Gas pool heaters and heat pumps are two of the most reliable ways to heat a pool. They both have their pros and cons in terms of operation and installation costs, as well as their process of heating water. To help you decide which system is best for you, we will share how each heater works and how they fare in terms of efficiency and costs.
Gas Pool Heaters
Gas pool heaters are one of the oldest methods for heating pool water. Like an instantaneous household hot water system, gas pool heaters use natural gas or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) to heat the water. The system heats up the copper tubes inside the heater where the pool water is pumped through, thus transferring heat to the water. As gas pool heaters directly heat the water, it is the fastest water heating method among all systems.
Pool Heat Pumps
Pool heat pumps work like central air conditioning units ‒ only in reverse. Its mechanism draws warm air from the pool’s surroundings and transfers the heat to the pool water. Unlike gas pool heaters that use both gas and electricity, pool heat pumps run on electricity alone. This process, however, takes longer to initially heat the pool to the desired temperature; pool owners often opt to keep the pumps running, or start them a night before swimming.
Installation Costs and Routes
Installing gas pool heaters involves connecting the system to your gas line and electricity supply. The electricity is used for sparking ignition and powering any electronic controls. If your area doesn’t have a natural gas line, or you don’t want to connect, you can use LPG gas bottles.
Installing heat pumps, on the other hand, only requires connecting the system to your electricity line. A pool heat pump is usually more expensive than a gas pool heater because gas pool heaters need electricity and a gas line, their installation is more expensive.
If you already have a pool heating system, however, and simply want to switch to a gas pool heater or a pool heat pump, installation of either is relatively low cost.
In terms of energy consumption and use, heat pumps are more efficient. For every 1 kW of electricity used, the pump generates 5kW of ambient heat into the water. The gas heater, on the other hand, converts 80 to 95 per cent of every gas unit used into heat energy. Efficiency will depend, however, on how you utilise your system, your area’s climate and how often you use your pool.
Generally, for pools and home spas seldom used ‒ once a week or less ‒ a gas pool heater is ideal. It is more cost-efficient for you to only heat your water when you’re going to swim.
But if you use your pool more often, the heat pump’s energy efficiency gives you big savings and is the most affordable way to heat your pool. Given Perth’s climate and temperature, pool heat pumps can extend your swimming season throughout the entire year.
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