Gil Caringella

Crafter of Stringed Instruments Wins YORK's 'American Quality' Photo Contest

Sept. 18, 2017
Contestants were asked to submit photos showcasing American values of pride, quality in work and service to country.

For his essay on how his crafting of stringed instruments upholds American values, Gil Caringella from Chicago has won a YORK® Affinity Variable Capacity Residential System won an American Quality photo contest from Johnson Controls.

Submissions showcasing the American values of pride, quality in work and service to country were accepted through May 29, 2017, and were voted on from June 1 to June 30. All entries were eligible to win the YORK system. Sources report the YORK Affinity Variable Capacity Residential Systems are the most efficient in the entire YORK® product line-up, offering a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) up to 20 and ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient certification.

Caringella received the most votes on his photo which showcased American values through the stringed instruments he makes in his Chicago home. "I had started taking guitar lessons when I was in my mid 40’s and it was a steep learning curve,” said Caringella. “I determined that I was never going to be really good at it, but I still wanted to have my hands on the instruments. I loved the smell and feel of the wood. I met people over time who showed me how to build guitars instead of buying them, and I’ve been doing that ever since.” These instruments are often donated to charitable organizations or deserving students to help further musical education.


The unpredictable midwestern climate poses a challenge to keeping Caringella’s indoor air at a quality that is comfortable for his family and his instruments, which are highly susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity.

“You have to control the humidity. In the summertime, there’s more humidity so the wood takes on the moisture and swells. And then, in the winter, the wood gets dry and it can separate and crack. You need constant temperature and humidity, because even though the wood isn’t on the tree, it’s still a living thing,” said Caringella.

In addition to the benefits the YORK Affinity system offers Caringella’s instruments, his family will experience many improvements to their home comfort as well. One of those improvements is the ability to control their home’s temperature on the go with the YORK® Affinity™ Hx™ Touch-screen Thermostat. Through a proprietary app, the Caringellas will be able to remotely monitor and control their HVAC anywhere they have internet access.

Designed, engineered and assembled in the United States, YORK systems draw on more than 140 years of Johnson Controls experience in designing and installing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) facilities aid in the systematic testing of components, including more than 20 years of accelerated operation testing for weather, humidity and temperatures as high as 125F and as low as -10F to ensure lasting performance and world-class quality. In addition to ENERGY STAR® efficiency, models have earned Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval accolades.

“We’re so glad we could provide Gil and his family with a more comfortable home environment,” said Liz Haggerty, vice president and general manager, Unitary Products Group, Johnson Controls. “Unlike conventional systems that simply turn on and off, the system he is receiving includes technology that adjusts airflow to more precisely meet optimum comfort needs, eliminating temperature swings, regulating humidity and reducing energy consumption. This will be especially helpful for Gil’s sensitive instruments too.”