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HVAC, hot water, pool heat dump, combination supplier?

user-5924747 | Posted in Mechanicals on

I am building a new home for myself that I am trying to make as
efficient as possible , the home will be in Cave Creek , Arizona , in the
summer it reaches up around 115 degrees . The home itself will have approx.
3700sqft liveable , will have a swimming pool ( approx. 800sqft ) approx. 9ft deepest ,
there will also be a Jacuzzi , the pool will be a natural one ( no chemicals ) and will
have a constant flow of water through plants and a waterfall , additional
sprays can be used at night to aid cooling , I will also have solar
photovalvic and hot water panels available . I think I will be looking for a
VRF air condensing unit that is combined with a geothermal water heat
exchanger , maybe there is a combined heat exchanger/air handling unit
available , I would prefer the internal air be regular ducted for the main
living areas and maybe using regular ducted or splits for the beds/baths
dependent on cost . The main idea is in the summer to dump as much heat into
the pool/Jacuzzi/hot water loop ( for shower/taps etc ) as possible , then
in the winter have the reverse , using the solar water heaters to
continuously dump hot water into the pool ( maybe via the exchanger ) and
then use that heat sink back via an exchanger to heat the home/hot water
loop during the winter . Do you know of anyone who can do this or point me in the right direction

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    First of all, your swimming pool is too small to be used as a source of heat for a water-source heat pump. This type of system usually needs a lake or a large pond.

    Second, in winter your heat pump will be lowering the temperature of your swimming pool, and lowering it quickly. I'm not sure that you want that. There may be times of the year when you house needs space heat, and you would still like to swim -- and a cold swimming pool might bum you out.

    Third, your proposal includes a lot of expensive equipment. The high capital cost of this expensive equipment will be higher than any expected energy savings. If you go with a simple system based on ductless minisplits or ducted minisplits, the cost of the equipment will be much lower, and your system will still be energy-efficient. You can install enough PV to balance out your annual electrical use (including your space heating and cooling) if you want -- but you should skip the solar thermal collectors and the water-source heat pump idea.

    Fourth, if you want to talk to an engineer to help you design your system, you should talk to:

    David Butler
    Optimal Building
    4554 Paseo Brazos
    Sierra Vista, AZ 85635

  2. user-5924747 | | #2

    Thanks Martin , I had thought through some of your points already , firstly I had thought a heat exchanger would take up some of the capacity in the summer , for the regular hot water , jacuzzi and pool but then a regular system would take over , second I thought the solar water heaters using the pool as a dump would make the water warm throughout the day ie for swimming and then take out the heat at night , third and biggest - expense , your right on that , no one seems to do a system like this and getting it purpose made is way too high , I will probably still have water source solar collectors just for hot water heating , that will save me a few $$$ , many thanks for your input its appreciated

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