A Guide to Swimming Pool Heat Pumps: Costs & Options

Swimming pool heat pumps offer one of the most cost and energy-efficient methods for heating your pool water. Compared to other pool heaters, heat pumps can provide significant savings, helping to reduce overall running costs. 

Find out how much swimming pool heat pumps cost to run and other FAQs with our guide. 

The Advantages of Using a Swimming Pool Heat Pump

Before launching into the costs, let’s first consider the benefits you get from using a pool heat pump. 

Heat pumps require very little electricity to run, which makes them cheaper and more sustainable and environmentally friendly compared to other options such as gas or electric pool heaters. They’ll help you reduce your energy consumption and heating bills while still ensuring your water stays at a pleasant temperature. 

How Much Electricity Does a Heat Pump Use?

Another big appeal of pool heat pumps is their cost-effectiveness. As these great pieces of kit draw heat from the air and transfer it into the water via a heat exchanger, only a little electrical energy needs to go in to get more thermal energy out. For every £1 of electricity you put into the heat pump, you could get over £5 worth of heat out. 

This all means heat pumps make a fantastic long-term investment. They’re durable, long-lasting and great at saving you money in the long run. 

The benefits of air source heat pumps

How Long Does it Take to Heat a Pool With a Heat Pump? 

One of the potential cons of using a heat pump is that it can take longer than other pool heaters to heat your water up to the desired temperature. Keep in mind that how quickly your heat pump can warm your swimming pool will depend on: 

  • The size of your pool
  • The ambient air temperature 

Generally, in cold weather below 5 degrees, a heat pump will most likely need around 12 hours a day or more to increase the pool's water temperature by 11 degrees.

Once your water warms up, you’ll want to maintain it at this higher temperature so you don’t waste energy or time bringing it back up again. 75% of a swimming pool’s heat loss is caused by evaporation, so using a swimming pool cover will be invaluable in helping you retain the water’s heat and speed up the heating process. 

Do Pool Heat Pumps Work in Cold Weather? 

Air source heat pumps draw heat from the air, so naturally, as ambient temperatures get colder, your heat pump may become less efficient – but it will still work to heat your pool! Some heat pumps (like the Aqua Inverter Turbo-Pro Silence) can operate in air temperatures as low as -15°C.

Most people will use their heat pump from May to September, or those who want to extend the swimming season may get larger, more powerful units to use from April to November. When temperatures start getting much lower but swimming is still on the agenda, some may also prefer to use their heat pump alongside other heating methods, reaping the benefits of the pump without relying on it entirely. 

A woman smiling in a swimming pool

How Much Do Swimming Pool Heat Pumps Cost? 

Prices for the heat pump unit itself will vary, depending on model and manufacturer, with some more expensive options including additional features like silent mode for overnight use. 

A swimming pool heat pump could cost you between around £500 and £7,000. 

The high-end ones may sound expensive when compared to other heating methods, but remember, swimming pool heat pumps are an investment, and you’ll quickly begin seeing savings on running costs to offset the initial price. Consider: 

  • An electric heater will cost around 19p per kW (heater efficiency 92%)
  • A heat pump will cost around 4p per kW (heater efficiency 400%)

A heat pump's expenditures are nearly one-fifth of the price when compared to an electric heater, meaning that, over time, heat pumps will reclaim enough savings to pay for themselves!

How Much Does a Pool Heat Pump Cost to Run? 

Yearly running costs of your heat pump will depend on various factors like the pool’s size, initial water temperatures, ambient air temperatures and the length of your swimming season. The table below provides a rough idea of what you can expect: 

Pool Volume (Litres) Typical Pool Size Heat Required Per Day (kW) Heat Required Per Season (kW) Estimated Heat Pump Running Cost (MAY-SEP)
8,000 12' Round 9.3 1,256 £50.24
16,000 15' Round 18.6 2,512 £100.48
25,000 18' Round 29.1 3,925 £157
40,000 12' x 30' 46.5 6,280 £251.2
64,000 15' x 30' 74.4 10,048 £401.92
100,000 20' x 40' 116 15,700 £682


Are Pool Heat Pumps Worth It? 

So, with all this being said, are they worth buying? 

We certainly think so! With much cheaper yearly running costs and typically longer life spans than other kinds of pool heaters, pool heat pumps make incredibly worthwhile investments. 

By the same calculations as above, it would cost approximately £1,909.12 to run an electric heater during the swimming season between May and mid-September. Compare this to the £401.92 it would cost to run a pool heat pump, and the potential long-term savings are evident. 

Swimming Pool Heat Pump Recommendations

Here at 1st Direct Pools, we provide a great selection of innovative pool heating solutions, including some of the best swimming pool heat pumps on the market. If you want the best of the best, there are a couple of additional features to look out for, which many of our top heat pumps include: 

  • Silent mode for evening and overnight use
  • Smart and turbo modes
  • Auto defrost
  • Variable fan and compressor
  • Saltwater safe technology
  • Built-in Wifi
  • Manufacturer's warranty

Some of our most recommended heat pumps include the Aqua Inverter Turbo-Pro Silence range and the Inverter Comfortline. To find out more, see our more in-depth run-down of our top swimming pool heat pumps, or head straight to the products themselves!

The best swimming pool heat pumps

Can You Add a Heat Pump to an Existing Pool?

If you want to update your current heating system, it is relatively easy to add a pool heat pump to the existing pipework. When it comes to installation, you will need to consult a professional, but fitting a new heat pump to replace other heaters shouldn’t be a problem. Our basic heat pump installation guide explains what is necessary. 

Do You Need Any Pool Heat Pump Accessories? 

Heat pumps are designed to be durable, and provided you take care of them, they can last 20 years or more. Due to their simple and effective design, there aren’t too many accessories you’ll need to keep them ticking over. The main thing you might want to consider is a heat pump cover, which is useful for keeping your pump safe and snug during winter.  

A pool bypass kit may be another helpful addition. This allows water to easily bypass the heat pump or other equipment in winter when the pool is out of use, preventing water from freezing inside your equipment and causing potential damage.

What size swimming pool heat pump do I need?

If you’re ready to invest in a swimming pool heat pump, check out our range! If you require any more information about our heat pumps, Bowman heat exchangers and pool heating systems, please get in touch with our knowledgeable team at 0333 900 4040 or [email protected].