Heat Pumps vs. Solar: What You Need To Know About Pool Heaters
Winter months don’t have to break your swimming routine. Often, a refreshing dip in the pool is all you need at the end of a busy day – and there’s no reason why you should let the cold stop you.
All you have to do is invest in a good quality pool heater to keep your water at a perfect temperature for a swim. Here’s what you need to know about pool heaters before making your purchase.
Types of Pool Heaters
Choosing from the different options available will depend on your budget, physical layout of your pool and house, needs and your desires. Here are your options:
Using the heat of the sun, solar heaters are the most cost efficient as the energy is free – you will not incur an operating cost. The existing pool pump will circulate the water through the heater, which is usually located on the roof, warming the pool.
The pump timer can be set to operate during daylight hours, from 9am to 5pm. Larger pools may need a booster pump.
Natural Gas or Liquid Propane
Both liquid propane and natural gas pool heaters warm up the pool by recycling water, so that the water will not be hot to the touch when it comes through the pool jets or inlets. In this way, heat is added gradually as the water is turned over in the pool.
Depending on which type of fuel is more plentifully available in your area, you may choose between the two. Other considerations are price and convenience. The type of fuel you use has no bearing on the prices of pool heaters.
Efficiency and Emission Concerns
For a heater that releases fewer emissions than a regular pool heater, look out for those that are ‘Low NOx’. These are designed to be more efficient than traditional pool heaters.
With a higher efficiency, there’s a higher heat transfer and your pool will be heated more quickly. In California, these heaters are mandated for use in certain counties.
Pool Heater Sizing
Swimming pool heaters are rated according to their British Thermal Units (BTU) outputs. 1 BTU is able to heat 1lb of water by 1 Fahrenheit. Therefore, the higher the BTU, the faster it will be able to heat up your pool.
To determine the ideal size of the heater for your swimming pool, you will need to figure out three factors: the surface area of your pool, the temperature rise required (which is the temperature you want the pool water to be at, minus coolest ambient temperature of the period of time you want to swim in), as well as the heater efficiency.
Installing a Pool Heater
To install your pool heater, following the proper procedures is essential. A heater must be installed after the filter system has been installed, and before any chlorinators or chemical injection systems are in the swimming pool’s plumbing.
This is to make sure that there is a robust flow of clean water that doesn’t contain any highly concentrated and potential corrosive chemicals.
It’s wise to seek the services of an experienced professional to install your pool heater, to make sure that the heater is installed properly, and to avoid hurting yourself. The specifications for clearance and appropriate tubing sizes varies according to the model and type, which a qualified professional will know & adhere to them strictly.
Pool Heating Tips
Here are a few tips to keep in mind in regards to heating your pool:
-Remember to select the right size for your pool heater – err on the side of it being too big, as a too-small one would not be able to adequately heat your pool.
-Keep an eye on pH levels, as a too low pH level will cause corrosion, while too high may result in mineral deposits that could clog the heater’s pipes.
-Ensure a proper flow rate, by occasionally backwashing your swimming pool filter or clearing out the cartridge to keep it functioning optimally.
-Protect your heater from the weather by using a pool heater cover.
-Keep a proper clearance area around the pool heater.
-Lastly, check that your heater’s gas pressure is at the right level.
To safely install your pool heater for your long-term enjoyment, seeking out professional help is a must. Pleasure Pools will help you to determine the best pool heater setup for you and your needs. Call us for a consultation today.