Heat Pumps For Pools – Why You Should Consider One
A heat pump for your pool is a great way to enjoy swimming all year round. But it’s important to consider the initial cost and long-term costs of such a heater before investing in one.
They use electricity to power a fan and compressor that pulls air in and amplifies its heat energy before transferring it directly to the water. The freon gas then evaporates back into its liquid refrigerant state, and the cycle begins again.
The upfront costs of a pool heat pump can be more expensive than other types of heaters. However, the initial investment can be offset by reduced energy costs and longer equipment life. These benefits make pool heat pumps a desirable choice for anyone who wants to reduce their environmental footprint or spend less time maintaining their pool.
In contrast, gas and propane heaters require an active refueling process that adds to their overall cost. These units also use finite natural resources, which can make them an unsustainable option for some homeowners.
A pool heat pump works by drawing in cool air and transferring its heat to the water. This energy-efficient technology has been around for decades. It’s comprised of three core components: an evaporator, compressor and heat exchanger. Cool air is pulled into the evaporator coil, heated in the compressor chamber and then transferred to the heat exchanger. The heat is then pumped back into the pool, increasing its temperature. The process repeats continuously, resulting in a warmer pool.
While this technology can extend your swimming season, it’s important to note that these units are only operable in temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an area that heat pumps for pools regularly experiences freezing temperatures, a gas heater may be the best choice. Similarly, a solar-powered system is an option for those who want to avoid the hassle of refueling their pools.
Since heat pumps utilize energy that’s sourced from the sun (or electricity), they tend to be far more efficient than gas heaters and can reduce your energy bills. They also use very little water, which makes them even more environmentally friendly.
Heat pumps are especially good for pool owners who live in warmer climates, since they’re able to draw from the warm ambient air to keep the pool hot all year round. However, they may not be as effective when temperatures dip below a certain point.
During operation, cool water is pumped into the heat pump through a special evaporator coil. The liquid refrigerant inside this coil turns into gas and absorbs the warmth from the air, which is then pushed through a compressor that increases the heat by compressing it. The warm gas is then pumped back into the pool to be heated, and the cycle repeats.
While modern heat pumps are very quiet, they do have to run on electricity so they’re not the best option for those who prioritize a noise-free environment. They also rely on clean air to operate effectively, so poor air quality can have an impact on their heating capabilities and lead to longer heating cycles. Lastly, heat pumps can require more maintenance work than other heaters. This could be a problem for those who don’t have the time or knowledge to do it themselves.
A heat pump draws its energy from air and transfers it to your pool water (the same principle that works in air conditioning, but in reverse). It uses a COP of 5.6, meaning for every dollar of electricity it consumes, it produces 5.6 dollars worth of additional heat. For this reason, a heat pump is far more economical than gas or electric heaters.
You can choose from several sizes of pool heat pumps depending on the size and shape of your pool. It’s also important to determine the number of hours you want to run your heat pump per week. Using this information, you can calculate how much time it will take for the heat pump to reach your desired temperature and then determine the amount of energy it will need per hour.
During the installation process, it’s best to hire a professional. This way, you’ll ensure that your heat pump is installed properly and complies with all local industry codes. In addition, a qualified installer will install a new dedicated power line to meet the specifications on your heat pump’s rating panel. They will also install an electrical disconnect switch within sight of the unit to enable you to cut power instantly in the event of an emergency.
It’s also important to understand heat pumps for pools that a heat pump can only function when the outdoor temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the weather gets colder, the heat pump will draw in less warm air and won’t be able to maintain your desired pool water temperature.
While heat pumps have far fewer moving parts than gas heaters, they do need routine maintenance to function properly. This includes cleaning the evaporator coils. This can be done by shutting off power and using a wet/dry vacuum or hose to remove dirt, mud and debris. Also, it’s important to keep weed growth and landscaping around the unit from blocking its air intake.
Additionally, it’s normal for condensation water to drip from the heat pump. This can create puddles around the base of the unit in humid conditions. However, it’s important that the puddles are not channeled through timber decking as this can lead to rot. Instead, holes can be drilled into the decking to allow the condensate water to drain away.
Lastly, it’s important to ensure the heat pump is located where its air exhaust can blow downwards. This will help to avoid the hot air being recirculated back into the unit. It should never be located where it could be obstructed by low hanging trees or roofs.
As long as you regularly perform basic maintenance and make sure the heat pump is in an ideal location, it’s a great option for those looking for a reliable way to warm their pool. If you are having issues with your heat pump, however, it may be time to call a professional for service.