Do Pool Heaters Use Freon?

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Being able to enjoy your swimming pool all year round is such a dream. With that, you might want to install heaters in your pool to relish the benefits of swimming—even on a chilly day. Pool heaters have various components, and probably one of the questions you might have is whether pool heaters use freon. Don’t worry, we have answers for you!

Depending on what type of pool heater you purchased, yours may or may not be using Freon. Heat pump pool heaters use Freon or other refrigerant brands, while gas-fired pool heaters do not.

  • Heat pumps use refrigerants like Freon to regulate temperature. 
  • Gas-fired heaters burn gas that heats copper coils. 

It is also important to note that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated the ban of new productions of Freons as of January 2020 and opts for more eco-friendly refrigerants like R-410A or Puron. 

Now that you've learned whether your pool heater uses Freon or not, you might also be wondering more about refrigerants, working heat pumps, troubleshooting tips, and propane pool heating—so keep reading the additional details below!

Heat pump for pool, Do Pool Heaters Use Freon?

Do Pool Heaters Use Freon?

It depends on your pool heater unit. Newer heat pumps will not use Freons as per EPA’s mandate. So, for installation or maintenance purposes, you may want to check the year when your heater is produced. 

You can consult a professional or you can also determine it yourself. Systems made before 2010 use Freon while those made beyond 2010 will most likely have Puron instead.

Heating System for pool

What are Refrigerants?

Refrigerant is a chemical blend used in air conditioning systems and heat pumps. The refrigerant cycles through the unit and is responsible for absorbing and releasing heat during the process. If your unit is working correctly, it should never leak at all. Most importantly, your refrigerant should never run out. 

Lowered refrigerant levels may indicate poor performance, low efficiency, or even a leak or tear in your unit. So, it is important to keep your refrigerant levels high enough. The next section will discuss the steps on how to add refrigerants. 

How do you add refrigerant to your pool heater?

Refrigerant refilling heat pump

Adding refrigerant to your pool heater is important for it to keep working properly. However, handling refrigerants can be dangerous, so if you have not had any previous experience working with refrigerants, it is ideal to hire a professional to help you. It is also important to consider various general freon regulations and local policies in your area. 

Here are the steps for adding refrigerant to your pool heater:

  1. Check your gauges to see whether you need to add refrigerant and if so, how much is needed. 
  2. Connect the gauges and hoses to their respective refrigerant lines. The red gauge and red hose connect to the high-side refrigerant line, while the blue gauge and hose go to the low side. The high sideline is the smaller tube, while the low sideline is the larger one.
  3. Once the gauges are already connected, check the recommended temperature for your refrigerant. If the numbers are below the recommendations given, the heat pump needs additional refrigerant. 
  4. Add refrigerant through the low side, where the larger tube is located. Never add refrigerant through the high side. In addition, do not turn the refrigerant gas can upside down when it's charging. This will destroy your system.

Reminder: Be sure that the measurement is accurate to avoid damage or probable injury. It is also best to use protective equipment and identify refrigerant safety

After the system is charged, disconnect the tubes. Then, check if the system has leaks using a pressure vacuum.  

How do you know if a pool heat pump is working?

heating system in a room with engineering communications

After installing your heat pump, you may want to see if it is, indeed, working properly. How? Here are the indicators that your heat pump is working and we also provided some troubleshoot tips in case it doesn’t:

When turned on, the heater doesn’t just shut off by itself. 

Once started, the heater should keep operating unless deliberately turned off. If the heater keeps on shutting off on its own, this may indicate that there are water/air pressure issues. Look for any error codes and check power sources, filters, and temperature settings to see if there are blockage, tears, or other issues. 

The pilot light switches on. 

The display should indicate whether the unit has started functioning. If it does not, check whether the heater is turned on or if the unit is in the "on" display setting. 

There are no groaning or creaking sounds. 

A working heat pump usually runs quietly. Aside from the fans, air, and water flow, the unit shouldn't be making unnecessary noises. If the unit is noisy, this may indicate broken parts or faulty motors. 

The temperature difference is normal. 

The temperature measure between the air entering the heat pump and the air exiting the heat pump should be 9–12 °F (or 5–7 °C). If it doesn't, you may want to check your filter, refrigerant, and timer, or it's also possible that you may need to have a bigger heater.

Remember to always check your heater before starting it. There shouldn't be any broken parts, damaged wires, or any debris on the top and the sides of the heater. Make sure that the valves and filter remain clean. 

If you want to be certain that you'll get your pool heater's maximum efficiency for many years to come, annual maintenance is highly recommended!

How much propane does a pool heater use?

Propane Bottle for heating pool heat pump

Now, if you’re wondering about pool heating with propane and how much propane you might need for that pool, this section will lead you to the answer! 

Propane pool heaters use propane gas to heat the water temperature in your pool. This requires a propane gas-filled tank. Using propane pool heaters is a reliable and efficient way to heat your pool water to your preferred temperature, even in whichever outside conditions. 

How much propane you need depends on the size of your pool heater. A gallon of propane can run a pool heater of 100, 000 BTU every hour. This means that, if you have a 400,000 BTU pool heater, you will need four propane gallons per hour. 

You can determine your pool heater's size by looking at its model number. If it is 100, then it's likely to be a 100,000 BTU pool heater. If the model number is not available, you may refer to the manufacturer's website to get accurate information about your pool heater.

You can purchase and place your own propane gas pool heater, however, for the installation and connection, it is recommended that you seek service from professionals or licensed technicians. 

Final Takeaways

Heat pump for pool

Pool heaters are indeed useful to get the most out of your swimming pool. To retain its effectiveness and efficiency, it's important to properly maintain your pool heater. Enjoy swimming! 

We hope this article was useful to you!

If you find this helpful, you may also want to check out the following posts about pool heat pumps! 

Should I Leave My Pool Heat Pump On All The Time? 

Where Should A Pool Heat Pump Be Installed? 

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