Bosna i Hercegovina

How to heat water in a garden pool?


We are at the beginning of August – middle of summer. In the second month of vacation, high temperatures are forecast in almost all of Poland, so many of us, if we haven’t done it already, are considering buying a backyard pool. And if one opts for a hot tub, one will be able to enjoy a private spa until late autumn. Unfortunately, it is not only the temperatures that are expected to be high soon. Energy price hikes are also getting ready which will force us to save money. In this case, how to heat the water in a pool or a garden Jacuzzi, so as not to go bankrupt on this occasion? Today we point out the most popular options.

How to heat water in the pool – heating systems available on the market

In some climate zones, despite the hot summer days, evenings are sometimes cool. The weather can change from hour to hour. All this makes it difficult to maintain the optimal temperature of pool water for a long time. Optimal, that is one that will be comfortable for us on a given day. After all, no one wants to get a thermal shock from icy temperatures when entering the Jacuzzi. On the other hand waiting for the water to warm up naturally, will take days.

There are several proven systems for heating pool and Jacuzzi water. We can choose from:

  • electric heaters
  • heat exchangers
  • heat pumps
  • solar collectors
  • heat absorbers

We can easily figure out how to heat our pool water to a temperature that suits our needs. But knowing what the options are is one thing and deciding which option to choose is another. The question still remains, which solution will be most cost-effective? Which is the most convenient? Which will come out the cheapest?

Electric water heater

Electric heaters are the most popular option. They allow you to reach the expected temperature in the pool very quickly. Their disadvantage is the high cost of operation – with frequent use, heating the water will come out expensive. Therefore, this solution is used rather for small pools or 3-4 person hot tubs. The mechanism of operation of such heaters is simple – it is based on the work of an electric heater and resembles the heating of water in a room aquarium. The heater heats the water, which flows through the heating device, then the already warm water returns to the bathing area. The flow of water is carried out by the pool’s filtration pumps. In short, the heater takes cold water from the pool and heats it. When deciding to heat water by this method, it is essential to control the efficiency of the heater, as it is prone to damage and corrosion (chlorine, calcium in the water). The advantage of heaters is easy installation and low cost of purchase. When choosing an electric heater it is worth choosing a model with an electronic panel that displays the current water temperature. This is convenient and practical. Now that we know how to heat pool water with electric heaters, let’s check out other options.

How to heat pool water with a heat exchanger?

Heat exchangers work similarly to heaters, although their mechanism is more complex in design. This method of heating water requires connecting to a domestic central heating boiler. As a result, the warm water that circulates in the pipes of the central heating system transfers heat to the cool pool water. At the same time, there is no mixing of CO water with pool water. It is only a source of heat for the garden swimming pool. The method is easy to use and low-cost, since the heat energy comes from the boiler we use (coal, gas, electric). On the other hand, you need a lot of installation skill and the right (quite expensive) equipment to use this option. Also, the installation of a heat exchanger cannot be carried out everywhere. It is mainly used in larger, masonry pools. We already know how to heat pool water by connecting to the central heating system. So let’s see how other devices handle this task.

How to heat pool water with a heat pump?

Electric heat pump is a way that we can successfully call „exclusive”. It is very effective and reliable in operation. Heat pumps are increasingly used to heat residential pool water. For now, however, it is not popular, probably because of the high starting price. To start with, it is easier to buy a much cheaper electric heater. The heat pump has to be connected to the domestic water circuit. The cold „pool water” is pumped through the circulation pump to the heat pump, and then, after heating, is returned to the pool/jacuzzi.

The concern may be that the heat pump runs on electricity, which is expensive. However, it doesn’t consume much of it and it provides efficient operation for years to come. The great advantage of heat pumps is that they will also heat water at low outdoor temperatures. This allows us to enjoy our garden swimming pool even in bad weather and during the cold months. Heat pumps work quietly and efficiently. They are great for larger pools.

Solar collectors

How to heat pool water with solar collectors? Solar panels capture the sun’s heat and transfer it to the water that flows through the device (thanks to a pump that filters the pool water). This method is the most environmentally friendly and the cheapest in comparison to the others. This solution uses a clean renewable energy source – the sun. The installation of collectors should not cause anyone any trouble, so even a person not connected to installation industry can cope with it. The collector does not have to be installed on the roof, it can also be placed on the grass by the pool. The most important principle is that – thanks to its location – it should catch as much sunlight as possible. What’s very important – solar panels can be connected to each other through series installation. The larger the pool we have, the more solar panels we will need for optimal water heating. Wanting to efficiently control the collectors, it is worth considering the purchase of a suitable controller.

Pool heat absorbers

Absorbers work in similar way to collectors but have a simplier structure, cheaper and less complex manufacturing technology; they have no glazing, no casing. Pool water simply flows through the absorbers heated by the sun’s rays. This is why they are often chosen instead of collectors. The price of pool absorbers can be up to 3 times lower than that of standard solar panels. On the other hand their efficiency is similar to that of collectors. So if you ask how to heat pool water in an efficient and economical way, pool heat absorbers will be a good answer.

With all the ways discussed, we can extend the use of the outdoor swimming pool in the garden to up to several months.

How to heat pool water using less technological „gadgets”?

Knowing how to heat the water in the pool we can count on a relaxing home spa. However, in order to enjoy it and not go bankrupt, it is equally important to skillfully maintain the achieved temperature. The longer we can keep the „pool water” warm, the less we will pay to reheat it. For this purpose, it is worth using solar film. Such a film is relatively light and malleable (in large pools it is rolled up on a „coil”). It floats freely on the surface of the pool, so it is easy to cover and uncover. Thanks to solar film we:

  • – reduce heat loss
  • – protect the water from pollution (e.g. leaves, bird droppings)
  • – additionally warm the water up (the foil catches the sun’s rays) – even up to 25℃
  • – reduce evaporation of water

We can cover smaller, portable baths with foam covers so that they don’t lose their precious warmth in colder days. We should also remember about the importance of keeping the water clean. This is important not only for hygienic or health reasons but also for economic reasons. Once dirty, it will be necessary to change the water in the pool or Jacuzzi. And because of that, reheating of water will also have to take place.

What else can you protect your garden pool with?

1. pool canopies

2. covers on special guides

3. pool blinds

4. safety net (spring mechanism)

5. winter cover made of non-freezing plastic

How to heat pool water without spending money?

As an interesting fact, it is worth mentioning that the ingenuity of garden pool users knows no bounds. In social media (for example on the YouTube platform) some of them show how to heat pool water practically for free. In order not to incur the cost of buying any of the heating equipment described in this article, users create their own „tips”. One of them is to construct a „heater” with their own hands, by laying several garden hoses on black plastic sheeting, into which cold water from the pool is pumped. The intake of water is done with a thick plastic pipe, through a small pump connected to a rubber hose (such as from a cooler). Using a quick coupler, this hose connects to the garden hoses, which are heated by free solar energy. Thus, pleasantly warm water is returning to the pool. It flows there with the last element of this amateur „heater” – with a garden hose. On a really hot day, this unusual method makes it possible to get a temperature as much as 10℃ higher at the outlet.

Other DIY suggestions show how to create a „heater” using floor heating hoses and a circulation pump. But before deciding to build such ingenious constructions, let’s check their actual effectiveness. It’s a good idea to ask people who have already made something similar, go to online forums dedicated to this topic and create an overview cost estimate.

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