Swimming Pool Heat Pumps - Cost Effective Heat Pumps Lower Pool Costs

by Pool Builders on 01-16-2011 in Articles

Heat pumps serve as a great, popular way to warm-up your pool and reduce heating costs. Heat pumps are installed just as easily as other pool heaters. In addition, advanced controls make operating the heat pump simpler than ever. Overall, the heat pump will significantly reduce your operating cost and extend your pool season without breaking the bank.

A heat pump is a piece of equipment that requires a small amount of energy to transfer heat from one place to another, usually by using heat from the air or ground to heat a home or pool. The device extracts the heat from the air, intensifies it with a compressor, and delivers the new heat to the water as it flows through the system. The process is clean, efficient and most importantly cost effective. On average the electric pump operates at about 25% of the cost of the typical natural gas heater.

The heat pump maintains a constant, increased temperature for the pool at a decreased cost, but it is not made for quick heating. Heat pumps rely upon surrounding temperatures so if there is a stretch of bad weather the heat pump will take a much longer time to heat the pool. A gas heater usually raises the temperature of the pool 1 degree per hour. A electric pump might take 3 to 5 times longer depending on the outside temperature. If the pump is installed as the primary heat source, with a natural gas heater included as a backup, all of your needs will be accounted for. With a spa attached to the pool, for example, the natural gas heater will raise the spa to its desired temperature in a short period of time. In general, a heat pump would save the expensive natural gas heater for emergency, secondary use. By installing both devices in the heating system, you could run the cost efficient pump constantly and only use the natural gas system when you want to raise the temperature after extended poor weather, before using the spa, or in preparation of a late-night, outdoor gathering.

What are the actual costs associated with this product? Let's look at the additional costs for this heating option and determine the time it will take to get a return on your investment. For a +120,000 BTU heat pump, the minimal plumbing and wiring for installation could cost from $4500 to $6500 depending on the manufacturer. A 900 sq. ft. pool with a spa and waterfall that uses a natural gas heating system has an operating cost that ranges from $800 to $1200 a month depending on usage and weather conditions. Operating the same pool with an electric heat pump system would cost about $250 to $450 per month. If you add in the operating cost of the backup gas heater, which would be $100 to $300 per month (depending on outside temperatures and usage habits), the average consumer could expect a $400 to $450 per month savings and would recover the initial cost of the heat pump in 2.5 to 4.5 years. Finally, pool owners can rest assured knowing that going green will save them green!

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