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Pool & Spa Advice

Pools: The Need to Know

Find out how to build and maintain you pool, from opening your pool for spring through to closing it in the winter.

1st Direct Pools

Spa: The Need to Know

Find out how to build and maintain you pool, from opening your pool for spring through to closing it in the winter.

1st Direct Pools


  • What Size Swimming Pool Heat Pump Do I Need?
    What Size Swimming Pool Heat Pump Do I Need?
    Pool heat pumps are some of the most cost-effective and energy-efficient pool heaters on the market. Find out what size heat pump you need for your swimming pool in our article.
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  • Do I Need a Heat Pump for My Swimming Pool?
    Do I Need a Heat Pump for My Swimming Pool?

    If you have a swimming pool or are thinking of getting one installed at your home, then you probably have a few questions about how the pool should be run and maintained.

    One of the biggest questions from pool owners is “do I need a swimming pool heat pump?”

    Swimming Pool Heat Pump: Cost and Options Banner

    What is a Heat Pump?


    A swimming pool heat pump is one of the best ways to heat swimming pools. Heat pumps are used for outdoor pools and work by extracting heat from the air and converting this into heat for the pool through refrigeration technology.

    A heat exchanger then transfers this heat into the pool through the pool’s pump and filtration system, which helps to warm the pool equally throughout.

    The heat exchanger is typically made from titanium, so that they do not suffer from the corrosive nature of pool chemicals, such as chlorine, that would normally damage other metals.

    Here at 1st Direct Pools, we offer a range of inverter heat pumps, which are the best for heating your outdoor pool while keeping costs low!


    What is an Inverter Heat Pump?


    Inverter heat pumps are the latest in swimming pool heat pump technology. The inverter heat pump performs better as it allows the fan and compressor in the heat pump to run at variable speeds.

    By running at variable speeds, the inverter heat pump can automatically adjust to match the demands of the pool, and can also adjust depending on weather conditions. For example, once the pool reaches the desired level of heating, the inverter hear pump will reduce its output.

    Because of this, the inverter heat pump is very efficient and can help to reduce the cost of running your swimming pool.


    an inverter heat pump

    Why Do You Need a Heat Pump?


    Unless you’re happy swimming around in freezing cold water, you’ll want a way to add some warmth to your pool.

    There are three main ways to heat a swimming pool; through gas heating, solar heating or a heat pump.

    A heat pump is by far the most efficient way of heating your pool and can cut bills massively.


    Co-Efficiency or Performance Comparison


    A COP comparison of each different heating system can reveal the efficieny of the inverter heat pump.

    - Element Electric Heater - £1 in = approx. £1 worth of heat out.
    - Condensing Boiler - £1 in = approx. 90p worth of heat out.
    - Standard Gas Boiler - £1 in = approx. 80p worth of heat out.
    - Heat Pump - £1 in = approx. £5 worth of heat out.
    - Inverter Heat Pump - £1 in = approx. £6-10 worth of heat out.

    As you can see, per pound spent, the amount of heat you gain from an invertor heat pump is far greater than that from a gas boiler or electric heater.


    Downsides of Heat Pumps


    As with anything, there are some pros and cons to weigh up when it comes to installing a heat pump. While heat pumps are very efficient, most will only work best during the warmer summer months, as the pump needs warm air to convert into pool heat.

    While some units may still be able to run during the winter, running costs for the pump during the winter would be a lot higher. However, this issue largely depends on whether or not you would even use your outdoor pool during the winter months.

    Another minor downside of the pump is that they require a fan to discharge the waste cold air, and this fan can make a noise – around 35 decibels – so the placement of your heat pump is something to consider.


    a swimming pool on a decking

    How to Choose a Heat Pump


    If you have decided to switch to an inverter heat pump, or choose one for a new pool installation, then there are a few things to consider first.

    The most important thing is the size of the heat pump you choose. The inverter heat pump you select must be the right size.

    The size needed is based on the pool’s surface area, volume and the conditions in which you plan to use your pool.


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Pool Build

  • How to Level the Ground For an Above-Ground Pool
    How to Level the Ground For an Above-Ground Pool

    Above-ground pools are a cheaper and easier alternative to installing an in-ground swimming pool. They allow you to enjoy last-minute summer bathing thanks to their quicker and easier installation process.

    Installing an above-ground pool will still require some time and effort as you will need to prepare the garden by levelling out the ground of its designated location. This can be done by yourself, but for much larger pools it’s recommended to employ a professional.

    Here at 1

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  • Preparing the Ground for Your Hot Tub
    Preparing the Ground for Your Hot Tub

    Introducing a hot tub to your home is the perfect way to add a touch of luxury and enjoy great relaxation with your loved ones. Hot tubs can be small, offering a more intimate experience, or larger for entertaining guests.

    Regardless of the size of the hot tub you choose and your intentions for using it, there are a number of things you need to consider and prepare before your tub is installed.

    One of the most important things to prepare before installing a hot tub is the ground

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Pool Maintenance

Working Pool