What are the relative performances of Solar, Gas, Electric Pool Heaters?
In pool heaters, size and type matter a great deal.
Our experience with many installations is that solar heaters can generally heat a pool by 2-3 degrees Celsius on a sunny day, and extend your swimming season. They suffer from the obvious effects of rain, cloud, air temperature and so on. They are good and economical boosters for your pool temperature but are not ‘reliable’ heaters due to their inherent limitations of requiring solar radiation.
Correctly-sized gas heaters are not subject to the intermittency of sunshine and can heat an uncovered pool up by about 1°C per hour during the swimming season. In the shoulder seasons and winter, you will need a pool blanket to get maximum benefit from this type of heating.
Gas heaters are good for scheduled swimming. For example, if you swim on Thursdays at 10 a.m. every week, it is simple and relatively economical to heat your pool to the desired temperature using a sufficiently large gas heater (and pool blanket if needs be). The Pooled Energy system readily allows you to schedule such use and the Pool App allows you to remotely turn the heater ON and OFF at any time.
Gas heaters are less energy efficient than Heat Pumps but will typically heat a swimming pool faster.
Heat pumps, which take heat from the air to heat your pool, are more efficient and generally more economical than gas and not subject to the intermittency of sunshine, but heat about half as quickly, about 0.5°C an hour for a correctly sized system. In this case, you will generally need a pool blanket or insulating cover most of the year. Heat pumps and blankets are generally the better choice when you want the pool available to swim anytime. The Pooled Energy system manages the heater and its electricity consumption and the Pool App allows you to remotely turn the heater ON and OFF at any time.
Pooled Energy can recommend a sub-contractor for the supply, installation and integration of the type of heater that you decide will best suit your needs.