How do you heat your in-ground pool during winter? Swimming pools, whether in-ground or above-ground, are specifically designed for hot and warm seasons. But due to the improvement in technology, we can now use your pool even in the winter period. The quest now is how do we achieve this.
An in-ground pool can be heated by using heat exchangers, electric heaters, heat pumps, solar collectors, or solar discs. Using these heating systems for your pool is easy as you will discover in this article.
In-ground pools are ideal for those moments of peace and relaxation in our homes and garden. During the hot and sultry summer days, you can spend pleasant moments together with your loved ones, refreshing yourself in your private pool.
Unfortunately, an outdoor pool can only be exploited for a very short period of the year; only in the hot seasons. In fact, in outdoor pools, the water is kept close to the temperature of the external environment. This means that, at night, it disperses the heat accumulated during the day, cooling itself down. As soon as the hot season ends (and the days become slightly warmer) it becomes too cold to swim in.
This is why if you want to extend the bathing season, you should install a heating system that allows you to regulate the temperature of the pool. There are several solutions for how to heat the pool, here are the most used. Using your in-ground pool at any time of the year can be a superb undertaken, but the water must be heated properly.
Making a swimming pool usable even in the coldest months is very interesting for swimming pools in private homes. A wonderful prospect for business ventures like spas and accommodation facilities. Offering customers such wonderful service can have a positive impact both on the business and customers.
Let’s go into detail, and try to understand how the in-ground pool can be heated. Figuring out how to heat the water in your pool is vital to making your pool useful, even in odd months when the weather is cold. This problem does not arise in areas of the world where the climate is constantly hot.
Many people who have a pool do not even consider the possibility of heating water in the pool in winter. Some think it’s too expensive, but the assumption is not always true. An in-ground pool can be heated through some of the systems highlighted below. So, let’s try to understand what the main alternatives to heat the pool water are.
Systems used for heating pools.
The most common systems for heating swimming pools are;
1. Heat exchangers
2. Electric heaters
3. Heat pumps
4. Solar collector (helio system)
Let’s look at what their operation is based on.
The heat exchangers
The heat exchangers for pools are more economical than other methods. To pursue this option, it is essential to have a boiler positioned at a short distance from the pool or the technical room. The heat exchanger is a device equipped with two different water circulation systems. The first comes from the centralized heating system, while the pool water circulates in the second.
The electric heaters
Electric heaters are very popular systems due to their great utility. They should be installed directly on the filtration system of the pool. Unlike heat exchangers, electric heaters are completely autonomous devices. Their special digital regulators allow you to set the desired temperature very easily.
The heat pumps
The heat pumps are much appreciated for their ease of installation and low energy consumption. A heat pump can be applied both on an existing pool and on one still under construction. Its operation requires the device to transfer the heat from the air to the water.
One way to heat the water in an underground tank is to use a swimming pool heat pump. It uses an exchanger to recover the heat of the outside air and heat the water. With this system, you can take baths with water at 28°C even when outside the temperature does not exceed 10°C.
The pool heating with air-water heat pump offers excellent performance and it is not very noisy. It is certainly a reliable system for heating pool water, specially designed for in-ground pools. They are ideal for those on a budget. Heat pumps have low initial investment, low management, and maintenance costs, and more so, guarantee high efficiency with low energy consumption.
The solar collector (Helio System)
The sun is an important source of energy. Of course, the water in the pool itself can be heated by sun rays. But what if the pool is under a canopy, enclosure, or indoors? Then the sun comes to you! Helio systems or solar collectors are modules of cones, tubes, or screens that receive light rays. Each module can individually heat 30 cubic meters. The volume of water is large, so you need more modules to heat the pool efficiently.
Collector’s Principle: The sun rays falling on the collector, which is usually black, is completely absorbed. The coolant inside the collector is heated up to 140 degrees, after which the circulation pump in the storage tank is started. Naturally, the water in it heats up almost instantly and can be used to heat and supply hot water for swimming pools and homes.
There are collector models with built-in sensors and automatic three-way valves, water is automatically transferred to the heat exchanger. When the desired temperature is reached, the water gradually cools down as it passes through the heat exchanger. And when the minimum value sets by the pool owner are reached, the water flows back into the heat exchanger, and the system restarts.
How to heat pool using heat exchanger method
A heat exchanger is pretty simple, they use hot water from the home’s heating system and run it through coils on the inside of the heat exchanger. Then the pool water is allowed to flow around those coils. Heat is exchanged between the two streams and the heated/warmed water will then flow back into the pool.
You will use a separate hot water circulation pump which must have been installed by a plumber. You then pump hot water which is circulated through that pump out the heat exchanger through PEX tubing. But be sure to use the largest diameter packs possible.
Considerable features for heating in-ground pool
The needs of those who intend to heat their pools vary. It is, therefore, necessary to evaluate them properly so that the final result can prove to be optimal. When calculating to heat the water in the pool, it is necessary to take into account various parameters, and one of particular importance is the performance coefficient.
The performance coefficient is indicated with the abbreviation COP and is a ratio between the power supplied to the pool water and the electricity consumption of the heat pump. The higher the COP, the more efficient the heat pump is, and it is recommended to purchase a model that has a COP of at least 3, this means that for 1kw consumed by the meter, the pump supplies 3 kW to the pool water.
It is also necessary to carefully evaluate the temperature to which you intend to bring the water; on the other hand, this is a purely subjective necessity, on the other, it is connected to the climatic conditions of the locality in question. In fact, in an area where the climate is more rigid, higher energy expenditure is required to ensure that the water reaches a certain temperature.
Other important features are those relating to the structural characteristics of the pool. First, the pool size is very important, and it is clear that a larger pool requires more energy than a small one.
Moreover, it is also necessary to weigh other aspects, such as the possibility of installing a boiler near the swimming pool. This is an important aspect, as seen above, where you choose to heat the water using a heat exchanger. The aspects to be taken into consideration are therefore many and it would be a mistake to any action with a little caution. Analyzing with due attention the features of the pool to be heated and relating them to your needs is essential.
Alternative heating system
Those we have seen previously are the most classic systems as regards the methods of heating the pool. But are there other alternatives? The answer is yes, and these less conventional solutions can be very interesting for those with a limited budget.
One of the alternatives is the solar discs also known as Solar Rings. They are floating elements with a rounded shape composed of two layers of UV-resistant vinyl. These discs are placed on the pool and perform double functions: the upper side acts as an insulator. Inside, there is the air that stores the heat of the sun while the lower layer can transfer the heat to the water. It is estimated that about 50% of sunlight is converted into heat, so the efficiency of solar discs is not to be underestimated, together with the fact that this solution does not involve any energy consumption.
A solution similar to solar discs, but technically different is thermal sheets. The particular envelopes wrap the pool to effectively protect its internal temperatures. This solution, although practical, is however more limited in its efficiency. For this reason, it is recommended only for small above-ground pools, such as those that are installed on a terrace.
The solar panel, by contrast, is a solution that deserves serious consideration. Solar panels for in-ground pools are based on the same principles as photovoltaic energy, which is one of the most common ways to produce ready clean energy. In photovoltaic, electricity is produced by systems that capture sunlight through panels and then transform it into electrical energy. But in the case of solar panels for swimming pools, the main aim is to transform solar radiation into heat energy. The heat is then transferred to the pool water so that the temperatures can rise above the cold weather temperature.