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July 31, 2020

Tips for increasing your pool heater efficiency

If you are new to the pool heater club, then you’ll be in for a bit of a treat the first time you use it. Pool heaters are ideal for heating your pool’s water especially at the very beginning and end of the Summer. It can quickly heat your pool’s water to a much more comfortable temperature, allowing you to use your pool for an extended amount of time.

Not only does the fun factor increase with warmer water, but it also has additional health benefits:

  • Relief of muscle aches
  • Heart and lungs work harder
  • Recovery from accidents and surgery is increased
  • Improved circulation
  • Relief from arthritis
  • Reduction in lactic acid after gym workouts
  • Improvement of mood

Getting your pools water to your ideal temperature can come at a price though. The average propane poll heater burns about 1 gallon of propane per hour per 100,000 Btus. (By definition, a Btu (or British thermal unit) is the measure of how much energy is needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

If the standard pool size is about 21,000 gallons, your pool heater should put out about 400,000 Btus. – so that means you will burn about 4 gallons of propane per hour.

Propane pool heaters are pretty efficient – about 80-95% – but you’ll still need to run your pool heater one hour for every 1.8 degrees that you want to heat your pool water. That can get pretty expensive if it’s a cooler than normal Summer.

Here’s some simple math: If your pool is 60 degrees at the beginning of September and you want to extend your swimming season, but you want the water to be at least 80 degrees, you would have to run your heater about 10 to 12. If the average price per gallon of propane is $3.00, it would cost you $120 to heat your pool. This is an extreme example, and most people use their heater to raise the temperature just a few degrees.

So how can you use your pool heater while still managing to have it be efficient:

  1. Use a solar cover too. Your pool loses 70% of its heat loss through evaporation. When you aren’t using it, you should put a solar cover on it to help keep the heat in and warm it up a bit as well.
  2. Try to maintain a consistent temp. Every degree you need to raise the temperature increases your energy usage and cost. Try to keep your pool at a consistent temperature (78 – 80 degrees).
  3. Lower the thermostat when not in use. If you don’t plan to use the pool for days at a time, cover it and drop the temp down. If you will be unable to use it for a week or more, shut your heater off. There is no point in heating a pool you aren’t using.
  4. Install a fence or bushes. You can protect your pool from wind and heat loss by having a fence or bushes around it.
  5. Just like your home heating system, you should have your pool heater serviced annually to make sure it’s running properly and efficiently.

Having a pool heater can greatly extend your swimming season. If you are installing a new pool heater and need a propane tank placed or filled, give us a call. We offer 4 season dependability.

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