Heat Your Pool Efficiently

Finding ways to reduce cost and improve efficiency is always important for aquatic facilities. Efficient pool heating is one way to help.

Q: Our current pool heater appears to use a lot of energy to heat the pool water. what will help reduce our heating costs?

A: If you want to heat your pool water with the most efficient system available, look for a high-efficiency heater designed specifically for commercial pools.

The job of a heat exchanger is to capture the heat from burning gas and transfer it to the pool's water. The more efficiently it does this, the better. But the combination of operating heat and pool chemicals can be very tough on heat exchangers, potentially leading to corrosion and failure. The older model heaters of seven to 10 years ago might have started out being about 78 percent efficient. But over time, those same heaters are probably now only about 60 percent efficient—as heat exchanger tubes fill with buildup and even the burners get clogged. Today's heater models have much higher efficiencies—in the 85 to 90 percent range.

To prevent potential problems, look for a high-efficiency heater with a direct-fire heat exchanger made from pure titanium. This type of heater will provide a long life, even under extreme conditions, and titanium is the most corrosion-resistant material available in the industry.

You can find a 400,000 BTU high-efficiency heater with a direct-fire heat exchanger made from pure titanium that features a 96 percent thermal efficiency rating—the highest in its class. Look for heaters built with ASME-certified construction. Units should offer ultra-quiet operation and be easy to install, whether indoors or outside.

Talk to your manufacturer about flexibility for installation, as well, including ability to vent with PVC for air intake and venting.

Q: We want to do as much as we can to reduce the cost of heating our pool. What else should we consider?

A: In addition to upgrading to a more efficient heater, consider using a pool cover to prevent heat from escaping your pool when temperatures drop overnight. A pool cover provides the added benefit of preventing evaporation when the pool is not in use. The less water you lose to evaporation, the less energy—and cost—it will take to heat the pool's water.