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Solar Pool Heating

Most swimming pools in South Africa are only used for two to three months per year, when outdoor temperatures are in the thirties. Average pool temperatures can drop to below twenty even in summer months, especially if a pool is partly or fully in the shade. With optimal swimming temperatures in the mid-to-high twenties, any pool needs a bit of help to reach these temperatures for longer periods.

Heating your pool can become a very costly exercise if you use traditional heating methods. There are however a number of technologies that can assist in a much more cost-effective manner. These include solar panels, which heat the water of your pool directly by pumping it through panels on the roof, and heat pumps, which combined energy from ambient air temperatures with electrical energy without needing direct heat from the sun.

Each heating method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Solar panels do not require any additional electricity, since it is the existing pump that is used to cycle water through the panels. On the other hand, a heat pump is just as effective and can be installed out of sight, making it more aesthetically pleasing.

In terms of price, solar pool heating is the cheaper solution, with fully installed systems ranging between R6,000 for a 20,000-litre pool and R10,000 for a 50,000-litre pool. Heat pump installations range from approximately R9,000 to R16,000.

Heating your pool effectively can increase the water temperature by between 4 and 9 degrees, and extend your swimming season by up to four months.

Articles and resources:

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