A pool heat pump enables you use your swimming pool all year round by warming it to the temperature you desire. It’s the preferred pool heating method for lots of people given that it costs very little to run although it has a considerable initial cost.
Pool heat pumps work best by drawing heat from the air around it. This air warms up a refrigerant which is further warmed by a compressor. It heats up the water for a few degrees at a time. To heat a whole pool, the pool heat pump needs a day to several days depending on the temperatures outdoors and the size of the pool.
For the best experience with pool heat pumps, you’ll need to get the right size and quality of heat pump for your pool. Below, we reviewed a good number of pool heat pumps and came up with a list of the best 9 for you to choose from.
1. FibroPool FH055 Swimming Pool Heater
At the top of our list is the FibroPool FH055 measuring 48 x 20 x 24 inches for the length, width and height respectively and weighing in at 120 pounds. This is an inground swimming pool heater with an output of 55,000 BTU’s and working for pools up to 10,000 gallons in capacity.
Its most outstanding feature is the high level of efficiency it commands. It has an impressive COP of 5.92 which means that, for every dollar you spend on powering it, it generates 5.92x of heat. The maximum attainable COP is 7. This shows that it’s very efficient.
The all-metal casing with a 100% titanium heat exchanger means that this pool heat pump will last for years on end. It’s also one of the easiest heat pumps to install and uninstall as it takes a very short time to do either.
- Easy installation with quick disconnect piping: 1.5” PVC and 17 Amps power-220 volts.
- A US Department of Energy top Energy Efficient System, 25 cents per hour.
- Digital display and controller.
- Weatherproof metal casing.
- The manual’s translation to English can be quite confusing.
This is the best and most efficient of the pool heat pumps we tried. It also has great looks and works well even in cold temperatures outdoors.
2. Hayward HP21404T HeatPro InGround Pool Heat Pump
Second up is the Hayward HP21404T HeatPro with a capacity of 140,000 BTU, dimensions of 32 x 43 x 40 inches (L x W x H) and a weight of 287 pounds. These dimensions, already impressive, don’t tell just how great this pool heat pump is.
It also comes with an acoustic compressor cover and profiled fan blade both of which ensure that it has a quiet operation.
Its parts are made of high quality materials such as the ultra-gold corrosion resistant evaporator fin and a titanium heat exchanger.
The body parts are made of durable injection-molded UV-resistant parts. These parts ensure durability, efficiency and reliability. It also uses 2” x 2.5” CPVC Union Plumbing Connections which are commonplace for ease of compatibility.
Most buyers do complain a lot on the poor customer service. However, besides the slightly unimpressive customer service, this is a great heat pump that has quality parts and works really well.
3. Pentair 460932 UltraTemp Pool Heat Pump
Measuring 43 x 34 x 50 inches (L x W x H) and weighing 300 pounds, the Pentair 460932 UltraTemp has a 108,000 BTU and packs some impressive features as well. It’s compatible with all automated control packages thus an easy one to install and run.
The heat exchanger is made with 100% pure titanium making it reliable, efficient and durable since titanium doesn’t corrode or rust. This is especially important in coastal regions where the air is salty and metals easily corrode away.
- Automatic defrost feature prevents the refrigerant from freezing. This allows the heat pump to work even in very cold environments.
- Has an 8-feet wire.
- Operates at 60-Hertz frequency, 50-ampere breaker size, single phase and 230 Volts.
- Quiet operation.
- The control panel needs to be better.
For a pool heat pump with these features and with the performance observed when reviewing it, this is one is highly recommendable.
4. Hayward W3HP21004T Pool Heat Pump
The second entry from Hayward is their W3HP21004T with a capacity of 95,000 BTU. It comes with the same great features found in the Hayward HP21404T such as the acoustic compressor cover and profiled fan blade which ensures quiet running and efficient performance.
You also get the ultra-gold corrosion-resistant evaporator fin, titanium heat exchanger and durable injection-molded UV-resistant body panels which make it durable, reliable and efficient. It also comes with 2” x 2.5” CPVC Union Plumbing Connections for compatibility purposes.
The customer care doesn’t make this a deal-breaker as the unit itself is great at what it does and that is warming your pool water.
5. Puri Tech Quiet Heat 127,000 BTU Swimming Pool Heat Pump
The Puri Tech Quiet Heat derives its name from how quiet it is when in use compared to other pool heaters. This is made possible by the QZ Quiet Technology which ensures that it runs at the lowest noise levels possible.
This pool heat pump is best suited to swimming pools up to 35,000 gallons. This, combined with its 127,000 BTU capacity, makes it suitable for large pools. The included Savings Optimizer saves you up to $2,000 a year in electricity bills.
- Durable materials such as titanium used for efficiency and longevity.
- Easy to install and use.
We didn’t find fault with this one as it heats as stated by the manufacturer and no previous customer had reported an issue.
6. Raypak P-R266-A-EP-C Digital Propane Pool Heater
This is a 266,000 BTU gas-powered (propane) digital and spa heater that comes with an electronic ignition, a digital thermostat and Polymer headers.
This heater is designed for residential application and combines durability and smart design to be one of the best on the market.
Its attributes include exceeding federal and state fuel efficiency standards, high flow rates, condensation protection and wind-resistant design to withstand the elements for years to come.
More features include
- Microprocessor-controlled thermostat can be set precisely to your liking, set it and forget it
- Cabinet and the internals are non-corrosive and rust resistant
- Features PolyTuf powder coating, polymer headers, and an all copper-fin-tube heat exchanger
- A stainless-steel tube sheet
- 2-inch CPVC water connections
- Burner tray
- Fire tile
7. EcoSmart SMART POOL Electric Tankless Pool Heater
Eco smart Pool Heaters operate by utilizing the latest flow sensor technology instead of the traditional pressure switch activation to reduce the risk of burned elements, which increases its reliability and longevity.
It comes with digital thermostat control so you can set the temperature exactly where you want it. Some cool features that make this heater stand out include;
- Heats quickly in a variety of environments.
- Small in size and ready to perform with modern digital use.
- Compatible with Eco smart Remote Control.
- Can be used as an alternative to or booster to heat pump
Though most reviews on Amazon and other online shopping platforms are positive, some users do not recommend this pool heater because of the following issues;
- Installation is not straight forward…you may need to hire a professional to install it at a fee.
- High electricity bills if not used properly.
- A notable number of reviewers also say it stops working after some time.
8. HydroPro Eco 10 – 9.5kW Swimming Pool Heat Pump
The HydroPro Eco 10 has a high-efficiency coefficient of 4.8. This means it’ll save you lots of cash over its lifetime. It works best in the summer with the minimum temperature required being 8°C for the best results.
It measures in at 1140 x 400 x 650 mm for the length, width and height respectively.
It’s also one of the quietest pool heat pumps we tested thanks to its low sound rotary compressor and low noise fan.
It’s also rated R407c which means it’s very environment friendly.
It comes with a titanium heat exchanger meaning that it’ll not rust and will still be efficient in heating up the water.
- Easy installation procedure.
- Quiet operation due to a low sound rotary compressor and low noise fan.
- Precision temperature control.
- Freeze prevention mode.
- Not the best efficiency coefficient.
While this pool heat pump isn’t the most efficient, it’s quite impressive when it comes to heating your pool in that it operates quietly and consistently hence our favorable review.
9. Interline 59695245 Eco Heat Pump
Wrapping up our list is the Interline 59695245 Eco Heat Pump with dimensions of 30 x 30 x 10 cm (L x W x H) and a weight of 36 kilograms. It’s suited to swimming pools of up to 18,000 liters and is equipped with a manual thermostat to control the level of heat needed.
This is a relatively small pool heat pump that’s for the individual who has a small pool and doesn’t require too many features to work. Even then, it’s quite impressive in the way it heats the water in a consistent way to the desired temperature.
One downside is that it doesn’t have many advanced features.
As stated earlier on, this is a pool heat pump meant for the small pool and occasional use. We found it quite reliable too.
Getting any of these pool heat pumps guarantees a great time for your pool as we proved in our tests. With pool heat pumps, you need to find the one suited to the size of your pool for the best experience.
Buyer Guide-What to look for when Shopping
In choosing a pool heat pump, there are some aspects to consider such as the following:
The coefficient of performance (COP) refers to how efficient the machine is in terms of transforming electricity into heat that is directly transferable to the water. It usually ranges between 3.0 and 7.0. This is equal to an efficiency of between 500% and 600%.
For this reason, the higher the COP rating, the better a pool heat pump is in heating your water. This also translates to the sizing since the right size of pool heat pump increases the efficiency of heating up the pool.
The size of the pool
The size of the pool dictates the BTU rating of your heat pump for the best heating efficiency. For this reason, you need to know the size of the pool then find the right size of the pool heat pump. The formula for finding the approximate heat pump BTU needed is as follows:
- (Surface area) x (Temperature increase) x 12 = (minimum BTU required)
The general guide for determining the size of the heat pump you need is as follows:
|Pool volume in gallons||Heat output in BTU|
Heat pumps work by deriving heat from the air and are, for this reason, reliant on how cold or hot the air is. Basically, the colder the air, the less heat they’ll generate. You thus need to know the local temperatures in your area to get a pool heat pump that can operate in these conditions without issues.
While a majority of the pool heat pumps would shut off when the temperatures drop below 40°F, some can go lower. You need to be sure of this before buying a pool heat pump.
You don’t want a noisy heat pump messing up the rest of your daily activities when you’re heating your pool. Given that this is a piece of equipment meant to be left on for long periods of time, the noise level will be a major factor to focus on.
Check the fan motor, the fan blades’ pitch and the compressor to determine how much noise they can make and if that is something you can live with. If not, get a quieter option for yourself since this is a major investment.
Type of compressor
The compressor in the pool heat pump plays the all-important role of condensing the refrigerant into a hot gas that is then used to warm the water. The two main types of compressors used in heat pumps are the scroll and reciprocating ones.
While the reciprocating compressors were common a while back owing to their lower costs and smaller sizes, they were deemed to be inefficient. This led to the mass adoption of scroll compressors.
Scroll compressors use metal scrolls in the place of pistons to compress the refrigerant. This makes them more efficient as they have fewer moving parts.
They are also quieter, more durable and less costly to run than the reciprocating ones. For this reason, choose a heat pump with a scroll compressor over that with a reciprocating one.
The heat exchanger, as suggested by its name, has the role of exchanging heat between the hot refrigerant and the cold water. Initially, cupro-nickel and copper heat exchangers were used owing to their efficiency and inexpensiveness.
Today, more and more manufacturers are choosing titanium heat exchangers over cupro-nickel and copper heat exchangers due to the durability of the latter. Titanium doesn’t corrode or rust and will thus last longer than the alternatives.
Armed with these aspects, you can be sure to make the right choice when it comes to choosing the best pool heat pump.
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