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Heats Pumps or Solar Heaters: Which Is Better For Your Above Ground Pool?

Swimming pool heaters can significantly extend your swimming season, helping you to get even more enjoyment out of your pool. Heat pumps and solar swimming pool heaters are becoming increasingly popular, both offering a more energy-efficient alternative to traditional heating systems, allowing you to save money and reduce your environmental impact at the same time. But which heating system is right for your pool?

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps work in a similar way to a central heating or air-conditioning unit, using a fan to draw in warm outside air, which heats a refrigerant coolant inside the pump. A compressor is used to add additional heat to the refrigerant, and the heat is then transferred to the pool water. Rather than generating heat, a heat pump simply transfers it, making the heating process economical and environmentally-friendly.

Advantages Heat pumps are particularly effective in humid conditions because they can easily pull heat from the hot outside air. This means heat pumps are often the right choice for pool owners who live in hot climates. Heats pumps are also relatively easy to install and take up minimal space in your yard. They have relatively low operating costs and typically last for about 10 years.

**Disadvantages**As you might expect, heat pumps must work harder to capture adequate heat when the outside air is cool, which means they may not be ideal for pool owners living in colder climates. Although their operating costs are low, heat pumps require a higher initial investment compared to more traditional heating systems, and also heat your pool water at a comparatively slower rate.

Solar Swimming Pool Heaters

Solar swimming pool heaters are a little different from the solar panels you may have seen people use to power their homes. Rather than converting the sun’s energy into electricity, solar pool heaters use the sun’s energy to heat your pool water directly.  This system works with your existing pool pump, diverting the water that normally passes through your pool filter so that it also passes through the solar collectors before returning to the pool.  The collectors are typically attached to the roof of your house, where they can absorb the sun’s energy and transfer it to your pool water as it passes through them.

Advantages Solar heaters are extremely energy-efficient, requiring no additional energy because they work with your existing pool pump. Like heat pumps, solar heaters have low operating costs, and a long lifespan of about 15 years. If you live in a hot climate, the solar collectors can also be used to cool your pool water by running the system at night.

Disadvantages Solar heating systems rely on the weather, which means that without sunshine, the heater cannot collect enough heat to warm your swimming pool. You’ll need to add a back-up heat pump or gas heater to keep your swimming pool warm at night and on overcast days. Like heat pumps, solar heaters require a higher initial investment, and heat your pool water at a slower rate than traditional heating systems. Additionally, large pools typically require multiple solar panels in order to generate sufficient heat, which can take up a lot of space on your roof or in your backyard

Need help finding the right pool heater? Do you need additional guidance choosing the right heater for your pool?  Call us today or contact us here to speak to one of our pool heating specialists

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