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Pool Heating Guide

Building a new pool is a big investment which can greatly change your lifestyle and add value to your home. It only makes sense then that you get the maximum enjoyment and value out of your investment by extending the swimming season and allowing you to use your pool as many times a year as possible. That and you don’t dread the thought of having to get into freezing cold water.


There are a few varieties when it comes to heating. We have solar, gas, heat pumps, element type or heat exchangers. We have seen a few heating trends come and go over the years we have been in the swimming pool construction industry so we will take you through the options available to you.


Solar Heating

Solar heating consists of using the roof space available (preferably north facing) and using matting on the roof to generate heat into the tubes within the matting and transferred into the water that runs through it. Solar was originally a large continuous mat that ran in an “S” shape on the roof and was quite prone to blowing off in storms or splitting.

Pool Solar Heating Black
Solar Heating

More recently they were manufactured into clamp together “panels” which were more efficient in the roof space heating capacity. These panels can be added or subtracted as necessary for the required heating system. They still work on the same original concept of the matting heating up and transferring into the water.

Solar is quite efficient to run as it only requires to run one pool pump to pump water through the system but unfortunately it comes at a price of using up roofing space which could be utilised for power panels to use on the rest of your home.

Pros

Cons

Environmentally friendly

It depends on the amount of sunshine, so it may not be suitable for overcast or rainy weather.

Low operating cost

The initial installation cost can be high

It requires ample roof space or a nearby structure for installation.

Long-lasting

Works well in Sydney's mild climate

Heat Pumps

Unlike solar panels, these units use ambient air temperature and a heat exchanger to transfer the heat into the water. Imagine an air conditioning unit that cools the air in your home - these units work in reverse and pull the heat out of the air and transfer it into your pool pipe work.

Black Inverter Heat Pump
Inverter Heat Pump

These units can be plumbed in and set up in a variety of ways which ultimately effects how the heating system performs. Our heating system setups are always run completely off an iPhone.

The great thing about a heat pump system is that they do not consume any roof space which allows homeowners to utilise it for power solar panels to power their home and ultimately power the heat pump system at the same time while using minimal power from a power supplier.

The downside to these systems is that if you want to use the pool in winter, it has to be scaled up dramatically to ensure heat transfer in colder months.

Pros

Cons

Energy-efficient and environmentally friendly

Initial installation cost can be high

Low operating cost

May not work effectively in colder weather conditions

Can heat water to higher temperatures than solar heaters

Slower heating process than gas or electric pool heating.

Easy to install and use

Gas Heating

With the rising rate of fossil fuels we are currently experiencing gas heaters are becoming a bit less common. While some jobs we build don’t have any other option these are quite costly to run. They are however a heat on demand at any time of year. They will transfer heat from the burner into a heat exchanger and transfer the warm water into the pool.


Pool Gas heating System
Gas heating

Due to using a fuel type these heaters can be used any time of year to heat a pool/spa to the desired temperature. These heaters are quite common on spa setups due to being able to heat them up quite quickly to the desired temperature.

Pros

Cons

Quick and effective heating

Highest operating costs due to rising costs of fossil fuels.

Suitable for all weather conditions

House will need gas connected and plumbing of gas lines to heater

Can heat pools to higher temperatures than solar or heat pump heaters

Regular maintenance is required

Works well for spas and hot tubs

High initial setup costs

Element Heaters

As mentioned above with rising fossil fuel costs the element heater is an option to be considered for heat on demand scenarios. These do have a downside though. They require large amounts of power to get them to work and to get a decent sized element heater usually requires 3 phase power supply which is not available to each home.


These heaters do work quite well for what they are and are also very compact so they suit small spaces. The other great thing is that they do not require as much ventilation as gas heaters or heat pumps.

Pros

Cons

Quick and effective heating

Highest operating costs due to large electricity requirements.

Suitable for all weather conditions

May not work as effectively in colder weather conditions.

Easy to install and use in small, confined spaces.

Precise temperature control

Heat Exchangers

Heat exchangers are less common for pool heating, however they can be used to some success as long as the heating system has been designed and set up correctly.

Some new house builds setup large roof heating systems or a large heat pump systems which heat up hot water tanks for showering, underfloor heating etc. In some extreme house builds they even set up geothermal heating underneath the house. It is possible for us to transfer heat into the pool off the house heating system using a heat exchanger plumbed into the pool filtration and also plumbed into the house heating system.

These systems require a lot of designing between the home heating installers and the pool builders to ensure it works efficiently.

Pros

Cons

Efficient and cost-effective

Requires additional design, plumbing and electrical work during installation

Suitable for all types of pools

Slower heating process than gas or electric pool heating.

Can be used in conjunction with solar or gas heating for added efficiency

Requires a separate heat source, which may increase installation costs.

Low maintenance

So, there you have it, there are many heating options on the market and choosing the right pool heating option depends on your budget, preferences, and pool usage. Solar pool heating is the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly option, while gas pool heating is quick and effective in all weather conditions. Heat pumps sit in between solar and gas and is what we usually recommend for most pools in Sydney to provide the best value and performance.


Contact us today to talk about your dream pool today!

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