Swimming Pool Heating Comparison

 In Energy Management News, Questions & Answers, Swimming Pool & Spa News, Swimming Pool Heat Pumps

Swimming Pool Heating Comparison

Are swimming pool heat pumps the way to go, or are their other options?

There is a growing trend with pool owners today, especially with increasing power costs, to consider different options in pool heating, and the humble swimming pool heat pump is up there in consideration along with other forms of heating.

However, when we look at our options, unfortunately when all is said and done and we have finished listening to the sales pitches and all the hype we end up buying what we can afford at that time.

In some cases it works out for the best, and in others an ongoing money drain full of regret and disappointment.  There are also a lot of pushy sales people who are nothing more than box movers, and will sell you incorrectly sized systems, just because it fitted into your budget.

But the buyer is also to blame, sometimes it does pay to shop around, and even to hold off till you can afford the better equipment as it will save you long term.

Following is a quick overview of some of the options available to you.

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Swimming Pool Heating Comparison

When considering heating system for your pool or water heating projects, there are many facts to consider.

  • Efficiency of the heating system
  • Ramp Time – Time to heat the water up
  • Running costs
  • Time of use
  • Purchase and installation costs
  • Location & Placement considerations
  • Local or imported brands
  • Environmental conditions and impact.

The 4 most common and basic heating types include:

  • Solar Heating
  • Electric Element
  • Gas or fuel heaters
  • Heat Pump

Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses, and in some projects, people combine two or more systems to gain their desired results.

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Purchase Cost Verse Running Costs

The initial cost of a heating system may be the defining factor considered for the purchase of a pool heating system. But do not be fooled by buying on price alone.

Time of use is a very significant factor:

  • Spa – instant heat – gas may be your best bet for ramp speed
  • Spa or Pool – constant use – Heat pump may be your best option.
  • Summer use only – Solar or Heat Pumps could be the options to consider.

Each project must consider these variables in detail.

Electric Element

When it comes to Purchase costs alone. An electric element is by far the cheapest to buy and install.

Elements convert 1 kW of electricity into 1 kW of heat energy. So it does not take long for electric element heaters to run up the electricity bill.

So they should only be considered where other options are not available or in small Spas and hot tubs. Where their use is limited to short run times only a few times a week.

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Solar Heating

Solar is considered by many as the go to solution. Even the government backs them offering environmental awards and cash back for businesses.

There has also been a lot of marketing hype, and excellent sales pitches on solar heating. And why not, as they are relative low costs to buy and to install and very low costs to run.

However, they tend to be only good during the summer months. They rely on the heat from the sun on the water passing through their tubes to heat the pool. So they literally provide the best heat solution at a time when the pool gets the most heat from the sun for free any way.

They are best suited as a 6 month option for pools that have a high level of shading, and thus do not get a lot of direct sun radiation heating and normally would stay cold even in summer.

They also often require the most patching and running repairs due to bird and weather damage.

They are an exceptional choice to be considered as a support system to help reduce running costs of the other all year round solutions.

This leaves two main forms of swimming pool heating comparison  being a Gas systems or a swimming pool Heat pump based heating system. 

Gas was extensively used in the past due to its lower purchase in installation costs over a heat pump. As well as superior ramp time for heating. So their popularity in the public sector and their use with spas gained a great appeal.

However, the initial cost of the heat pump usually pays for itself in around 1 to 3 years depending on the gas and electric tariffs you currently pay. So if you can afford the little extra up front, then you will continue saving all year long every year.

Heat pumps usually save you 30% to 70% off the running costs of pool heating. 

In commercial or larger heat pump projects saving thousands of dollars every year in just wasted running costs certainly add up very quickly. I have seen swim schools with 25m pools go from running costs of $24k per year, drop down to around $10k per year. and a $30k heat pump pays for itself in just over 2 years. A great investment that pays for itself and then continues to put money back in your pocket.

Some people are now also coupling Solar Photo-voltaic (electricity) systems with heat pumps and find that they offset the heat pumps running costs and thus almost costs them nothing to run the pool heating all year long.

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Sample Comparison

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  • 1L of LPG provides 25 MJ of energy or 6.9 kW
  • Gas burners run between 80 to 90% efficient – i.e. they burn more fuel to get the results.

Heat Pumps

  • Heat pumps efficiency is variable pending ambient conditions. They usually sit between 4 and 7 throughout the year.
  • They average at about 5, or 500% i.e. they use about 5 times less energy to get the results. 1 kW used to provide 5 kW heat.

 Heat pumps usually run between 50% (town gas) to 70% (LPG) savings in running cost.

  • The above LPG to heat pump project would equate to about a 71% saving in running cost.

So which way to go?

There are pros and cons with every system, and even after you have made a choice in solution there are hundreds of different suppliers of just as many brands.

It is not any easy choice, but I hope this post has given you some ideas on what to consider in your decision making.

But then you know we sell heat pumps, so of course we want you to consider them. But we want to you to be happy with your choice. A heat pump is not always the right decision.

Also with a lot of heat pump brands out there, how do we differ?

  1. we are genuinely Australian
  2. We have designed and built our own branded heat pumps
  3. We are not getting them made overseas and importing them to just be assembled here.
  4. The owner of the business is the engineer behind the heat pumps and not just a sales person.
  5. We are celebrating our 30th birthday this year, so we have proven tacit knowledge and experience.
  6. We build our units to last and have units 20 yeas on and still going.
  7. Support is here and usually no more than a phone call away to the engineer that designed the systems.

Yes we are dearer than imported models, but we truly believe that our premium quality product, support, and life-cycle expectations delivers true value for money.

The rest is up to you to decide.

Did you find the story of interest? Feel free to share it.

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Sample collection of Toyesi & Trident Heat Pumps and Chillers..

If you want to now how Toyesi can help you and your water or pool heating project increase energy efficiency, reduce running costs or minimise your waste energy then give us a call.

Contact us on Facebook, phone: 02  9679 9400 or by email info@toyesi.com.au and we can discuss how we can best assist you in your projects. Alternatively download a company brochure

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