I am hoping for some input from the community on the best way to heat our pool. It is a 18 x 36, approximately 27,000 gallon pool on the Southcoast, MA, near Cape Cod, but not on it. My wife and I would like to heat the pool to 85 degrees from late May/June through the middle of September. During the middle of the summer the pool gets at least 8 hours of sunlight, and will usually be above 85 just with the judicial use of a solar cover. When not in use we always have a solar cover on the pool. I was pretty set on installing a 140k BTU heat pump and started talking to my uncle who is an electrician about wiring and he said that the pool expert where he works recommends a propane heater. I am hoping you guys could give me some feedback on which you think is the best choice.
Initial cost is not a big factor to us, however monthly operating costs are and I feel this is where the heat pump will most likely win out. We use the pool mostly after work on weekdays and on weekend during the summer, so no real set schedule such as weekends only for swimming. If we were to install the heat pump I would need to pour a pad, hook up the pipes and most likely have an electrician run a new power line. For the propane heater we would need to pour a pad, install/buy a tank, hookup the pipes and propane. Propane prices around us average $3/gal. and electricity is $0.11199/kWh delivered. I have done the math and from what other people report, I think the heat pump should have a lower monthly operating cost if we set it to 85 and forget it per se. The propane I would have to manage when it runs and how much and try to keep the water as comfortable as possible. Please let me know if I am way off base here.
I have read just about every thread in this section on heat pumps and there is still no clear cut winner vs a gas heater for my situation. I appreciate any and all insight, criticism etc.
Thanks for your time!