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Swimming Pool Heaters
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


Among several important decisions regarding a new swimming pool, selecting a pool heater is high on the list. There are several different types of poop heaters available. It is important to know the difference between all of them to ensure that you are getting the right heater for your swimming pool and saving the most amount of money.

Gas Heaters: It is essential that a gas heater be installed and vented properly to ensure that it functions safely and efficiently. Gas heaters can have an initial efficiency of 90 percent and consume only as much gas as you allow. Gas heaters are controlled by a thermostat which enables you to just set it and leave it unattained. Additional features include an on/off switch, pressure switch, gas valve and high limit switches in its safety circuitry. Also, the new models have an electronic ignition system instead of the standard pilot light assembly.

Heat Pumps: Heat pumps are a cost effective alternative to gas heaters. With a heat pump, heat is removed from the outside air and transferred to the swimming pool water via an exchange mechanism. A heat pumps function can be compared to a household air conditioning system "in reverse." Keep in mind, the cooler the outside air is and the lower the humidity, the less effective the unit is in heating the swimming pool.

Solar Pool Heating Systems: Solar pool heating systems are also more cost effective than gas heaters. There are several different sizes and styles of solar pool heaters available, all of which are designed to deliver the sun's energy into a swimming pool. With a solar pool heater, your existing pool pump is used to circulate water through several small passages of the solar collector where it is heated by the sun. Additionally, solar pool heating systems can be used to cool off temperatures in the summer by running them at night.

Solar Covers/Solar Blankets: Solar covers and blankets are used to help a pool retain heat at night and during harsh weather. They are made from a thin plastic material with air pockets and an added R value. An estimated 70 percent of all heat loss from a swimming pool is the result of evaporation and convection. A pool cover can cut down on almost all of these heat losses.

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