Looking to add a heater to your existing pool this season? Or are thinking of a pool and wondering about what way to heat your pool. First you need to calculate the sureface area of you pool. This is essentially L x W.
There are three methods to heat a pool:
- Natural Gas/Propane
- Heat Pump
- Solar Energy
Gas is a great way to heat your pool. Once the heater is connected you simply need to determine what temperature you like your pool at and set the digital controller. Gas is by far the quickest way to heat your pool. The downside is that they go through gas fairly quickly in doing so which can get expensive depending on where you live and the temperature you like the pool kept at.
Hayward pools has a great chart to determine the right size heater. See chart.
The only way you can be certain that your heater is going to do the job is to ensure you have the right size heater.
A heat pump is a great option for pool heating. A heat pump is hooked up through your electrical panel and operates off of electricity. Overall the cost to operate the heat pump is considerable less than a gas heater. What I recommend is that you simply set your temperature in the Spring (I like 82 degrees) and then let your heat pump maintain the temperature throughout the summer and into the fall. This is similar to how you would operate an air conditioner.
Heat Pumps work by an intake that pumps the cold pool water to the heat pump, which circulates the water through a filter and the heat pump water heater. The heat pump heater has a fan that pulls in the outside air and circulates air through an evaporator coil. There is liquid refrigerant inside the coil that absorbs the heat from the outside air and becomes a gas. This gas goes through a compressor which increases the heat creating a much hotter gas which this then goes through a condenser to transfer the heat to the cooler pool water where it then transfers into the pool via the returns. Once the gas goes through the condenser coil it converts back to a liquid to repeat the cycle all over again. (Note: very brief quick depiction of how heat pump works)
Solar heating requires panel(s) to be mounted to a frame, on the roof of your home or simply on the ground. The panels draw heat from the sun where they transfer this heat via tubes through the solar panels which then returns the heated water to the pool.
The picture describes it best. Solar heating after the initial investment costs nothing to operate however it’s important to understand that it will not heat your water like a gas or heat pump will or at least at the same rate. Many people have a heater on the pool for the spring/fall to quickly warm the water and then use the solar heat to maintain the temperature.
With any form of heating it’s very important to use either a solar blanket or liquid solar system in the off season as you will lose much of the heat you capture during the day otherwise.
This is a very quick and rough depiction of how the various equipment operates however it will give you some idea what is available. Make sure you ask questions to your local pool professional to find the system that will work best for you.