Definition – A heat pump is not a pump.
A heat pump is a heat exchange system, based on an air conditioning system running in reverse cycle. The unit takes the heat from the surrounding air and transfers this heat to the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger coils are encased in a container with the pool water being pumped through. The heat in the coils is transferred into the pool water. Air to water heat pump.
This heat exchanger is generally made of titanium, to be able to withstand the corrosive nature of swimming pool water. A heat pump still requires a water pump to circulate the pool water through the heat pump.
The price of the heat pumps is generally determined by:
- The size of the unit.
- The quality of the titanium heat exchanger of the heat pump.
- The inclusion of electronic expansion valves and associated electronic software. This provides the unit with a more flexible operating range, thus being more efficient, especially in cooler weather.
- The inclusion of sophisticated de-icing systems to allow for operation in cold weather.
The real good news, is that the heat pumps available today, are far superior to the heat pumps sold only a few years ago.
As with any form of artificial pool heating, it is very important to have a pool blanket to limit the heat losses. This, coupled with the fact that a heat pump has a very slow heat up time, means that it becomes very uneconomic to not limit the heat losses from the pool water.
The advantage of using the heat pump, is that you have many options in the sizing of the unit to:
- You can fit solar electric panels to provide free power to run your heat pump.
- You can choose a unit that just takes the chill of the water in the summer months.
- Or you can choose a unit that has superior cold weather performance to heat the pool all year round.
- You can upsize the unit to heat the pool quicker so you can maximise the running cost saving using free solar power.
- You can choose an inverter system that is super quiet to run, and can run on the cheaper “off peak” power.
A heat pump, or more accurately, your heat exchange system will obviously be very efficient in warmer weather, as there is more heat to exchange. In cooler weather, with less heat to exchange, performance of the heat pump will drop off sharply.
This is the reason why it is so important to choose the correct model and size for your pool, and to meet your expectations of the heating systems performance.
To See our chart shows recommended pool heat pump sizing for your pool size and your desired swimming season. The estimated running costs are indicative only, and will depend on how you use the pool, and the cover.
The estimated running costs do not include any offsets by solar PV panels.
The electricity price is based on a price of 26 cents per KW/H.