Geothermal Pool Heating

If you you decide to heat your pool in the winter you have a few options. Gas/propane pool heaters, air source heat pumps, solar heat pumps, or geothermal pool heat pumps. Today we are going to talk about the last option, geothermal heating.

How geothermal pool heat pumps work is by basically collecting heat from the ground. Temperatures above ground can vary wildly in the winter but underground it generally remains a constant 70° F. By collecting heat through a series of underground loops, geothermal heat pumps can utilize that warm temperature by concentrating that heat and applying it where necessary. This can be quite beneficial as the pumps are good for the environment, are extremely efficient, and are much less expensive to operate. This can save you money on your energy bill.

Geothermal heating is also less conspicuous than other heating options. Gas or propane heaters require the installation of a tank and solar panels are bulky and require a lot of space. With geothermal heating, most of the equipment is underground so you are provide more space around your property.

While the initial investment of geothermal heating is generally 30-40% more expensive than other heating options, that money will quickly be recouped in operating costs which is 70-85% lower than other pumps. Geothermal is also a long lasting system with most warranties averaging about 10 years.

If you have questions about heating options for your pool, please contact the professionals at Platinum Pools of Arizona
(480) 888-9200 – East Valley or (623) 847-9200 – West Valley.

Here Comes The Sun?

In the days of fun and sun, it only make sense that pool companies would try to develop products to harness solar-energy. However, it seems the pool industry has been somewhat slow embracing the use of solar power. Part of the hesitancy stems from the mid-90’s when there was a big push for solar products. And while the sales were good, it turns out most of the products just didn’t work very well.

Flash forward twenty years later, and the products have improved, especially in the case of photovoltaics, or solar-electric power. While solar power has long been used to heat pools with passive, low-tech solar heaters, photovotaics are creating ways to supply power for devices ranging from LED lighting and floating debris skimmers all the way up to wall-mounted chlorine generators and even pool pumps.

Take for instance a solar-powered pump that is being provided American West Windmill and Solar, the master distributor stateside for German-made Lorentz Solar Pumps. “The beautiful marriage between them is that when there’s a lot of sunlight, that’s when you really want to be moving water through the filtration system, and that’s when your pump is going to be running at its peak,” says Cody Locknane, American West’s national sales manager. “A lot of people package the systems, but that’s not a requirement.”

However, going green isn’t cheap. The cost for a solar-powered pump can range from $4000 to $5000 and many are hesitant to make that kind of investment. But manufacturers maintain that the cost can be offset by two factors: savings from lower energy bills and 30 percent federal tax credit, which is slated to remain in place through 2016. This is especially true in states with high energy costs like California and Hawaii.

In the meantime though, pool owners may be more inclined to take advantage of other solar-powered products such as LED lights, in-pool chlorinators, and pool skimmers. But expansion in the solar arena for pool products is slow at best, leaving many to wonder what the future holds for solar products.

John Stiglmeier, president of RecWaterTec, which offers a solar-powered mineral purifier had this to say, “I think the pool and spa trade has been slow to respond to innovation in general. It’s just not an industry that embraces change. But things are changing, and the people in the pool industry who get out ahead of it are going to be the ones who’ll have the best opportunity to be successful. Consumers will drive this change.”

Pool Pump Energy Star Specs Released

Pool Pump Energy Star SpecsFinally! The government is set to release new specifications for pool pumps to achieve the coveted Energy Star certification. While many household items and appliances have the Energy Star label, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines, it will be the first time pool pumps are able to be given this rating. The certification has widespread implications from allowing consumers to choose more energy efficient options to allowing utility companies to offer incentives and rebates for homes using those products.

A recent final draft shows that pumps with an energy factor greater than, or equal to, 3.80 meet the Energy Star criteria. The energy factor is defined as the volume of water pumped in gallons per watt hour of electrical energy consumed by the pump motor.

However, the specifications are only the first step in the process, as testing methods and certification bodies must be approved. Additionally, products must have the features expected by consumers and save enough energy that consumers will be able to recoup additional costs through energy savings in a reasonable period of time.

Still, once approved, the Energy Star certification of pool pumps is good news for consumers and their wallets. For more information, http://energystar.gov/products/specs/node/187.