Heat Pump Pool Heater

The heat pump pool heater is the most energy efficient swimming pool heater, by far more efficient than heaters that burn fuel, such as gas pool heaters. Typically, your buck will buy 4 to 6 times more heat by using swimming pool heat pumps compared to heaters that simply burn fuel.

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Criteria for choosing a swimming pool heat pump

Even though a heat pump pool heater is the most energy efficient it is not the cheapest in terms of operation cost. Solar swimming pool heaters are virtually operating free of charge because they harness the free sun energy. You resort to pull heat pumps if:

  • The region in which the pool is located is not sunny.
  • There is not enough roof area to accommodate the large size solar collectors
  • The swimming pool is to be used every day, including cloudy days

A prerequisite for a proper operation of a swimming pool heat pump is an outside outer temperature exceeding 45 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius). Properly sized, an heat pump can heat the water up to 80-86 degrees Fahrenheit (26-30 degrees Celsius)

For sporadic light operation, if you need the heater only for a small number of special days, gas heater is an option. It is much cheaper to buy, and much more expensive to operate.

Heat pump maintenance, life span and cost

You can expect a life span of 10 or more years, and vendor’s warranty range between 5 to 10 years. Just like air conditioner, heat pumps have moving parts and periodical maintenance by authorized technician is highly recommended. The cost depends on the pool size; a heat pump for a 15x30 feet pool (4.5x9 meter) might cost $4,500 including installation. Bigger size pools will require higher investment, more or less proportional to the area of the pool.

Efficiency and COP of the heat pump pool heater

As the name implies, heat pump pool heater pumps the heat from the relatively warm hot air and transfer it to the water. The heat pump sucks in the warm air, raise the air temperature using a compressor, the intensified hot air goes through a heat exchange in which the heat is transferred to the water, and the warmer water return to the pool. Most of the heat comes from the outside warm air, the compressor consumes electrical power though, however this energy is smaller compared to the energy that is pumped from the outside air.
Co-efficient Of Performance, COP, is a measure of how much total heat energy is delivered to the water divided by how much energy was consumed by the compressor. Typical values are 3 to 6, which means you get between 3 to 6 times more heat energy compared to the energy you paid for to run the compressor. In comparison to burning gas, where some of the heat energy is wasted and is not delivered to the water, you never get more than what you have invested (actually, a gas heater that delivers 98% of the heat to the water is an excellent heater system). The higher the COP – the more heat you get for your buck. Your heating bill will be 4-6 times lower with a heat pump compared to a gas heater.

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