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Pool Heating - A New Use for Geothermal
Are you considering extending your swimming season by installing a pool heater? Pool heaters are a great idea for both residential and community pools. They allow swimmers to take a nice, relaxing dip in the pool even on the coldest of days.
There are four options when selecting a pool heater:
Gas/propane pool heaters
Air source heat pumps
Solar heat pumps
Geothermal pool heat pumps
The geothermal pool heat pumps works by collecting heat from the stable ground. Although the air temperature in the winter is very volatile, underground it remains a constant 70° F. Geothermal heat pumps utilize that warm temperature through a series of underground loops that collect the heat and then a heat pump concentrates that heat and applies it where needed. They are an excellent option as a pool heater because they can be used year round, are good for the environment, are extremely efficient, and are much less expensive to operate. So you can enjoy your mid-winter swim in a nice, warm pool and knowing you won't have an inflated energy bill!
The facts speak for themselves. Unfortunately, solar heaters and traditional heat pump heaters are unable to heat the water to a high temperature if the air temperature is below 45 - 50° F. The only products able to heat the water at those low temperatures would be a geothermal heat pump and the gas heater. However, geothermal heat pumps are 90% more efficient than gas heaters. That means you are paying a tremendous amount of money to heat your pool with the gas heater, but with geothermal you can rest easy because the majority of your energy is fueled by a renewable, natural source of energy. Geothermal pool heat pumps offer the convenience of gas heaters; they can heat water at any temperature, heat the water quickly, and maintain any desired temperature. They can also save hundreds of dollars in energy costs each year, depending on the frequency of use and size of the pool.
Another benefit is their small size and versatility. Gas or propane heaters require a hook-up or installation of a tank. This can be costly to do and offers dangers for small children. Solar panels can also be bulky and they require a lot of space. With a geothermal pool heat pump most of the equipment is located safely underground. This removes eye sores, gives you space for other things, and is much safer.
When researching the initial cost of a pool heater you will find that geothermal pool heat pumps are 30 to 40% more expensive. Solar pool heaters average $2800 to install and heat pump pool heaters are approximately $4200 after installation. However, for heat pumps you also have the additional cost of energy to operate the pump. It can cost a homeowner nearly $1,000 if they run they heat pump throughout the winter. But, that number drops dramatically for geothermal heat pumps. You can expect savings of 70 - 85% in operation costs. So, in time, the initial investment is counterbalanced by the tremendous energy savings. Also, geothermal pool heat pumps last the longest of any other type of systems. Most carry warranties of 10 years! This offers huge savings in the long run.