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Pool Heating

Pool heating allows you to greatly extend the time you’re able to enjoy your investment — sometimes year round, depending on your climate. However, there is a wide range of heating options available for your swimming pool and it’s critical to find the right option for your particular needs, budget and physical location of your home and the pool itself.

Types of Pool Heaters

The four main types of pool heaters are solar, electric element, electric heat pump, and gas. Weather patterns as well are your local energy costs all play into which option is the best heater for your pool.

  • Electric element heaters work through a direct heat transfer from the heating element to the pool water. Element heaters have an upfront advantage by being cheaper to install than solar heaters, but they do have a higher ongoing operating cost. When you need a small, compact-sized heater and are not overly concerned about monthly utility payments, electric element heaters are a great option. They have the added benefit of maintaining a very tight range of temperatures all year.
  • Electric heat pumps, also called solar heat pumps, are made for people who want to enjoy swimming throughout the year regardless of the ambient air temperature. They are highly efficient as they capture heat from the air and utilize it to heat the water, similar in function to a reverse air conditioner. While also reliant on electric energy, heat pumps utilize only a small portion of the electricity used by an electric element pool heater. That said, the efficiency of the heat pump will vary based on the ambient temperature in the air making them more efficient in the warmer months of the year.
  • Gas pool heaters are perhaps the most widely-used option as they offer both a lower overall energy cost than electric and a more solid and consistent heat than you’ll get with heat pumps. Even in the dead of winter, a large pool can be heated back up to comfortable temperatures in a day or two at the most — making gas pool heaters an ideal option for those who enjoy entertaining throughout the year. Pools that rely on gas heat can be maintained at the preferred temperature with relative ease with a modest investment. Gas heaters are often added to a solar heating system to support nighttime warming.

Necessary Pool Heating Upgrades

When deciding on an electric element or electric heat pump system, it is possible that your current electrical service may need an upgrade. Licensed and qualified electrical contractors will be able to determine if the current capacity of your electrical system is sufficient to meet the stringent needs of an electric pool heating system. Things that are taken into consideration include the rating of your current meter, the size of the pool and type of lighting and other elements that will be incorporated on your property.

Identifying Warning Signs

If you currently have a pool heater, there are a few warning signs to keep in mind to ensure that your system stays in great operating condition and your family stays safe. Hundreds of thousands of pools in the U.S. are heated with a combination of gas and solar heat — widely considered to be the most efficient and effective heating method for the majority of the country. However, these systems are not without fault, and improper heater installation can cause serious dangers. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the most likely issue and is especially important to keep in mind for indoor pools. Proper ventilation is critical to ensuring your safety, and regular checks from a qualified professional give you confidence that the system is well-maintained with no leaks or pipe blockages.

Pool Heater Life Expectancy

While a swimming pool heater can be quite an investment, it’s important to know that without proper maintenance these expensive items can fail relatively quickly — even in as few as 3 years. This can be an expensive learning experience, so it’s important to check your heater often for general potential fail points. A well-maintained pool heater could be expected to operate upwards of 7-10 years. Maintaining the correct chlorine and pH balance in your pool and checks for physical damage to the heating unit from galvanic corrosion or chemical damage are important parts of homeowner maintenance. Catching these failings early may allow you to report them under a warranty to save on repair costs.

Pool heaters are a fantastic way to expand the usable period of your family swimming pool. Whether you go with a more comprehensive gas heating package or decide to stick with a lower-cost solar or heat pump alternative, installing a pool heater is an investment that pays dividends in your overall pool enjoyment.

Call Rebmann today for any questions regarding pool heating!