pool heat pump

How a Pool Heat Pump Works

A pool heat pump works by bringing warmth from the air to your pool water. This is accomplished by drawing warm ambient air across a special coil called an evaporator.

Once this happens, a special liquid refrigerant within the evaporator absorbs the heat and changes into a gas. This gas then passes through a compressor and condenser.


Keeping the 15,000-20,000 gallons of water in an average residential swimming pool at a comfortable temperature requires a lot of energy. A traditional natural gas heater may not be the most efficient way to heat the water, because it loses about one-quarter of its heat in the combustion process, and the cost of gas can add up quickly if you are using it frequently.

The most effective and energy-efficient heating method for a swimming pool is a pool heat pump. Unlike traditional pool heaters that burn fuel to create heat, a pool heat pump uses free ambient air to warm the pool water.

When the thermostat is set to your desired water temperature, the fan assembly draws in the hot air that surrounds the pool and moves it into the evaporator coil. Liquid refrigerant within the evaporator coil absorbs and transforms the heat from the air into gas. The gas moves through the compressor, intensifying its heat until it becomes extremely hot and is then sent through a heat exchanger to transfer that heat to the pool water.

As the refrigerant is pumped through the heat exchanger, the water in your pool is heated 3-5 degrees. This process repeats until your pool reaches the desired temperature you have set.

Once your pool water reaches your desired temperature, the system shuts down. This will prevent the pool water from losing too much heat through evaporation and wind, which will cut your energy bill by as much as 75 percent.

Another important factor in determining the efficiency of your pool heat pump is the outside air temperature. Normally, heat pumps are most efficient in areas with moderate temperatures (above the 45-50oF range) since they can draw in warmer outside air.

If the outside air gets too cold, however, your pool heat pump will draw in cooler air and your energy efficiency will be reduced. This is a problem in colder climates, but it’s not an issue for most people who use their pool during the warm seasons.

The energy efficiency of a pool heat pump is typically measured with a COP, or coefficient of performance, which ranges from 3.0 to 7.0. Higher COPs indicate that a more energy-efficient pump produces more heat for every unit of electricity it consumes.


Pool heat pumps are a great option for pool owners who want to save on energy costs. They are a lot cheaper to run than gas heaters, and the initial purchase price usually pays off within a year of ownership.

A pool heat pump works by transferring and compressing heat that already exists in the air around your pool. Because it does this, it doesn’t need to work hard to create it, which reduces its running cost and its environmental impact.

To start the process, a pool heat pump draws in a small amount of electricity to run a fan and compressor that extracts hot air from the surrounding air. The hot air is then passed through an pool heat pump evaporator coil that absorbs the heat and turns it into a liquid refrigerant. This liquid refrigerant is then pumped through the compressor and compressed to increase its temperature. The warm gas then enters the heat exchanger where it combines with your pool’s water.

The heated gas is then cooled by the cold water and flows back into the evaporator. Then the refrigerant is recycled back into its original liquid form before entering the compressor again and completing the cycle.

Another way a pool heat pump saves energy is by running at a lower speed than usual. A higher motor speed is associated with a greater demand for electricity, so reducing the speed will save more energy.

Variable-speed pool heat pumps are especially efficient because they can adjust their speed to suit your pool’s heating needs. This means they can use less electricity than a single-speed pump to circulate the pool and reduce your energy bill.

Choosing the right pool pump for your needs is important to ensure the best performance and energy savings. This is why it’s recommended that you consult a professional before purchasing your pump.

It’s also a good idea to consider your current pool equipment and the size of your pool. If your pool requires a large amount of flow to adequately circulate the water, you will have to buy a pump that can handle that flow rate.


In areas with low temperature winters, a pool heat pump can be a valuable option for homeowners. These systems operate just like air-source heating units and work by using a fan to pull heat from the surrounding air. The heat that the air contains is then transferred to the refrigerant gas inside the evaporator coil.

When the air temperature outside is below 50 degrees F, a heat pump cannot function as efficiently. In these cases, the refrigeration effect must be controlled properly. This can pool heat pump be accomplished by using models that include hot-gas bypass, which reverses the flow of the compressed refrigerant through the evaporator. This helps prevent frost buildup that can damage the heater and result in costly repairs down the road.

Since heat pumps do not use fossil fuels to heat the water, they are highly energy efficient and cost effective to run. They also do not produce any emissions into the air, which is good for the environment.

Heat pumps can also be a great investment for pool owners that want to save money on their utility bills, as they are typically much cheaper to operate than traditional pool heaters. Many states offer tax incentives or rebates for installing these units, which further tilts the math in their favor.

The efficiency of a pool heat pump is measured by its COP, which is calculated by taking into account the outside ambient air temperature and relative humidity. Typically, a heat pump will have a COP of around 6.0 when the air temperature is 80 degrees F and 80% humidity; it drops to around 4.0 when the air temperature is 50 degrees F and 80% humidity.

In addition, heat pump efficiencies increase as the temperature of the pool water increases. This is due to the fact that the heat pump will be able to extract more heat from the pool water, as it uses electricity to draw it from the outside ambient air and then move it to the refrigerant.

This makes heat pumps the most cost-effective way to heat your pool, and it is especially useful in areas where there are rarely any cold temperatures during the year. They are an excellent alternative to natural gas or propane pool heaters, which require a substantial amount of fuel each year.


In high temperature areas, pool heat pumps are a great way to save money on heating costs. In fact, they can be more cost-effective than traditional gas or electric heaters. They also last longer than the average water heater and can increase the value of your home.

A good heat pump is easy to use and control. It should have a clear and user-friendly display screen and control panel. It should also have a thermostat that is easy to adjust with a single button press. It should also feature automation compatibility, so you can keep your pool water at the desired temperature and reduce energy consumption.

Another important factor that can affect the efficiency of your pool heater is the time of day it is used. A heat pump will work more effectively in the morning or late afternoon when the outside air is warmer, and less efficiently at other times.

You should also consider the type of pool you have, and how much water it holds. Larger pools will need more heat output from the heat pump, and smaller pools may be able to get by with a lower BTU rating.

As a rule of thumb, you should always choose a pool that is large enough to accommodate the amount of heat your heat pump can produce. This will help to maximize its efficiency and save you money on energy costs over the life of the system.

For example, a rectangular pool 14 feet wide by 28 feet long that requires 20oF of temperature increase during the coldest month will need a heat pump with a BTU rating of 120,000 or higher. Smaller pools may be able to get by with up to 60,000 BTU of heat.

In low humidity areas, a pool heat pump is still incredibly effective. In these circumstances, the main thing you can do to boost your heat pump’s effectiveness is to ensure the area has enough sunlight.

In addition, you can keep the pool at a cooler temperature during the day to slow down the rate of heat loss from evaporation. You can also cover the pool at night when not in use and during the cold weather, which will provide a layer of insulation and help maintain the heat in the water.

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