stevie b

New member
Jul 4, 2010
HI all, having new pool 11m x 4m x 1.4m deep (lucky I know, but wont elaborate why!).
Any advice on best/most cost effective heating apprec.
Looked to go green if poss but real doubts about the claims of all these companies who obv want to sell their products!

Thought of wood pellet boiler to do pool and whole hse but just found out, you 'dont' get UK payback for pool heating element tho do for hse. Heard of pellet jamming probs/supply issues possibly varying prices (NW of UK) and really not sure if this will be a load of hassle and if this will work out v expensive for the heating of the pool/restocking of wood pellets.
Thought of air-heat exchanger but dont want constant noise outside as very quiet plot.

Thought of grd source as enough land but heard these wont do the job without substantiual back up needed anyway

Think now maybe gas - as tried and tested tho future gas prices? May combine this with 100 tubes solar thermal - but do these actually do anything substantial? Again all very limited guarantees on what they all do except may be air source/gas, so any experiences much apprec.
cheers Simon

Typical quandry I suppose but any 'non-biased' help much apprec.


TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
South Central NJ
As I see it, you have two options in your region of the world, natural gas or none.

An indoor pool with a gas fired heater with its exhaust vented outside will work all year long. Keep the incoming air above 15-C and acidic condensation will not be a problem.

A heat pump would need to be outside and for the temps outside to be at least 15 degrees to work. This will be an issue in your climate for almost half the year.

Solar panels will have Winter issues. If the pipes aren't empty outside, they will freeze and crack.



Well-known member
Apr 24, 2010
Worcester UK
Stevie, have a look at and a read of the blogs. Some interesting stuff there. I shuddered at the fact that the recommended size of heater for our pool was larger than the c/heating boiler for the house.

We have a polycarbonate cover so you could say that the pool is almost an indoor pool. The cover acts as solar heating. This year the first swim was on 22 May, at 25 deg C (77 F). The highest temp recently was 31 C (88 F) in exceptionally hot weather. Last year (with terrible weather) the last swim was late August. I hope for better this year, possibly into mid-September. You could say that this is what you will get if you have solar panels the size of your pool, bearing in mind that your pool may well be better insulated. For all-year swimming you will have to go to a gas/oil boiler, with the associated running costs.

stevie b

New member
Jul 4, 2010
Thanks folks - so I take it gas powered and forget even solar panels? cheers Simon

Re wood pellet option - we do need pool 30 degr c daily for our disabled son to use - any estimates of running costs for just pool heat ....or no. of tons of pellets p annum as this is what concerns me - not that it wont do the job, as wood boilers apparently 'prefer' to tick over constantly - but what does really concern me is that pellet tonnage will be astronomical?


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
SW Louisiana
I am in a different climate than you, but I would certainly consider solar panels as a supplemental option. You likely have the roof space above the pool already, and every bit of extra heat helps. Solar for pools has came a long way in the last few years, can be set up to turn off and self drain at night with a simple vacuum break valve, etc.


Here in Louisiana (31 degrees north, typical winter lows where it is rare to stay below freezing for more than 24 hours at a time, ponds and lakes freeze over about once every 20 years, summer highs average in the upper 80's to mid 90's F from June - Sept with nightly lows around 70-75F)

With an indoor pool with no heating system the comfortable swim season is from June-Sept

With the older supplemental solar system I currently have (in need of replacement due to leaks/age) this can be extended for about 1 month or so on each end (keeping water above 70F utilizing a roof area about equal to the pool surface)

I plan to upgrade this winter to a more modern set of collector tubes, and increase surface area slightly (along with other renovations) which I will hope allows for a 8-9 month swim season.

My pool was once equipped with an electric heater, however cost of operation in the winter made it cost prohibitive to justify (over a thousand dollars to heat up the water from cold, and about that much per month in the winter to maintain it, this was in 1980's dollars)

stevie b

New member
Jul 4, 2010
Ok thanks for that - will consider this solar option definitely - architect I met with last night said could do this with ground source with solar back up - however, have heard that you 'do' need a 'top up' facility with grd source - and if say in winter - then solar will not do this - am I going to have to face high electric top up bills espec in winter do you think? Any views welcome cheers Simon :hammer:

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