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Thread: Real World usages-Heat Pump vs Gas??

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    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Nyack, NY
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    Real World usages-Heat Pump vs Gas??

    I have read all the informative advertising and some posts that all boast of how efficient Heat Pumps are. But in most of the examples, the advertisers are using extreme conditions in hot climate locations year round.

    My question to all of you here is a simple one, I want to hear from those of you that are in the North East area that only use your pool for a few months a year. How do you feel about GAS vs a Heat Pump?

    Am I really going to save a considerable amount of money to make it worth it to sacrifice the slow desired temps that a heat pump gives you vs being able to reach the desired temps in a few hours with gas?


    Im in NY, I plan on only swimming a few days a week and on weekends only for 3 or 4 months that the north east region allows.


    Is it really that efficient to run a heat Pump 24/7 to maintain a desired temp just so it is always at that temp when I choose to swim 3 or 4 days a week vs just running gas a few hours on the days I want to swim? With these conditions factored in, do you still think I will be saving enough to make it worth it?
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Real World usages-Heat Pump vs Gas??

    Which one wins out depends on how much you pay for gas vs electricity. If your gas rate ($/therm) is 4.7x more than the electrical rate ($/kwh), the heat pump will win out. Less than that, the gas heater will cost less. Here are the numbers:

    80% efficient gas heater ~ 80,000 BTU/hr/Therm
    5.0 COP Heat Pump ~ 17,000 BTU/hr/kwh

    But remember too it is very hard to find a heat pump that will put out 400k BTU/hr so heat pumps take a lot longer to heat a pool than a gas heater. If you keep the pool heated all the time, it is not an issue but if you are looking for a faster heat up, gas is the way to go.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Real World usages-Heat Pump vs Gas??

    Well Mark has the math there for you to figure out your original question so I won't add much to that except to say that usually it is accepted that a heat pump just maintaining a set temp is more cost effective than a gas heater. Keep in mind your heat pump won't be running 24/7 unless you want it hotter than the water is all the time....In other words it will cycle just like the heat or ac in your home.
    What I wanna point out is that depending on your situation you may be able to do solar heating much cheaper than either gas or heat pump.
    If you have the sun exposure and a place to put the panels you could do your desired 3 to 4 month season with no problem.
    Keep in mind that the solar is more along the line of a one time investment since it can (usually) use your current pump to circulate the water through the panels and you won't be paying extra to the electric co.

    Just an idea for you to consider.
    25k gal vinyl AquaRite T-15

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    Re: Real World usages-Heat Pump vs Gas??

    Solar in our Geo is often dicey because of our winterization needs. Either with a heat pump or gas fired solution, a solar cover is strongly encouraged to reduce overnight losses from evaporation. Heat pumps are temperature and humidity sensitive in terms of efficiency while gas fired solution are not.

    Residential heat pumps lose a lot of the BTU transfer capability when temps drop to the 60s. The gas fired keeps its efficiency.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Real World usages-Heat Pump vs Gas??

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Which one wins out depends on how much you pay for gas vs electricity. If your gas rate ($/therm) is 4.7x more than the electrical rate ($/kwh), the heat pump will win out. Less than that, the gas heater will cost less. Here are the numbers:

    80% efficient gas heater ~ 80,000 BTU/hr/Therm
    5.0 COP Heat Pump ~ 17,000 BTU/hr/kwh

    But remember too it is very hard to find a heat pump that will put out 400k BTU/hr so heat pumps take a lot longer to heat a pool than a gas heater. If you keep the pool heated all the time, it is not an issue but if you are looking for a faster heat up, gas is the way to go.
    Bumping an old thread but this is by far the best way to compare the running costs of heat pumps vs natural gas that I have found!

    I am currently researching ways to heat my pool. The solar panels I installed worked great the first week since it was sunny. Now it's all cloudy and the panels do not provide enough heat for my liking. Looks like I will look into a natural gas heater for next year.

    Thanks.

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    Aug 2014
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    Madison/Wisconsin
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    Re: Real World usages-Heat Pump vs Gas??

    I had solar panels. I installed a 125k BTU Pentair heat pump. Pool volume = 28,000 gallons. This heat pump took my pool from 76 to 88 over night. A heat pump is BY FAR the most efficient means of heating a pool. I live in Wisconsin. The only issue I see with mine is heat loss at night. The cooler the air temperature the less efficient the heater is so it will run longer. So far we love our heat pump A LOT. It costs about as much as running our air conditioner for the house which is WAY less than a gas heater. A friend of mine recently changed from gas to a heat pump, he explained it best: to heat his pool up in June and use it keep warm in September cost him $500. With his heat pump he now heats his pool up in may, keeps it warm into October for $500
    Last edited by BoDarville; 08-06-2014 at 06:31 AM. Reason: Edited for readability

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    Re: Real World usages-Heat Pump vs Gas??

    I would think it depends on the cost of natural gas vs electriciy. From mas985's post it's easy to see where the break even point is for gas vs electricity. For me natural gas is slightly more expensive if the HP is running at 5 COP. But this probably won't be the case with cool nights. So I would say for me they should be about even in running costs but gas has the advantage of being much quicker. Also reduces pump runtime saving some electricity there as well.

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