Many Australian pool owners use solar pool heating (strip matting) to enjoy a comfortable swim all year round. While solar pool heating is a great way to heat a pool if you have heaps of available roof space, there’s another option that’s becoming increasingly popular — a pool heat pump. Here’s how these units work and how they differ from conventional pool heating.

The Difference Between a Pool Heater and a Heat Pump

A pool heater uses electricity, natural gas or propane gas to heat the water in your pool.

A heat pump works on a heat transfer principle. The air around us contains a certain amount of heat, even in winter. The unit draws heat from the air and uses a heat exchanger to warm the water as it flows through the heat pump and returns the warmed water to the pool.

Because heat pumps use less resources to generate heat, they’re a more energy-efficient way of heating a swimming pool.

How to Choose a Pool Heat Pump

Not all heat pumps are made equal. For the best efficiency, it’s important to choose the right one. Here’s what to take into consideration when buying a pool heat pump.

1. Check the COP rating

COP stands for “Coefficient of Performance”. It measures the efficiency of heat transfer compared to the standard form of heating called resistance heating. The higher the COP rating, the more energy-efficient the heat pump is and the lower your running costs will be.

2. Don’t be driven by price only

Beware of low-priced heat pumps. To put a lower price tag on their product, a manufacturer has to sacrifice on quality, features and/or efficiency.

As a general rule, cheaper heat pumps are unlikely to have inverter technology. As a result, they’ll be less efficient, so will cost you considerably more money to run. An inverter with a variable-speed compressor will automatically adjust the heat pump’s output according to the water’s temperature, so it remains consistent at the temperature you set.

3. Power your heat pump for free from the sun

Used in conjunction with solar panels, a heat pump can be extremely cheap to run, because it can use free energy from the sun during the day. Heat pumps are compact and ideal for those with limited roof or ground space and perfect if you have a reasonable size (min. 5kW) solar power system.

4. Buy the right size heat pump

Heat pumps vary in size. Make sure you install the correct size heat pump to match the size of your swimming pool. A heat pump that’s too small may not adequately heat a large pool.

Tip! It’s imperative to use a pool cover/blanket at night and during cold weather to retain the heat. Otherwise, it’s a bit like expecting your bath to retain it’s temperature overnight.

If you don’t want to give up swimming in the cooler months, it’s wise to invest in heat pump technology. For an efficient heat pump or solar pool heating solutions, call The Energy Experts on 1300 516 474.