If you have a swimming pool at your home, but want to still swim when the water is a little chilly, you’ll want to install a heat pump. These days, they don’t cost too much, and will be a welcome addition to any home pool set up. It’s just a matter of choosing the right one, and knowing what to look for.
The Right Size:
- Pool heat pumps are rated in ‘British Thermal Units’ (BTUs) of heater output. This is a traditional unit of heat and is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. It is an imperial unit of measurement but still widely used to measure the output of pool heat pumps.
- Naturally, the larger the number of BTUs your pump has, the more heat it will produce. So, for a pool of around 45-55,000 litres, you should seek a pump between 50K-75K BTUs, and this will be sufficient for your pool. For 75-85,000 litres, you’ll need a larger pump at around 100K BTUs. You can keep going upwards for larger pool sizes, or install 2, 4, or 6 pumps at either end.
- Chillers, as the name suggests, have the ability to reverse the process of the heater and cool the water. This is particularly useful if your pool is exposed to the sunshine for long periods in the summer, and the water may not cool down enough to make it bearable to swim in. The process for cooling water is very similar to the one that is used to heat it, so it won’t be too difficult to add this feature if you require it.
- Self-defrosting units are self-diagnosing and will operate to keep water warm even when the ambient temperature reaches as low as 2o This can be very useful if you have an outdoor pool in an area where temperatures can dip very low, in which case some form of heater will be necessary for you pool anyway. Adding this feature can save a lot of headache if you know that winters get cold where you live, particularly at night.
- Titanium or Cupro-Nickel heat exchangers will ensure a longer life and optimum heat transfer. This will cost more but will be a value-added extra if you are likely to use your pool pump for long periods of time.
Making the Right Choice
Choosing the right pump for your pool is an important decision. You’ll need it to be the right size for your pool, so that you can ensure it pumps out enough heat to keep the water warm. Ask at your nearest installer about the right size pump for your pool, of which the heat is measured in BTUs. You can also ask about any added features that will make your pump more convenient such as the ability to chill the water too, or the ability to operate in extreme cold temperatures too. Don’t forget to ask about the heat exchange capabilities of your pump or the longevity of life of the pump either. With this knowledge you’ll be able to choose the right heat pump for your pool.