Pool heating options explained


Tuesday, 04 June, 2019

Pool heating options explained

A swimming pool is an important investment, adding value to your client's home. Installing a heating system and extending the swimming season helps make the most of that investment.

It’s no secret that warmer pools get more use, extending the swimming season and contributing to better health and an enhanced lifestyle. Owners of heated pools are also more likely to recommend a new pool to their family, friends and neighbours, which in turn helps keep our industry growing.

Create a backyard retreat

A heated pool instantly transforms a backyard into a private oasis, where family and friends can gather for fun and exercise. No matter what stage of life our customers are in, a heated pool can become the centrepiece of their lifestyle. Early morning exercise, kids learning to swim, personal quiet time and even late-night swims are all part of an enhanced lifestyle with a heated pool.

Heating options

A range of heating options are available, offering various benefits depending on the application and the desires of the pool owner.

Solar heating

Solar pool heating systems are extremely popular in Australia because they supply warmer water for an extended season with very low running costs. Solar-heated pools can double a swim season in most climates, stretching swimming days into the spring and autumn. In warmer regions, swimmers may even enjoy their pool year-round with solar.

A solar pool heating system is protected from increases in energy costs, providing pool owners with years of warm, comfortable swimming at no additional expense.

Solar heating systems are sized according to the pool area, with the solar absorber usually being between 80 and 100% of the surface area. Pool water is circulated through the absorber, where it gains free heat from the sun and is then returned to the pool.

A second pump to circulate the water is usually installed alongside the filtration pump. With an automatic controller installed as a part of the package, the solar system is fully automatic, turning on and off according to pool water temperature, weather conditions and the pool owner’s individual desired setting.

If a pool owner is simply looking for a longer swim season with low running costs, solar heating is a great option.

Heat pumps

Heat pumps function like a reversed air conditioner. They draw in large quantities of air from the atmosphere, extract the heat contained in the air and transfer it to the water from the pool or spa passing through the unit.

Heat pumps can provide energy to the pool that is many times the amount of energy they take to run. This factor is called the heat pump’s coefficient of performance or COP.

Combined with their high energy efficiency, heat pumps can be connected to off-peak or time-of-use electricity pricing.

Heat pumps are ideal for those pool owners who want to swim year-round and at a pre-determined set temperature.

Gas heaters

Gas heaters provide flexibility to the pool owner, because of their rapid heating ability.

Gas heaters can easily maintain any desired water temperature, as typical sizing is usually based on providing heating capacity of a 12–14°C rise in water temperature over 24 hours. This allows a cold pool to be heated to between 28 and 30°C in around one day, even in winter. This heating strength makes gas heaters perfectly suited for pools that are left unheated for most of the time and used occasionally for entertaining or when the grandkids visit.

Pool covers

Pool covers/blankets do several things. They can help increase the pool temperature by allowing heat in, they insulate the water to prevent direct heat loss, and they help prevent heat loss through evaporation. Pool covers usually require a roller so they can be removed easily for swimming.

So, what’s the best option? It really depends on what your client is trying to achieve. Over the phone assessments and quotes will usually lead to an unsatisfactory installation and result, so a site visit by a trained pool heating expert is always recommended and will deliver the best outcome.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/boroboro

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