Up in Smoke – Why your pool heater costs you twice as much as it should, and how to fix it

Snowy PoolHow expensive is heating your pool? Probably very expensive, but it’s often hard to tell. Your gas bill is an aggregate of lots of fuel-based equipment. Unless you’re metering the gas line heading directly into your pool heater, you’re probably not aware of the total cost. But again, it’s probably a lot.

That’s the bad news. The good news? There’s more than a few ways to decrease your poolsid
e heat loss, reducing your overall utility bill. Here are four major sources of heat loss and some ideas on how to control them:

Evaporation – The biggest source of heat loss for pools is through evaporation. The easy fix? Get a pool cover and reduce your evaporative heat loss by 50-70%. Make sure you’re considering everything associated with using a pool cover. Some are much safer than others, some are easier to use, and some just look a lot better than others when stored on your pool deck.

Convection – Why do you blow on a hot cup of soup? You’re using convective heat loss to cool down your lunch. The same principle works with pools. Wind across the surface of your outdoor pool is a major source of heat loss. Planters, rocks, and wind screen fences can add an attractive third-dimension to your pool deck all while reducing heating bills at an outdoor pool. Indoors you’ll want to minimize airflow from your HVAC system, fans and/or building drafts that could be moving across the surface of your water.

Radiation – Loss of heat from a warm pool to a cooler sky isn’t easy to control at your outdoor pool. At an indoor pool you can work to maintain a room temperature 2-5 degrees warmer than your water temperature to reduce radiant heat loss. Remember to be considerate of deck-patrons when increasing your room temperatures. No one wants to sit through a swim meet when the natatorium feels like a sauna.

Conduction – Conduction isn’t a major source of heat loss for most pools, but some are more susceptible than others. Conductive heat loss happens when yo ur warm pool water touches other surfaces. The more surfaces your water is in contact with, the more potential for heat loss. Think about those new waterpark-hotels that are making the most of their interior space. Many opt to send indoor waterslides outside of the building before turning back in for their final splash. If the outdoor air temperature dips, the potential for conductive heat loss grows significantly. Aquatic play features not in-use should be turned off when possible.

Tim Auerhahn operates a 150,000 gallon pool in Rochester, New York… in December. For more information on how he keeps his CFO happy, contact him at 1-844-482-1777.