Spring is around the corner and the warmer weather will be a welcome change. Many homeowners in Hornsby and the North Shore and surrounds are lucky enough to have swimming pools to keep cool in the warmest months.
But running and maintaining a swimming pool can be a significant expense. Pool filters can contribute to up to 30% of a home’s overall electricity usage. And as those homeowners who installed a pool from scratch, you will want to be extending your family’s pool usage over the year to ensure your return on investment.
Having a good pool heating system can extend your swimming season from anywhere between 2 to 10 months. Here are the main pool heating options available and the pros and cons of each:
- Electric Heat Pumps
- Gas heat Pumps
- Solar panel heating
Gas heat pumps
The use of gas heat pumps is best for those who have smaller pools and don’t use their pools often. They are not the most energy-efficient option and can cost a lot when run regularly unlike electric heat pumps and solar pool heaters. Gas heat pumps are ideal if you want the pool to be ready in just a matter of minutes or hours, or are only looking to use your pool three or four weekends a year.
- Great option to for on-demand heating; to heat up a pool quickly. This statement best suits a gas pool heater; “Let’s have a barbie tomorrow with friends. I’ll switch the pool heater on now so it will be nice and warm by tomorrow”.
- Most efficient when heating pools for short periods of time
- Can maintain any desired temperature regardless of the weather or climate
- High cost if you are wanting to have your pool warm all the time in the leadup to peak swim season and just after it and even during it.
- Not environmentally friendly
- Overall life span of just five years
Electric heat pumps
Electric heat pumps are designed to heat up a pool to a desired temperature allows a consistent temperature no matter what the weather is like outside. Because they are more energy-efficient, electric heat pumps provide warmer water than other heating options.
- More environment-friendly than gas heat pumps
- You can choose a specific temperature that it maintains regardless of weather
- Many models have inverter technology similar to aircon units, so it will switch itself off once it reaches the desired temperature or switch over to low mode/ high mode as required
- Lower operating costs
- It can reach higher temperatures than its competitors
- Lasts about 10 years
- Safe for children and pets to be around
- Best option to have for longer periods of time.
- Some models also have a ‘cooling’ mode allowing very shallow pools or pools in very warm climates (like Queensland) to be cooled down in the hottest months.
- Heats water at a much slower rate. You can’t simply switch it on the day before you want to use the pool. It needs a good few days to warm up.
- Purchase costs can be more expensive
Solar panel heating
This is the most ideal heating option as far as maintenance costs and energy bills are concerned. Here in Australia, the use of solar panels to heat a pool is the most popular option. It is cost competitive and can far outlast both gas heat pumps and electric heat pumps.
- Little to no maintenance required