10 things to Know Before Buying and Installing a Swimming Pool Heater
Aug 27, 2022
Installing a Pool Heater—Pool Heating Systems & Installation Tips
Over the years, pool heaters have become increasingly popular. Pool heating systems allow you to prolong the season or swim in the pool year-round. Moreover, heated water shields the pool from damage during winter.
But before buying and installing a pool heater, let’s discuss ten facts you need to know:
1. Pool Heaters Can Be Gas, Solar or Electricity-Powered
Gas heaters use natural gas or propane to warm your pool. They are great for year-round use, especially if your state’s electricity cost is rocket high and you can access cheaper natural gas. But on the downside, gas emissions increase your carbon footprint.
Electric heaters or heat pumps are environmentally friendly and generally cheaper. These pool heaters have a longer shelf life and will work if there’s power.
If you reside in sunny areas, solar-powered heaters are a suitable option. These heating solutions use energy from the sun to warm your pool, making them eco-friendly.
2. Swimming Pool Heaters Work Like Water Filters
When cleaning the pool using a filter, water is pumped from the pool through the filter where debris is removed. Water is then channeled back to the reservoir. Similarly, a heater warms water using a heat exchanger before the water flows back into the pool. As such, you need to mount a pump before installing a pool heater.
3. Environmental Factors Affect Pool Heating
When purchasing a swimming pool heater, remember environmental factors such as wind speeds and air temperature will affect your heater’s efficiency. High wind speeds and colder air contribute to faster heat loss from the pool, increasing the time your pool needs to warm. On the same note, the heater will also use more energy to heat the water, leading to higher electricity bills.
4. Heaters Have Different Capacities
Before you install a heater, you must determine what best suits your pool. A pool heater’s capacity, measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), is determined by the energy required to heat a gallon of water. Thus, the bigger your pool, the stronger the heater you should install. Most electric heaters have a capacity of between 100,000- 150,000 BTUs, while gas heaters’ capacities range between 175,000 and 400,000 BTUs. Since gas heaters have a higher capacity than electric heat pumps, they warm the pool faster.
5. Solar Heaters Will Save You Money
Besides their eco-friendliness, solar panels will save you money in the long run. The associated operations costs of solar heaters are also lower than those of other pool heaters. However, if you live in an area with temperatures lower than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, solar-powered heaters will not heat your pool adequately.
6. Electric Heaters Are More Energy-Efficient
The energy efficiency of a pool heater is indicated by its coefficient of performance (CoP). Gas pool heaters have an estimated CoP of less than 1.0, implying that not every unit of energy consumed is converted into heat. On the other hand, conventional pool heat pumps have a CoP of 3.0-7.0, indicating it produces up to seven times the amount of energy consumed. Therefore, heat pump pool heaters will save you money on heating costs.
7. Setting a Timer for Running the Pool Heater Can Help Reduce Your Heating Bills
Running the heat pump during the warmest time of the day ensures the heater performs at optimum performance, reducing the energy requirements and consequent operating costs.
8. Proper Installation and Maintenance Optimizes Heater Efficiency
It’s best to get an experienced pool professional to install your heat pump and complete the complicated maintenance requirements. Annual maintenance exercises might be necessary to keep your pool heater in optimum condition. Nevertheless, check your owner’s manual for maintenance recommendations.
9. Potential Pool Heater Issues
Like other equipment, a pool heater might develop problems and break down. Issues with swimming pool heaters are always difficult to diagnose and fix, necessitating professional evaluation. Components that could develop issues include the high-limit switch, heat exchanger, pilot lights, and thermostat.
10. Installing a Pool Heater
Whether it’s electric, gas, or a solar pool heater, you should install the system in a spot with good airflow near the pool. The heater should lie on a flat base and have access to adequate energy; otherwise, it might not operate as required.