I personally have been in the pool and spa industry for around 25 years.
A lot has stayed the same and a lot has changed. One thing that has
changed a lot is the style of heaters one sees sold in the Cincinnati
market. 15 years ago consumers did not have many options to heat their
pools, it was either natural gas or propane. A little over 10 years ago
we started selling electric heat pumps and since then every year we see
the percentage of new pool gas heater drop in favor of heat pumps, and
for good reason.
Gas heaters typically have a copper heating element. Copper is a great way to transfer the heat, the only down fall is that the copper in the heat exchangers begin to degrade and we start to see copper staining in just about all pools with a gas heater. This turns into a headache for pool owners because these stains are unsightly and takes a fair amount of chemicals and work to have these stains removed. High copper levels also cause green hair, just like the staining of a liner, copper when oxidized stains just about anything it’s exposed to.
Heat pumps do not use copper in their heaters. These manufacturers typically use titanium as a heat exchanger. Titanium is a lot more durable and does not stain, so it does away with a lot of potential problems. Another huge advantage titanium over copper heat exchangers, most heat pump manufacturers have a lifetime warranty on the heat exchanger as opposed to gas most gas heaters carrying on average a 2 year warranty. Heat pumps normally have no chemical exclusions as part of the warranty. What a chemical exclusions is basically voiding a warranty because the water chemistry in a swimming pool is not quite right. Mostly it would be caused be the water being too acidic but there are other reasons as well. This extra coverage gives consumers a much greater piece of mind, because let’s face it, sometimes people don’t do as good of a job as they should keeping an eye on their chemical levels.
If those reasons weren’t good enough to sway you toward a heat pump, I’ve got one more good reason. It save the consumer money, and a lot of it. Heating a pool is not a cheap proposition. What heat pumps do, is work with weather conditions that naturally occur in the Cincinnati market. The heat pump takes humidity in the air and condenses it. This makes the typical savings of a heat pump about 30% less than natural gas.