One of the biggest names in pump motors now will be behind a line of pool heat pumps.
In April, A.O. Smith Corp. announced its acquisition of Applied Energy Recovery
Systems, a manufacturer of heat pump water heaters in Norcross, Ga.
“We’ve been very interested in looking at things in
the renewables category,” said Mark Petrarca, senior vice
president of human resources and public affairs at A.O. Smith.
“[AERS is] very strong in the area of commercial heat pump
water heaters and pool heaters … so it was really the
technology that was appealing to us.”
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
A.O. Smith doesn’t have any planned changes to the
leadership or operations at AERS, but it will be looking at
synthesizing its own water heating product line with AERS
technology, Petrarca added.
Though the majority of AERS products are commercial water
heaters, roughly 15- to 20 percent of its business is in the pool
sector. And unlike potable hot water, pool applications are
especially well-suited for heat pump technology, according to Petrarca.
“When you’re talking about just warming water for a
swimming pool, you’re only talking about warming it to 80- or
90 degrees,” he noted. “It’s a much easier leap
to [make] using some of these renewable technologies.”
Heat pump manufacturers have been attracting more attention as
of late. The AERS acquisition comes just six months after Hayward Industries
Inc. bought Summit Pool Heaters to add heat pumps to its more
traditional line of pool heating products.
However, as a supplier to many of the major pump manufacturers,
A.O. Smith now will occupy the same market as some of its clients.
“You don’t want to compete against your
customers,” Petrarca said. “Obviously, we partner with
people in the pool and spa industry, and we want to make sure we
continue to support them in what they’re trying to do.”