Having your own swimming pool is an extravagant luxury. Yet a lot of people have one in their back yard in America, and fortunately the climate is good enough to at least get a lot of use out of it in the summer. Compared to other parts of the world swimming pool ownership is a lot cheaper here compared to say the UK. Not only does the climate there not suit a pool, but it would cost a lot more for service technicians, and parts as there is not as much supply and demand.
Can you imagine the cost of heating a pool or spa in a colder climate? Depending on what State you live in, your swimming season can start as early as February, but for many it will not start to May or June. Either the air is too cold, unless you like a chilly dip, or you haven’t set your pool chemistry yet as you don’t get around to sorting this out until the water heats up.
The water will start to heat up as soon as air temperature rises, but this still can make for a just about bearable dip, unless it’s an extremely hot day. There are lots of ways to heat up a pool, from solar heaters, gas heaters and electric heaters. You can even use a combination of all of the above.
Costs will vary, and price is dependent of what size a pool you have, what the ambient air temperature is, whether you are using gas or electric, and how much time you use your heater for. Unless you are living in a really warm state there is no point in using a heat pump for instance. Not only will it cost a fortune to run on the electric for the amount, but it works on the outside air temperature.
If it is not hot you will not have enough heat build up to transfer to the pool. Your electric bills will rise but the pools temperature will not rise that much. On the other hand if you live in Miami a heat pump will be very effective. But what would you use a heat pump for in Miami? To extend your swimming season, or to start it earlier. And also to go for late night or early morning swims.
Solar heaters like heat pumps are only effective in warm states. For lukewarm climates or those that only get mild temperatures a gas heater will be more beneficial. Gas heaters today are a lot cheaper than they used to be. Once the water temperature is set, they will auto shut off until the water temp dips and then they will come back in. If you are building a pool with a designer, i would definitely install a gas line, and power for a heat pump from the onset.
Another way that you can make your pool heating more effective is to use a pool cover. This will prevent heat from escaping from your pool when you aren’t using your heater. You can find a fantastic gas heating calculator for every state in America that shows how much you will save when you use an 85% efficient gas heater with a pool cover, see here: http://energy.gov/energysaver/gas-swimming-pool-heaters.
How Pools Lose Heat
Pools lose heat due to energy loss, and one of the biggest sappers of energy loss is evaporation. Water evaporation takes a massive amount of heat energy out of a pool.
Overnight heat seeps out of pools, but you have one friend, a pool cover. If you use one of these you can save 50-75% on your heating costs.