Pictured above: Turbulent water movement from spas, cascades and waterfalls increases convective heat losses to the surrounding air and can actually cause an unheated pool to be a few degrees cooler than a similarly situated pool without these features. A heat pump pool heater is usually the most economical solution for a pool with a waterfall or a spillover spa.
A swimming pool heat pump works just like central air conditioning heat pump for your home only in reverse. Instead of removing heat from the interior of your home and expelling it to the outside air, a pool heat pump takes heat out of the outside air and transfers it into your pool water. Swimming pool heat pumps can extract useful heat energy in air temperatures as low as 45–55°F, so they are very effective in Florida’s relatively mild climate.
A swimming pool heat pump has three major advantages:
- Less expensive than gas. It’s a lot cheaper to operate than a gas heater. The electricity consumption for a swimming pool heat pump typically costs only one third as much as propane to deliver the same amount of heat, and only half the cost of line natural gas.
- Overnight heating. Heat pumps can deliver heat at night and during cloudy and rainy weather, so they can keep your pool warm through weather that does affect a solar pool heating system, although this capability does come at a cost.
- Faster recovery than solar. A heat pump pool heater can be sized to provide much faster recovery than a solar pool heater following the arrival of a cold front. Without a pool blanket, a solar pool heater typically can’t keep up with a pool’s heat loss during the winter months. A pool heat pump may be a better choice when the ability to swim during periodic stretches of mild winter weather is a priority.
A heat pump pool heater can be an excellent choice for pool heating in conjunction with a solar power system, as a portion of the solar electricity produced by the solar power system can be used to heat your pool.
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