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Pool heat pumps

With the use of a pool heat pump, you can determine how long your swimming season will last. You are independent of the weather and can heat the pool water to your desired temperature even when outside temperatures are cooler. The heat pump works similar to a refrigerator. Outside air is drawn in through a fan, and heat exchangers transfer the extracted energy directly into the water. The volume of water in your pool is critical to choosing the right heat pump. Learn more about what benefits heat pumps offer and which model is perfect for your pool.

Advantages of pool heat pumps

If you don't want to leave the temperature of your pool up to the outside temperature, investing in a pool heat pump is the way to go. With solar pool liners or covers, you can usually only affect the water temperature by 1 to 2 degrees. Solar pool heaters also reach their limits on very cloudy days. Pool heat pumps only need electricity and a sufficient air supply. Depending on their performance and efficiency, we distinguish between conventional and full inverter heat pumps.

How does a pool heat pump work?

The operation of a pool heat pump is comparable to a refrigerator. A major difference compared to the refrigerator is that the heat is not dissipated but derived. The pump draws air from the environment through a fan. The evaporator (heat collector) extracts the energy from the air. The heat generated is absorbed by the liquid refrigerant and thus becomes gaseous.

The gas is then compressed by the compressor, which further increases the temperature. Heat is transferred to the pool water passing through via the heat exchangers. As the gas cools in the heat exchangers, the refrigerant returns to its initial temperature and the cycle continues. The heat pump is directly integrated into the filter circuit.

What should you look for when comparing pool heat pumps?

Pool heat pumps, depending on the quality and technology, can deliver many times the power consumed. The COP value (Coefficient of Performance) can be used to compare energy efficiency. But not only the efficiency of the pump can be an important purchase argument. The noise level of individual heat pumps can differ significantly. Heat pumps with full inverter technology are particularly quiet and efficient. Other comparative variables are the dimensions, the diameter of the water connection, the quality of the heat exchanger, installation, maintenance and control, and whether the model can be used as a year-round model.

COP - a key figure for the pool heat pump

The COP value is a good indicator of the efficiency of the device. Here, COP stands for "coefficient of performance." It represents the ratio of the energy required in relation to the energy gained. A pool heat pump with a COP value of 5 can produce 5 times the added energy (your electricity). This means that for 5 kW of heat energy you pay only 1 kW of electricity energy, the rest of the energy the heat pump extracts from the ambient air with 1 kW consumption. At the same time, a comparison between different models is possible only under the same conditions of ambient temperature. Full inverter heat pumps are characterized by particularly high energy efficiency. Heat pumps with the conventional technology usually achieve only a COP value of maximum 6, whereas inverter heat pumps achieve a COP value of up to 16.

What is an inverter pool heat pump?

The technology of full-inverter heat pumps primarily works smarter and more efficiently compared to normal heat pumps. To control the amount of heating, on/off heat pumps often need to be turned on and off at short intervals. According to the manufacturer's nameplate, they run at up to 5 times the starting current in the process.

Inverter heat pumps only run at full load during the start-up phase and, thanks to the DC inverter fan, adjust the speed of the compressor to the required cooling and heating demand with the help of the water temperature. Due to the effective regulation of the power and the adapted heating, the inverter heat pumps can work more quietly and save energy.

The stepless adjustment can also still be controlled by an app, depending on the heat pump model. Inverter heat pumps have less wear and tear and are generally more economical compared to regular heat pumps.

How quickly does a pool heat pump heat up the pool?

The time it takes to heat up your pool depends on the volume of water, the ambient temperature and the performance of your heat pump. As a rough guide, you can use the following rule of thumb:

Every 1 °C water temperature = max. heating time of 4 h

To calculate the heating time more precisely, you can use the following formula:

Water volume in m³ / Heat output of heat pump in kW.

Using the example of a 30 m³ pool and a heat pump with 30 kW, the pump needs about 1 hour to increase the water temperature by 1 °C. Please note that the outside temperature and other influences, such as strong wind, lead to further heat loss.

What does a heat pump for the pool cost in electricity?

The cost of electricity depends on individual factors. The water volume, or the pool size, the ambient temperature, the operating time and possible other influencing factors such as the insulation of the pool, solar foils or covers must be taken into account. Using the example of a 30 m³ pool, which you heat 5 months a year for 5 hours a day with a heat energy of approx. 50 kWh per day, the following electricity consumption for a classic heat pump is roughly calculated:

(150 operating days x 50 kWh) / 5 = 1,500 kWh.

Currently, a kilowatt hour averages 38 cents (as of February 2023). The above example results in electricity costs of 114.00 euros per month.

Which heat pump is the right one for my pool?

When purchasing a heat pump, the first choice you face is between a conventional pump or a full inverter heat pump. We advise you to buy a full inverter pump. The price is higher, but due to the significantly higher performance, efficiency and service life, this investment pays for itself very quickly. As an optimal solution we recommend: Pool size in m³ = kW capacity of the heat pump (for covered and insulated pools).

As a minimum solution we recommend: m³ : 2 = kW power of the heat pump. Otherwise, 2 to 3 times the power is recommended. The bigger or more powerful the heat pump is, the cheaper is the heating and the electricity costs in relation to the heating time. Make sure that the heat exchanger is at least made of high quality stainless steel to avoid corrosion. However, if the chloride content of your water is above 0.1% (seawater baths or when sterilizing salt), the heat exchanger should be titanium.

Installation and connection of the pool heat pump

Depending on the location of the pool, the installation and connection of a pool heat pump usually turns out to be not particularly difficult. In principle, you only need to break the water circuit in a suitable place and connect the drain and inlet of the heat pump with the piping. Insulation of the pipes is recommended in any case - you can get the appropriate material at isolierfuchs.de. As a rule, the heat pump is installed after the filter system and can be set up at a distance of up to 30 meters from the existing pool piping. The power connection is usually for professional devices without a plug to clamp (eg PVC-U adhesive sleeve 50 mm). Adapters to 32 or 38 mm can be glued in. A suitable assortment can be found for example at mcm-systeme.de.

To avoid sinking on softer grounds, the underground should consist of a poured concrete foundation or paving stones. When setting up, make sure that the heat pump is at a sufficient distance from walls. In this way, you will reduce the noise generated by sound reflections. So, the place of installation is an important criterion. A suitable drain is also mandatory, otherwise the heat exchangers run the risk of bursting during frost. We recommend professional installation by a heating engineer, plumber or pool builder, so that the power connection, commissioning and instruction go smoothly.

How is the pool heat pump integrated into the pool circuit?

To install your new pool heat pump, you will need a suitable location with a suitable foundation and power connection in close proximity to the pool. The heat pump should be integrated into the filter circuit at the point where the cleaned water from the filter system is fed back into the pool. The installation is done with the help of the supplied connections and a bypass, which is responsible for regulating the inflow for the heat exchanger. With the bypass, you can also easily and quickly disconnect the heat pump from the water circuit for winter storage.

Can a heat pump also be used for cooling?

The reversible option is basically supported by the Fantastic heat pumps in our range. But why is this important? In particularly hot summers, water temperatures can quickly exceed 28 degrees. This greatly favors the formation of toxic algae and bacteria. To avoid this health risk, the heat pump should have a cooling function and be able to cool your pool water down accordingly.

Frequently asked questions about pool heat pumps

What temperatures can a pool heat pump reach?

Professional models can reach a water temperature of up to 40°.

What types of pools is a heat pump suitable for?

Heat pumps are typically used for inground pools, prefabricated pools, hot tubs, Jacuzzis, and above ground pools.

Is a pool solar system a suitable alternative to a pool heat pump?

From our point of view, no, because pool solar systems have some disadvantages. When the weather is bad and the sky is cloudy, the heating capacity of the pool solar system decreases enormously. Furthermore, the pool solar system is difficult to control, which is especially noticeable in the summer at very hot temperatures. Here, the pool water is then heated further unintentionally.

Where can I find suitable connection accessories?

Suitable material for insulating the pipes can be found at isolierfuchs.de. Pipe sleeves and other accessories can be found at mcm-systeme.de.

Advice and after-sale service from our experts

We are not just a simple online store, we have experts working in the field of heat pumps. If you need telephone support, whether you are a private or commercial customer, we have a competent team to give you valuable tips and advice in advance, during configuration or installation. Via remote support we help you with planning and commissioning (no on-site support). Please note that we recommend an electrical contractor for commissioning. Should your service provider or tradesman require on-site support and assistance, we are happy to provide remote support here as well.

Frequently asked questions about the pool heating ban?

Currently, there is a pool heating ban for heat pumps that are powered by electricity from the grid. The pool heating ban has been extended until April 15, 2023. You can download the Short-Term Energy Supply Security Measures Ordinance - EnSikuMaV HERE (the pool heating ban is in § 4).

Exceptions are waste heat from the house heating/pump or if the operation of the pool is mandatory for therapeutic purposes. The penalty for operating a heat pump for private pools within the ban is not known to us yet.