There are many variables that you need to consider when estimating the cost of heating a swimming pool. Details like the size of your swimming pool, how often you use it and the geographic location of your home will play an important role in how much it would cost you to operate a pool heating system. But the cost estimation process begins with understanding what your personal requirements are. While the cost of operations differs for different individuals, it is possible to estimate the cost of heating a pool, effectively. In this blog, we will do our best to answer this question. Here we go!
What to Consider to Determine Pool Heating Cost
Before considering the cost, it is necessary to understand what heating system you intend to use for your pool. There are a handful of options that you can choose, from, such as gas heaters, electric heaters, and solar-powered systems. Your choice will depend on the following three attributes of your pool and your usage pattern.
How Fast: Let’s face it, there is nothing more annoying on a cold day than waiting for your pool to heat up. Jumping into all the warm water in a heated pool is one of the most luxurious life experiences. Waiting for the water to heat up is a snag that can ruin your day. An underpowered heater is a culprit. One of the first steps of estimating the heating costs is to determine the power requirements for your pool.
How Often: Do you enjoy using your pool more than three times a week? Get ready to choose between an efficient pool heating system that does the job well but takes up to 30 minutes or more to heat the water to 50°F (10°C). The ambient temperature of the air is another factor that will determine the pace at which your pool heats up.
How Big: The more extensive your swimming pool more is the volume of water it holds. With an increase in water volume, the number of heat requirements increases, and the need for operational efficiency to keep the running cost low.
Additional Read: Energy Efficient Swimming Pool Equipment Helps You Save Money
How Much Will It Cost To Use?
Swimming pool heat pumps and heating systems are graded based on their heating efficiency. The industry standard used to express this is the British Thermal Unit (BTU). One BTU of heat is used to heat one pound of water by 1°F. An average size pool contains between 10,000 to 12,000 gallons of water. If one gallon of water weighs 8.33 pounds, 10,000 gallons will weigh 83,300 pounds.
To heat 83,300 pounds of water by 1°F, it takes 83,000 BTUs. When the water is around the coveted 50°F from the 20-25 °F on a typically pleasant day, the heating system would require close to 21,00,000 BTUs of energy. A right 450,000 BTU heat pump would take anywhere between 5-6 hours to heat a pool containing 10,000 gallons of water
Unraveling the Cost
Heat pumps typically utilize 5000 watts or 5 Kilowatts to generate a thermal output of 100,000 BTUs if the price of 1 Kilowatt of energy is between 16 -18 cents (equation changes based on electricity cost of the geographic location), the 4,50,000 BTU heat pump mentioned in our example above would consume 72 cents an hour to perform heating duties.
The Cost of a Heat Pump and Installation
A typical pool owner would need to choose between the two widely used options for heating a pool, which are electric and gas-operated pumps.
Electric: Commonly referred to as heat pumps, electric heaters are designed to heat pool water by extracting heat from the outside air and transferring it to the water. The heated water is then released into the pool.
Electric heaters are well suited to heat larger pools and are preferred for their higher heating efficiency. Suppose you own a large swimming pool (above 13000 gallons of water) and live in an area with a relatively cooler climate. In that case, heat pumps offer the ideal balance between heating efficiency and value for money.
A 4,50,000 BTU electric heat pump would cost anywhere between 3000 to 4000 dollars, including installation, and is an extremely viable option for pool owners in the long run.
Gas Powered: Propane and natural gas (methane) are the two primarily used fuel sources for gas-powered pool heating. The gas-powered pump draws the water through a filter to the heater that generates heat by the propane or methane’s combustion. The heated water is released back into the pool while the by-products of combustion are expunged through an exhaust system.
The primary reason for choosing gas heaters over their electric counterparts is their heating pool efficiency for shorter periods. They are well suited for heating pools quickly and are perfect for a pool owner who uses them less frequently (1-2 times in a week). One profound advantage of using gas pool heaters is their ability to sustain specific temperatures irrespective of the air’s ambient temperature.
On the flip side, gas pool heaters have a higher operating cost despite their low initial cost of between 2000 to 3000 dollars. The current price of Propane is between 2.5 to 3 dollars depending on where you reside in the United States. Upon churning the numbers, the cost of running a gas-powered heater amounts to close to 10 dollars an hour.