I have been taking some heat from some of my blog reading buddies lately for not writing enough about Swimming pool heat pumps, and how they can save you thousands of dollars when you are heating or cooling pools, homes and businesses, and of course my favorite industries: aquaculture and aquaponics. At first I was a little put off, as there are so many important subjects in the business world, that if we can utilize them, we can make what we do easier, or if not that, at least make us more successful. If you are more successful, then you are solving more problems for your customers, and as I always have believed, making the world a better, less stressed place.
I thought about it a bit and realized that it was true that I have not been giving enough time to sharing heat pump information with my friends. It’s a subject that I have devoted my life to. Heat pumps, when properly sized, save a ton of money heating and cooling water and air. If you ever have someone in your backyard make a blanket statement that swimming pool heat pumps don’t work here, while they are trying to sell you a propane heater, then you can easily say, “Show me the BTU’s per dollar.” If a pool heat pump works in Norway and Canada, then they will work in California and Italy for sure. A gallon of propane has 91,500 BTU’s. If your gas heater burns 3 gallons per hour then you will have payed $7.50 that day. Natural gas has 100,000 BTU’s per therm. Figure out what a therm costs where you live and do the math. If a heat pump has 136,000 BTU’s like my big pool and aquaculture heat pump does, and uses 6 KW an hour, and you pay 10 cents per KWH, then you will have spent $1.80 for three hours of running,and will have put 408,000 BTU’s into the pool. That is at the best test conditions, but you get the point. It is not mysterious, as it is just numbers. How much you pay, and then how much heat you get. The speed of the payback for new equipment can be amazingly fast.
I visited a friend in Massachusetts a few years ago to catch up on old times and swim in his pool. When I was a kid I would go to his home and watch as his dad and grandpa build a pool in his backyard. They were from the old country, and were expert stone masons. I am not sure if they knew how to build a pool, but it was fun to watch. The problem was, that they took 3 or 4 years to complete it, and before it was finished, my family moved to the other side of the country. I was so looking forward to swimming in that pool as a kid. It was supposed to be finished every year that I was there. He was the only kid that I knew in town with an inground big pool. 30 plus years later I was invited to visit him when I was in the area and he suggested a pool party. I brought barbeque supplies and drinks. My wife was excited to meet one of my childhood friends and my daughter was just excited just to go swimming. It was a beautiful sunny day in July with temperatures in the 80’s. When I first saw the pool I was so impressed. There was a huge stone wall at the back of the pool with water features and fountains. Behind the wall was a long shed that held the propane gas heater. Not a pool heat pump, but once in the water, “warm is warm” I thought. I jumped in, and was immediately shocked that the water was in the 60’s. That is freezing to me. I don’t want to exaggerate too much, but I thought that I had just fallen into the Arctic Sea while fishing for crab on the on a TV show. I was hoping someone would call the Coast Guard to save me. I think I said a bad word because I saw that look that I know too well on my wife’s face when I surfaced. Maybe a string of bad words. Not sure, as I was beginning to feel paralyzed. My words were a bit slurred. I thought I couldn’t swim in that cold of water but then realized that it didn’t matter, as I could just stand up and walk out, because I was in the children’s section. I turned to my dry friend laying in the sun, and asked why he had not turned on the propane heater to warm the pool for us? He looked at me like I was crazy, and said that I should know how expensive propane was. I obviously wasn’t propane worthy.
I hope you don’t freeze your guests, your fish or your marine mammals, you zoo guys out there. Humans like water in a narrow range. Fish grow better when they are happy. If you are shivering and squinting your eyes shut, then after a few years you will have laugh wrinkles around your eyes, and you won’t be laughing. Hey, I am not a plastic surgeon type doctor, but I played one during halloween when I was a kid. So this isn’t medical advice, but it is good host advice. Make people comfortable for a reasonable price, and you will be the life of the party. This goes for you hotel, motel, campground and resort type people. Warm guests are happy guests. They come back year after year. They buy cold drinks. If it costs too much to heat the pool then switch to heat pumps. Friends don’t let friends swim cold.
Have an amazing summer. Don’t pay $50,000 for a nice pool and then only use it for 2 weeks in July. January for all my South American buddies in the hospitality industry. As Frankenstein’s monster once said: “Warm pool good, Cold pool bad…..very bad.”
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“Mine is installed and working, I called Marcus a couple times on Saturday, All I can say is he is awesome, and very patient. I did end up calling a local contractor to hook up the desuperheater pump, and the drain valve. the furnace is cranking out the heat.
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