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Subject: Year-around pool heating
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AlexL1
(Florida)

Posts:305


12/20/2008 6:06 AM  
When can one determine that it is inefficient to have a pool heated year-around? I would like to see our pool heat cut off as it is costing us an arm and a leg. One or tw0 individuals living here, however, raise holy he-double hockey sticks if the thought of cutting off the heat is even mentioned. Believe me, the cost is horrific along with the cost of heating the hot tub 12 months of the year.
BruceF1
(Connecticut)

Posts:2535


12/20/2008 7:45 AM  
Posted By AlexL1 on 12/20/2008 6:06 AM
When can one determine that it is inefficient to have a pool heated year-around? I would like to see our pool heat cut off as it is costing us an arm and a leg. One or tw0 individuals living here, however, raise holy he-double hockey sticks if the thought of cutting off the heat is even mentioned. Believe me, the cost is horrific along with the cost of heating the hot tub 12 months of the year.


Efficiency is not the issue. As long as the average air temperature is lower than the desired water temperature, it's going to take energy to heat the pool. The greater the temperature difference, the more energy it's going to take. The efficiency of the pool heating system doesn't change.

The real question is, how much energy are we going to use (or equivalently, how much money are we going to spend) to heat the pool vs the number of people who are going to use it? I would think you would need to obtain pool heating costs and pool use figures for at least a year to be able to make a judgement and a reasonable case for turning the pool heater off for part of the year. The decision should not be made based on the opinion or desires of a few individuals (even if it turns out that you are among the few), but rather on what the majority of the association's members want.
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


12/20/2008 8:44 AM  
The first thing I think of is why would anyone have an outdoor pool that is heated year round? It would seem crazy to me, but that is me.


While I would agree that it seems a waste to heat a pool 12 months of the year, I am not in a position to make the choice. But one or two people should not be allowed to run the show. It is a democracy and the issue is one to which the entire organization should be involved. You may also want to investigate solar heating of the pools. Or to look into a ground source heat pump to heat the pool(s).
JohnK3
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:967


12/20/2008 10:11 AM  
One of our SFD HOs heats his private pool (and a big one at that) with solar panels. Big one-time $$$ outlay, but a gift that keeps giving.
AlexL1
(Florida)

Posts:305


12/20/2008 1:29 PM  
JohnK3: Are those panels that sit directly on the water.... Sorry.. I know nothing about the solar panels.... hopefully they would not sit on the water as that would not be allowed... sorry for being so dumb about that.
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


12/20/2008 5:37 PM  
Actually, they don't sit on the water. They are a panel that is set at an angle to maximize exposure to the sun's energy. Internal to the panel as pipes running back and forth. The water passes through and is heated by the sun hitting the panel.

The cost is not cheap, but it is a one time outlay. If you heat a lot, then it would probably pay for itself in short order. Do a search for "solar pool heating." One indicated that it could raise the temp of the water 15 to 20 degrees. Of course it will depend on many factors including the size of the heater.
BruceF1
(Connecticut)

Posts:2535


12/20/2008 6:22 PM  
And solar panels should work better in Florida because the sun is higher in the sky in Florida than in northern states, especially in winter time. The energy reaching the earth from the sun is greater when the sun is higher in the sky.

Solar panels are also used to provide hot water, and even to heat homes.
JohnK3
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:967


12/21/2008 8:45 AM  
Alex,

The HO's panels are on his eastern-facing roof.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


12/23/2008 11:44 PM  
Well, one thing for sure folks, this has to be a Board decision. So they does and the don'ts have to get together and try to substainiate their reasoning. The Board could do a survey, they can put it on the agenda for a Board meeting or call a special Board meeting. They should announce they will decide for the association at some given time, make their decision, allow for a very limited rebutal and do the deed. Good exercise to practice the democratic process.
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


12/24/2008 7:47 PM  
I hadn't noticed what state you live in. I would imagine that you only heat during the cooler months. But having said that, you probably should look into solar. There is a good chance you could make it your only heating source. As a note, right now the estimated pay off for making your home's hot water system solar (with gas or electric backup) is typically 5 to 8 years. I would guess that a pool might be an even faster payback. But that is only a guess based on the much larger heat loss a pool experiences.

Here is the thing: it will only cost some time to get a professional to evaluate your situation and bid on putting in a solar heating system. They can also tell you estimated annual costs of running the system (if you have to pump water through it) and maintenance.

The thing is that you should not make a decision without having all the facts. And I see no reason to not gather the facts together. Even if you had to pay for an analysis before a complete system workup, you could get a general idea of the potential.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


12/27/2008 11:56 AM  

Solar heating is one subject that I have access to great information as my Husband is a Solar Outdoor Lighting engineer and designer.

Most people never install it correctly and expect it to do heating beyond its capabilities. They install systems without going the extra mile to make it function at its maximum.

Collector panels MUST be facing the South for maximum exposure and collection (may vary by a few degrees.) There must be a battery system to store the energy and generate power to a pump or heat sorce. Most pool applications do not store the energy but pump hot water only when the sun has warmed the panels. Batteries must be replaced about every 5 years and they are not cheap.

Solar pool covers DO NOT heat the water except for a couple of inches of the top water. Their purpose is to keep the water temp from being lost in evaporation and exposure to the outside temps.

So Kevin, unless your association wants to spend some extra bucks to make Solar pool heat, I would say save your money. My rental association only heats the pool after the water temp drops below 80. Now all of you northerners will say--boy, that's pretty warm, but in Florida, it's not
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


12/28/2008 6:43 PM  
Posted By DonnaS on 12/27/2008 11:56 AM


My rental association only heats the pool after the water temp drops below 80. Now all of you northerners will say--boy, that's pretty warm, but in Florida, it's not





Warm?! 80-degrees for pool water?!

That's freaking ice fishing temp!

We have a solar cover on our personal pool, and yes, its only purpose is to reduce heat loss at night. I don't think they were ever intended to warm or heat an entire pool . . .

But we also have a pool heater.

We can only use our pool from like mid-to-late May and mid-to-late September in northern Kentucky, but with our pool heater we can start swimming in April (sometimes early April) and often keep swimming well into October.

We seldom use it past June and then again not until early September.

I like it between the temp of 88 to 90 or 91.

Yes. Spoiled rotten!
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


12/28/2008 8:26 PM  
...Warm?! 80-degrees for pool water?!...



Growing up (in Cheyenne Wy), the city pool was heated to 82 degrees year round. I believe that the pool in my high school was heated similarly. But I also recall swimming in a pool heated to only 70 degrees during the summer months.

That being said, I would not be likely to swim in a pool at that temp anymore. It has a lot to do with perspective.
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