We have swimming pools in our backyard because we enjoy getting into the water.
If the water is too cold, however, we aren’t getting optimal enjoyment from our pool.
Fortunately, we live in sunny Sarasota which helps keep our pools naturally warm. This doesn’t mean the water is warm enough all year-round though. According to the Florida Solar Energy Centre, a caged pool will stay 80ºF or above from the end of May to mid-September, just 107 days. An uncaged pool will stay 80º or above for 144 days.
If we want to extend our pool’s use, we need to do something. The least expensive method is to put a plastic blanket over the pool at night, when heat escapes into cool night air. These blankets generally cost under $250 and can extend your swim ‘season’ by about a month. However, they need to be removed from the pool in the morning and then put back on each night.
To add supplemental heat to our pools, we have three basic choices:
Solar heat for your pool is almost free. All that is needed are black plastic panels to be placed on your roof’s southern facing slope. The panel’s size will duplicate the surface area of your pool.
When your pump is running, water is pushed up into the panels where it is warmed by the sun before flowing back into the pool. Generally, you can obtain about ten degrees of added heat with solar. If you also used a blanket nightly, you could expect 80º plus water from March to October.
Solar heating costs about $3,000+ to install with little to no operating costs. They usually last at least ten years.
Using natural gas or propane, a gas heater is a very quick yet expensive way to increase water temperature. Their cost of use is why gas heaters are more common on smaller pools or pools with spas. They heat water effectively, operate in any temperature and offer year-round heating.
Gas heaters cost about $2,500 - $3,500 installed and last about 5-10 years. Yearly operating cost, dependent upon use, could range from $250 to $2,500 or above. If the gas heater is not a replacement but a new installation, a permit and gas line to the equipment pad will be needed, which can add slightly to the cost.
ELECTRIC HEAT PUMPS
This type of pool heaters is most common in Florida, due to their low cost of use.
Heat pumps draw their heat from the surrounding air, so they are essentially a form of solar heating, using the sun-warmed air from which to extract heat. The only electricity needed for a heat pump is to run a fan and a compressor.
A heat pump can maintain a swimming pool at 80-90ºF plus, as long as the outside temperature is above 45º. When below 45º, there is not enough ‘heat’ in the air to be extracted. Annual cost of use is about $250-750, dependent upon use.
Prices for heat pumps vary with the heating capacity but generally range from $3,500-$4,500 installed. If the heat pump is not a replacement but a new installation, a permit and separate electrical line may be needed, which can add slightly to the cost.
Because of their relatively simple operation, heat pumps usually carry a 5-year warranty and can easily last 10-15 years.
If you want to lengthen the time you and your family can enjoy your pool, please call our office at 941-224-0404 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details about heating options.
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