Can Fiberglass Pools have heating?
Fibreglass pools can immensely benefit from a heating system. Fibreglass is an insulating material, and hence the fibreglass pools heat quickly and retain the heat for a longer time. These pools heat in a fraction of the time required for heating concrete pools.
Heating a pool is necessary for a comfortable swimming experience. People think that if you live in warm regions you do not need to heat your pool. But summer will last only for 3-4 months. During winter the pool temperature will drop considerably. Heating a pool enables you to prolong the swimming season.
There is also the misconception that if the pool gets proper sunlight then the pool will remain warm. But the facts are very different. Sunlight may warm the surface of the pool. But the water beneath the surface will be 2-3 degrees cooler than surface water.
Children and elders are more intolerant to cold water. A heated pool lets you to comfortably relax in the pool.
How Should You Heat Your Pool?
There are various methods available to heat your pool. The following heating options are popular among fibreglass pool owners.
These heaters work using natural gas, propane and in odd cases heating oil. Pool owners have used these heaters for decades as they heat the pool very fast. Gas heaters can be used throughout the year.
But they are expensive and not environmentally friendly. You will incur substantial gas bills. They are not very efficient and consume a lot of energy to generate heat.
Solar heaters use the sunlight to heat your pool. Solar heaters collect the energy of the sun using special panels or coils. These heaters can be of different types.
These panels can be installed in your lawn or terrace. A network of pipes passes through the solar panels. Water gets heated when it is passed through these pipes. You can heat your pool without worrying about increasing energy bills. The solar system can be slightly expensive to install, but saving energy bills more than offsets its installation cost.
These panels require a large area to be installed. The efficiency of heating depends on the number of panels installed. The more the panels the quicker the heating process. Installing more panels will require more expenditure and space.
Solar mats are suitable for heating small pools. The entire volume of the pool water is pumped through warm solar mats heated by sunlight. You need sufficient area to place the mats. It is difficult to heat a large pool through this method.
Dome-Shaped Solar Collectors
These domes are more compact as compared to solar panels and mats. The piping used to heat water is rolled up in domes. This system requires extra energy to pump the water through the domes. This system is cheaper than solar mats and is suitable for small pools.
Solar heaters work well in regions which receive plenty of sunlight. They are environment friendly and require no maintenance.
Solar heaters won’t work on cold or rainy days. Solar heaters cannot be used during the night to heat the water. These heaters are best used in combination with other heating methods since they don’t work when the skies are overcast.
These are best used along with other methods. They float on the pool surface. They have to be cut to fit the size of the pool. Solar blankets are effective in allowing the pool to maintain the heat. They must be removed before using the swimming pool.
Electric heaters are gaining popularity due to their convenience and efficiency. Electric heaters are of two types:
Electric Heat Pumps
Electric heat pumps work on the principle of reusing energy. These heaters procure heat from air and use it to heat the pool water. These heaters contain coils with liquid refrigerants inside them. When these refrigerants come in contact with the heat from the air they turn into a gas which runs the condenser for pool heating. It is not compulsory to install the heat pump in direct sunlight.
Electric pool heaters are reliable as they depend on electricity. Electric heat pumps are durable and easy to use. They are not as expensive as gas heaters, and they do not depend on sunlight for functioning. They can be used anytime during the day or night. Electric heaters are environment friendly and have a long lifespan. Electric heater models are available which can heat or cool a pool. Heat pumps are more energy-efficient and suitable for constant heating. Heat pumps have a compact design, and they can be easily accommodated in your storage area beside the pool. But they can be slow to heat the pool.
Heat exchangers have a corrosion-resistant titanium heating element fitted inside them. The resistor uses electricity to heat up and then transfers the heat to the water flowing past the resistor. This heat exchanger is connected to the household heating system. But this heat exchanger consumes a lot of energy. This system heats up the water quickly. It can only be used sporadically or in combination with other methods.
A pool cover is extremely important to retain the heat. You can cover your pool with a tarpaulin or use an automatic system. They prevent the water from cooling down quickly.
Factors Affecting The Choice Of A Pool Heater
There are various factors affecting your decision to install pool heaters.
The size of your pool.
The larger the size of your pool, the more your heating requirements. Some of the heating systems mentioned above are not suitable for small-sized pools.
Frequency of your pool use.
How often do you plan to use the pool? Do you plan to close your pool throughout winter or would you like an extended swimming season? Is it only during warmer months or do you plan to use the pool throughout the year? If you plan to use your pool regularly then you will have to choose cost-effective heating systems.
If you want to prolong your swimming season then you require an efficient heating system.
Purpose Of Using The Pool
If you plan to use the pool only for exercise then you may require less heating.
But if you plan to use the pool for relaxation then your heating requirement will be more. Relaxing in cold water is no fun.
Family Members Using The Pool
If elders or children will be using the pool, the pool will have to be heated properly. A heated pool works well to relax the joints. Elders and children are less tolerant to cold and may fall ill if the water is cold.
The Climate Of Your Region
If you live in a region where the skies are overcast for most part of the year, installing a solar heater will waste resources.
As you must have noticed, all the systems mentioned above have their advantages and disadvantages. You need to select a system most suitable for your requirements and budget. Your pool builder will guide you in choosing the correct heating method. It is best to install a heating system during the construction of the pool. But they can also be installed at a later stage.