What times of day should I run pool heaters?
If you have an ‘Anytime’ electricity tariff where the charges are the same all day, then it does not matter when you run your gas or electric heater, except that you will generally get the best result with
daytime running as there is less cooling during the day. Heat-Pumps are also generally more efficient during warm daytime than cold nights. Of course, solar heaters can only run during sunny periods, nominally 9.30 a.m. to about 4.30 p.m.
If you have ‘Time-of Use’ Electricity, we will make available our Solar Optimisation software for your solar heaters. Simplistically, this very clever software looks at the weather forecast and tries to run your pool using the least electricity at the most cost effective times of day. For solar heaters that are in-line with filters, the Pooled Energy system will run the filter slowly for maximum filtration efficiency, until the solar heater requires higher flow rates. It will also respond to the weather and forecast, minimising energy use.
If you have a ‘Time-Of-Use’ tariff and a solar heater which must run during sunny times, then the solar optimisation software will typically run the system on sunny days from about 9.30 a.m., as appropriate, until when peak electricity charges apply (usually 1 p.m. in the Endeavour area or 2 p.m. in the Ausgrid area). This keeps your operating times in the shoulder periods and out of the expensive peak charge periods that exist on weekdays. On weekends, it will run solar systems till 4.30 p.m. or so. If you need a ‘top-up,’ you can override the system and go later into the afternoon when you wish.
If you have a Time-Of-Use tariff and a Heat Pump, it is almost always less expensive to run during the night off-peak periods, provided that you have a pool cover. While the amount of heat available from the air is reduced at night, this is usually more than offset by the lower electricity charges in most cases, down to air temperatures of about 0-10 degrees C depending on the type and brand of heat pump. For operation in lower air temperatures, please contact us with details of your heat pump for a recommendation. See also the discussion in the FAQ Sizing a Heater and Other Considerations.
With Time-Of-Use and Gas Heaters, low cost operation can be done off-peak to minimise charges from the electricity usage of the pump, but it really depends on when you want the pool warmer. Gas usage prices do not vary based on the time of day the gas is used but pools do cool differently day and night. Try both and see which is better for your pool.
If you have gas heating and Net Metered Solar PV panels which only generate electricity during the day, then the best time will depend on system capacities and the type of heater. Our Solar Optimiser will use weather control for such heaters. With just 109 sunny days a year in Sydney on average, 129 rainy and overcast days, and 127 spotty days, Pooled Energy’s Solar Optimization Software makes a big difference. And it’s free.