Heating your swimming pool doesn’t have to be expensive. A heated swimming pool increases enjoyment and lengthens the season, so you can continue to swim even when the conditions outside are a bit cooler. Depending on the type of swimming pool and location we can install solar heating, natural gas, oil, electricity or an air source heat pump. We will advise you on the most suitable method for your pool, and estimate running costs.
Swimming Pool Heating
Gas or Oil Pool Boilers
This is the most common way to heat a swimming pool is by use of a gas or oil fired boiler. One of the primary benefits of this method is for heating the pool water quickly however it is not the most cost efficient and at its most efficient when used for a short period of time, rather than maintaining water temperature over a number of days. A Gas or Oil boiler is ideal for pools which aren’t in everyday use. As the pump draws water through the pool filtration system, it then passes through a heat exchanger either within the boiler or connected via coper pipework where the heat generated by burning gas or oil is transferred to the water before it is moved back to the swimming pool.
Air Source Heat Pumps
Heat pumps are gaining in popularity for heating pools, especially as the costs of fossil fuels continue to rise. Heat pumps are powered by electricity. They don’t generate heat themselves, but draw cool air in from outside, pass it over an evaporator coil and through a compressor. Heat is generated within the compressor, which is then transferred to the cooler pool water which is circulating. The ambient air doesn’t itself have to be warm though, clearly the warmer the air, the more heat is available to extract, and the more efficiently the heat pump will operate. Air Source heat pumps are a similar price to your typical dedicated swimming pool gas or oil fired boilers, but due to their higher efficiencies have lower annual operating costs.
Despite common preconceptions, solar pool heaters can be used year-round in many climates, depending on the conditions. They can be more expensive than other heating options to buy and install, but the savings you’ll make on fuel costs can mean it pays for itself in 5-10 years of use, depending on how frequently you use the pool and your local energy costs. The solar collector will need to be sited carefully to ensure that it’s properly exposed to the sun in order to perform correctly. You might wish to use solar heating as a supplementary system to keep the running costs of your electric, gas or oil heater down, rather than relying on it as the only source of heat in your pool.
Electric heating directly heats pool water via an array of stainless steel or titanium electric heating elements. With escalating electricity prices it is seen and the least viable of the direct heating systems and tends to only be installed in situations where there really is no other alternative.
The cost of heating your pool depends on the size of pool, whether it’s an outdoor or indoor swimming pool, how well insulated it is, what kind of cover you have and the type of heater you choose. It’s impossible to give an accurate daily running cost given the number of variables, but as an example, for a small 12 foot round outdoor pool you might expect to pay between £50 – £200 to heat your pool for a summer swimming season.
Swimming Pool Heating Cost Guide
Based on a 32’x 16′ outdoor pool, covered 20 hours per day, daily use, low water table.
Please note that the running costs are only estimated running costs and therefore should only be used as a guide. They have been based on the following tarrifs:
- Electric: 0.12 £/kWhr
- Gas: 0.044 £/kWhr (boiler efficency 90%)
- Oil: 0.0584 £/kWhr (60p per litre) boiler efficiency 85%