Pools, air conditioning in high demand
The seemingly endless heat wave has people here spending more to keep cool, and some Columbus businesses are reaping the rewards.
Hot-ticket — pun intended — items and services include air conditioner repair and installation, pool memberships, concession stand drinks, water toys, shade umbrellas and above- and in-ground pools, business owners and managers said.
Ben Hicks, pool manager at Ceraland, said the park expected a capacity crowd of 500 people at the pool for the Fourth of July.
Hicks said the pool has attracted more than 200 guests multiple times over the past two weeks. Last year, it had maybe 200 visitors on the busiest days, he said.
“People just want to come out and enjoy the water and stay out of the hot weather for a little bit,” Hicks said.
Ceraland has worked out a deal this summer to allow kids in Boy Scouts and Columbus Parks and Recreation camps the use of the pool, he said.
Tim Holwager, pool manager at Harrison Lake Country Club, said that, while he doesn’t think memberships have gone up, members are spending more time at the pool. As a result, he said the country club has seen an increase in revenue from the sale of cool drinks and ice cream.
Local residents also are spending money to keep cool at home.
Bill Stott, president and owner of Advantage Heating and Air Conditioning, said customers have been calling off the hook for home cooling systems.
“We can’t get them in fast enough,” he said.
Stott estimated earnings from air conditioner repair and installation are up 15 percent just for this month.
Sarah Oswald, office assistant at Percifield Radiator & Air Conditioning Service, said she was almost too busy to be interviewed.
Typically, when it’s not so hot outside, Percifield is scheduling jobs out one or two days in advance, Oswald said. Now, the business has appointments into the next two weeks, she said.
Sandy Bradbury, co-owner of Bradbury’s Waterin’ Hole, which specializes in pools, spas and outdoor furniture, said sales are up of both above- and in-ground pools this summer.
“We’ve been doing this for 37 years, and it’s been a long time since we’ve had a summer this hot,” she said. “People are anxious to have that refreshing, cool water.”
Bradbury’s also has sold a lot of water toys, such as floating chairs, for their home pools or to take to the lake, she said, and there’s been a “burst of interest” in outdoor furniture, especially large shade umbrellas. They’ve also sold more chemicals for pool maintenance.
Bradbury said she attributes her business’ success to the heat, which is deterring residents from wanting to travel as much and a communitywide increase in fitness and exercise, for which pools are a great tool.
Energy saving tips
• Close blinds and curtains to reduce the heat from the sun.
• Use mini lights or Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights, which use less energy than traditional holiday lights.
• Unplug wall devices that do not need to be used all the time, such as cellphone chargers. They consume energy even when the device to be charged is not attached.
• Turn air conditioners to the highest comfortable setting. Turn them up a little higher when nobody is home.
• Wash full laundry loads to reduce the number of loads, and use cold water, which uses less energy than hot water.
• Operate dishwasher only with a full load, during a cooler part of the day.
Source: Duke Energy
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