How do heat pump pool heaters work?

Heat Pump Pool Heaters work AMAZINGLY!!!  They are 40% more efficient that conventional pool heaters and use no fossil fuels.

Powered by electricity

A pool heat pump uses electricity for power but does not use electricity to generate heat.  That means no massive increase in your electric consumption for heating.  Instead, heat pumps use electricity to power a fan which draws in heat from the outside air that has been warmed by the sun. This warm air is extracted by a fan and circulated through an outer evaporator air coil.  Liquid refrigerant within the evaporator coil absorbs heat and transforms it into a gas.

The warm gas in the coil then gets pumped into the compressor which increases the heat, creating a very hot gas that then passes through the heat exchanger.

The pool pump circulates the swimming pool water drawn from the pool, then passes it through a filter and the heat pump water heater.

As the liquid refrigerant gas and water from the pool is pumped through the heat exchanger at the same time, the hot gas transfers its heat to the water.  The water is heated 3-5 degrees as it passes through and then the warmer water flows back into the pool.

The hot gas, as it flows through the condenser coil, returns to liquid form and back to the evaporator, where the whole process begins again.

Heat pump pool heaters work efficiently as long as the outside temperature remains above the 45–50ºF range.  Some are efficient even down to an outside temperature of 32 degrees.  However, the cooler the outside air they draw in, the more energy they use and the longer it takes to heat the pool.  However, since most people use outdoor swimming pools during fair and warm weather, this usually isn’t an issue.

The efficient combination of components creates a system that is better at cooling and heating the interior areas of your home than any central air system could ever do and for less money.

The technical process

  • A unit of electrical energy (you pay for) runs the compressor which sucks evaporating refrigerant gas from the liquid filled evaporator tube. This causes a strong cooling effect (just like sweat evaporates from your skin and cools you off). The gas picks up four units of heat from the air flowing over the outside of the evaporator tubes.
  • The compressor squeezes this gas, causing its temperature to climb above 200° F (93° C) for a result: Five units of heat added to the gas.
  • The hot, high pressure gas flows through the inside of the condenser coil. The colder 80° F (26° C) pool water picks up the five units of heat from the Freon which cools it down back to a warm liquid.
  • The warm liquid is forced through a valve. As it drops in pressure, it rapidly expands and becomes extremely cold liquid .This liquid flows back into the evaporator At 1 where it repeats the cycle.

Pool heat pumps are designed specifically for recreational water heating (in ground, on ground or above ground pools, spas, hot tubs, swim spas, etc.) If you have an air conditioner, dehumidifier, water cooler or a refrigerator, you already own a heat pump.

All these appliances use the same dependable technology to move heat from one place to another using electric power and a sealed refrigerant compression system.

Just like an air conditioner moves 2 to 3 units of heat from your home for every unit of electricity it consumes, heat pumps can use one unit of electric energy to move four (five or six for scroll models) units of heat from the air which delivers five to seven units of heat to your pool water.

No fossil fuels and even more benefits

Unlike Thermal Solar Panels that go on your roof, your pool heat pump system is less likely to crack and leak due to hot, dry and windy outside conditions, takes up a lot less space and is more accessible for servicing.

Heat pump pool heaters, much like heat pump mini-splits are powered by electricity and will use less of it since they are more energy efficient.  When you are powering your home with solar, you are already producing clean renewable energy.  Your heat pump system will now be heating your pool WITHOUT USING FOSSIL FUELS.  It is a TRIPLE WIN!  It’s clean, efficient and sustainable!

Learn More about Solar Smart Living’s Heat Pump Pool Heating Systems.  We will provide you with up to a 10 year warranty on system equipment and installation.  We would be happy to help you with a free assessment and get you started.

About the author
Alan Morgan

Alan is a solar and sustainable energy advocate. He has served the renewables industry for over 5 years for companies such as Solar City and Tesla and now acts as the Director of Business and Market Development for Solar Smart Living.