Can I Heat a Swimming Pool?
In short, yes. A system can be designed to either have a dedicated pump for an indoor or outdoor pool or it can be integrated with a heating and hot water system for the whole of your property.
Swimming pool heating can be very costly. Heat pump systems can reduce costs significantly and allow you to use your pool all year round. Heat pumps are very reliable because they are relatively low tech; they work on the reverse fridge principle, absorbing heat from the ground or air into fluid, heating that fluid by compression and then using a heat exchanger to heat the water in your wet central heating and hot water system.
Although you can heat your swimming pool using a system integrated with the rest of your property, we would normally recommend that you have a separate system for swimming pool heating to avoid depleting energy required for heating your house, thus leaving your family cold.
You can have a dedicated heat pump for your swimming pool but can’t heat the pool water directly in the heat pump because the chemicals in pool water are corrosive. When designing heat pump systems, we include a heat exchanger between the heat pump and the pool water. It is necessary to use a heat exchanger that is specifically designed for use with heat pumps because of the low temperature difference between the fluid in the heat pump system and the required pool water temperature.
The type of heat pump that would be better for heating your swimming pool depends on whether you have an indoor or outdoor swimming pool. Outdoor pools are generally only used in the summer so it may be better to use an air source heat pump, which can be left turned off during the winter. The air temperature in the summer is likely to be warmer than the ground temperature so less energy would be required to bring the pool water up to temperature. With an outdoor swimming pool, it is particularly important to use an efficient pool cover to prevent heat loss. Indoor pools are likely to be used all year round so constant heating from a ground source heat pump would be ideal. Swimming pool heating requires a ground array at least twice the size as that required for a domestic heating system. We will be happy to discuss your specific needs in detail to design a heat pump system that would be the most suitable.