Heat Pumps for Swimming Pools
Heat pumps for swimming pools are a low-carb way to keep your water temperature comfortable and make your swimming enjoyable. Here's everything you need to know about them
Did you know you can use a heat pump in a swimming pool? A swimming pool may be heated by any heating device, but a heat pump can be a very efficient and low-carbon way to heat your pool water.
While standard heat pumps can be used for swimming pools, there are also efficient, inexpensive heat pumps designed specifically for swimming pools that you can take advantage of as well.
We explore the key things you need to know when using a heat pump as your swimming pool heat source.
Why choose a heat pump for your swimming pool?
The swimming pool can be heated by a domestic hot water heat pump through an appropriately sized heat exchanger, or a dedicated swimming pool heat pump can be used.
A domestic hot water heat pump usually has a slower flow of water through its heat exchanger, so the water temperature rise will be higher than a dedicated swimming pool heat pump with its own heat exchanger (usually made of titanium) with pool water chemistry connected in series with the pool pump and filtration system Matter is elastic.
The water flows very fast through the heat exchanger and the temperature rise is very low, sometimes less than 1°C. This low temperature difference makes heat pumps very efficient, often achieving efficiencies in excess of 500%.
What type of heat pump should I use for my swimming pool?
All types of heat pumps may be used to heat swimming pools, but choosing which heat pump is best for your project will depend on your specific requirements. The indoor pool will be used year-round, so the heat pump needs to be able to operate in winter conditions and reach the desired water temperature during these times.
The swimming pool will have a fairly high energy demand, so the ground source heat pump will need a ground return suitable for the size of the load. If the ground source heat pump also provides heat for domestic and sanitary hot water, the maximum heat load for the home, hot water load and swimming pool load needs to be calculated, as well as unit size and ground collectors (horizontal circulation or borehole circulation) for winter Highest loads, but also able to cover the smallest loads in summer without going into short start-stop cycles.
Many European heat pumps have a limited number of starts per hour, and if done within the first 10 minutes, the unit will not start again for an hour.
How does a swimming pool heat pump work?
A standard medium or high temperature heat pump can be used to heat a swimming pool if connected to an appropriately sized heat exchanger, but there are also dedicated pool heat pumps.
Swimming pool air source heat pumps are often simpler than the heat pumps you see hooked up to your home's central heating and hot water. A swimming pool air source heat pump has a larger heat exchanger (usually made of titanium, which is resilient to the high chemical composition of the swimming pool water), allowing the swimming pool water to flow through it faster because the swimming pool filter pump is running. Higher water flow rates result in lower temperature rise per cycle and therefore higher efficiency.
Because there are circulating pumps now, and the temperature rise is low, the ambient air temperature is usually higher, and the average efficiency can exceed 500%. So for every 1kWh of heat pump running, it will deliver 5kWh of heat to the pool.
What is the best month to use a heat pump?
Usually, heat pumps are only sold in summer. Yes, all manufacturers say they will work in 0-5 degrees ambient temperature, but with minimal heat output, in practice, you're unlikely to want to swim at these temperatures. Ideally, the heat pump should not be turned on until the ambient air temperature reaches 15-20 degrees.
Heat pumps are great for heating your swimming pool only during the summer months (May to September). However, with the various climate changes we have experienced in recent years, we have received reports from customers who have been running heat pumps from April to late October!
How long does it take for a heat pump to heat a swimming pool?
Swimming pool heat pumps take 24 to 72 hours to heat the pool to 11°C. This time will vary depending on the size of your pool, the power of your pool heat pump, and the ambient temperature.
How efficient is the heat pump?
They don't have a simple efficiency figure to work with. Their efficiency is measured by the coefficient of performance (COP). The average COP over the entire range is 5.25. This means that for every unit of electricity you put into running the compressor, you can get up to 5.25 units of heat from the heat pump.
*COP depends on many factors, namely water temperature, air temperature and relative humidity.
Is a pool heat pump worth it?
Pool heat pumps typically cost more than traditional pool heaters, but this is offset by lower annual operating costs. If you're looking to keep your heating costs down while also having the potential to extend the season in your outdoor pool, a pool heat pump is worth the investment.
What size heat pump do I need for my swimming pool?
The size of the pool and heat loss needs to be defined, then a suitable heat pump is specified to make up for the heat loss, and it also has the ability to reheat the pool if you allow it to cool seasonally.
Many swimming pool circulators will run about eight hours a day. The heat pump should be able to deliver the required heat to the pool during these times. If reheating is required, the pool pump runs longer. Indoor pools have lower heat loss than outdoor pools, but with indoor pools, you also need to allow the air in the billiard room to be heated and circulated. The air temperature is usually kept about 3 degrees warmer than the water temperature to mitigate evaporative losses.
Air circulates at a much higher rate than is required in a domestic home, so standard Mechanical Heat Recovery Ventilation (MVHR) units are not suitable for this purpose. A dedicated pool ventilation unit is required, and these typically also manage heat transfer to the air and pool water.
How much does a heat pump for a swimming pool cost?
Dedicated swimming pool heat pumps can be much less expensive than air source heat pumps, which are often attached to our homes for central heating and hot water production.
Dedicated swimming pool heat pumps start at around £1,500, but for a complete air handling unit with thermal management you may need upwards of £15,000.
Do your research and identify your needs, as costs can quickly escalate.
How much does it cost to run a swimming pool heat pump?
The cost of running a heat pump depends on the size of the swimming pool, the ambient temperature in which the heat pump is running, and the target temperature you want to achieve. As an approximation, it would cost £5 a day to heat a 10m x 4m swimming pool to 28°C.
Should I run my pool heat pump at night?
If you plan to swim first thing in the morning, you should run your pool heat pump at night. How and when you choose to run your pool heat pump depends on how often you swim and what time of day you are. Using an automated control system helps reduce costs.
What is involved in the installation of a heat pump for a swimming pool?
Installing a heat pump to heat a swimming pool can be as simple as putting the unit in series with the return flow or water from the filter to the swimming pool, but in an existing indoor swimming pool it may also require some substantial construction work into the plumbing and then connecting it to the heat pump.
Can I add a heat pump to an existing pool?
Yes. If there is space near the pool pump and filter, and a powerful enough power supply, this can be a very simple installation. In an existing indoor pool or where space is limited, plumbing is built into the landscaping, then make sure you get a survey and an on-site quote.
How to Find a Heat Pump Installer for a Swimming Pool
Many pool contractors already have experience with these products, so start there. They understand pool products, chemical types, heat exchangers, heat loss expectations, reheat times and typical temperature requirements. Home heating engineers may not have experience with swimming pools.
What pool heat pump is best?
The best pool heat pump for you will depend on your pool and the conditions under which you are running it. The following products have been selected for performance and efficiency:
LeomonHeat Plus - Features an oversized evaporator for maximum heat extraction, ideal for extended pool seasons or rooftop pools.
LeomonHeat Eco V Inverter Heat Pump - Features variable fan and compressor speeds to maintain constant temperature and improve overall efficiency.
LeomonHeat Mini MkII - Features horizontal ventilation for smaller facilities such as plunge pools and spas.
LeomonHeat Low Temp - Heats the pool in cooler climates, even as temperatures drop to near freezing.
LeomonHeat Pro - for cost-effective commercial swimming pool heating.