Heating swimming pools and spas could consume a lot of energy and it can be very expensive too. Energy efficient pool heaters help you to reduce your heating cost. There are several pool heaters available in the market, including gas pool heaters, heat pump pool heaters (electric pool heater with a heat pump) and solar pool heaters. We are going to discuss them one by one and learn how to increase their efficiency and subsequently reduce your operating cost.
Gas swimming pool heaters
They are the most common ones nowadays. But compared to heat pump swimming pool heaters and solar swimming pool heaters, they are not the most energy-efficient, even though those new models are more efficient than the old ones already. The main energy source of the heaters is natural gas or propane. When we start the heater, the pump circulates water from the pool. The water is then pumped through the filter and then to the heater. The heater’s combustion engine burns the gas, heat has been generated and transferred to the water of the pool. In order to optimise the efficiency of the heaters, you need to calculate the best size for your usage. A heater is sized normally according to the surface area of your pool as well as the temperature difference between your pool and the average air temperature. Other factors, such as exposure of wind, the level of humidity, and cool night temperatures also affect your consideration. You will need a bigger heater when your pool is located at an area with high humidity and cooler nights.
Gas pool heaters heat up the pool very fast and maintain your desired temperature without the influence of weather. They are most efficient in heating for a shorter period of time and are a good option for non-regular usage.
Heat pump pool heaters
They are more expensive but more efficient than gas pool heaters. So your save more operating cost in the long run. They won’t generate heat. They work by using electricity to generate warm gas which passes through the scroll compressor and then the condenser in the system transfers the heat to the water. Just like gas pool heaters, you should calculate the size of the heater according to the same principle mentioned above before installation. And you should hire pool professionals to install and maintain them. With proper maintenance, they can last for more than 10 years, which is longer than gas pool heaters.
Solar pool heaters
They are the most cost effective ones. Compared to gas pool heaters and heat pump pool heaters, their costs are more competitive and their annual operating costs are also lower. The water is pumped through the filter and then to the solar collector, which heats up the water by solar energy before the water being pumped back to the pool. You should evaluate the solar source of your site and calculate the size of the heater before installing one. The efficiency of the heater depends highly on how much solar energy reaching your site. The heating system uses both direct and diffuse solar radiation. Even though you may not live in a very sunny area, you might have enough solar energy for your heater. General speaking, when your site is not shaded and faces to the south, you would have enough solar energy.
Besides taking into accounts of your pool size and the average regional temperature when calculating the size of your heater. You should also consider the size and orientation of the solar collector. The surface area of your solar collector should be 50%–100% of the surface area of your pool. They should be oriented geographically to maximize the amount of daily and seasonal solar energy. And the angle at which they are tilted based on your latitude and the length of your swimming season. Finally, you should hire a licensed solar system contractor to install and maintain your heater.