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ENERGY-EFFICIENT
HEAT PUMP POOL HEATERS

WHY HEAT MY POOL?

You bought your pool for a number of reasons like family fun, exercise, entertaining and possibly even therapeutic reasons. However you've probably found that without heating your pool it's often too cold to enjoy. Heating your pool will allow you to enjoy it all season, perhaps all year round, thereby increasing the return on your sizable investment.

WHICH TYPE OF HEATING SYSTEM IS BEST?

There are three basic types of pool heating systems. The best system for your pool is determined by numerous factors including your needs, desires, budget and physical layout of the pool and house. The answers to many of these questions are discussed below. More details can be obtained from your pool heating professional.

Keep in mind that a Thermal Pool Cover is recommended for all heating systems. Heating a pool without a cover is like heating a house without a roof...the heat just goes right out the top. Without a pool cover, the cost of operating a Heat Pump or Gas Heater is doubled, and a Solar Heater's effectiveness is dramatically decreased. For convenience a roller may be added to ease placement and removal of the cover. If a pool cover is not be used, the size of the heater must be increased by 100%. Pool covers range in cost from $60 to $130 for residential pools; rollers start at $185.

HEAT PUMP POOL HEATERS

Performance and Use

For those who enjoy swimming regardless of the weather, a Heat Pump is the recommended method. It is also the preferred method for therapy or athletic trainers, and also when a home is not "solar feasible" (i.e. solar will not fit on roof.) A heat Pump, when properly sized, can maintain any desired pool temperature between 80 and 90 degrees, regardless of outside weather conditions.

How does it work?

A Heat Pump uses electricity to operate. They are actually a form of solar heater, as the sun-warmed air contributes to the efficiency of these units. This heat is extracted from the air, upgraded with a compressor, and then transferred to the water.

System and Installation Cost

System unit cost range: $2000 - $4000
Installation cost: $150 - $750
Typical 15x30 pool: $2500 Unit $3200 Installed

The size and cost of a pool heater depends on the size of your pool and the conditions at your location. A range of costs are outlined above, plus the cost for a typical 15' x 30' Kidney Pool with a screen enclosure in central Florida.

Energy Rating & Efficiency

Heat Pumps are not rated by any governing body. The manufacturer determines the BTU output at a specific water/air temperature and relative humidity value. To accurately compare one unit to another, these test values must be the same, or the comparison will be distorted. Heat pumps are also given a COP (coefficence of performance) rating, generally 3 to 6 COP, which converts to an efficiency of 300 to 600%.

Cost of Operation

Due to their high efficiency, heat pumps have a low cost of operation. Typically, for every 20 cents of electric input, you receive $1.00 worth of heat. The typical pool averages $250 to $500 per year for heat.

Size Heater Required

Heat pump sizes are rated by horsepower and BTU output. Standard sizes are 3.5 hp @ 75,000 BTU; 5 hp @ 100,000 BTU and 6 hp @ 125,000 BTU. Heat pumps are normally located next to the pool pump and filter on a concrete slab.

Each pool & home is unique. The size of the heater is based on several factors, including: the size & shape of the pool; pool shading (i.e. trees, screen enclosure); geographic location; swimming season and pool temperature desired; and windy conditions. The size of the heater will determine the temperature, swimming season, and length of time to heat the pool. It is very important to properly size the heater for good performance.

Longevity and Maintenance

Heat Pumps will last between 5 and 10 years or more, depending on the quality. Because heat pumps are a mechanical device with many moving and electrical parts, they require periodic service by a A/C technician. Warranties range from 1 to 10 years on parts and/or labor.

Written by: Solar Direct


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