1) Proper design insulation helps reduce heat loss:
Rigid panel insulation under and around the structure of a pool saves heat energy from escaping. Think of a thermal water vessel such as a thermos. Putting some insulation outside the thermal mass of the water-retaining structure is a great first step in reducing the costs associated with heating a pool over the long term.
2) Optimize the efficiency of the filtration system :
A well-planned pool pump and filtration system helps energy efficiency & saves money. Plan ahead for extra valves and piping in order to add a heating system.
3) Pool located in the most sunlight:
For passive solar heat gain, it needs ideally to be located in a spot that maximizes sun exposure taking into account the time of year and the time of day. Locate a pool in an area shielded from the wind, as the wind on the surface of a pool creates ripples or small waves. Ripples and waves on the pool increase the surface area of the water exposing more of the surface to the colder air and also accelerate the losses from evaporation.
4) Darker pool colours warm the pool:
Black tiled or vinyl pools will warm the water as it absorbs the sun's energy and conducts this heat to the water. Choose a lighter colour in the southern regions (Florida) and a dark colour in the northern climate (Quebec).
5) Use the Cheapest Source of Heat:
Solar should always be the primary heat source for a pool by installing some hydronic solar panels or even black rooftop piping. The downside of solar, especially in more northern areas, is that it rarely meets the needs for a full season of heating demand or it fails, due to poor design, to provide heat fast enough or when the sun isn’t shining due to time of day or cloud cover for successive days. But when solar is a possibility and you have the initial budget to purchase a decent solar system with a Heat Pump Pool Heater backup, the combination of the two systems will be the best, most economical system available.
6) Around noon is the best time to run heating:
Logically then the best time to run a HPPH is when the air temperature is at its warmest during the day. This is most easily accommodated by setting the controls for your filtration system to operate during the warmest time of the day or if it is a variable speed pump that runs all the time. Program your Heat Pump Pool Heater (HPPH) to operate when it has water flow. Variable speed pumps will need a timing system. As long as your filtration is running at the warmest time of the day, your HPPH will operate at its optimum.
7) Choose a high-efficiency HEAT PUMP POOL HEATER (HPPH) & size it correctly:
The efficiency rating of the HPPH must be known and understood. Heat pump pool heaters are really energy efficient and the energy efficiency of a heat pump pool heater is measured by the coefficient of performance (COP). The higher the COP for the pool heater, the more energy-efficient it is. COPs usually range from 3.0 to 7.0, which equates to a multiplying factor of around 500%. This means that for every unit of electricity it takes to run a compressor, you get 3-7 units of heat from it. A heat pump pool is sized based on the surface area of the pool and the difference between the pool and the average air temperatures.
The variables for pool heating are wind, humidity, and temperature.
Heat pump pool heaters are rated by Btu output and horsepower (hp). Standard sizes include 3.5 hp/75,000 Btu, 5 hp/100,000 Btu, and 6 hp/125,000 Btu.
Get professional help when deciding on what size to get. As a rule, it’s best to buy the highest COP-rated unit in your budget while ensuring the model selected has the heating capacity, or BTUh, to meet the calculated heating demand needed.
8) Choosing the best solar heating panels for swimming pools
Solar pool collectors vary in efficiency and cost - the trick is finding the best compromise that covers your needs. Solar panels are made out of different materials and the type you'll need depends on your climate and how you intend to use the collector. If you'll only be using your pool when temperatures are above freezing, then you'll probably only need an unglazed collector system. Unglazed collectors don't include a glass covering (glazing). They are generally made of heavy-duty rubber or plastic treated with an ultraviolet (UV) light inhibitor to extend the life of the panels. Because of their inexpensive parts and simple design, unglazed collectors are usually less expensive than glazed collectors. These unglazed systems can even work for indoor pools in cold climates if the system is designed to drain back to the pool when not in use. Even if you have to shut the system down during cold weather, unglazed collectors may be more cost-effective than installing a more expensive glazed collector system.
9) Reduce the thermostat setting a few degrees & save money:
The warmer you heat your pool the more it costs to keep it to a higher operating temperature.
Each degree rise in temperature equates to an approximate 15-18% increase in energy use and operation cost. So, while an 88°F pool is lovely & warm, it will cost a lot more to heat than a pool set to warm to 85°F. While warmer is nice, it costs more. Most pool owners keep their pools between 82°F and 85°F. If you see fog coming off your pool at night, either reduce the temperature or roll out the pool cover.
10) Reducing pool evaporation saves energy & money:
Evaporation is by far the largest source of energy loss from a pool. Evaporating water requires tremendous amounts of energy. In any backyard pool across the USA in a climate zone with 4 seasons, there's a 70% energy loss from evaporation, 20% from radiation to the sky, and 10% to ground and others. Heat loss of any pool, heated by any means, is primarily driven by evaporation from the surface of the pool.
One method to control evaporation is to install a solid roller blanket type pool cover. The most permanent (and expensive) option is also considered a “safety” blanket as well as a method of heat retention/ evaporation prevention. It is typified by its automated roller shutter type operation to roll the heavy-duty vinyl blanket out over the surface of the pool. They completely cover the surface of the pool and by their design and construction will bear the weight of a child who inadvertently enters the pool area making a very safe environment for children so long as it’s closed before they get near it. The added value for these pool covers is that they also reduce evaporation to a near-zero rate.
How good are bubble type roll up pool covers?
The most popular type of pool cover or blanket which is much more affordable, but with no safety value, is what is called a floating blanket. This blanket is simply a thin vinyl, polyethylene or polypropylene sheet manufactured with tiny air bubbles… think bubble wrap on a large scale. This blanket does an excellent job of heat retention through the prevention of evaporation, but should be rolled up during the day because they trap oxygen, and carry a safety risk should a child enter the pool area with a floating blanket in place.
What Are Liquid Solar Covers for Pools?
A liquid solar cover is a microscopically thin layer of alcohol that sits on top of the water of a pool. This layer reduces water evaporation which is a major cause of water heat loss and there are liquid solar covers that have been FDA and EPA approved to use in swimming pools.
These liquid solar blanket’s performance is affected by wind speed at the surface of the pool as well as water features that break the surface of the pool creating pool surface agitation.