Imagine that you’re ready to finally take a dip in your pool after a few chilly days finally shift to sunny, warm weather. The sun is out, you’re in your swimsuit, and you’re excited for a relaxing swim. But when you dip your toe into the water, your plan suddenly seems impossible. It’s freezing! The water of your pool just hasn’t caught up to the weather—and it won’t for some time.
Now imagine the same scenario, but that you have an electric heat pump that allows you to set a steady water temperature. You don’t even have to put your toe into the water to check. You know that it’s just as warm as you like, and you dive right in.
Every pool owner can feel the difference of an electric heat pump. But the reasons why it helps to have one goes even beyond comfort. I’ll explain why heating your pool improves the quality of every aspect of your swim, why electric heat pumps are the best way to heat your pool, how they work, and how to choose the right one for you.
No need to slowly enter the water, shivering as we go. Let’s dive right in.
Why Choosing Temp Changes the Game
A little temperature control makes a lot of difference. There are a few reasons why keeping your pool water at the ideal warmth is well worth the cost. I’ll explain how using an electric heat pump amps up comfort, extends the swim season, allows adjustments for certain age groups, and creates more opportunity for automatic.
Here are the details. But in the end, one dip is all you need to feel it.
Amps Up Comfort
Comfort is the number one reason why every pool owner should heat their water. No more slowly tiptoeing down the steps an inch at a time, cold water seeping into your bones (or least, that’s how it might feel).
By controlling the temperature of your water, you can anticipate just how the water is going to feel. If you prefer cooler, refreshing water, you can keep it at a lower temperature without worrying about a sudden arctic pool once the weather turns. If you prefer a tropical-like swim, you can turn the heat up for your specific sensibilities.
The result? It’s pretty common for pool owners to tell me that they actually started swimming more after getting a pool heat pump. Because it makes for a more comfortable swim, there’s no need to brace yourself before hopping in.
Swim Better, Longer
There’s no way around it: when you have a pool, the winter can be a bummer.
Having a pool heater doesn’t erase the seasons, or even the need to close and open your pool. There needs to be some amount of ambient air around the pump for it to draw heat in and transfer that heat to your pool.
But what it can do is extend the swim season a few weeks or more in the spring and the fall. And since the water itself will be more comfortable, those are weeks when you’ll actually want to swim. No teeth chattering here!
Looking to extend the swim season as much as you can? A heat pump is the answer for you—but you’ll want a powerful unit that will save you on your energy bill every month, like the Energy-Saving ComforTemp Pool Heat Pump 80,000 BTU to heat 15,000 Gallons. According to customer Steve, “Simple install and simple set up. Heated my pool from 66 to 82 degrees in about 2 complete days.”
Adjusts for Age Groups
Did you know that certain age groups require different temperatures for swimming? Warmer water helps loosen up muscles for children, as well as prevent breathing difficulties that might otherwise occur in cold water. Turning up the heat can also increase comfort for senior swimmers with arthritis or chronic pain.
If you (or someone in your family) are a swimmer that needs warmer temperatures due to your age, it’s time to gain control of the warmth in your pool.
More Opportunities for Automation
Pool automation is the ability to synch up all your pool systems into programmable settings, which are totally customizable for you. For example, it can give you the convenience of having your pool lights turn on when you pull into the driveway, or the freedom to turn on your hot tub when you’re finishing up dinner at a restaurant.
Hooking up a heat pump to your pool’s automation system allows you to regulate your pool’s temperature from afar—whether you’re on vacation and preventing an algae infestation or at the store getting supplies for that night’s pool party.
If you’re interested in automation, a heat pump is the perfect warm-up to the process.
Electric Heat Pumps Outperform All Pump Types
Here’s the short answer: An electric heat pump is the most convenient, cost-efficient, and effective way to heat your pool. Skip to the next section...
...Unless you want the long answer. Here it is: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are three types of energy-efficient pool heaters: gas heaters, solar heaters, and electric heat pumps.
But just because all three are coined “energy-efficient” doesn’t mean they use an equal amount of energy. And that matters for the environment, definitely. But also for your own wallet.
You pay for the energy you use every single month. Get an “energy-efficient” heat type that guzzles energy, and it’ll cost you. And keep costing you, every thirty days, for as long as you have a pool.
Gas heaters, in my humble opinion, shouldn’t even be on the list. They shouldn’t be called energy-efficient. The bottom line is that they’re outdated energy-wasters. The way they work is that they generate heat on their own, meaning they produce heat from scratch. This is a terribly difficult task. Plus, self-generating is hard on your monthly energy bill and the equipment itself.
Solar heaters are one step above gas heaters—not for the energy they use, but convenience. They’re especially sustainable, because they pull heat from sun rays, compress the heat, and transfer it to your pool. It’s a genius process, because it doesn’t rely on self-generation. However, solar collectors and their circulation systems are complicated and expensive to install.
Electric Heat Pumps
Heat pumps are the best of both worlds. They work using cutting-edge technology that draws in heat from the ambient air around the pump, compresses it, and transfers that heat straight back into your pool.
By utlizing heat that already exists, an electric heat pump cuts down your energy bill, is less invasive to the environment, and maintains reliable temperature—all without complicated solar panels or costly installation.
To keep your circulation system in top shape, you’ll need a reliable, powerful, and energy-saving pump like the 2 HP Energy Star Variable Speed In Ground Blue Torrent Cyclone Pump to make sure all your water is sanitized. Plus, it comes with a free warranty, is eligible for rebates, and pays itself off in under a year. According to customer James Robinson, “Great price, quick shipping and delivery. Installed it and turned it on, and it was so quiet that we both reached down to feel if it was vibrating! Simple controls. I’d buy it again.”
How Heat Pumps Work
Want to get even further into the science behind heat pumps? Here’s the play by play of the process.
1. First, the pool heat pump pulls in water from the pool. The heat pump itself contains freon, which is a colorless liquid used as a refrigerant. Chances are you have freons in your air conditioning, too.
2. Next, the pool heat pump compresses the freon until it reaches a temperature about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, 93 degrees Celsius.
3. The freon then passes from the high-pressure zone of the heat pump into the low-pressure zone. Once the freon’s pressure is released, it turns into a hot gas.
4. Meanwhile, the pool heat pump’s fan pulls in warm ambient air, which flows over a set of evaporator coils. The hotter the temperature of this air, the more heat the evaporator coils will absorb from the freon gas in this next step.
5. Next, the freon gas flows through the evaporator coils, which cools the gas. During this process, the gas transfers its heat to the water circulating through the heat pump, which is then returned to the pool.
Once this process is done, the freon returns to a liquid again, the heat pump pulls more cool water in from the pool, and the cycle continues until all of the pool water is properly heated. And by the way, that freon gas? Thanks to the evaporation coils, it never makes direct contact with your water.
Choose the Right Heat Pump for You!
Are you ready to swim better, longer? Remember, this isn’t just a one-time purchase for a heat pump. The decision you make now will go beyond the initial price tag. You’ll be paying for the equipment you choose now every single month, thanks to your energy bill.
Consider the following, and get yourself the right electric heat pump.
You do know how many gallons of water your pool contains, right? Well, if you don’t, now is the time to find out. Knowing your pool size allows you to get the right equipment, plumbing, even the amount of chemicals you need, including the right-sized heat pump.
You can calculate your pool’s volume (that’s how many gallons of water yours has) by multiplying length by the width and depth, with all units in feet:
Volume = Length x Width x Depth
Then, convert your volume from feet to gallons by multiplying it by 7.5.
If your pool floor has a shallow end, a deep end, and a sloped floor between the two, you’ll need to find your average depth first. To find your average depth, just multiply the depth of your shallow end and the depth of your deep end and divide that number by two:
(Depth of Pool’s Shallow End x Depth of Pool’s Deep End)/2 = Average Depth
The power of most pool heat pumps is measured by British Thermal Units (BTUs). One BTU refers to the amount of energy that’s required to increase the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. But your pump should also make clear how many gallons it’s capable of heating.
Pool pumps don’t go for cheap, and for good reason—this is the kind of engineering that takes a lot of time and resources to get just right. But when it comes to heat pump models, a little bit of extra details go a long way.
Make sure that your heat pump includes easy programming tools so that you can get exactly the performance you need. Bonus points if your evaporation condenser is made from titanium, which is a durable metal that is also resistant to corrosion.
The whole point of getting a heat pump is to maintain a reliable temperature in your water—and keeping it consistent will actually save you a chunk on money on energy over time.
Make sure the pump you choose is BT-certified for reliability. It also helps to get a model that comes with a self-diagnostic system to automatically fix any electrical issues that might occur.
All This and More: The Best Electric Heat Pump on the Market
My top recommendation is the Energy-Saving ComforTemp Pool Heat Pump, which returns every dollar you spend with five dollars of heat created. Its design by longtime pool experts tops the market, it comes with a warranty, and it is the most affordable heat pump you can find—without sacrificing craftsmanship or efficiency.
Every pool owner should have a pool alarm, too. If you don’t have one yet, make sure to get one ASTM certified—this is not the kind of device that has any room for manufacturer error. I recommend the PoolWatch Certified ASTM Alarm. It’s loaded with patented features that immediately alarm you to the happenings around your pool, all while circumventing false alarms.
Dive Right In!
Life just got a little bit better. Now that you know why every pool owner should have an electric heat pump, you’re well on your way to a warmer, more enjoyable swim. So turn it up, and dive right in—without worrying about your hair standing on edge. Ahhh… See you at the pool.