Warm Up this Winter with a Pool Heater
Want to warm up this winter? Consider a pool heater! But when doing so, there are many choices and options to weigh. Here’s a little pool heater 101:
There are three main types of pool heaters — solar, gas (propane and natural gas) and pool heat pumps. There are pros and cons of each, of course and the choice may depend on location (winter weather is an important factor), budget and size of the pool.
Solar heaters are a good energy efficient choice and can raise the pool temperature between six and 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Solar heaters are a great choice for warm weather climates; they are eco-friendly and use a free energy source, are fairly inexpensive to operate (but initial costs can be pricey) and can last up to 20 years. Energy.gov says “solar pool heating is one of the most cost-effective uses of solar energy in some climates.” The organization notes that a solar pool heating system costs between $2,500 and $4,000 to buy and install and recommends the following before purchasing:
-Evaluate the site’s solar resource
-Determine correct system size, orientation and tilt for the collector and system’s efficiency
-Compare system costs
-Research local codes, covenants and regulations
Gas pool heaters are generally the best choice for large pools, and they heat the water very quickly regardless of outside temperatures, so location doesn’t really matter. They are pretty inexpensive to buy, but costly to operate and they have a short lifespan of only about five years. According to Energy.gov, they are the most popular heating system for pools and today’s models are much higher efficiency than older models. The site recommends considering size, efficiency and costs before purchasing a gas pool heater. (See more here on how to calculate factors, determine efficiency and estimate costs and savings: www.energy.gov/energysaver/gas-pool-heaters).
Gas pool heaters will need to be installed and maintained to maximize their efficiency. Talking to a professional pool company (like Aquaman!) about install and maintenance (including a recommended annual tune-up) is a key step in keeping the heater working properly.
Pool heat pumps are another option for warming the pool water in the winter months. According to Energy.gov, heat pump heaters heat the pool water as it circulates through the pool pump and the filter. The heat pump fan draws air from outside and directs it over the evaporator coil, which absorbs the heat from the air and transforms it into a gas. That warmed gas then goes through the compressor, which increases the heat and makes the gas very hot. The hot gas then travels through the condenser which transfers the heat from the gas to the pool water that is circulating through the heater. Heated water returns to the pool, the gas returns to liquid form as it passes through the condenser coil and back to the evaporator. Then the process starts again!
Since heat pumps “use heat that is already available and just move it from one place to another, they use less electricity” than other heating sources. While they are initially more expensive than gas pool heaters, they usually have much lower annual operating costs, according to the site, due to their high efficiency. Heat pumps tend to work most efficiently in temperatures above 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
When considering options for heating the pool, consider location, budget, size of the pool and specific needs. For example, determining if heating the pool quickly is more important than the lifespan of the heater can help make a decision about which heater type to purchase. Don’t hesitate to contact Aquaman Pools professional team of experts who can help answer any questions.