Comparing Gas, GeoThermal, and Air-Source Heaters
Today I’m at Sand Hill Preserve, where we just finished installing four air-source heat pumps to heat their pool and spa. I wanted to take this opportunity to compare gas, GeoThermal, and air-source units.
They decided to install four air-source AquaCal SQ-166R heat pumps for budgetary reasons. These units can cool the pool during the summer and heat it during the winter. They also have a titanium heat exchanger, which is impervious to the chemical balance of the pool water, so you never have to worry about staining the pool. Our GeoThermal units have the same feature.
Gas heaters, which they used to use at Sand Hill Preserve, have a cupronickel coil. The copper will eventually be stripped out and will stain the pool walls a blue-green color. While we’re on the subject, Sand Hill Preserve paid almost $29,000 a year to heat the pool with gas heaters. With their new air-source heat pump, it’ll only cost them around $8,800 a year. Had they gone with GeoThermal units, they would have saved an additional $3,000 per year.
“They’ll save around $20,000 a year with their new units.”
GeoThermal pool heating units use surrounding water to heat the pool, while the air-source units use the surrounding air. However, that means that the air-source units can’t heat the water if it gets too cold, so the pool will lose heat at night. Also, if there’s a cold snap, they may have to rely on backup gas pool heaters. GeoThermal units would have had a more reliable heat source since there is a lake nearby, and they wouldn’t have needed a backup gas heater.
Air-source heaters have a seven- to 10-year serviceable life, and the closer you get to the coast, the shorter the life of the units. GeoThermal units have a 15- to 20-year serviceable life, even on the coast. Gas heaters only have a two- to five-year life, so even with the downsides, the air-source units are still a much better alternative to gas heaters.
We’re willing to work with any development and try to find the best way to heat your pool or spa. Just call or email us, and we can talk you through your options.