Should You Oversize a Pool Heat Pump?

Congratulations on your choice to purchase a heater!  Whether you are extending your swimming season, have a spa or just don’t like cold water (like me) a heater is a great addition to your backyard.  In some climates you have the ability to swim all year if you choose!

What Do Heaters Do?

In a nutshell, both natural gas heaters and electric heat pumps will give the same desired result: warmer water.  They operate a bit differently with one utilizing natural gas and one utilizing both electricity and the outside air, but we end up with the same result.  As your swimming pool water gets drawn from your skimmer and/or main drain it will pass through various pieces of equipment.  This is done by the swimming pool pump.  The water gets pushed through your system which definitely has a filter, may include a salt system or in-line chlorinator and now, your new heater!  It is then returned, warmer, back into the swimming pool through the return inlets.

How are Heaters Sized?

When we talk about heater “size” we are rarely referring to the dimensions of the heater.  Although this aspect can be important too.  Especially when you have limited space on your equipment pad.  Nay, usually when we talk about heater size we are talking about the heat output.  This output is measured in British Thermal Units. (BTUs).  The higher the BTU, the more quickly you will be able to heat your water.  This measurement applies to both natural gas and electric heat pumps.

Pro Tip:  Always go with the largest size (BTU) of heater your pool can accommodate.  This leads to quicker water heating and lower operating costs.

Natural Gas Heaters

These heaters require a gas line.  If you do not have an existing line, you will need to have one installed.  The size of your gas line and how long the run is will determine the size of the heater you can install. Remember, we are talking about BTUs.  

With a natural gas heater, gas is burned in the combustion chamber.  They contain copper coils that are the assistant in heating.  The gas expelled creates exhaust through what is known as a flue.  A flue sits on top of the heater.  These heaters are good in any climate and are good for quick water heating.

Electric Heat Pumps

These types of heaters do not run on natural gas.  They, drumroll, run on electricity!  Heat pumps contain a fan that draws in the outside air and then directs it over an evaporator coil.  Inside there is liquid refrigerant in this type of heater’s evaporator coil.  The liquid refrigerant that is inside the coil absorbs the outside air’s heat.  The warm gas then gets passed through a compressor.  As the water passes through, it gets heated! Voila!  A warmer pool!

Because these heaters rely on the outside air, they cannot be used in temperatures that drop below 45-50 degrees fahrenheit.  A lot of people are turning to heat pumps because of the rising cost of gas.  They are quieter and have a longer life span. They tend to run a bit more than gas heaters.  That is, unless you know where to shop.

Where to Shop

If you were to go to your local swimming pool supply store and check out the cost of a heat pump, your jaw would drop.  They can run over $4,000k!  You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for quality.  You can get a ComforTemp Electric Heat Pump for a fraction of the cost.  They are economical, fast-acting, name brand and quality!  They even have a self diagnosing tool for smooth continued operation.  These heaters will pay for themselves by cutting the cost of energy.  They are BT certified and come with the industry standard 1-year warranty.  Don’t believe me?  Check it out for yourself! See you poolside!