Whenever you’re deciding between a heat pump pool heater and a gas pool heater, it is an easy choice because a heat pump heater annually costs much less because of their energy efficiency rating. With proper maintenance, heat pump pool heaters have a longer life cycle than gas pump pool heaters. Therefore, you’ll save more money in the end.

When selecting a heat pump pool heater there are a couple of things to consider:

  1. Size of the Pool Heater
  2. Efficiency
  3. Cost Factor

Installing a Heat Pump Pool Heater

You should have a trained professional install and size the swimming pool when installing your heat pump pool heater. Buying the right size for your pool is really important during the installation process. Sizing a heat pump pool heater involves many different factors. Whenever you’re sizing a heat pump, the surface area of the pool is taken into consideration. Basically, a heater is sized according to the surface area of the pool and the difference between the pool and the average air temperatures.

Factors that affect pool heating:

  • Wind exposure
  • Humidity levels
  • Cool nighttime temperatures

Heat pump pool heaters are rated by Btu output and horsepower (hp). Standard sizes include 3.5 hp/75,000 Btu, 5 hp/100,000 Btu, and 6 hp/125,000 Btu.
To calculate an approximate heater size for an outdoor swimming pool, follow these steps:

  1. Determine your desired swimming pool temperature.
  2. Determine the average temperature for the coldest month of pool use.
  3. Subtract the average temperature for the coldest month from the desired pool temperature. This will give you the temperature rise needed.
  4. Calculate the pool surface area in square feet.
  5. Use the following formula to determine the Btu/hour output requirement of the heater:
    Pool Area x Temperature Rise x 12

This formula is based on 1º to 1-1/4ºF temperature rise per hour and a 3-1/2 mile per hour average wind at the pool surface. For a 1-1/2ºF rise multiply by 1.5. For a 2ºF rise multiply by 2.0.

Efficiency of a Heat Pump Pool Heater

Heat pump pool heaters are really energy efficient. The energy efficiency of a heat pump pool heater is measured by the coefficient of performance (COP). The higher the COP for the pool heater, the more energy efficient it is. Typically, COP is measured by testing a heat pump pool heater with an outdoor temperature of 80 degrees. COPs usually range from 3.0 to 7.0, which converts to an efficiency of around 500%. This means that for every unit of electricity it takes to run a compressor, you get 3-7 units of heat.

Buying a heat pump doesn’t have to be difficult if you’re looking for a long-term investment that will help increase the energy efficiency of your pool and make you warm and happy! Check out these smart facts to consider when making your pool heating decision.