How can I lower my pool heating costs?

Tips & Tricks


Question: How can I lower my pool heating costs?


In a previous article - we talked about how you can save money and make your pool more efficient by switching to a variable speed pool pump.  There are other ways that you can trim more off of your utility bills while making your pool a good way.


Install a Solar Pool Cover


If you heat your pool, you know that it can be pretty expensive to keep the pool at your ideal temperature.  One easy way to reduce this expense is with a solar cover.  A solar cover can increase the temperature of your pool by 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit and that’s not all!  It also reduces water evaporation, leading to less refilling and by blocking the sun’s UV rays it also reduces the need for chemical treatment.  Finally, because there’s a cover over your pool most of the time, less debris gets into your water - which means easier cleaning and less chance for algae to grow.

Solar covers are relatively inexpensive too.  There are some shopping links below - but a cover and manual roller costs around $150 - $300.  They do get expensive if you go with a semi-automatic mechanical roller, but that’s totally optional.  All of the benefits combined can lead to some really substantial savings on your operating costs.  Used properly a pool cover can reduce heating costs by 50%-70%, chemical consumption by 30-60%, and water evaporation by 50%!  

The Hayward HP50TA is a popular 50,000 BTU swimming pool heat pump.  Check it out on!

Install a Heat Pump

Another option for reducing heating costs is a heat pump.  Heat pumps work in a similar manner to an air conditioner but in reverse.   Basically the air surrounding the heat pump passes over an evaporator coil using heated refrigerant - this heats the water which is then returned to your pool.  The heat pump uses electricity to operate, but because it is so efficient (up to 500% efficiency)  the cost to operate is generally much lower than a gas, propane, or traditional electric heater.

There are some things to consider to figure out if a heat pump is a good choice for you.  Heat pumps are not effective when temperature drops below approximately 50 degrees F, so your local climate is certainly a big consideration when looking at your options.  The size of your pool will impact the size of the unit that you require as will the general wind conditions in your area.  If your area is windy, you will likely need a bigger unit.  There is also the physical size of the pump itself  They are rather large - so you will need the appropriate space in your pool equipment area.

The final thing to consider of course is the upfront cost of the unit and installation.  Pool pumps are fairly expensive, but can make up their cost in energy savings.  A pool pump can cost from $1500 to $4500 plus installation costs.  The savings in energy use can be quite substantial though - the department of energy estimates that heating costs can be reduced by 40-60% compared to traditional gas, propane, or electric heaters.

A pool cover makes a lot of sense as an easy, inexpensive way to reduce your pool operating expenses.  A heat pump can also be a great solution in the correct environment.  Do you have any experience using either of these tools?  Did the savings happen for you?  Do you have any tips for other pool owners?  Let us know your experience in the comments!  

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