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Check out a review of the most popular and top rated heat pumps for swimming pools with the comparison of the main features and specs. Most of the popular brands of heat pumps today have a good quality, but the differences can be found in the warranty terms, available features, efficiency, service and cost.
Swimming pool heat pump is used, as its name indicates, to heat above or underground swimming pools and therefore extend the season. It works in a similar fashion as other heat pumps. It uses the evaporator to extract the heat from surrounding air, compressor to increase the temperature of the refrigerant and condenser to release the heat to the water. Off course there are other elements needed for an efficient and reliable heating; such as the controllers, filters and different valves.
Heat pumps for swimming pools are greatly used in warm southern regions because of the sun’s influence on warming the air. They are more expensive up front than a standard pool heater such as gas or electric and since they are cheaper to operate in the long run, they can end up paying for themselves over time.
As the main parts are compressors, swimming pool heat pumps utilize mainly two types of compressors; an advanced scroll compressor that is designed for varying temperatures and maximum efficiency, and the reciprocating compressor that it costs less but is not as quiet or efficient as the scroll-type.
The AquaCal heat pumps for swimming pools come with a 2-year labor warranty, 7-year parts warranty, and a lifetime compressor warranty. It is one of the quietest heat pumps as it operates at only 55 decibels thanks to the SuperQuiet technology.
You also get digital control panels that can give you two separate settings – one for your pool and one for your spa. The digital controls mean you get almost no temperature fluctuations – just one degree on either side of your setting. User locks mean you can put a code on your controls to keep little fingers from accidentally making changes.
The exteriors are made from UV-treated plastic so they won’t fade, rust, or decay. The ThermoLink titanium heat exchangers are extraordinarily efficient, and they can process as much as 30 gallons per minute.
Hayward swimming pool heat pumps come with a two year labor and heat exchanger warranty, and a ten year compressor warranty. It’s a little noisier than the AquaCal, running at 60 decibels.
Hayward’s ultra-gold evaporator coils are corrosion resistant and provide energy efficiency. They work even in coastal regions. The UV resistant outer shells and stainless steel components also help these units hold up in rough weather. Screens made of polyethylene protect the evaporator coils so dirt and debris won’t cause harm. Dual electronic thermostats help ensure you enjoy a consistent temperature in your pool, plus they give you diagnostic codes during self-testing. Scroll compressors and acoustic wraps help give you a quiet operation.
Jandy heat pumps for swimming pools have a one year labor and heat exchanger warranty and a five year compressor warranty. It’s slightly quieter at 59 decibels. These models have a unique feature called Auto-Heat so the heat pump can turn on the pool pump and keep your pool at a perfect temperature all the time. You can connect it to other Jandy products via the Aqualink controls system. Titanium heat exchangers are basically corrosion-proof, so you will have a long-lasting and highly efficient unit.
Pentair’s Ultra Temp model has a two year labor and heat exchanger warranty plus a lifetime compressor warranty. It’s right in the middle in terms of noise at 58 decibels. Pentair models can combine with many other Pentair pool products like filters and pumps. The heat pumps have dual digital controls that are programmable in Spanish and English, and they can be set to maintain a constant pool temperature all the time. UV treated plastic cabinets stand up to the weather and the sun for years. Like Jandy, the heat exchangers are made out of titanium and the Emerson Copeland scroll compressor will give you years of service with 70% fewer parts than other types of compressors.
Rheem makes the M8350ti which has a generous seven year labor, two year heat exchanger, and ten year compressor warranty. It is, however, one of the loudest models in this group - at 64 decibels. The polyester powder-coated paint on the cabinets and steel shell give you a unit that will last a long time. Choose from either a digital or an analog controller to set the temperature controls where you want them. Titanium tubes help transfer heat efficiently to the water and the Copeland scroll compressors give you long life.
Only the HVAC dealer or contractor can make sure you get the right heat pump for swimming pool. They vary by size and capacity and require a little different rating than a standard heat pump would. By comparing the top models it is worth mentioning that the AquaCal models have the highest COP and BTU output, Jandy highest water flow rate and AquaCal and Pentair the longest warranty – lifetime on heat exchangers.