Reposted from: Today’s A/C & Refrigeration News Magazine
February 2014 – Volume 25 / Number 7
Are You Missing The Opportunity To Capitalize On The Largest Pool Heat Pump Market In The World?
I recently discussed this pool heat pump market with Jim Diroff, President of Southeastern Distribution for Aqua Comfort and Medallion Energy, an industry leader in the design, development, manufacturing and marketing of pool heat pumps manufactured in New Haven Connecticut.
I asked Jim to tell me about the pool heat pump market and why this can be a great opportunity for the HVAC dealer. Jim informed me that there are more pool heat pumps sold in the State of Florida than all the other States combined. When you think about it, every pool owner has an A/C cooling their home.
The composition and design of most A/C units are not much different than the design of the average pool heat pump. It only makes sense that if your selling and servicing A/C’s, the A/C dealer could sell and service a Pool Heat pump as well with a little bit of training.
So then I asked Jim who is selling these pool heat pumps now? He responded that it is usually pool contractors and pool equipment dealers. Your average pool service company is getting a large portion of this business.
There are literally hundreds of small pool service technicians in any local market cleaning and servicing pools on a daily basis. They understand that the pool heat pump is 80% more efficient than heating a pool with gas, but, if you ask him how it works or to repair one, you may be out of luck. Even the most novice A/C tech knows how to hook a whip to a heat pump. So there is no logical reason why the A/C dealer could not provide both sales and service for pool heat pumps.
So that led me to ask Jim why contractors are not tapping into this new source of income. Jim’s reply was that the A/C dealer simply does not ask for the business. When was the last time you think an A/C dealer asked one of their customers if they wanted them to look at their pool heat pump or if they have one? When is the last time you think an A/C distributor’s inside or outside sales person asked one of their dealers if they service or sell pool heat pumps? I would say, very few times if any at all.
It starts with a solid committed partnership between a manufacturer and distributor that see the potential and are willing to do whatever it takes to make it work. By having a product that separates itself from the competition in both design and marketing philosophy and by assuring the dealer he can sell a product without worrying that their customer will go online and find the exact same brand and model for a lot less.
Aqua Comfort protects its dealers, contractors, and distributors by refusing to sell to online / internet retailers. We simply believe that suppliers should not also be your competitor.
For over 30 years, the design philosophy of Aqua Comfort Technologies has been to provide products that are state-of-the-art with regard to performance, design and environmental efficiency. In order to do so, we use our time, energy and research and development to keep our products ahead of the competition. For example, we were the first heat pump pool heater manufacturer to incorporate micro-computer technology and environmentally friendly R-410A refrigerant into our heaters, several years before it became the norm.
I asked Jim what are you doing now in Florida for Aqua Comfort to demonstrate its commitment to the HVAC industry? Can you give the reader some details?
I sure can. Aqua Comfort is proud to announce its partnership with Johnstone Supply’s South Florida locations to provide distribution and technical training. Johnstone Supply would like to invite all A/C dealers and service companies to attend. Please contact your South Florida Johnstone Supply distributor for details.
Training in both technical and sales will be held once a day on March 11th through the 13th to include:
Technical: The simplicity of pool plumbing. Electrical hook up. What the error codes mean and how to diagnose from them. How to size a pool heater.
Sales: The features and benefits of Aqua Comfort Pool Heat Pumps. How to build the value in owning a pool heat pump. How to market to pool owners. How to sell the benefits of dealing with someone that can do the complete installation, service and warranty work.
One call does it all. This way the customer doesn’t get stuck in the middle of a bunch of finger pointing and no one that is willing to take care of the customer if they should have a problem.
The training and participation in the training are going to be vitally important to the success of this program. Knowledge is power and if we give them the knowledge and tools the dealer will feel comfortable and confident enough to go out and solicit the business.
This represents Aqua Comfort’s commitment to helping the distributor and their dealers get their share of the largest pool heat pump market in the World! For the A/C industry, this added business will often come at a time when the A/C industry needs it the most, during the fall, winter and spring months that are traditionally slow.
Last question Jim. Do you offer technical support?
Yes, Technical support is vitally important to any dealer or service technician. Aqua Comfort understands that the most important call a service tech will make is when he is onsite and needs technical support from the manufacturer.
Aqua Comfort’s Florida support center is always available for technical support and can answer any questions or if needed their professional support team can walk the technician step-by-step through any problem that may come up.
For Florida technical support, parts and service call 407-786-0000.
I would also like to add that most A/C dealers getting into the pool heat pump business will initially need help on how to properly size the right heater based on the pool volume and square footage. Unlike air conditioners, you can’t oversize pool heaters. The larger the BTU output will only mean you will heat the pool faster. No one ever complains that their pool heater heated their water faster than they wanted. You can, however, undersize the pool heater and the customer will complain if the heater does not heat their pool adequately. All the information you will need can be found on the Aqua Comfort Savings Calculator . Not only will this site size the proper heater model, but it will also provide the running cost and show the significant savings versus heating the pool with propane or natural gas.
Jim, I would like to thank you for your valuable insight on the pool heat pump industry that will provide a great opportunity for the HVAC industry to increase their customer base annual sales. I look forward to seeing this develop.