If you own an indoor swimming pool or you live in an area that rarely sees sunlight, solar energy is not a reliable heat source. Fortunately, several alternatives to solar heating exist, some more energy-efficient and cost-effective than others. In this article, we discuss different ways in which you can heat your swimming pool without using the sun.
Gas heaters heat your swimming pool by burning either propane or natural gas. They provide for a long and comfortable swimming season. They can heat your swimming pool regardless of the air temperature because they get their heat from gas, rather than from the air or sun. This is why they are widely used in colder climates.
While gas heaters offer many conveniences, they have several drawbacks. A gas heater typically has a Coefficient of Performance (an efficiency rating that measures the ratio of energy output to energy input) of between 0.80 and 0.85, which makes it the least energy-efficient heating method. This COP directly translates to high operation costs. In fact, a gas heater generally costs between $300 and $500 per month to operate. Also, compared to other heating systems, a gas heater has a short lifespan. Specifically, a gas heater tends to last for only five years.
Air-Source Heat Pump
Air-source heat pumps are rapidly growing in popularity because they offer very energy-efficient and cost-effective heating. Air-source heat transfer heat from the air to your swimming pool. They have a COP measuring between 5 and 6, which means they produce five to six units of energy for every unit they consume. This high energy efficiency directly translates to low operating costs and low environmental impact. Read more about air-source heat pumps here.
Because air-source heat utilize heat from the air, they are most effective in air temperatures exceeding 50°F (10°C). Indeed, air-source heat pumps are more widely-used by swimming pool owners who live in warmer climates than by those who live in colder climates.
Water-Source Heat Pump
Water-source heat pumps are not as well-known as other heating systems because they utilize newer technology. They transfer heat from water sources, such as a lakes, ponds, or wells. Water-source heat pumps greatly benefit swimming pool owners who live in climates where air temperatures fall below 50°F (10°C). Learn more about water-source heat pumps here.
The installation of water-source heat pumps requires large wells and long water lines. This installation process can be both timely and costly. However, after the installation process is complete, your water-source heat pump will require minimal cost and space.
We at AquaCal often recommend solar blankets to our customers because they greatly reduce swimming pool heating costs. 75% of your swimming pools heat loss is due to evaporation. A solar blanket reduces heat loss from evaporation by acting as a barrier between your swimming pool and the air. A solar blanket is most effective at night and during cloudy days, when the potential for evaporation is greatest.
So now you know a few ways in which you can heat your swimming pool without relying on solar technology. Because each heating method has unique advantages and disadvantages, you should research available options before making a purchase. To learn more about different heating systems, you can read our free e-book, The Definitive Guide to Heating Your Swimming Pool. Leave any questions or thoughts you have in the comments section below. We at AquaCal would love to hear from you!