If you’re ready to arrange a swimming pool heat pump installation, you’re probably wondering how the pump works. In fact, you may be surprised to discover that a swimming pool boiler heat pump and a power station work according to the same principles, although a heat pump doesn’t use fire as its energy source.

The Principles Of A Heat Pump

The pump will circulate water through the filter then through the heater of the heat pump. The heater fan of the pump pulls in the warm outside air and draws is over the evaporator coil. The heat is then absorbed by the refrigerant coil and turns it into a warm gas. The warm gas then passes through a compressor to increase the heat. By now, the gas is very hot. It returns to the condenser where the energy is transferred into the water in the pool that passes through the system. As the water goes back into the pool, it warms it up, while the hot gas goes back to its liquid form inside the evaporator. The process continues to repeat – cold water from the pool enters in, hot water is released back into the pool – over and over until the pump is switched off.

How Does A Gas Pool Heater Work?

A gas pool heater will use propane or natural gas to warm the water in the pool. This type of heater is much simpler to understand than a heat exchanger. The pump simply draws the water through the filter and into the heater. The water then enters several copper pipes where a flame will generate heat that will exchange through the walls of the pipes. This is a tried and trusted system which is perfect for speedy pool water heating and it even functions perfectly if the temperature of the air outside is freezing.

How Does Maintenance and Installation Impact On How A Swimming Pool Heat Pump Works?

When you swimming pool heat pump is properly installed and well-maintained, it can enjoy optimal efficiency. This will prolong its lifespan while also reducing your ongoing operating costs. The heater should always be installed by a fully qualified professional, while any complex repair or maintenance tasks should also only be carried out by a trained professional. Following the maintenance schedule and recommendations in the owner’s manual is important – an annual service will ensure that the pool heater continues to run properly. Since the heat pump has a number of electrical and moving parts, it requires periodic servicing by a skilled technician. Without this ongoing maintenance, it will suffer from breakdowns and may require replacing entirely within a short space of time. With the right maintenance and installation, a swimming pool heat pump heater could last for a decade or even longer.

How Do You Choose The Right Pool Water Heater?

A heat pump pool heater will cost more when compared with a gas pool heater, however the cost of operating is typically much lower in the long run due to the higher efficiency it offers. When properly maintained, a heat pump pool heater will also usually last longer than a gas pool heater and this, too, adds up to savings in the long-term.
When choosing the right heat pump pool heater for you, it’s important to consider it:

  • Efficiency
  • Size
  • Cost

Understanding The Refrigeration Cycle

For each £1 spent on electricity when you have a swimming pool heat pump, around £5 goes into the pool. The electricity supplied to the pump will simply power the compressor and the fan. The system will take heat from the air that surrounds it and transfer that heat into the water in the pool using the refrigeration cycle.

The cycle works as follows:

  • The unit of energy powers the compressor that sucks the evaporating freon gas from the evaporator tube. A powerful cooling effect is produced. The gas will pick up 4 units of heat from the air that flows over the exterior of the evaporator tubes.
  • The gas is squeezed by the compressor. This causes the temperature of the gas to exceed 93 degrees Celsius, adding 5 heat units to the gas.
  • The high-pressure hot gas flows through the interior of the condenser coil. The pool water, which is colder, takes up the 5 heat units from the gas which then cools the gas back into its liquid form.
  • The liquid gas gets pushed through the valve which causes a drop in pressure. This causes it to expand rapidly and become a very cold liquid which flows into the evaporator where the cycle repeats once more.

It’s very important to get the size of the heat pump pool heater right. A heater must be sized to suit the pool’s surface area as well as the difference between the average air temperature and the temperature of the pool. Other factors that impact on the heating load of an outdoor pool include cold night time temperatures, the humidity level and exposure to the wind. Therefore, pools that are situated in areas where there is a higher than average wind speed at the surface of the pool, cooler nights and lower humidity levels will need a bigger heater.