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Community and Q&A

Existing Swimming Pool

user-735982 | Posted in Mechanicals on

Hello All,

I realize that swimming pools aren’t necessarily green but I have some potential clients that just moved into a home and they would like to find the most “green” way to heat their existing swimming pool. Can someone point me in some possible direction that might be worth looking at?

They have good solar exposure and they live in an area about an hour north of San Francisco that has hot summers and pretty mild winters.



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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    If they want to heat the water in their swimming pool, the most environmentally friendly way to do so is with a solar thermal system. Low-temperature solar collectors for pools don't need glazing, so they are much cheaper per square foot than solar thermal collectors that are used to make domestic hot water.

  2. SLSTech | | #2

    The greenest way - cover the pool when it is not in use as this helps hold in the heat & prevents water from evaporating. Also very important is making sure you have the most efficient pump you can get as most of the heating systems require the pump to be running.

    While you provided some of the needed information, you left a few important items like; are you trying to heat this year round or just extend the season, what is a comfortable temp for them, gallons, etc...
    For year round, you can basically forget about those systems sold for pools as they are mostly designed to only add a month to each end of the swimming season.

    There are quite a few good companies in Arizona & California that do nothing but pool heating & can help you design the heating system that meets your needs. I know one that tied it into the pool deck which also helped keep the deck walkable

  3. user-946029 | | #3

    On the broader topic of "green" pools, Pentair makes an extremely efficient pool pump. You might want to check that out.

    *I am not affiliated with Pentair in any way.

  4. user-958851 | | #4

    I live in the bay area and have solar pool heating. System is sized so that, when covered, peak summer pool temps can reach 95 (cover is a pain though and not required). The total season can extend from May to October (a bit more if you don't mind swimming in mid 70's F water). If I decide to put in solar thermal for DHW I may just oversize a bit and run the loop through a final heat exchanger for the pool. This could make the system more effective for DHW in the winter and use the abundance of extra heat in the summer for the pool. Where I live, it's just not warm enough to be able to even use the pool in the summer without adding some heat so doing nothing and having a short swim season is not even an option (one drawback to a relatively stable and mild climate).

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