Heating a pool can be costly. Solar thermal systems and electric heat pump systems are cheaper than operating a gas powered pool heater, but which is the better choice? Let’s compare the two so you can see the advantages of each side by side.
Solar thermal pool heaters
Solar thermal pool heaters work by collecting the sun’s energy and using it to warm the water circulating in your pool. Just like the water in your hose heats up being left in the sun all day, the sun heats up the water pumping through the solar collectors. Pool temperatures aren’t as hot as the hot water you need inside your home, so lower cost materials can be used to create the system.
- Solar thermal pool heaters are definitely the cheapest option as far as operational costs are concerned.
- These systems are fueled by the sun’s energy, which happens to be free!
- Solar thermal pool heaters are green and environmentally friendly, as they use naturally occurring energy.
- You can’t use a solar thermal pool heater to heat on demand if weather conditions aren’t right, which could limit the use of your pool for some people.
- A solar thermal pool heater can’t heat up the pool as quickly as electric pool heaters.
- A large collector area may be needed, depending on the size of your pool. No big deal, but may be aesthetically displeasing to some.
Electric heat pump pool heaters
Just like a heat pump used to heat and cool a home, an electric pool heat pump removes heat from the outside air and transfers it to heat the pool water.
- Electric heat pump pool heaters can be used even on cloudy days, as they don’t rely on the sun’s energy.
- These systems can absorb the proper amount of heat needed to warm pool water even when outdoor temperatures aren’t very warm. Sufficient heat can be absorbed when outdoor temperatures are as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Electric heat pump pool heaters offer fast recovery times than solar thermal pool heaters, making them a better option for swimming during colder outdoor temperatures.
- Electric heat pump pool heaters require utility energy to operate, and are not as environmentally friendly as solar thermal pool heaters.
- When using an electric heat pump pool heater, you are subjected to fluctuating energy prices as well as utility grid down time.