Repairing Your Pool Lining

2 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Swimming Pool Heater

If you want swimming pool heating, you must first decide which factors are most important given your specific needs/abilities. Being an expensive and long-term undertaking, take time to weigh all options before settling on any type. This article highlights two major factors, with specific details on how each category of heater performs under each of the factors.

1. Environmental and energy friendliness

Considering eco-impact is important because you win on two fronts: mitigating negative impacts on the environment and cutting down your energy bills.

Solar heating is the most eco-friendly options, provided you live in a place that gets direct sunlight for most of the day. Also, you save money since you won't have a bill to pay for solar heating. The major drawback is that without adequate sunlight, your pool won't warm up properly. Usually, some families opt to supplement solar systems with another kind of heater for year-round warmth.

Heat pumps are the second-best option as they consume less energy than natural gas heaters. These pumps collect heat from the environment and use it to heat your water. For better efficiency, look for protected heat exchangers which allow water to pass through the pump for heating before being returned to the pool.

If going for natural gas heaters, you can reduce energy bills by ensuring there are eco-friendly features such as hydraulic performance (reduces circulation time to conserve energy with low noxious gas emission). Ensure you have burners and heat exchangers that are corrosion-resistant to extend usable life and insulated combustion chambers to control heat loss. Also, go for heat exchangers that do not produce any condensation.

2. Budget

Electric heaters are relatively inexpensive to purchase but have high operating costs, and so are only ideal for heating small pools or portable spas. Consider installation costs of these heaters, since you must have large-amperage circuit breaking systems and heavy-duty wiring.

Gas heaters are also inexpensive to purchase but have moderately high operating costs. They were a common choice in years past, but increasing gas prices and the invention of heat pumps have reduced their popularity. Consider also that gas heaters have a shorter lifespan than heat pumps, which can last up to 15 years and longer with proper maintenance.

Heat pumps also use electricity but are more efficient which makes them more popular than the preceding options. They are significantly more expensive than the aforementioned options, although any upfront costs will be recovered in long service life and reduced energy bills.

Solar heaters have the highest upfront price tag but come with no monthly operating costs. They have a prolonged lifespan and should be selected if you don't need year-round heating and you receive adequate sun for most of the year. Talk to an expert about secondary heating options for winter-time or cloudy days.