If you are looking at heating your resort pool you will soon realise there are a range of different technologies on the market that all claim to best heat your pool.
It can be a confusing decision to make, especially when you factor in your upfront investment, ongoing running costs and the environmental impact that your pool heating may emit. Before making a decision, it’s important to understand the differences between each application and which solution best fits your current and future business needs.
The four most common pool heating solutions in the market today are electric element, gas heating, solar heating and heat pumps. Gas and electric element heating are your more traditional methods and have been around since the 1950s. However, with advancements in technology, newer, more eco-friendly methods like solar heating and heat pumps are quickly changing the way of pool heating and are causing an exciting shift in the market place.
Electric element heating is one of the oldest forms of spa and pool heating. The electric element works much like a kettle. The direct heat transfer between the immersed element and water heats the pool. This option offers a low upfront investment that is quick and easy to install. While this option delivers an inexpensive upfront cost, it is also the most expensive form of pool heating to run and is not often recommended by electrical companies.
An electric element will produce 1kw of heat from 1kw of electricity and are very expensive to operate. Due to the nature of this heating, businesses are being offered rebates if they upgrade their old electric element heating to a more energy efficient solution. If you are using an electric element to heat your spa or pool this may be an ideal time to upgrade your old equipment to a more energy efficient method.
Gas heating is an option for those who are looking for a solution that is guaranteed to maintain a desired water temperature. A gas heater works by drawing the water from the pool through the gas heater, the water passes through a filter and then to the heater. The natural or propane gas burns in the heater’s combustion chambers, generating heat that transfers to the water which is then returned back to the pool.
A gas heater will produce approx. 800w of heat from 1kw of gas and while it will maintain your desired water temperature it can be extremely costly to run and maintain.
A gas heater also needs to be serviced regularly by a qualified and registered service agent or gas heating specialists. This is extremely important as an unsafe gas heater can cause a fire or pollute a resort with dangerous fumes. Gas heaters in a resort application will cost a great deal more than the heat pump option below.
Solar heating may seem like a good choice for many because of the obvious advantages of using the free energy from the sun and this form of heating is ideal for those recreational pool owners looking for minimal running costs. Solar heating systems work by direct heat transfer – when there is sufficient sunshine, the controller sends water through the collector which is typically located on the roof.
The negative to solar heating is that it is reliant on the sun and generally only provides pool heating during the warmer months of the year and does not offer a full year-round solution. There is also the added risk of salt or chlorinated water damage to the roof and gutters if the solar heating were to leak.
Solar heating is useful as an addition to another form of heating, but are not as desirable as the option of PV Solar and heat pump heating which provides similar savings without the risk of cold pools.
Heat pumps are the newest pool heating technology and are becoming a popular choice for those who want a reliable pool heater that offers a consistent water temperature, lowest running costs while also being environmentally friendly. The heat pump works in the same way as a reverse cycle air conditioner, it extracts the warmth from the air and transfers it onto the water that passes through the pump.
This method of heating is very energy efficient and can be up to 600 percent more energy efficient when compared to other heating technologies like electric element and gas heating. Heat pumps are very efficient when used on a continuous basis and as such are an ideal fit for nearly all resort or hotel pools. The running cost of a heat pump pool heater will always be cheaper than a gas or electric element heater while offering reliable water heating that is not reliant on the sun and does not require regular ongoing maintenance.
Your resort spa and pool is an investment and one best maximised when combined with pool heating. Over the last decade innovations in pool heating technology have advanced the options available for consumers so before you invest in pool heating make sure you check out all the options and speak to the experts.