Crane Pools offers the following advice for customers wanting help about how to choose a heating option for their swimming pool or spa.
The options are solar, gas or electric heat pump.
The major considerations are:
Do you have solar power photovoltaic cells installed? Or are you going to install.
Is adequate gas or electric capacity available and where?
Where can or is the unit to be situated ie indoor, outdoor and what space restrictions apply?
How big is the surface area of your pool or spa, when do you want to heat it and to what temperature?
Spring through summer to autumn or
We find that most customers want a pool to be at least 26o and a spa 36o. Correctly sized gas and electric units can achieve this on demand, whereas solar cannot with some exceptions in summer months. Solar is relatively effective when used with a solar blanket in summer, but it can’t heat when the sun doesn’t shine and daylight hours shorten.
If you want to control temperature in your pool or spa it’s our experience that gas or electric is the best choice.
So the choice in our view comes down to your answers to the 4 questions above.
If you answer YES to question 1; a heat pump is likely your most cost effective and best option.
If you answer YES for either gas or electricity supply availability; explore the cost of running the supply to your preferred heater location. This will help you to consider the implications of any supply augmentation costs in make your next decision.
If either one or other is not available; then the available supply determines your heating option.
Both gas and electric can be indoor or outdoor. But heat pumps need lots of space to operate efficiently, whereas gas is not impacted by being indoors. Gas heaters do need an external flue and venting to outdoors.
Heat pumps operate best in a sunny well ventilated location. Horizontal or vertical discharge air flow options give reasonable flexibility to choosing a location.
Heat pumps will require more clear space around them and are generally bigger than gas units.
If space is a problem, gas might be your option.
In simple terms the answer to Question 4 is;
Gas will heat in about half the time, but energy consumption will be at least twice as expensive. Heat pumps will maintain temperature for the least energy consumption/cost.
If you get to question 4 with either option possible, then the decision is mostly about whether you expect to maintain the pool at a desirable temperature for long periods of time; in which case heat pumps are most cost effective.
But if you only want to heat occasionally; then gas will heat your pool or spa in about half the time. The size of what you are heating and by how many degrees play a big part in determining time, as does whether or not a blanket is installed.
Call Crane Pools and ask for Charles or Marc either will be able to answer any further questions or call by to provide onsite advice about your options.