When you consider adding a heat pump to your pool you also want to consider the total efficiency of the heat pump you are adding. This is a very important step as this could be the difference is saving money vs. spending more. While we can agree that a pool heat pump is a worthy investment as it gives you longer swimming seasons and ultimately leading you to use your pool and exercising that investment as well as making it worth it in the long run, there are a few things that you should know. We found a great article to share with you to help you understand the importance of knowing the efficiency of a pool heat pump before it is installed.
Keeping the 15,000 to 20,000 gallons of water in the average residential swimming pool at a comfortable temperature is a big job. For the homeowner, it’s crucial to do it in an energy-efficient, affordable way. The old-school, natural gas heaters typically offer efficiency ratings no higher than 75 percent. That means fully one-quarter of the heat produced by the gas is lost in the combustion process and does not contribute to heating water. Heat pump technology developed to efficiently heat and cool homes is a natural match for use in heating swimming pools. Heat pumps produce heat by moving it from one place to another, not by combustion. This allows more efficient heating with less heat loss and zero on-site combustion by-products or greenhouse gases. The criteria for evaluating the efficiency of various heat pumps differs from natural gas pool heaters.
The comfort zone for most home swimming pools is 78 degrees to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Pools shed large amounts of heat due to evaporation, which is responsible for 70 percent of the heat loss from a pool. For every gallon of evaporated water, the pool loses more than 8,500 BTUs of heat. Under typical conditions, a residential pool will lose 625 gallons of water due to evaporation per week — more in a windy climate. To recover just one degree of lost heat may increase energy expenses anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent, depending on local costs. Keeping up with heat loss and maintaining the temperature comfort zone economically requires choosing an efficient, effective heating system.
Believe it or not, latent heat energy in outdoor air down to approximately 35 degrees Fahrenheit can be used to heat your swimming pool. Moreover, at the warmer air temperatures typical during the pool use season, there’s more than enough energy to provide all the heat you need. Heat pump technology extracts latent heat energy from the air, utilizing an outdoor evaporator coil circulating compressed refrigerant. The system concentrates the molecules of heat in the refrigerant in a compressor cycle, then transfers the concentrated heat energy to circulating pool water through a highly efficient heat exchanger. The only energy expended is electricity to operate the blower fan, compressor and circulating pump.
The energy efficiency of different models of swimming pool heat pumps can be compared by checking the Coefficienct Of Performance, or COP, of each system. Since heat pump performance is linked to outdoor air temperature, laboratory tests to determine the COP of a given heat pump are usually conducted at a standardized 80-degree Fahrenheit air temperature and 80-degree pool water temperature. The higher the COP rating, the more energy-efficient the heater. Typical COP ratings for swimming pool heat pumps range from 3.0 to 7.0. A COP rating of 5.0, for example, means that for every one unit of electricity consumed to operate the heat pump, the system generates five units of heat to warm the pool.
The efficiency of swimming pool heat pumps can be further enhanced by taking other measures. Keeping the pool at the lower end of the temperature comfort zone slows heat loss, as does lowering the thermostat even further to 70 degrees when the pool will not be used for several days. Installing a pool cover and using it faithfully when the pool is not occupied can cut daily heat loss due to wind and evaporation and reduce heating energy consumption by as much as 75 percent.
This article originally published onhomeguides.sfgate.com. If you are ready to have a pool heat pump installed, be sure to contact us today!