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

Having a heated pool is something to enjoy year-round. However, to maintain a comfortable temperature, do you leave the pool heat pump running all the time. Let's look at the correct way to set your pool heat pump.

A pool heat pump shouldn't run all the time. Pool heat pumps have a built-in thermostat that turns on when the pool temperature drops below the desired temperature. If the thermostat is set higher than the outside air then it will run constantly, wasting energy and money. 

There is a strategy to heating your pool to be more energy sufficient, thus saving you money. This article will discuss how to run your pool heat pump. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about heating your pool, so read on!

Man adjusting the pool heating system, Should I Leave My Pool Heat Pump On All The Time?

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

A pool heat pump should not be left running all the time. For one, you are wasting electricity by keeping it on when your pool is already warm enough. Also, this will lead to an increase in energy costs month after month.

Instead, it is better to set the heat pump's thermostat so it will turn when it drops below a set temperature. Once the desired temperature is reached the heat pump will turn off. However, if you set your thermostat temperature higher than the outside air then the heat pump will run constantly.

In addition, you can set the temperature to your liking. However, if you are leaving for vacation and won't be using your heat pump, you can lower the temperature to save energy.

Steam coming out from the pool caused by the pool heater

Another strategy to be more energy efficient is to purchase a pool cover or a solar pool cover. The covers will help keep heat in so your heat pump doesn't have to turn on as often.

If you turn your heat pump completely off, you might think you are saving money. However, it will actually cost you more money to get the pool back to the desired temperature.

The reason is that the heat pump will have to work twice as hard for the loss of temperature. After some trial and error, you will find the proper heat pump cycle for your pool.

The only time you should turn your heat pump off is during winterizing. You want to turn it off, so your pool doesn't sustain any damage.

How Does a Pool Heat Pump Work?

A pool heat pump works by capturing the heat from the air around it and transferring it to the water of your pool; thus, heating your pool and keeping it at a comfortable temperature.

The main component is an indoor blower that will blow warm air into tubes located outside the home. As we mentioned earlier, a timer will switch the heating components on when the temperature drops below the desired level.

Since it uses electricity, you want to make sure your pool heat pump is sized correctly for the pool size. For example, if you have a large pool with a small pump, it will not be efficient enough to keep up with heating costs. And, you will end up spending more money month after month.

Is a heat pump a good way to heat a pool?

Heat pumps are an energy-efficient way to heat your pool. They will have lower annual costs than gas-heaters, thus saving the homeowner money in the long run.

Using a heat pump is best for homeowners who live in warmer climates during the winter. The reason being is that the heat pump needs the ambient air to be 45* to work sufficiently. In addition, heat pumps thrive in humidity, making them perfect for homeowners in humid states.

While heat pumps have low operating costs, they have higher initial costs. However, if you can front the bill, you will make back your initial investment over the first few years.

With that being said, if you live in regions where the weather drops below freezing, then you should use a gas heater or winterize your pool.

When should I turn off my pool heat pump?

There are two times you should turn your pool heat pump off. The first is during winterization, and the second is when the temperature drops below 50 degrees.

You don't want your pool heat pump to try and cycle during winterization. This can cause damage to the heat pump and other components.

In addition, if the temperature drops below 50 degrees, most heat pumps won't work correctly. However, some pool heat pumps will work efficiently down to 40 degrees. If the air temperature isn't high enough, then the heat pump won't transfer the air to a high enough temperature for the pool.

Should you run a pool heat pump at night?

It is better not to have your pool heat pump set to run at night. If you do, then you will be throwing money down the drain.

Instead, have your heat pump start in the early morning [for early swims] and let it cycle throughout the day. Then, cover the pool with a solar cover before going to bed or when the pool isn't in use.

The solar cover will trap the heat throughout the nighttime, so the heat pump doesn't need to work as hard during its first cycle the next day.

At what temperature does a pool heat pump stop working?

Technician checking the pool filter and heater

Pool heat pumps will shut down at different temperatures depending on the type of heat pump. Some will stop at 50-55 degrees, while others will work efficiently until 40 degrees.

Check the owner's manual of your heat pump to see when it will shut off.

Should a pool heat pump be in the sun?

It is ideal for a pool heat pump to be in the sun. This will allow it to operate efficiently and maximize its output. However, while the sunlight does help, it is also about access to the air.

Be sure to give your pool heat pump 2 feet of clearance with no obstructions. Obstructions will restrict the airflow, and your pool heat pump won't perform at its maximum potential.

A pool filter mounted far away from the pool

Pool heat pump isn't working - What could be wrong?

If your heat pump isn't working or lacking performance, there is something wrong. Let's take a look at the common culprits:

Lack of water flow

Ensure that there is no debris in the water lines. Next, clean out the strainer basket to get rid of any leaves or dirt. If you have a sand filter, it may be time for backwashing.

Blocked airflow

Are there any obstructions on or around your heat pump? You need 2 feet of space on all sides. Ensure there are no trees around the pool heater, which could hinder airflow.

Not cycling enough

If your pool isn't getting as warm as it should, it may not be a problem with the heat pump. Instead, your heat pump may not be cycling enough for the size of your pool. Try increasing the number of cycles per day to see if this solves your problem.

Frozen freon

If the temperature drops below 50 degrees, then it is possible the freon froze. If this happens, you won't be able to heat your pool near as much. So instead, turn your heat pump off until the temperature rises.

Tripped breaker

If the breaker trips, then the heat pump will shut off. Turn it back on and check all your electrical connections to ensure they're secure.

Blown fuse

If you've checked the other components and it's still not working, then you may need to replace the fuse. The fuse is located on the heat pump unit itself. Check to see if a fuse is burnt or disconnected and replace it if necessary.

Improper setup

You may need to redo some of your initial pool heater setups. If this is the case, then take care of any repairs before continuing to use the pool heater.

Clogged filter or basket

If the pump is not getting water, then it won't be able to push air. Check your filter basket and see if any leaves or dirt have made their way into your pool heater system.

Incorrect valve position

Are the valves open or closed? Make sure they're open to letting water through the heat pump.

Heat pump leak

If you notice water coming out of the heat pump, there is likely a leak. First, turn off the heat pump and let everything dry. Once it is dry, turn the heat pump back on to see where it is leaking from.

Old heat pump

Is your heat pump ten years old or older? In this case, it may be time to upgrade your heat pump. There are more efficient pool heat pumps on the market, saving you money in the long run.

Technician checking the filter and heater system of the swimming pool

Final Thoughts

A pool heat pump can help you save money and keep your pool warm for the entire season. However, it is important to maintain your pool heat pump regularly. If you run into problems with your heat pump, it is worth calling a professional for help!

For more articles like this one, check out our website:

Pool Heater Smoking – Is This Okay?

How Long Do Pool Heaters Last?

5 Electric Pool Heaters For Inground Pools

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