Monday, March 10, 2014

Pool Heating

In many ways, Andalucia has the perfect climate for heating both outdoor and indoor swimming pools. With so many months of sunshine and good outdoor temperatures, it’s possible to swim for many months of the year without the need to spend a fortune on pool heating. Obviously, the summer months require no extra heating.

However, we have perfectly good outdoor temperatures during the Spring and Autumn months for swimming, with the pool only needing a relatively small amount of additional heating to make it very comfortable to swim in. What’s more, for those property owners that rent out their houses, heated pools can be a great way to extend your rental season. So what are the most economical and energy efficient ways to heat an outdoor pool?

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are one of the most efficient and economical ways of heating an outdoor pool, especially in a moderate climate like that of southern Spain. Although there are different kinds of heat pumps, the basic premise behind them is that they don’t directly burn fossil fuel to create heat. Rather, they use a small amount of energy to transfer heat from one source to another.

‘Air-Source Heat Pumps’, the most common form of heat pump in a moderate climate like that of Andalucia, extract the heat out of the air (there is still heat in the air even if it feels cold) and compresses it to a higher temperature to be then transferred to the area that requires heating (your home, swimming pool etc). The higher the temperature of the outdoor air, the less energy is required for this process. That is why the moderate climate of Spring and Autumn months of Andalucia lends itself so well to heating an outdoor pool in an economical way. In fact, you can heat an outdoor pool in this climate all year round with a heat pump, although the winter months will be a lot more costly.

However, it is essential that the right type of heat pump is chosen and installed in the best possible way to ensure you get maximum energy efficiency out of your system. We have extensive knowledge of the range of heat pumps on the market, covering brands such as Aquacal, Heat Cyphon and Air Energy.

Solar Collectors

Solar collectors (panels) are a very effective way of heating your outdoor pool during those months when it’s warm outside but not hot enough to heat the pool. They won’t heat your pool sufficiently during the coldest winter months, even on the Costa del Sol but for the rest of the time, solar energy can heat your pool free of running costs.

A solar heating system can be used in isolation or as a supplement to another heating system, whether that be a heat pump or an oil/gas burning system. If you’re starting from scratch, and you’re just looking to extend your swimming season (as opposed to having the option of swimming all round), then a solar system is a great option. Likewise, if you have an existing non-solar heating system, and you’re looking to reduce your on-going bills, then solar is highly recommended.

We work with a range of different brands/models of solar collector systems including Viessmann, Salvador Escoda, Sonnenkraft, Saunier Duval, and prices vary accordingly. Obviously different systems are more effective (and therefore usually more expensive) than others. We would provide you with two or three different options depending on your budget and your requirements. It is also very important to note that whilst we are fully accredited to acquire the substantial grants provided by the Junta de Andalucia for solar installations, they are not granted specifically for pool heating.

Oil/Gas Burner

Heating systems dependent on burning oil or gas are highly inefficient and expensive to run. Therefore, we would never recommend installing such an option. However, we have many years experience in carrying out repairs on such systems.

Being big promoters of energy efficiency, we would always recommend either changing or modifying a system so that you either replace it with a heat pump or solar system or a combination of the two. If you’re heating your pool via this option because your domestic hot water is also heated in this manner, then there are grants available to get solar installed for your domestic hot water requirements.

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