Swimming Pool Blog
by Rob Cox, May 27, 2011
Heat Pumps: Clean & Green Heat for your swimming pool
Swimming pool heat pumps operate for just a few dollars per day, making them much more cost effective to run than gas or electric immersion type pool heaters. The only method cheaper to operate and more eco-friendly than a heat pump is a solar pool heater.
Pool heat pumps can have efficiency ratings of 500%, and a savings of over 80% of the cost of a gas pool heater. Even though heat pumps typically cost almost twice as much to purchase as a gas pool heater, payback can occur in a little as one year of usage.
Operating with technology similar to your household air conditioner (only in reverse fashion), pool heat pumps use a compressor and refridgerant to absorb the ambient heat from the surrounding air, and transfer the heat to the coil, which in turns heats the pool water running through.
Installing a heat pump on your pool is also the easiest pool heater type to install. Simply place it on a sturdy pad, cut your plumbing pipe after it exits the pool filter, and run it in and out of the heat pump. No gas line to connect, but you do need to have the heat pump powered with it's own dedicated electric circuit. Most pool heat pumps require a 30 amp breaker, and if you have a sub panel (breaker box) at your equipment pad, you should be able to add 30 amps, as most sub panels have 100 amp service. If you do not have a sub panel by your equipment line, you may need to run power from the main house breaker box. In either case, a qualified electrician should be contracted to make any upgrades to your electical service.
Pool heat pumps will heat your pool as hot as you want - but their effectiveness declines with outside temperatures below 50 degrees, and below 40 degrees will struggle with putting out any heat. During the swim season however, and during the shoulder season - pool heat pumps will heat your pool to 85 degrees without a problem. Not as fast to heat a pool as a gas heater, which can add as much as 3 degrees per hour to a mid-size pool, properly sized heat pumps can add 1 degree per hour to most pool sizes.
Compared to gas heaters, pool heat pumps are virtually maintenance free. They literally require no maintenance, just keep leaves and mulch raked up around the unit. Extremely durable, in the last 10 years, none of our pool heat pumps on our pool service routes have required any maintenance. $0.00 in repair costs, easy start ups every spring.
Heat pumps for pools have added a list of features in recent years:
- Corrosion Free Titanium heat exchangers.
- Digital solid-state controls with controller compatibility.
- Heat / Cool selector. Heat pumps can heat -or- cool the water.
- Defrost mode - to remove frost from the coil in cold weather.
- Super quiet operation, corrosion free outer cabinet.
- Keypad lockout to keep renters or teenagers from changing settings.
If you are looking for a way to heat your swimming pool that is eco-nomical and eco-friendly, and have no place to install racks of solar panels, look at our selection of pool heat pumps from 10 manufacturers. Dominant in Florida as the number one pool heating option, pool heat pumps operate effectively in all 50 states, install easily and operate at very low cost. Covering your pool with a solar blanket or automatic cover or using Liquid Heat can further reduce your heating cost by 50% - so whatever method you use to heat your pool, consider a solar cover or other means to retain the heat.