that is limited to a specific snapshot in time.  And keep in mind that Operating Costs include gas, electric, and the cost of filters measured over a period of time, such as a full month's operation.

Has a vendor made claims about range power consumption that sound too good to be true, such as claiming to provide more cooling power (tonnage) at less cost?  Then ask them -

  • Have the results been verified by an independent engineering firm?

  • Have costs been reported by real customers under actual operating conditions?

9. Can you support my range now, and for years to come?

Carey's provides a scope of support for range owners unmatched by other players attempting to enter the industry - 

  • Remote live technical support - Carey's offers 24/7/365 offsite diagnostics and monitoring through our response center.  Direct Digital Control programming is done by experienced experts who have worked on all types of shooting ranges and understand how to translate specifications into effective ventilation control.  This service is FREE for the life of the system.

  •  Recommissioning - Carey's recommissioning package covers comprehensive inspections, software updates, and testing to guarantee compliance with all OSHA and EPA standards.  

  • Maintenance - Carey's provides a full range of maintenance services to replace filters, tighten and inspect all mechanical and electrical connections, adjust and grease blower drive assemblies, lubricate and adjust dampers, replace blower drive belts, and inspect sensors for proper operation. 

Be sure your RV provider offers support in these areas.  If their website is silent on tech support, recommissioning and maintenance, you may want to call Carey's instead.


10. Do you have a proven track record of superior customer satisfaction?

Over the past eight years, Carey's has interviewed each one of our commercial, law enforcement and military customers upon completion of their range ventilation project.  We also talk to our field installers and technical staff involved in the job to get their perspective.  Since the time we began this discovery process we have achieved a consistent upward trend in customer satisfaction ratings.  Today, Carey's is consistently rated "9" or "10" on a scale of 1 to 10 by customers.

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