With Spring rapidly approaching in Northeast Florida and
temps in the high 70’s and low 80’s while water temps in pools remain in the
60’s customers are asking about heating options. In our area there are basically three types
of heater available: Gas (propane or natural gas), Heat Pump and Solar electric
resistance heating isn’t commonly used in northeast Florida. Let’s discuss the pluses and minuses of each.
Gas: Gas swimming pool heaters have a higher thermal output than heat pumps or solar and can heat a pool or spa faster. They also aren’t as susceptible to ambient air temperatures as heat pumps and solar. Gas heaters are typically the best choice to heat the spa in a pool/spa combo or any situation that the spa isn’t constantly being heated because they can bring the temperature up fairly rapidly. They do tend to be a less cost effective heat source.
Heat Pumps: Heat
pumps extract heat from the air and transfer that heat to the pool through a
heat exchanger, there are also models that can cool a pool as well. Because heat is being extracted from the air
the efficiency of a heat pump is dictated by the air temperature and humidity. Also Once the ambient air temperature reaches
about 45 degrees the efficiency drops dramatically and most heat pumps stop
heating. Placement of a heat pump is also a factor with
sun exposure and air flow around the heater a factor in performance. To help compare different models heat pumps the
term coefficient of performance (COP) is used to describe the ratio of heat
output to electrical power consumption.
A typical heat pump has a COP that can range from three to eight,
compared to an electric heater that has a COP of one. Heat pumps are typically rated at
approximately 100,000 BTU to 145,000 BTU output which limits the speed in
heating the pool or spa. Generally
speaking heating your pool with a heat pump is 4 – 5 times more cost effective.
Solar: Solar panels
absorb heat energy from the sun and transfer it to the water. The amount of energy is relative to the size
of the panels and their exposure to the sun.
Usually the panels face southwesterly and are equal to between 50% –
120% of the pool surface area. The
typical solar pool heater in our area pumps the pool water through solar panels
on the homes roof using the pool filter pump and then back to the pool, this is
called an open loop system. Depending on
the roof height a medium or high head pump may be required. Most of the customers that I’ve talked with
in our area tell me that solar heating extends their swimming season by a month
at the beginning of the season and month at the end, they can also take the
chill out of a pool that gets a lot of shade.
The selection of a pool heater is determined by the pool
itself and your needs. Some pools are
equipped with more than one type of heater.
For instance you could heat your pool with a heat pump and supplement
the heat pump with a gas heater when temperatures fall below the heat pump’s operating
temperature range. Depending on which
heater is chosen either gas or electric may need to be provided. New
on the market is a hybid heater
that combines both a heat pump and gas heater in one.
Once you start heating your pool you’ll want to maintain the
heat in the best way possible. Water
features, fountains, water falls, deck jets, spa spill ways can cause heat loss
and should be shut off if at all possible during heater use. Bubble blankets and liquid blankets can also
help reduce heat loss.
Contact Coastal Pool Care, LLC if you have any questions. (904) 377-8300 or email@example.com
March is heater month.
All of our prices include standard installation Get $200 off of any of our already
competitively priced heaters.