Performance & Use
For those who enjoy swimming regardless of the weather, a Heat Pump is the recommended method. It is also the preferred method for therapy or athletic trainers, and also when a home is not « solar feasible » (i.e. solar will not fit on roof.) A heat Pump, when properly sized, can maintain any desired pool temperature between 80 and 90 degrees, regardless of outside weather conditions. A Heat Pump will work when the outside air temperature is above 45 degrees.
How Does It Work?
A Heat Pump uses electricity to operate. They are actually a form of solar heater, as the sun-warmed air contributes to the efficiency of these units. This heat is extracted from the air, upgraded with a compressor, and then transferred to the water.
System and Installation Cost
System unit cost range: $2400 – $4600
Installation cost: $350 – $950
Typical 15×30 pool: $3200 Unit, $4200 Installed
Energy Rating & Efficiency
Heat Pumps are not rated by any governing body. The manufacturer determines the BTU output at a specific water/air temperature and relative humidity value. To accurately compare one unit to another, these test values must be the same, or the comparison will be distorted. Heat pumps are also given a COP (coefficient of performance) rating, generally 3 to 6 COP, which converts to an efficiency of 300 to 600%.
Cost of Operation
Due to their high efficiency, heat pumps have a low cost of operation. Typically, for every 20 cents of electric input, you receive $1.00 worth of heat. The typical pool averages $250 to $500 per year for heat
Size Heater Required
Heat pump sizes are rated by horsepower and BTU output. Standard sizes are 3.5 hp @ 75,000 BTU; 5 hp @ 100,000 BTU and 6 hp @ 125,000 BTU. Heat pumps are normally located next to the pool pump and filter on a concrete slab.
Longevity and Maintenance
Heat Pumps will last between 5 and 10 years or more, depending on the quality. Because heat pumps are a mechanical device with many moving and electrical parts, they require periodic service by a A/C technician. Warranties range from 1 to 10 years on parts and/or labor.