How MORE expensive is your electric bill (thinking about installing a heat pump)?

pisymbol

Gold Supporter
Jul 11, 2014
147
NJ
My wife complains that the water is too cold. Typically in the mid-to-late summer it gets to around 80-82 degrees, sometimes higher. But most of the time it hovers around 78-80.

My neighbor and a few colleagues have electric heaters. Gas is NOT an option due to the location of the gas hookup and the logistics of getting permits, the labor, etc. etc.

So question, how much more in electric per month do folks see when they have their heater turned on?

My pool is L-shaped, about 20x40.
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
Re: How MORE expensive is your electric bill (thinking about installing a heater)?

I agree, that is too cold! 85 is better. :)

Your best electric option will be a heat pump. You can also look into solar panels. They will provide heat for free if you have a good place facing south or west to install them.

Another thing to try first is a solar cover. They are used at night to retain heat and slow overnight heat loss. You probably want one anyway if you are paying to heat your pool. Might want to try that first and see if you can pick up 5 degrees. We recommend the thinnest cover for easier handling and they are cheaper and last almost as long as thicker covers.

Here is one, Yard Guard Clear Choice Solar Blanket 20' X 40' Rectangle - 8 Mil. 20' X 40' Rectangle Solar Blanket. HPI SB2040CL3.
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
4,049
FL
Re: How MORE expensive is your electric bill (thinking about installing a heater)?

If you are worried about cost why not consider solar.

What does your neighbor and or colleagues pay in electric when they run their heat pumps?
 

pisymbol

Gold Supporter
Jul 11, 2014
147
NJ
Re: How MORE expensive is your electric bill (thinking about installing a heater)?

If you are worried about cost why not consider solar.

What does your neighbor and or colleagues pay in electric when they run their heat pumps?
All reports of solar have been dubious at best. Do you have a specific suggestion?

Well, they reported something outrageous like $300 extra a month! I couldn't believe that. I had a colleague tell me about $100-200 a SEASON.

Also, I don't know how big of a heat pump to get. I see the Hayward pumps are like 3k bucks. I was a little surprised they were that much.
 

RobbieH

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 30, 2010
4,052
Dallas, TX
My neighbor across the street told me it can cost him $1000 a month to heat his pool on GAS, much less electricity. He's filthy rich, so he doesn't care. I don't have a heater, so I have no first-hand experience.

I want to ask about the solar blankets. Do they really work? Do they have to cover the entire pool, or will a couple floating on the pool help? I have a very large, irregular surface to cover, so I'm curious to know what I could do to extend my swim season with solar blankets.
 

Nectarologist

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2015
578
New York
Use the following below to calculate the cost per hour to run the system. It's too bad that gas isn't possible b/c it's cheap. If you use a solar blanket like pooldv suggests you'll keep A LOT of the heat in at night. On those warm (70+ degrees) humid nights you won't even have to put it back on. Just find out how long it takes a particular heater to raise the temp x degrees and you'll know how long you need to run it. Also consider the savings of the unit itself vs the heat pump. The example below is for a room heater not a pool but same idea. You will use your pool much more if you can have it at a comfy temp. If a solar blanket is not really an option the liquid blankets helps keep heat in (not as well but not bad either).


In order to calculate the average operating cost for any electrical appliance you can use the following formula:

watts/1000 = kW x hours of operation = kWh x kWh rate = cost

Watts can usually be found on the appliance nameplate.

If the nameplate lists amps:
volts x amps = watts

Example: How much does it cost to operate a portable electric heater? An electric heater wattage is usually given on the unit itself, or with the literature that comes with it. This example is 1000 watts. If you use the heater an average of 45 hours during winter months (1/2 hour per day for the three winter months). The City Electric Services electric rate during the winter is $.068. So -

1000 watts/1000 = 1 kW x 45 hours of operation = 45 kWh x $.068 = $3.06

Now we have an 8 amp heater. The calculation changes just a bit:
8 amps x 120 volts household current = 960 watts/1000 = .96 kW x 45 hours = 43.2 kWh x $.068 = $2.94

My pool pump for example:

1,840 watts (115 volts X 16 amps per Jandy)
1840 / 1000 = 1.84 kW X 8 hours of operation = 14.72 kWh X $.10 (cost/kWh) = $1.472 per day to run pool pump ($44.16 / month & $185.47 for summer of 2016 (May 14 – September 17).
 

Nectarologist

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2015
578
New York
My neighbor across the street told me it can cost him $1000 a month to heat his pool on GAS, much less electricity. He's filthy rich, so he doesn't care. I don't have a heater, so I have no first-hand experience.

I want to ask about the solar blankets. Do they really work? Do they have to cover the entire pool, or will a couple floating on the pool help? I have a very large, irregular surface to cover, so I'm curious to know what I could do to extend my swim season with solar blankets.
The blanket work very well at holding heat in (not so much at actually heating it to a noticeable level). Any area you don't cover will allow heat to escape so the more you cover the better. But if you leave a section uncovered it's not like all the heat will rush out of that one spot at once. If you have a large area consider cutting solar blankets into sections that are manageable. Some people use a pvc pipe to then roll up the sections. Have another person grab the other end and lift it out of the water.

The 1k per month is crazy. I've never had my bill more than $90 more than usual with the heater. But My pool is 21k gallons or so, I don't have water features where I'd imaging a lot of heat can escape and my pool gets a ton of sun. Many factors to consider of course. I keep it at 86 and often turn it to 88 though.
 

RobbieH

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 30, 2010
4,052
Dallas, TX
I estimate his pool at 36k gallons, and 1/2 of the edge (entire far side and back of pool) is an infinity edge, dropping a waterfall approximately 10' to the intake grates.
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
Sounds like the heat is leaving the pool almost as fast as it gets there and they are basically heating the whole neighborhood. You know, like your parents used to say, shut the door we aren't heating the whole neighborhood! :)
 

danpik

TFP Guide
Jun 4, 2012
1,752
western NY
My neighbor across the street told me it can cost him $1000 a month to heat his pool on GAS,
I did a quick calculation and based on the following assumptions... Gas cost of $1.50/therm (which is real high), 400,000 BTU heater, he would be running that heater 6 hours/day to burn that much gas. Not sure what gas rates are in TX
 

RobbieH

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 30, 2010
4,052
Dallas, TX
We are on non-deregulated electricity in our city (it's a good thing, trust me) and we currently pay $0.1030 per kWh. I believe he runs his all year long, so it could be the winter months that are a real beating.

This is the guy that gives the dry cleaner owner a $20 tip every time he picks up clothes, and gives a couple of kids $100 for moving a treadmill. I've seen it.

EDIT: Oops, that is electricity. I'm pretty sure his is gas.

Rider WNA 0.04006165
Consump Chrg 0.09931
Rider GCR 0.43325
 

pisymbol

Gold Supporter
Jul 11, 2014
147
NJ
Use the following below to calculate the cost per hour to run the system. It's too bad that gas isn't possible b/c it's cheap. If you use a solar blanket like pooldv suggests you'll keep A LOT of the heat in at night. On those warm (70+ degrees) humid nights you won't even have to put it back on. Just find out how long it takes a particular heater to raise the temp x degrees and you'll know how long you need to run it. Also consider the savings of the unit itself vs the heat pump. The example below is for a room heater not a pool but same idea. You will use your pool much more if you can have it at a comfy temp. If a solar blanket is not really an option the liquid blankets helps keep heat in (not as well but not bad either).


In order to calculate the average operating cost for any electrical appliance you can use the following formula:

watts/1000 = kW x hours of operation = kWh x kWh rate = cost

Watts can usually be found on the appliance nameplate.

If the nameplate lists amps:
volts x amps = watts

Example: How much does it cost to operate a portable electric heater? An electric heater wattage is usually given on the unit itself, or with the literature that comes with it. This example is 1000 watts. If you use the heater an average of 45 hours during winter months (1/2 hour per day for the three winter months). The City Electric Services electric rate during the winter is $.068. So -

1000 watts/1000 = 1 kW x 45 hours of operation = 45 kWh x $.068 = $3.06

Now we have an 8 amp heater. The calculation changes just a bit:
8 amps x 120 volts household current = 960 watts/1000 = .96 kW x 45 hours = 43.2 kWh x $.068 = $2.94

My pool pump for example:

1,840 watts (115 volts X 16 amps per Jandy)
1840 / 1000 = 1.84 kW X 8 hours of operation = 14.72 kWh X $.10 (cost/kWh) = $1.472 per day to run pool pump ($44.16 / month & $185.47 for summer of 2016 (May 14 – September 17).
How long though do heat pumps run a day?

I did the math and at 4 hours a day for a largish Hayward (6.4kW) it was 330 bucks a month. PSEG is like .19 kWh.
 

txnole

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2014
544
Amelia Island, FL
If you have southern exposure, the temp on your roof is ~20+ degrees above the air temp, so even when it's in the 50s you could be boosting your water temps. We chose solar because the wife likes the water @ 86 deg.
 

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
10,146
Eastern Ohio
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
We've had ours for the last few months of last season. With our cheap rates .08¢ per KWH our bill went up about $100 a month. This was keeping the pool around 85°-88° and using a covert frequently. It took some time to get the temp up to that range, but once it was there the heat pump would only run 3-4 hours per day. On average we saw about a 1° increase for every hour the heat pump was running.

That said, this year with 75° weather tops so far it's running non-stop trying to get the cold water up to temp. We see about a .5° increase per hour with these colder temps. I can't speak just yet as what the bill will be.
 

pisymbol

Gold Supporter
Jul 11, 2014
147
NJ
We've had ours for the last few months of last season. With our cheap rates .08¢ per KWH our bill went up about $100 a month. This was keeping the pool around 85°-88° and using a covert frequently. It took some time to get the temp up to that range, but once it was there the heat pump would only run 3-4 hours per day. On average we saw about a 1° increase for every hour the heat pump was running.

That said, this year with 75° weather tops so far it's running non-stop trying to get the cold water up to temp. We see about a .5° increase per hour with these colder temps. I can't speak just yet as what the bill will be.
Thanks Leebo. Hmmm. Well according to PSE&G it looks like my rate is about .10 cents more than yours (give or take). So my calculation of $130 extra a month may not be so far fetched. Couple that with A/C and we are looking at a $500 PS&G bill (high efficiency HVAC is definitely on the list).
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
4,049
FL
So just out of curiosity, what would be your gas consumption costs be? I'm guessing you have natural in your area. Granted the initial cost of install might be high.
 

pisymbol

Gold Supporter
Jul 11, 2014
147
NJ
So just out of curiosity, what would be your gas consumption costs be? I'm guessing you have natural in your area. Granted the initial cost of install might be high.
My guess is gas is at a minimum double the cost.

And the initial cost is thousands of dollars plus heater. Between permit, running the gas line out, etc. etc. I can save some of the cost digging the whole myself but still it will be very costly.

I have an electrical outlet. Now I just realized that it probably has to be 20A? (it might be that anyway)

EDIT: Nevermind, my pump and lights are on 20A circuits.
 

Geebot

Well-known member
Aug 19, 2013
931
My guess is gas is at a minimum double the cost.

And the initial cost is thousands of dollars plus heater. Between permit, running the gas line out, etc. etc. I can save some of the cost digging the whole myself but still it will be very costly.

I have an electrical outlet. Now I just realized that it probably has to be 20A? (it might be that anyway)

EDIT: Nevermind, my pump and lights are on 20A circuits.
You need 240v service for an electric heat pump and probably 40-60A. Your purchase price for a heat pump is likely twice what you'd pay for a gas heater.