Home » Solar Pool » How To Heat A Pool Energy Efficiently

Chlorine and other chemicals may remove contaminants from your pool water, but solar covers remove heat. The most effective way of reducing pool heating costs is to install a pool cover. Solar pool covers reduce solar heating by up to 80%. In addition, when you install a good quality pool cover, it can last for years, further saving on your energy costs.

There are numerous factors to take into account when choosing the right temperature setting for a swimming pool, particularly with regard to energy consumption. For example, because the body’s metabolic rate increases with increasing temperature, the energy expended per kilogram of body weight are higher at warmer temperatures. Because this effect is linear, an athlete will use more energy at 30 °C than at 25 °C even if they swim exactly the same distance. This means that for a given amount of exercise, it takes longer to build up lactic acid and fewer breaths are taken per unit distance than at colder temperatures, so there is less oxygen consumed. However, at higher temperatures adrenalin levels increase leading to a greater heart rate and blood flow which also accelerates.


Pool Insulation

When planning a swimming pool, there are many things to consider – from conserving water to knowing how to swim. But when it comes to your energy bill, consider an important step that may not have crossed your mind – insulating your pool. While northern hemisphere homes and businesses are enjoying the summer heat, residents in the southern U.S. are freezing their butts off at night. This is due to the fact that most pool assemblies are built using a thermal (concrete) mass that was designed to regulate the temperature of the water inside it during freezing winter months, not for year-round enjoyment.


Optimize Your Pool Mechanical Systems

A well-modeled pool pump and filtration system will allow you to save money on your energy bills and ensure that your pool is always at a comfortable temperature. A heat pump or solar panels can be retrofitted into the setup after installation. For a pool to achieve peak performance in both the short and long term, a proper planning phase and installation are vital. Proper planning will allow you to retrofit your pool with the most efficient heating systems.


Pool Location is Key

Placing a pool for passive solar heating takes careful thought. Ideally, it should be located for maximum sun exposure, which is referred to as insolation. Also, it should be located in a site protected from prevailing winds, which can create ripples or even waves on the surface of the water. Heat loss through evaporation is the inevitable result of warm water being exposed to cool or cold air. Pool misting systems mitigate this process and help reduce energy costs.

To prevent water loss, the pool should be designed to have a flat, tranquil surface. A flat surface minimizes turbulence and exposes a greater amount of the water’s surface area to decreased air temperature. The effect of this is compounded by rapid liquid loss from evaporation, especially in warm or dry environments.

When considering the placement of a swimming pool, it is essential to keep in mind local standards and restrictions prior to construction. The location of the swimming pool will greatly affect the amount of solar gain generated by the pool, along with the overall heating and cooling costs associated with having a pool.


The color you paint your pool can affect how much heat it absorbs

Black reflects more than 90% of the sun’s radiation. It stays cooler even in the sunniest conditions than a lighter-colored pool. Just as white reflects heat and black absorbs it, black swimming pools absorb more heat in the summer than white ones. If you live in a year-round hot climate zone like New Mexico, Texas, Southern California, or Florida (or any other southern US state) then choosing the pool color shouldn’t just be about aesthetics. Most experts agree that a colored pool can add value to your out of doors living space, but only if the materials used are appropriate for the environment. Follow these simple guidelines for creating and maintaining a pool that will increase your enjoyment throughout the whole year. While pools that reflect the color of the sky on a day to day basis will be seen by most pool owners as desirable,  by no means should choosing a darker colored pool be ignored if in Quebec, Ontario, BC, Montana, New York, or Illinois and serious about enjoying a backyard pool for as much of the year as possible without the pool heating costing the Earth.


If you use the cheapest source of heat, your home will be more energy efficient

Solar heating is an important part of any backyard pool. You must consider a few key things before you start this process, such as your location in relation to the sun, the color of the pool water and panels, and the installation of solar heaters. But if you’re planning to invest in a solar system to cut your electric bill, adding a heat pump pool heater can save you even more money.


Choose the best time of day to run your heating

For systems with a Heat Pump Pool Heater (HPPH), the time of day that you run your HPPH is an important consideration to lower energy costs. Generally, HPPHs are designed to use the heat from the air outside to heat your pool. When you run your HPPH at noon, the outdoor air temperature is hotter than at night. Therefore, you are then utilizing more of the available heat from the outside air to heat your pool.

To make the most of your heat pump pool heater – and have it run as much as possible – it’s best to set the controls to come on at mid-morning. This will allow time for the indoor temperature to rise a few degrees before the pump begins working. For maximum efficiency, we recommend heating the pool in the warmest part of the day. Pool heat pump heaters generally have a coefficient of performance (COP) of 3 to 7.


A high-efficiency HPPH will save you money and lower your carbon footprint

A heat pump pool heater (HPPH) is an energy-efficient device for heating swimming pools. The energy efficiency of an HPPH is measured by the coefficient of performance (COP), which varies according to the type and features of the HPPH. COP typically is measured by testing a heat pump pool heater with an outdoor temperature of 80 degrees. COPs can be measured by dividing electrical input power to the compressor by the total energy output from the unit. Generally, a heat pump’s COP ranges from 3-7, which corresponds to a multiplying factor of 500%. That means you can get 3-7 hot water units for each unit of electricity it takes to power the unit.

Economical sizing is one of the most important factors when getting a pool heater. Using the correct flow and temperature to calculate your pool’s heat pump sizing, your pool’s surface area must be measured. We have a pool calculator here for you.

Heat pump swimming pool heaters are measured by their Btu output and horsepower (hp). Generally speaking, smaller units have 3.5 hp/75,000 Btu ratings, while larger units may include 5 or 6 hp/100-200,000 Btu ratings.

Calculate the Btu/hour output rating of the pool heater needed.

Pool Area x Temperature Rise x 12 = Btu/h


Choosing the right solar panels for your pool will help you save time and money

The most efficient collectors will be of the unglazed, vacuum tube design. These types of collectors usually have more energy-producing tubes per unit area than any other type of collector due to their large surface area (100 square inches for each inch of depth), and they can be built very inexpensively. Typically these collectors use water in the absorber instead of air, and should not be exposed to temperatures colder than 34 F. Solar pool collectors are sized by efficiency and the number of gallons.

If you’ll only be using your pool during the summer months, then you’ll probably only need an unglazed collector system. Unglazed collectors do not require glass covers; instead, they are made of heavy-duty rubber or plastic treated with UV light inhibitors to extend the life of the panels. Unglazed collectors use less-expensive materials and are generally easier to maintain than glazed collectors. These collectors can even be used in cold climates if the system is designed to drain back to the pool when not in use. Even if you will have to shut the system down for more than a day during cold weather, unglazed collectors will be more affordable than installing a more expensive glazed collector system.

Glazed solar collectors use an iron-tempered glass covering to improve heat collection. These high-quality collectors are generally made of copper tubing on an aluminum plate, although many different materials are used in their construction. Because they do not have the thermal insulation properties of other systems, glazed collectors are generally only used in warm climates. However, they can still be used for domestic hot water year-round in many climates. Freeze protection should be included if they’ll be installed in colder areas.


You can save money by lowering the thermostat in your home a few degrees

Economizing on the energy required to heat your swimming pool doesn’t have to mean going without a warm pool. You can still enjoy the same advantages of a heated pool as before, plus save money, by just changing the temperature setting on your thermostat. As a rule of thumb, each degree that the water temperature is raised above 85 °F will result in an approximately 15-18% increase in cost. At 88 °F and higher, the pool is considered to be hot. A variance of one or two degrees may be acceptable during off-peak hours but not all day. In order to maintain a consistent swimming temperature throughout the day, a pool heater should be employed as needed.


Cutting down on the amount of water that evaporates from pools saves you money

Evaporation is by far the largest source of energy loss from swimming pools. A typical household pool loses more than $100 worth of heat and energy through evaporative cooling during a hot summer month. Through evaporation, the pool loses nearly the same amount of energy as heating an 800-square-foot home for one month.