Ways to Heat a Swimming Pool
Electric Heat Pump
An electric heat pump swimming pool heater is an energy saving unit that moves heat from the surrounding air and transfers it to the pool water using state-of-the-art technology, and is so efficient it will save you money in operating costs when compared to gas. The useful design life of a heat pump is much the same as your home air conditioner or the refrigerator in your kitchen. The use of a solar blanket is optional due to the low operating costs for an electrical heat pump.
A gas heater, although the least expensive to install has the fastest temperature recovery, is by far the most expensive to operate. In addition to the gas heater itself, you’ll need to install a gas tank and a buried supply line. The fact that the heat exchanger and other components are directly fired with gas flames, the equipment tends to have a short useful life of approximately 5 to 7 years.
Most people do not care for the appearance of a pool blanket and most find them a nuisance to work with. However, the use of a heat retaining solar blanket is strongly recommended with a propane gas heater as a way to help reduce the higher operating costs.
A solar pool heater for a swimming pool represents perhaps the most cost effective method of all, at least from an operating cost standpoint, but the “downside” is that during periods of cloudy and inclement weather, maintaining a warm water temperature may not be possible. Local climatological data collected over many years by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration shows there is an average of 10 to 12 cloudy days in each of our winter months. Therefore, you are at the mercy of Mother Nature as to whether you’ll have warm pool water with a solar pool heater. The use of a heat retaining solar blanket is definitely recommended with a solar system in an effort to maintain swimmable water temperatures. A solar system, at best, is helpful in lengthening your swimming season but it will come up short of the needed 82 degrees in the winter months and may only deliver a 7 to 10 degree rise above the ocean water temperature without a heat pump or propane back-up system. B&B Pools does not install or repair solar pool heating systems.