For those with pools, we’re approaching the end of the prime swimming time, but you could easily be swimming for the rest of the year. Heating a pool – especially in Andalucia – can be far more energy efficient and cost effective than most people think. What’s more, if you rent out your property, we are reliably informed that properties with heated pools generally yield more annual income than those without. With limited holiday rentals during the Spring and Autumn months, properties with heated pools are the ones that usually go first.
So what are the most economic options?
Solar collectors (panels) are a very effective way of heating your pool during those months when it’s warm outside but not hot enough to heat the pool. Although solar collectors are not viable during the coldest winter months, they can provide you with free heating for several extra months. Unfortunately, whilst we have the full accreditation to acquire substantial government grants for solar installations, they are not granted for pool heating.
Heat pumps are one of the most efficient and economical ways of heating a pool, especially in a moderate climate like that of southern Spain. The basic premise behind heat pumps is that they don’t directly burn fossil fuel to create heat. Rather, they use a small amount of energy to transfer heat from one source to another. Heat pumps can heat your pool all year round, although the coldest winter months will entail significantly more energy consumption.
Biomass is another renewable energy source that refers to vegetative or animal matter that can be then used as an energy source. In some cases, this can be as simple as a wood stove, but innovation in recent years has led to all sorts of energy efficient and cost effective types of biomass heating systems that use varying types of fuel from wood pellets to olive stones.
It is of course essential to include a pool cover in whatever heating solution you opt for, in order to minimise heat loss and the need for energy consumption. What’s more, if you can afford one of the more advanced pool covers, they are a type of heating solution in themselves. Without even needing a heating system, a good pool cover can greatly extend your swimming season by retaining heat when the nights get colder. See our section on pool covers.