Can a heat pump help you get more use from your outdoor pool in summer and save your energy bills?
Most people like their pool to be heated to around 28 deg C.
Last year (2012) the UK mean temperature for the summer was just below 14 deg C.
That means that your outdoor pool is going to need heating if you are going to enjoy using it. Traditional methods of heating the water as it is circulating would be by electricity, gas or oil fired heaters.
All these methods use up fossil fuels and generate emissions that we are all trying to avoid. And they all cost money.
Heat pumps aren’t magic. They aren’t free to run but they do something very clever. They multiply the heat that is produced by a unit of energy.
And rather strangely, they do it by refrigeration.
There are various different types of heat pump but the one most commonly used for a swimming pool installation is an Air Source Heat Pump.
This type of heat pump uses the heat in the atmosphere, the warmth of the air itself, as a source of heat that it then transfers to the water in your pool.
Outside air, at any temperature above freezing, contains some heat. For instance, the air of last year’s summer contained an average of 14 deg C.
A heat pump extracts that heat from the air. That is to say, it uses refrigeration technology to cool it down. You see the fridge in your kitchen doesn’t add ‘coldness’ to the food and drink inside it; it removes heat.
Your domestic fridge just radiates that heat out into the air, a heat pump uses a heat exchanger coil to put the heat where you want it; in this case, the water in your pool.
The heat pump uses electrical energy to run but an efficient heat pump will produce up to 4Kw of heat energy from every 1Kw of electrical energy.
Some electricity is used to drive a fan that sucks air into the unit. That air then passes over a CFC free refrigerant gas, warming it up. Electricity is also used to drive a compressor. As the gas is compressed, so its temperature goes up and the hot gas is passed through a heat exchange coil, warming the water in your pool.
Of course, heat pumps will find it easier to pull energy from warmer air than from air that is cold. If they are used to ‘top-up’ your pool’s heat in the summer months, then this isn’t a problem.
Air source heat pumps can last over 20 years with very low maintenance requirements – the fridge is the most reliable appliance in anyone’s kitchen.
Heat pumps are relatively inexpensive to buy, install and of course, run.
Most installations will have a secondary source of heat for the pool, as a heat pump will not be able to heat a pool up quickly or be able to provide enough heat in some colder conditions.
Heat pumps come in a variety of sizes and a reputable dealer will recommend one that is appropriate for the size of your pool.
Most heat pumps are very reliable but a long warranty is a sign of a high quality swimming pool heat pump.
Economically priced and suitable for all types of outdoor swimming pool, DURA and DURA+ heat pumps benefit from oversized, titanium heat exchangers making them highly resistant to corrosion by salt, chlorine and bromine.
Both models are suited to UK climate with the DURA+ able to provide all year heating capability and show a significant saving on energy bills. In fact, DURA+ heat pumps can save you up to 83% in operating costs and The heat pump can pay for itself in just a few years with the cost savings.
Highly efficient and economical, for each 1kW consumed by the DURA+ heat pump, 6 kW can be returned to the pool. So 5 out of 6 kW are for free.
If you would like some specific advice on heat pumps and would like to find an appropriate pool professional in your area, there is a find a supplier at the top of this article that can get that process started.
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We hope this article has been of use to you. There are many more articles on this site that will give you information on almost every aspect of your pool.