Swimming pool builders have been hit with a double whammy recently. The housing market slump has had a direct effect on the number of new pools being installed, and the rising energy costs have drastically slowed gas heater and heat pump sales. With demand for their two major products on a sharp decline, many pool builders, in search of new sources of revenue, have discovered that solar pool heating is a great tool for reaching their increasingly elusive customers. Some pool builders have shied away offering solar heating as an option because they are wary of long installation times and the liability of making penetrations on their customers’ roofs. Most builders who have taken the leap into solar, however, are happy to find that installation for an average solar pool heater only takes about 30 minutes per panel, and the possibility of roof leakage is virtually non existent if the system is properly installed. Also, depending on the location of the pool builder, there is probably a certified solar contractor nearby that can perform the installations at a reasonable price. There are several other logical motives for pool builders to get into the solar business. One obvious reason is that demand is overwhelmingly high for energy efficient products with a quick return on investment. The number of people in the market for a new pool may be on the decline, but there are still countless people with existing pools needing to be heated. The affordable price and zero increase in monthly utility bills make solar heating an appealing choice for pool owners and an easy sale for pool builders. Another favorable aspect of solar pool heating is that it works just as effectively as other heating methods and in most states can literally double the swimming season. In addition, with no moving parts or metal pieces to corrode or rust, solar heating systems have a life expectancy of at least 10 years. In fact, some systems, like the one manufactured by Techno-Solis, are backed by a lifetime warranty. This is a great selling point and gives owners a sense of security in knowing that they will be able to enjoy their heated pool for many years without the hassle of costly repairs.
With tough economic times ahead for the foreseeable future, pool builders are being forced to compete in a shrinking market. For many, survival will depend on finding new ways to reach customers. Solar heating is an affordable and effective way to keep swimming pools warm all year, and is in high demand. This combined with high profits and small labor costs make solar a great new offering for pool builders.