Looking at options to heat your pool. There are three ways to heat your pool – solar, gas, heat pump
What is right for you? First you need to ask yourself a few questions.
- How fast do I want my pool to heat
- Noise level
- Sight lines, footprint around the pool
- Ease of installation
These are pretty straight forward questions but absolutely necessary when contemplating your options.
To determine size of your heater you need to determine your surface area (L X W) which will guide the pool professional with recommending the right size heater for your particular application. Noteworthy is how much wind you get in and around the pool area as this will be a factor in maintaining your heat.
Gas is the fastest heat. If you are in an urban centre you can simply has a licensed gas fitter review your current meter to determine if it’s large enough to add the heater, prepare your plumbing line and hook up a gas heater. The heater needs to connect into the plumbing therefore should be located near your equipment pad. If you are in a suburban setting then you can use propane gas. You will of course need to locate your propane tank somewhere near where your pool equipment is located and check your local codes and by-laws for proper installation.
From a budget perspective gas heaters are a good value although the cost of operation is higher given you go through the gas quickly
Heap pumps are gaining in popularity. They are easy to install as they connect to your electrical panel and will need to be located with your current pool equipment to hook into your plumbing. Heaters one of the last items on the equipment pad (right before your salt system) and require a check valve to avoid concentrated levels of chlorine leaking back into the heater when/if there was a power outage of hard shut off.
In very layman terms, Heat Pumps pull the air from outside, heat it (through a complex process) where it then aids in heating the water through a heat exchanger and then travels back into the pool via the return lines. With heat pumps you simply set the temperature you want the pool at in the Spring and then forget about it until the fall. The heat pump will not allow the temperature to get below the set temperature.
Heat pumps are almost double that of a gas heater however are very efficient to operate and therefore the cost equals out operationally.
What is the benefit of solar heat – it’s free heat from the sun! Connects to your existing pool equipment and then has a number of panels (installed on the roof, on a angled plywood platform system, etc) that the pool water travels through which acts as a conduit to heat the water before it returns to your pool. Solar heat after the initial purchase of the equipment costs nothing to operate. The downside is that it is completely dependent on the sun to heat therefore if it’s a cool, wet summer you are not going to be able to get a lot of heat from this type of system.