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Pool Heating in Surprise, Arizona

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Aquacal T90 Pool Heat Pump Review

Posted by Mark Arizona  
     
Installed late November 2016 to replace an aging 400,000 BTU gas heater that heated the water fast but cost a lot to run.  Any time we used the pool a lot, I always cringed when the next natural gas bill arrived!

Since I was having some HVAC work done on the house, I paid the crew to install the pool heat pump too since they had installed them before.  In hindsight I paid them way too much as it took just an hour for two guys and I could have done it myself with a little help to place the unit.  Oh well.

In December/January in the Phoenix area, the days are cool (50-60F) and nights are fairly cold (35-40F) and while the heater can most definitely raise the water from an initial 50F to our desired 90F (with the thermal cover on), it really struggled to do so.  It took 5 days to get there (running 12 hours a day) and then it had to run 6-8 hours a day to maintain it.  Unless you have guests and plan on doing a LOT of swimming in Jan/Feb it probably isn’t worth heating those two months in a desert climate like this, but yes it is capable if you REALLY need it.  To be fair, Asa actually did warn me about this so it wasn’t a total surprise, but just be aware if you have similar climate.

It is now mid-February and a different story.  The days (70-80F) and nights (50-60F) are warmer and the heat pump easily maintains the desired 90F, running 2-3 hours a day to make up for the overnight losses (again, thermal cover on).  Based on our high natural gas rates and low winter electric rates, I am saving a lot of money and projecting a 3 year payout on the incremental upgrade cost over replacing my aging gas heater which I had to do anyway.  Also, since it heats so slowly I now keep the water at 90F and we can use it any time, unlike the gas heater which I used only when we wanted to swim (since it heated much faster) and let it cool off in between use, so we found we didn’t swim nearly as much.   In March and April we have more visitors coming and expect to swim every day and it should be even easier to maintain.

Bottom line, after almost three months I am happy with the heat pump and think you will be too so long as you know how it struggles when the air Surpriserature is low and that it heats the water much, much slower than gas… so once you get it to the desired Surpriserature you’ll probably want to maintain it there.  On the plus side, the pool is ready to use all the time so you will end up using it more.

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