In warmer regions, swimmers can enjoy their pool virtually year-round! A swimming pool is a significant investment and should be enjoyed to its fullest extent. You wouldn’t give up driving your car for several months out of the year, why give up swimming in your pool?
Each method has its advantages and disadvantages.
Heat pumps use electricity to capture heat and move it from one place to another. They don’t generate heat.
As the pool pump circulates the swimming pool’s water, the water drawn from the pool passes through a filter and the heat pump heater. The heat pump heater has a fan that draws in the outside air and directs it over the evaporator coil. Liquid refrigerant within the evaporator coil absorbs the heat from the outside air and becomes a gas. The warm gas in the coil then passes through the compressor. The compressor increases the heat, creating a very hot gas that then passes through the condenser. The condenser transfers the heat from the hot gas to the cooler pool water circulating through the heater. The heated water then returns to the pool. The hot gas, as it flows through the condenser coil, returns to liquid form and back to the evaporator, where the whole process begins again.
Gas pool heaters use either natural gas or propane. As the pump circulates the pool’s water, the water drawn from the pool passes through a filter and then to the heater. The gas burns in the heater’s combustion chamber, generating heat that transfers to the water that’s returned to the pool.
They’re most efficient when heating pools for short periods of time, and they’re ideal for quickly heating pools. Therefore, gas pool heaters can be a good choice for pools that aren’t used on a regular basis. Unlike heat pump and solar pool heaters, gas pool heaters can maintain any desired temperature regardless of the weather or climate.
Many people, when imagining solar energy, picture large photovoltaic arrays generating electricity for homes, businesses and communities. Although these photovoltaic systems play an important part in the renewable energy spectrum, they are not nearly as efficient as solar thermal systems used for pool and water heating. In fact, solar pool heating is the single most cost-effective use of solar energy in many climates, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
While photovoltaic systems convert the sun’s light into usable energy, solar thermal systems generate energy by capturing and amplifying the sun’s heat. Have you ever turned on a garden hose left in the sun and felt warm or hot water pouring out? That’s solar thermal water heating at its most basic level.
Water heated by sunlight can be used for swimming pools, household hot water or even to heat buildings by circulating hot water through radiant flooring systems.
There are many factors to consider when deciding on which method to pursue, such as the size of your pool, location, amount of usage, etc. Hiring a trained professional to assess your needs and obtaining a thorough analysis is highly recommended.
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