Upgrade pool heater
The lowest–impact form of pool heating is solar, followed by gas and heat pump heaters.
If you currently have an electric pool heater then you will save by:
- Upgrading your pool heater to a gas, heat pump or solar system
- Taking advantage of lower energy rates by running both the heater and the pump during off-peak hours where possible
Solar pool heating
This is the cheapest pool heater to run. It is a good option if you want to extend the swimming season by a few months but solar is not suitable if you need to heat a pool throughout winter.
There are two kinds of solar heating systems:
- An independent system has separate pipes and a separate pump solely used for circulating water through the solar collector on the roof
- An integrated system uses the existing filtration system and pump with a diverter valve to control water flow through the solar collector
Solar heating systems can be used to pre-heat spa water. This will reduce the amount of time and energy required to bring the spa up to operating temperature.
Remember that you need to have enough roof space to install solar panels or evacuated tubes on, and the roof needs to receive direct sunlight.
Heat pump pool heating
Heat pumps are a good option if it is not possible to install a gas pool heater.
They are powered by electricity but use efficient technology to produce heat by gathering heat from the air. Heat pumps can be noisy to run so install them outdoors in a place where the noise they generate cannot be heard by anyone who lives nearby.
You should try to run heat pump systems during off peak hours in combination with a time–based pricing arrangement with your energy supplier.
Gas pool heating
Gas heaters can provide a large amount of heat quickly so they are the quickest way of heating a pool.
Remember that a gas heating system requires connection to the natural gas network so make sure that this is possible before making a choice. The downside of gas is that is costs more to run than a heat pump or solar pool heater.
Spa pools or hot tubs
Spa pools are high-energy users depending on their size, and how they are used and maintained. Gas heaters are the best choice of heater for a spa. Regardless of which model you choose you should always use a pool cover to reduce heat loss.