Rating at 80 degree water / 80 degree air / 80% humidity
Based on BTU ratings, the average consumer or pool dealer might conclude that the units tested above are essentially the same in performance, with Brand Y the most favorable. But a more in depth analysis that takes into account the air temperature at which the heater turns off in the field (the critical first and last 30 days of the season when most pool heating takes place) reveals that AquaComfort is far and away the best choice. It could be late February in Phoenix, April in North Carolina, early May in Baltimore or St. Louis or mid-May in New England or the Midwest. With average daily overnight temperatures in the mid to upper 40’s, Brand X and Brand Y cannot output heat overnight while AquaComfort does. The net effect:
- Brand X puts about 1,600,000 BTUs into the pool daily (heating 15 hours, off 9 hours)
- Brand Y puts 1,400,000 BTUs into the pool daily (heating 13 hours, off 11 hours)
- AquaComfort puts over 2,000,000 BTUs into the pool daily (heating 24 hours)
AquaComfort is clearly the choice when overall performance is the criteria, not test points chosen for the Florida Building Code. You don’t purchase an automobile based only on their MPG ratings, why choose your pool heater that way?
Optimizing performance in a test lab does not insure in field performance when the pool owner wants and needs it, only that they will get a certain performance at a point when they probably don’t need it. Since most heat pump manufacturers sell the vast majority of their pool heaters in south Florida they concentrate only on optimizing their performance at the Florida Building Code points. To optimize their performance some use heat exchangers that are not UL safety rated, not designed for in floor cleaning systems and fail prematurely. They lose performance at flow rates other than the design points (many lose efficiency when paired with variable speed pumps), and they sacrifice quality for performance (our units are TUV certified for safety and quality manufacturing practices). AquaComfort heat pumps achieve performance during the critical heating time by insuring that our pool heaters operate at a full range of outside air temperatures, flow rate conditions, and through the use of quality components and superior engineering.
When choosing a heat pump pool heater, do not be swayed by performance at test points where the conditions are rarely if ever encountered. Consider how the heat pump you choose will operate in real life conditions. If you do, we are sure that AquaComfort will be the correct choice.