Pools seem to get smaller and smaller, but customers want a lot of function out of them. We recently put in one that was 12 feet wide and 14 feet long. During the summertime, it’s a plunge pool, and we put a chiller unit on it. For the winter time, we put in a lot of jets around the bench area, so it doubles as a spa. So it makes a year-round pool that’s easy to maintain, and it has a great aesthetic value.

On the smaller pools, I highly encourage chillers because I know [my customers] are not going to be comfortable in those hot months without one. Here in the Nashville area, there’s high humidity, so in July and August, you’re in the 90s everyday and you’re into the hundreds somewhat regularly. So the water temperature easily on a big pool is 80 degrees, which is not quite so refreshing. On the smaller pools, you can approach 90 degree water temperature. When we talk to our clients about the value and benefits, they’re usually pretty quick to get on board.

We install a fan-based unit that uses ambient air and will bring the water temperature down about 15 degrees cooler than the air. You can get something more like a condensing unit or HVAC unit, but the fan-based units seem to work well in our climate. They might not work so well in Arizona and Texas, where it’s so hot for so long.

The chillers are easy to install — no different than plumbing a heater. We plumb it so that, during the nine or 10 months out of the year when the customer won’t need it, we can bypass the chiller.