In these environmentally conscious times you may wonder if installing a swimming pool heater is a good idea. Isn’t it just wasting energy, being environmentally unfriendly and at the same time very expensive?
Certainly these points need to be considered but a pool heater can greatly increase your enjoyment of your pool (and the investment in it) by making it useable all day and extending the “swimming season”.
There can also be significant health benefits as swimming is very good exercise particularly for people who suffer from arthritis and muscular diseases. A heated pool also prevents chilling and the problems caused by the loss of too much body heat which can affect very young children and the elderly.
There are a number of steps you can take to minimize energy usage so that costs are controlled:
- Type of Heater – This is probably the key decision. At present gas heaters (such as the Raypak Digital Heater) are the most common type but they can be expensive to run (particularly propane heaters). The best from an energy and running cost point of view are now electric heat pumps. Normal heaters can never be more than 100% efficient (gas heaters are about 80-90%) but heat pumps (such as Hayward Heat Pumps) can be several hundred percent efficient (i.e. you get several times more energy out than you put in) because they are not actually generating heat they are moving it from one place (the surrounding air) to another (the pool water). Heat pump heaters are not as powerful as gas heaters so need to run for longer periods but they are still much cheaper to run.
- Pool Temperature – You want the water to be comfortable but don’t heat it any more than you need to. 78 degrees is often recommended.
- Use a Pool Cover when the pool is not in use – This is essential as a pool cover can reduce heat loss by 50%. The key function of a pool cover is to stop evaporation as evaporation causes significant cooling. The cover will also help preserve pool chemicals.
- Shelter the pool from wind – Even a gentle wind can lower the pool temperature significantly.
- Proper Maintenance – Make sure the pool and its heating system is properly maintained.
If you follow the points above you will find that a pool heater is a very worthwhile investment.