Options to extend your swimming pool season

Our North Coast winters are blissful, no wind and clear skies – all you need is warm water to create a perfect swimming experience. There are 2 options for heating your swimming pool to extend your swimming season, namely solar heating or a swimming pool heat pump. Kerry, from Slimline Pool Centre says that a heat pump will create a perfect swimming experience, as you can dictate the water temperature, and you are guaranteed hot water on a cooler day.

Solar heating Panels

Whilst solar heating panels are effective, and certainly will take the edge off cold water, they cannot offer consistent water temperature, and are only as effective as the amount of direct sunlight that is shining on the solar panels. Solar pool heating doesn’t work at night and is severely restricted by cloud cover or shade. The effectiveness of the solar panels is determined by the number of panels in relation to the pool – they need to be 80% to 100% of the surface area of the pool and preferably be oriented north for maximum effect. Solar pool heating takes time and cannot heat the pool on demand. Depending on the time of year, it can take up to a week or more for solar heating to raise the temperature of your pool to 28ᵒ C. In warmer times of the year, a solar heating system will increase your pool temperature by 2-3.5ᵒ C per day. A Thermal cover is essential to retain the heat.

Swimming pool heat pumps

Swimming Pool heat pumps on the other hand, produce far more energy in terms of heat than it takes to run them in terms of electrical energy. Pool heat pumps rely on ambient air temperature. While they are not as cost effective as solar pool heating in terms of running costs, pool heat pumps are still reasonable – considering the performance they deliver. A heat pump is extremely efficient when it comes to energy consumption, for every 1kw of energy they consume, they produce 5kw of heat! Heat pumps contain a fan that draws in warm ambient air from the surrounding atmosphere. The air is then passed through a piping system within the heat pump. This piping system contains a non-CFC refrigerant which has a boiling point of -26ᵒ C. The result is that the warm air causes the refrigerant to super-heat, and this heat is delivered straight into the swimming pool water which is circulating from the pool and guarantees you a fabulous swimming experience. Whilst use of a thermal cover with a heat pump is strongly recommended, a heat pump can be upsized if you choose not to have a cover.

For more information or to chat about your options call any one of our five swimming pool shops in Ballito, Richards Bay, Meerensee, Empangeni or Salt Rock.

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