We are in the NW FLorida Panhandle (Destin), and are planning to replace our Tropical/Aquacal T-115B-A Scroll Compressor Heat Pump bought in 1999. Overall, this has been a very good and largely trouble-free unit, but we do like to swim in 90 - 94 degree water and this heat pump generally achieves that from about mid-March until late October. Ideally, I'd like to squeeze out another month on each end and get up to a 9 1/2 to 10 month swim season. During those 4 1/2 shoulder months, average highs drop from approx 70 - 75 to approx 55 - 60 and average lows are generally low 60s down to the 40s and sometimes 30s.
I've read about icebreaker technology on the Aquacals and have wondered if those or similar units would provide the additional power and/or operability in the cooler seasons to heat our 7800 gallon pool (12 x 24 kidney shape, 3 to 6 feet deep) at temps of at least 90. We shut it off for the season when the pool can no longer maintain a temp in the low 90s as the air cools.
Does anyone have recommendations that would best fit? An oversized heater is fine as well, assuming it will heat more quickly and/or supply additional power versus other models as the air cools.
Optionally, we can also use natural gas, but I have always presumed this would be too expensive. Is this correct? We do NOT usually use a pool cover from April/May - September, but generally use one during the early and latter portions of the season to assist the heater and reduce excessive costs.