Benefits of Heat Pumps for Swimming Pools and What to Look For

If you have taken the time and spend thousands of dollars to install a swimming pool, then investing in water heating, naturally becomes the next step. That way, you can enjoy your swimming pool even during the cold months or have the party going no matter the weather conditions. Also, heat pumps keep your pool from freezing over, which extends the lifespan.

Now, figuring out which pool heater to install for your swimming pool can be a problem. There are lots of types and models out there with different most innovative features. However, navigating the world of water heaters for swimming pools should not cause you sleepless nights. This article will guide you through the benefits and features. By the time you're done reading, you should have a good idea about the best pool heater for your needs.

Hayward pool heat pump

Important things to consider when buying a pool heater

So, we've already talked about how important a water heater is for swimming pools. It is certainly convenient to install one. Before we talk about features and different types of water heaters, it is important to know what to look out for.

Therefore, here are a few things to consider before deciding on which heater to use.

The efficiency of the heater: It is always better to buy a high-efficiency heater, or you will find yourself spending more on energy bills for many years to come. If looking for a gas type, a good option is the Hayward H400FDN Universal H-Series. This is an energy-efficient and high-performance pool heater that comes with the low gas emissions and superior corrosion resistance.

The size of your pool: The size of your pool will impact on the type of pool heater you buy. If you have a small pool, there's no point in getting a water heater with lots of BTU or kWs, designed for large pools. You'll end up spending more than you should on energy bills. If you live in a region with a warm and mild climate, and you need a heater for a small and above-ground swimming pool, solar water heaters are the way to go. A model such as Intex Solar Mat Heater, for example, is a cost-effective solution that is using free solar energy.

Your budget: Let's face it - water heating for pools ranges across different price points. For instance, a good solar-powered water heater for a swimming pool can cost up to $4000. Of course, there are other factors to consider, like size and power. So, it is crucial to have a good idea of how much you can afford before you go looking for one.

The climate: Of course, if you live in colder regions, solar water heaters might not be the best option. In such places, an electric or gas heater is probably a better idea. Or, if you live in the coastal area, a heater with the salt and rust-resistant parts is your best option.

Electricity or gas: This is another important consideration – the fuel type. Gas water heaters usually heat the pool very quickly, due to its powerful burners. But electric heaters tend to be more energy-efficient, especially heat pumps. However, if natural gas has not been delivered to your home, then you should consider an alternative source of power, such as propane or electricity.

Popular models

Benefits of using a heat pump for your swimming pool

There are different methods of heating your swimming pool, but using a heat pump is one of the best. This has a lot to do with the way heat pumps work. Because they do not generate heat but moving from one place (with the higher temperature) to another (with the lower temperature), increasing the efficiency and lowering the energy use. Actually, heat pumps use a small amount of electricity only to run the fan and compressor.

There are several reasons why we prefer heat pumps, and these include:

  • High energy efficiency
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Eco-friendly
  • Durability 
  • Easy maintenance

High energy efficiency

Basically, heat pumps for swimming pools are cost-effective. This is because the heat pump moves the heat from the air to a swimming pool. The direct result is less energy use. Most heat pumps have a coefficient of performance (COP) of 6.0.

Several ultra-efficient models are found in the HeatWave SuperQuiet series from AquaCal. They are built for different pool sizes and can provide the maximum output of 35.2 kW and COP of 6.8. And thanks to the variable speed pump, you can maximize the savings.

Cost-effective

Actually, heat pumps for swimming pools have a high initial cost. However, the long-term savings more than make up for this. Also, it has a low cost of operation and maintenance.

Environmentally friendly

Also, heat pumps are eco-friendly. They use very little electricity, have no combustion, and do not release CO2 into the atmosphere directly. According to the manufacturers, heat pumps are "green" that have no effect on the carbon footprint.

Heat pumps last long

Again, heat pumps are durable. They last longer than the gas type, and the warranty is better. If they are correctly maintained, you can enjoy having hot water in your swimming pool for a long time. Hayward HP21404T Heat Pro Pump, for instance, is one long-lasting model that utilizes the titanium heat exchanger, panels, and parts that are rust and corrosion resistant, making them reliable and safe for installation even in coastal areas.

Besides, the performance is impressive, the efficiency is ultra-high, and it isn't as noisy as some other models. 

Easy maintenance

Finally, one really great thing about heat pumps is how easy they are to maintain. And if you need repairs, contact a pro for a quality service. The above AquaCal model, for example, utilizes a microprocessor control with a digital control panel and rust-proof and impact-resistant cabinet.

A guide to buying a heat pump for your swimming pool

When selecting a heat pump pool heater, there are several things to consider.

  • The size
  • Efficiency
  • Heat exchanger
  • Compressor
  • Energy costs
  • Maintenance

The size of the pool heat pump

Basically, the size of the heat pump is important. But, you will probably need expert help for this as the size of the unit will depend not only on the pool size but other factors such as the climate and weather. So, you will need to consider the surface area of the pool as well as the average air temperature, wind exposure, humidity, temperature variations, and other. Note that the heating load for an outdoor pool might be more than that of an indoor pool.

So, if you live in a place with lower humidity, colder temperature, and higher wind speed, you'll need a larger heater. Popular sizes go from 75,000 BTU to 140,000 BTU. The Hayward HP21404T HeatPro Titanium with the power of 140,000 BTU is one of the popular models to look into. It utilizes the titanium heat exchanger, which guarantees increased heat transfer, higher efficiency, and reliability, even in harsh conditions.

The efficiency of the heat pump

Again, it is essential to look into the efficiency of the heat pump. The energy efficiency of a heat pump pool heater is one area where this heating method stands out. An excellent way to gauge the efficiency is through the Coefficient of Performance (or the COP). The higher the number, the higher the efficiency.

The heat exchanger

Interestingly, the heat exchanger is used to transfer heat from the condenser to the pool. Most heat pumps use heat exchangers made of copper and nickel, as they're inexpensive and efficient. But there are a few, like the Hayward HP21404T HeatPro Titanium, that uses titanium heat exchangers, which is highly resistant to pool chemicals and corrosion, which will significantly extend its service life.

So, you need to decide whether you want to go with the typical copper or nickel exchanger or a titanium one.

Compressor type

Now, heat pumps for pools use compressors to condense refrigerant into a hot gas. This then goes on to heat the pool. Most heat pumps use the scroll compressor. These are durable, more efficient, and have fewer moving parts. Naturally, there's also the reciprocating compressor, but it is not as durable as the scroll type.

The overall costs

Generally, heat pumps have a higher initial cost than some other types of pool heaters. And some models cost a little higher than the average pool heater. It is always a good idea to consider the overall cost of the heater. This includes installation, operation, repairs, and maintenance. This will help you choose a model that will serve you for a long time to come.

Installation and maintenance

Proper installation and maintenance of your pool heat pump are important. This is because when properly installed and serviced, it can last for 10 years or longer without losing on its performance. Therefore, it is advisable to get professional help with this.

Top manufacturers

  • Hayward
  • AquaCal
  • Pentair

Conclusion

Finally, no doubt installing a heat pump for your water heater is a great choice. Yes, it is expensive and heat the water slow, but is the ultra-efficient, cost-effective, and eco-friendly solution. Also, when properly maintained, it can last for many years, longer than other types, and even increase the value of your home.

Related

> > Benefits of pool heat pumps