Taking a dip in your own private swimming pool might be the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer's day, but you don't want get too cool, and unheated pool water can be decidedly chilly even during the hottest times of year. Fitting some kind of water heating apparatus to your pool is therefore more of a necessity than a luxury, and heat pumps are a cheap, popular and relatively reliable way to keep your pool water temperate.
However, these simple heating devices are limited in what they can do, and while they are more than up to the task of heating your pool water during warmer months, the can occasionally fall short during cooler periods of the year. If you are a dedicated out-of-season swimmer who wants to keep their pool water comfortably warm all year round, installing a hybrid heat pump could be the best way to go.
What are hybrid heat pumps, and how do they differ from conventional heat pumps?
A conventional heat pump essentially works like a refrigerator in reverse. While a refrigerator absorbs heat from the air inside it and expels it into the atmosphere, the process is reversed in a heat pump, which takes heat from the surrounding air and funnels it into your pool water. This process is highly efficient, and even cheap, low-end heat pumps are capable of absorbing enough heat to heat the water of a modest swimming pool.
However, the cooler ambient temperatures become, the harder time a pool heat pump has keeping the water suitably warm. While heat pumps are capable of extracting heat from the air even when temperatures are below freezing, they often cannot absorb enough heat to adequately heat a pool during the cooler parts of the year.
This is where hybrid heat pumps come in. These pool heaters are essentially two different heating elements combined in a single package -- a conventional heat pump that does the brunt of the work, but when temperatures become too coo for the pump to function efficiently a backup heating element kicks in. Depending on the hybrid pump you choose, this backup heater can be powered by gas, electricity or even stored solar power.
What are the advantages of choosing a hybrid heat pump for my pool?
As you can imagine, installing one of these versatile hybrid heaters in your pool can be very beneficial. By choosing a heat pump with a dedicated backup heater that can kick in whenever it is needed, you can guarantee that your pool water is always at the perfect temperature for swimming, whatever the weather. Hybrid pumps also tend to be considerably cheaper than the other option of purchasing a conventional heat pump and installing a seperate, backup heater that must be manually activated.
Despite relying on additional sources of heat, hybrid heat pumps can also reduce your energy bills. Instead of powering a heat pump for long stretches of time in cold weather, your powerful backup heater can be used to heat your pool water in a much shorter timeframe. If your backup heater is solar powered, your energy consumption may be lowered even more.