7 Ways To Heat A Swimming Pool

The water in your pool is too cold? In this case, you are probably not going to swim. If you don’t want to enjoy your pool only on sunny days, you should opt for an efficient heating system.

Without heating, the water in your pool will not exceed 22 degrees, and maybe even 25 degrees if it’s really hot. However, even for a sports swimmer, the water temperature is only pleasant from 26 degrees. Most pools are even heated to 29 or 30 degrees.

In addition, a heating system allows you to enjoy your swimming pool much longer. Without heating, you can only swim in summer. With a heater, you can easily swim for more months. Some systems even allow you to swim all year round.

But which type of heating system should you choose? The choice is wide and the ideal choice depends on many factors such as the type and size of the pool, the current heating installation in the home, how often you want to swim and the temperature, as well as the period. during which you want to enjoy the swimming pool. Below we walk through several known heating systems for swimming pools.

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Heating a swimming pool with solar energy

Heating a swimming pool with the sun seems at first glance simple and interesting. It is an environmentally friendly and energy efficient way of heating the swimming pool. However, this category of pool heaters includes several options which all have their advantages and disadvantages.

Heating a swimming pool with a solar water heater

Solar water heaters are mainly used to heat a house or for sanitary installations. The precise application depends in part on the number of panels that are on the roof. Besides the house, you can also use a solar water heater to heat the swimming pool.

It’s significantly more environmentally friendly than gas or oil heating, but you still need the energy to run your solar water heater.

We do not directly recommend solar water heaters as pool heating. The efficiency of the solar water heater will be lower on cloudy days. And this is precisely when the solar water heater has to work a lot to heat the pool or maintain its temperature. To heat your pool, you, therefore, continue to depend on the sun.

Heating a swimming pool with solar panels

Solar panels do not produce heat, but energy. This is the big difference with a solar water heater. This energy is  totally ecological  and is used to heat the house and the swimming pool with an electric heating system.

To quickly heat a house or a swimming pool, solar panels will preferably be combined with an electric heating system such as a heat exchanger.

The price of these solar panels depends on the number of panels, the type and quality of the panels, their capacity and the size of the family. The bigger the family, the more energy it will have to produce.

For solar panels, it is also necessary to provide a large surface which, in the best case, will be oriented towards the south.

It is quite possible to heat your swimming pool with solar panels. It’s ecological and the energy is completely free. But you need a considerable budget and area to install the solar panels.

Advantages

  • Negligible consumption cost
  • Very ecological

Disadvantages

  • High purchase price
  • Can only be used in summer
  • Additional area required for solar collectors

Solar or EDPM Mats to Heat a Small Inflatable Pool

These solar mats are often used to heat a small inflatable swimming pool. When a swimming pool is heated with solar mats or EDPMs, the water circulates through the mats. It is warmed there by the sun. Indeed, the sun heats the solar mats, which then transmit the heat to the water of the swimming pool.

As we have already indicated, this solution is mainly offered for small swimming pools. The main reason is that with a pool having a large volume, it takes a long time for all the water to pass through the solar mats once. Therefore, it takes a very long time to fully heat a large swimming pool with these mats.

In addition, a large area should be provided for installing these rugs. It is advisable to provide an area of ​​solar mats as large as the area of ​​the swimming pool. Usually, these heating mats are installed on a flat roof. However, this means that the pump must have sufficient capacity to bring water to this height. If the pump is not powerful enough, the water will heat up more slowly.

The real downside to these solar mats or EDPMs is that they are weather dependent. Without the sun, the mats will transmit too little heat to the pool water.

Heating a swimming pool with dome-shaped solar collectors

The operation of these solar collectors is very similar to that of solar mats. The difference is that the pipe is coiled under a kind of dome. The water is heated there. Compared to solar mats, much less space is required for this system. With 1 dome, you can heat 5,000 liters of water. For an 8m by 4m swimming pool with a depth of 1.5m, you therefore need 10 such domes.

However, this heating system is only recommended for small pools. This heating also depends on the sun and consumes a lot of energy to pump water through the domes. For the same pool, it will, therefore, be a little cheaper than solar mats.

Heating a swimming pool with a heat pump

With a solar-powered heating system, you depend on the amount of sunlight. A heat pump is therefore a perfect alternative that does not depend on the sun. It has therefore been the most popular swimming pool heating system for years.

It must be said that the heat pump has many advantages for heating a swimming pool. It is very efficient, energy-efficient, easy to use, and durable. This type of heating is much more environmentally friendly than a swimming pool heated with gas or oil. In addition, heat pumps have a long service life. If you are looking for a cost-effective heating system, you will opt for a quality heat pump.

How a swimming pool heat pump works

A heat pump uses electricity to draw heat from the ambient air and return it to the water. It therefore does not generate heat itself.

Heat pumps therefore depend on the outside temperature. As long as this temperature is above 10 degrees, heat pumps are profitable. For 1 kW of energy consumed, they produce no less than 5 kW of heat.

If the outside temperature drops below 10 degrees, it is better to stop the heat pump. Therefore, the heat pump is the ideal heating system to enjoy the swimming pool from April to the end of October. However, there are specific heat pumps that you can use at lower temperatures. If you want to bathe all year round, you can use a heat exchanger in winter.

A comparison between heat pumps and other pool heating systems

An electric pool heater is expensive to use. The consumption of an exclusively electric system is so high that this option is only possible for whirlpools with a maximum capacity of 1500 liters. For a standard swimming pool of approximately 50,000 liters, the use of an electric heater is excluded.

As for gas or oil heating, it has too low an efficiency. These heating systems need 5 kW of energy to generate 1 kW of heat. With a heat pump, it’s exactly the opposite! Therefore, you need a lot of energy to heat a large swimming pool.

Solar systems are very popular for swimming pool heating, but the problem is that they are dependent on sunlight.

Advantages and disadvantages of swimming pool heat pumps

The major advantage of the heat pump is its high efficiency and low energy cost. Unfortunately, heat pumps slowly heat the water; therefore, it takes a few days to heat your swimming pool by about 15 degrees to 28 degrees. It takes about 2 degrees gained per day.

In addition, the heat pump depends on the ambient temperature. The efficiency increases with the temperature, and if it drops below 10 degrees, the efficiency of the heat pump will be low.

Often it is thought that a swimming pool heat pump is very noisy, but it is not that bad. The noise is comparable to that of a quiet conversation. You will only be disturbed by the noise of the heat pump within a radius of 5 m around it.

Advantages

  • High efficiency
  • Low cost of consumption
  • Longer life
  • Very silent
  • Ideal for heating large pools
  • Possibility to swim from April to October
  • Ecological heating technology
  • Easy to use

Disadvantages

  • Higher purchase price
  • Depends on ambient temperature
  • Recommended use at room temperature> 10 ° C

The ideal location for a heat pump

It is advisable to install your heat pump outdoors. You will therefore not need a technical room with a good air inlet and outlet system.

An open-air installation is ideal for blowing the cooled air as far as possible. The direct ambient temperature of the heat pump is thus higher, which translates into better efficiency.

The heat pump does not necessarily have to be installed in the sun, although it is true that the ambient temperature is an important factor. 50 cm of free space should be left all around the heat pump. On the fan side, 3 to 5 m of free space should be provided, again so that the cooled air can be blown as far as possible.

When installing a heat pump, you should also pay attention to noise. While it is true that heat pumps are becoming quieter, you might as well try to limit noise to the strict minimum, for example by installing the heat pump in a corner or behind the pool house.

Heat a swimming pool with a heat exchanger

To quickly heat the water in a swimming pool, a titanium heat exchanger should be used. It is ideal for people who are not often at home to enjoy the pool. In one day, the pool is heated and you can enjoy it. It is therefore the ideal system for a swimming pool in a second residence or for someone who only wishes to swim very sporadically.

The heat exchangers are made of a corrosion resistant titanium thermal element. Electricity heats the resistance, which in turn heats the water flowing through it.

This titanium heat exchanger connects to the heating system of the house. As a result, the installation of this heating system is inexpensive. On the other hand, its main drawback is its consumption. Constantly heating your pool with a heat exchanger can be very expensive.

In addition, this heating method is less ecological than solar collectors or a heat pump. The advantage of the heat exchanger is that it can heat the water even when the ambient temperature is low and there is no sunlight. This is why the heat exchanger is often combined with a heat pump or a solar water heater.

The titanium heat exchanger allows the water to be heated quickly to a comfortable temperature, while the heat pump or solar water heater easily maintains the water at the desired temperature without having to constantly turn on.

Advantages

  • Cheaper to install
  • Heat water quickly

Disadvantages

  • Large consumer 
  • Less ecological
  • Often combined with a heat pump 

A pool cover to maintain the temperature

It is important to heat the water in the swimming pool, but it is even more important to maintain the temperature of this water as long as possible in order to have to use the heating system less often. This is why we recommend covering the swimming pool with a cover, or better yet, with an automatic roller shutter. This will significantly limit the cooling of your pool water. 

If you choose solar slats, the water temperature will increase even when you are not using the pool. On an annual basis, this represents a considerable energy saving!

In this way, your investment is recovered over a period of 2 to 3 years and this will have a very positive effect on the consumption of your installation. A swimming pool cover can reduce heat loss by 50%! If you opt for an automatic roller shutter with solar blades, your pool cover will even allow you to raise the temperature.