There are three main options for heating your pool. Heatpumps, gas heaters and solar water heating systems.
By far the most popular consumer choice is the heatpump. They provide certainty of temperature and the modern heatpumps are very easy to install and cost effective to run and maintain.
However, BEWARE! Not all heatpumps are created equal! If you live in a climate where temperatures can drop below 10 degrees celcius you MUST have an all season heatpump that has a defrost cycle.
When we first started installing pools a number of suppliers tried to sell us cheaper heatpumps without this feature. We were not aware of the importance of the defrost cycle in heatpumps but quickly learned it was essential to the the successful operation of our client’s swimming pools.
There are a number of well known brands in NZ that have removed this feature to save money and are simply not suitable for South Island climatic conditions. Ask us before you buy!
Heatpumps such as the Zodiac All Season Range are most suitable. These heatpumps are made in Europe and have a defrost cycle that allows the heatpump to defrost itself when it begins to freeze due to the lower ambient air temperature.
Another market leader in the heatpump industry is Hotwater Heatpumps. The heatpumps are made in NZ and they have an excellent reputation for performance and reliability.
Heatpumps are also typically sized for your pool based on the surface area of the water, not the volume of the water in the pool. With heatpumps the mantra the bigger the better holds true. You do not want an under sized heatpump as it will work harder for longer to maintain your pool temperature.
How do I Prevent Heat Loss?
Swimming pools lose energy in a variety of ways, but evaporation is by far the greatest source of energy loss.
Water consumes energy when it evaporates therefore it is important that you do your best to prevent evaporation.
Factors that influence evaporation rates are the pool temperature, air temperature, windspeed at the pool surface and humidity.
The most effective and simple strategies you can employ to decrease evaporation is to keep your pool cover on the pool when not in use and to create a windbreak to prevent wind whistling over the pool surface.
By employing these two strategies savings of 50%–70% are possible.
What are the Types of Pool Cover?
The primary goal of any pool cover is to act as a vapour barrier thereby preventing or reducing the rate of evaporation.
Pool covers designed specifically for swimming pools are your best option. They are UUV-stabilised polyethylene, polypropylene, or vinyl. They can be transparent or opaque and come in a variety of colours.
The most cost effective cover is a bubble cover. This is very similar to bubble wrap but is a thicker UV stabilised plastic.
Premium covers have an insulating layer sandwiched between two layers of vinyl. These covers prevent evaporation and also help keep the heat in the pool.
Outdoor pools gain heat from the sun, absorbing 75%–85% of the solar energy striking the pool surface. This is an important contribution to the pool’s heating needs.
However a pool cover will decrease the solar gain contribution depending on what type you use. A transparent bubble cover may reduce pool solar energy absorption by 5%–15%. A completely opaque cover will reduce it by 20%–40%.
Therefore if you do not have a heatpump and want to maximise your solar gain we recommend a bubble cover. If on the other hand you have purchased a heatpump and want to maintain your pool temperature overnight then we recommend installing a thermal blanket cover.
What are the other Benefits of Pool Covers?
Pool covers help conserve water by reducing the amount of make-up water needed by 30%–50%
They help reduce the pool’s chemical consumption by 35%–60% due to decreased evaporation and UV breakdown.
They reduce cleaning time by keeping dirt and other debris out of the pool.
Is there a difference in Quality between Manufacturers?
Like all things to with pools you get what you pay for… ensure you purchase a proven multinational or locally made cover.
As always we are here to help at Morgan+Stone. If you have any questions then simply click here and send us your query.