Introduction to Pool Heat Pump
Pool Heat Pumps are the most efficient pool heaters in the market. These machines do not generate any heat by themselves, but instead, they use electricity to capture heat and then retain and move it from one point of the pool to another. This basically means that unlike other pool heaters that need a continuous power supply, pool heat pumps will only capture a small amount of heat and use it to keep your pool warm for extended periods. As a result, pool heat pumps cost a lot less in running costs than other pool heating options. This makes them a favorite to a lot of pool owners who are willing to spend relatively more on getting and installing a pool heater that’s long lasting with minimal running costs. If maintained properly, pool heat pumps will also last a lot longer than gas pool heaters and other options.
What makes pool heat pumps an excellent choice is their efficiency but how exactly do they achieve this? To understand this, we have to look at how these machines work. As we already pointed out, pool heat pumps utilize electricity to capture heat which they then transmit to your pool water. These heaters pump your pool’s water through the filtration system and the heat pump heater. This heater comes fixed with a fan that draws in air from outside the pool and passes it above the evaporator coil. The evaporator coil contains liquid refrigerant which absorbs heat from the air to become a hot gas. The gas is then passed through the compressor where it is heated even further before proceeding to the condenser. It is at this point that the heat from the warm gas is transferred to the cold pool water moving through the heater. The water gets warmed up and then its pushed back to the pool as cooler water circulates through. On the other hand, the hot gas in the condenser coil gets converted into liquid form, and it’s returned to the evaporator where the whole process starts again.
Weirdly enough, the cooler the outside air, the more efficient these heaters are. Pool heat pumps work best when the surrounding temperatures are between 45ºF and 50ºF. Most pool heat pumps also use scroll compressors to improve efficiency even further.
Buying the Best Pool Heat Pump
There are so many pool heat pumps, and they are all uniquely designed to be used with certain types of pools. Therefore, to get the best pump that will work for your pool, you need to consider various crucial factors which include:
The best thing about having quite a lot of pool heat pumps to choose from is the variety of options that you get. Different pool heat pumps have different daily, monthly and even lifetime operating costs. When purchasing these pumps, you get an opportunity to calculate their operating costs and choose one that suits you best.
Take note that most pool heat pumps have quite a steep initial cost. Purchasing and installing these pumps can be quite high, but the good thing is that they compensate on it with their high efficiency. Spending a little bit more in acquiring and setting up a heater that will save you hundreds of dollars in operating costs is a lot better than a cheap heater that’s expensive to run, don’t you think?
In calculating the operating cost, you should also include the initial cost, maintenance, and repair to determine the overall cost of owning the pool heat pump you are eyeing.
A pool heat pump’s compressor is where the refrigerant is condensed into a hot gas. Buyers get an option between two types of compressors; reciprocating and scroll compressors.
Reciprocating compressors used to be so popular because they were affordable and very compact. Over time, however, issues with their efficiency were raised and this is when scroll compressors came in. Scroll compressors use metal scrolls in compressing refrigerant. Their overall designing is also entirely made to boost energy-efficiency even further, and the best part is that they are durable and cost much less to operate. Scroll compressors are also made with fewer moving parts, and this has significantly reduced the need for frequent maintenance and cases of malfunctions.
- Heat Exchanger
The heat exchanger is the medium through which heat is transferred from the condenser to the swimming pool’s water. Standard heat pumps are made of either cupro nickel or copper heat exchangers. The two types of exchanges are both efficient and affordable, but manufacturers have in recent years, started using titanium exchangers which are corrosion resistant and more durable. Unfortunately, titanium exchanger tubing is usually very expensive, but it provides the best performance to everyone who can afford it.
Pool heat pumps are rated according to their horsepower and Btu output. The ideal pump size that will work for your specific swimming pool depends on quite a lot of factors. These include your swimming pool’s surface area, wind exposure, cool nigh temperatures, humidity levels, the average air temperature, and the pool’s temperature. Sizing a pool heat pump as you can see can be quite complicated. The good news is that you can get a professional to do the hard task and give you an accurate and detailed report that will help you get the right size of the heat pump.
The Best Pool Heat Pump
Hayward HP21404T HeatPro Titanium 140,000 BTU Heat Pump
The Hayward HP21404T is arguably the best heat pump in the market right now. This pump provides excellent performance capable of heating even the biggest of swimming pools. With its 140,000 BTU rating, the HP21404T HeatPro is perhaps the best heat pump for all residential pools. With its high power output, the pump can raise the temperatures of a big in-ground swimming pool by as much as 25 degrees in just a couple of days.
The heat pump has also been designed to achieve high energy efficiency. This is why it features a high-performance titanium heat exchanger. With the stainless steel hardware, Ultra-gold evaporator fin and the UV-resistant exterior panels you can expect to get the best services from this heat pump for a very long time.
This Hayward heat pump also features a stylish digital LED control screen that you can use to access and customize the various settings of the pump.
The biggest issue with this pump is its price tag. The Hayward HP21404T is quite costly thus limiting the number of people that can afford it. If you are one of the few that can match the price tag, then it’s absolutely worth buying.
- Heats huge pools
- High BTU output
- Modern and stylish look
- Functions quietly
- Quite costly
- Not the best option for small pools
Hayward HP502TA HeatPro Titanium 500,000 BTU Heat Pump
The Hayward Titanium Pool Heat Pump is one of the highest rated heat pumps in the market. The pump has a 50,000 Btu output which allows it to heat pools as big as 15,000 gallons to 85 degrees in just a few days. It also has an impressive 84% energy efficiency that will save you a lot of money.
This heat pump is one of the most durable in the market. It features a long-lasting ultra-gold evaporator coil, titanium heat exchanger and a tough polypropylene exterior. These are not just durable, but they perform exceptionally well. You will also get LED controls through which you can customize the heat pump to adjust the temperatures in your pool.
Another incredible aspect about the HP502TA HeatPRo is its compact nature. This pump weighs just 120 pounds, and it comes in the simplest of designs for easy installation and use. You can, therefore, use the provided guide to set up the heat pump yourself and save the extra bucks that you could have spent hiring a professional.
- The ultra-cold evaporator is corrosion-resistant and very durable
- Cheaper to operate compared to gas heaters
- Easy to install
- High initial cost
- Eats a bit slower compared to the gas heaters
FibroPool FH055 In-Ground Swimming Pool Heater
The FibroPool FH055 is an excellent choice to everyone who is looking for a simple, low-tech heat pump that gets the job done in the most efficient way possible without breaking their bank accounts. This affordable heat pump can produce up to 55,000 BTUs. This is enough to heat a 15,000-gallon in-ground swimming pool raising its temperature by up to 10 degrees within a day.
The Fibropool FH055 may not look flashy or modern, but its performance is something to behold. The fact that you can get its excellent services at an affordable price also makes it an excellent option for most home pools.
- Highly efficient
- Easy to install and use
- Low operating cost
- It’s quite bulky with a somewhat traditional appearance
Final Thoughts on pool heat pumps
There is really no reason to save a few bucks by buying a cheap pool heater that will end up costing you a lot of dollars to run and maintain. Pool Heat Pumps are the perfect example of just how much you can save by buying a relatively expensive but very efficient heater for your pool. The three pumps and especially the Hayward HP21404T will serve you diligently for years. If you find it too costly or powerful for your pool, then you can go for the HP502TA or the simple but effective Fibropool FH055. Whatever your decision we are confident that with the guide above you will get the best heat pump for your pool.