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Selecting the right pool heater can make a huge difference in terms of bathers’ experiences, economic savings and sustainability. Inverter heat pumps allow operators to reach maximum efficiency.

The pool heater stands at the center of a crucial aspect in any swimming pool: adequate temperatures for optimizing bathers’ comfort. When it comes to heating and cooling a swimming pool, traditional systems have become expensive in terms of running costs, especially in an age of increasing energy costs. However, advancements in technology have meant there’s now a smarter and more energy-efficient pool heater solution available: the inverter heat pump.

This type of pool heater relies on aerothermal technology, that is, it employs the thermal energy present in the air. It’s thus an ideal choice that allows for a sustainable and efficient temperature management in swimming pool installations, and it enables operators to extend the bathing season in outdoor swimming pools.

Let’s explore what exactly an inverter heat pump is, how pool aerothermal technology works and its advantages, and why it’s an excellent choice for maintaining a comfortable pool temperature.

Inverter pool heat pump: what is this pool heater option and how it works

An inverter pool heat pump operates on a simple principle: it transfers heat from one area to another. More specifically, the heat pump is in charge of extracting heat from the outside air and transferring it to the water in order to increase the pool’s temperature.

Additionally, the inverter technology is also able to reverse this process, so that it can remove heat from the pool and expel it outside, effectively cooling an aquatic installation on the hottest summer days.

This system’s versatility has become a popular choice, as it can be employed all year-round. In fact, this type of pool heater is able to heat pool water even with cold outside temperatures: they’ve been proven to be effective even at temperatures as low as -15ºC. As such, inverter heat pumps are designed to work efficiently in various climates, including colder regions, making it possible to use the pool outside the peak bathing season in summer.

Moreover, although they may present a higher upfront cost compared to traditional systems, their energy efficiency and cost savings over time often offset the initial investment. This is because inverter technology adapts its capacity, and therefore its consumption, to required water temperature. Thus, when the water temperature is very far from the set temperature, the compressor and the fans will work at full capacity. On the other hand, when the water temperature is very close to the desired temperature, the compressor and the fans will reduce their operating frequency and therefore their energy consumption.

Aerothermal systems are often praised for their energy efficiency, as they can generate more heat energy than the electrical energy they consume. This is due to the fact that they extract heat from the ambient air instead of generating it directly.

Since they’re considered environmentally-friendly, this has turned these pool heater options into a popular choice: they employ a natural heat source (air) and have lower carbon emissions compared to fossil fuel-based systems.

Their increased efficiency also means these systems are often an item in the list for operators looking to reduce swimming pool running costs , as well as a popular idea for upgrading outdated swimming pools by enhancing their sustainability.

They can also offer additional benefits such as the ability to provide both heating and cooling in a single system, relatively low maintenance requirements, and the potential for integration with renewable energy sources like solar panels or geothermal sources.

The working principle of inverter heat pumps

An inverter pool heat pump employed as a pool heater uses advanced technology to efficiently heat or cool the pool water. Its working principle can be divided in the following five steps:

  1. Heat exchange: a refrigerant contained within the heat pump is in charge of absorbing heat from the outside air. This process causes the liquid to evaporate and turn into gas.
  2. Compression: this gas is then compressed by a compressor, an operation which increases its temperature and pressure. As a result, the refrigerant warms up.
  3. Heat transfer: the now hot refrigerant gas passes through a heat exchanger (typically a condenser coil) which is in contact with the pool water. This causes the heat to be transferred to the pool water, raising the pool water temperature.
  4. Expansion: after transferring its heat to the pool water, the refrigerant is now in a gaseous state and sent to an expansion valve. This piece of equipment is in charge of reducing the refrigerant’s pressure, causing it to cool down and turn back into a liquid.
  5. Repeat: this cooled liquid refrigerant now goes back to the evaporator coil, where it absorbs more heat from the outside air, so that the cycle repeats to maintain the desired temperature of the pool water.

What sets an inverter heat pump apart from a traditional heat pump is the inclusion of an inverter compressor. As mentioned above, this technology allows the heat pump to modulate the speed of the compressor based on actual heating or cooling. That means that, instead of running at a fixed speed like traditional heat pumps, the inverter heat pump adjusts its output capacity to match the required heating or cooling load, thus fluctuation in temperature is kept to a minimum.

This translates into an increased flexibility for more precise temperature control , which also improves energy efficiency, and helps to maintain a consistent and comfortable pool water temperature.

Benefits of using an inverter heat pump as a pool heater

Aerothermal energy is based on employing a renewable source of energy: environmental heat present in the air. Thus, it represents one of the most efficient pool heater options that reduces the generation of emissions. Coupled with green electricity, the inverter heat pump becomes a source of clean energy.

Increased efficiency in temperature control

Inverter technology is able to maintain temperatures and heat pool water with minimal deviations. That means there will be no need to restart the entire system at full power, which generates extra start-up consumption.

Silence and durability

Inverter heat pumps operate with low noise due to their use of compressors and fans. In addition to this, since it does not need to run at full speed all times, it results in less wear and tear on parts, so that its service life is extended, also because it is highly resistant against corrosion.

Energy efficiency

This pool heater technology is able to offer a great COP (Coefficient Of Performance), which can go up to 4.8 — that means that for each unit of energy consumed, it produces 4.8 kW of heat in return. These outstanding figures can represent savings of up to 60% compared to other traditional systems.

Profitability and savings

As seen above, the inverter pool heater allows consumption to be adapted to the needs of the system. In other words, inverter technology provides the right amount of energy needed at any given moment. This translates into a reduction of electricity consumption, which is reflected in the overall operational costs.

An extended bathing season

Due to their working principle, inverter heat pumps can be used all year round. In fact, in winter they are able to heat the water with outside temperatures down to -15ºC. Additionally, since they are reversible, they can also be in charge of cooling water during warmer seasons.

7. ‘Plug & Play’ installation

The installation of an inverter pool heater option is simple, as it consists of the outdoor unit (in charge of heating the water) a pump to drive it and a filter to prevent dirt in the water from entering the aerothermal unit.

The importance of choosing the right pool heater

Inverter pool heat pumps come in different sizes and types. When facing this choice, swimming pool designers should take into account the pool’s size and location (including local climate) to ensure optimal performance and efficiency. All in all, choosing the right pool heater means pool operators may access the right inverter heat pump model according to their pool size and use requirements.

From achieving comfortable water temperatures to extending the swimming season, bathers will be able to tell the difference in terms of the added value of a well-functioning pool heater. This option’s increased durability and reliability, as well as its low maintenance requirements, further extends the advantages.

Furthermore, on the operators’ side, the enhanced energy efficiency and cost savings can be crucial for cutting down costs. This pool heater option is also a key option for operators looking to reduce their environmental footprint of their aquatic installations.

This choice represents a crucial decision for a pool’s success. Once advised by professionals in swimming pool design and engineering, operators guarantee their decision matches their needs and remains cost-efficient in the long term.