Welcome to Subtropical garden and pool services cc

1.  What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is a machine similar in principal to an air conditioner that works in reverse cycle. It extracts heat from the outside atmosphere and transfers it to water (e.g. your swimming pool) thereby increasing the water temperature.

2.  How does a heat pump work?
A heat pump works by removing the heat from the surrounding ambient air and transfers this heat through a Heat exchanger by means of pumping the swimming pool water through it and back to the pool. The pool’s temperature is controlled thermostatically to the required temperature.

3.  What size heat pump do I need?
The size of a heat pump is based on the size of your swimming pools surface area and the volume of water in the pool. These factors together with the desired temperature of the water will determine the size of the heat pump.

4.  Where do I position the heat pump?
A heat pump is positioned as close as possible to the swimming pool filtration system. It is designed to be used outdoors and does not require any covering against the elements. In fact if a heat pump is covered during operation it will not perform optimally.

5.  How complex is the installation of a heat pump?
The heat pump is a single, compact, easily installed unit. A 220-volt dedicated circuit and attachment to your existing pool pump is basically all that is required. The machine must meet a minimum clearance requirement, to insure proper airflow. Proper placement is critical to the performance of the pool/spa heat pump. A concrete slab may be required unless there is enough room on an existing slab. If a chlorinating device is present it must be placed downstream from the heat pump and a check valve must be installed to prevent chemical damage.

6.  What is the operating cost? 
Compared to other types of heating equipment, (with the exception of solar heaters, which only heats when the sun is present) the AQUA-HEAT pump is very economical. Two types of energy sources are utilised to produce the required heat output. This is the heat from the ambient air and electrical power used to run the compressor. 

7.  Is there any maintenance required for a heat pump?
There is no attention required by a heat pump as with air conditioner. Simply remove any leaves, grass, paper, etc.– which occasionally collects from the air. The pool chemistry should always remain balanced. The evaporator grills are coated to prevent corrosion. However if you live near a salt-water environment you may want to hose down the outside evaporator coil to help prevent the build-up of salt and rust. 

8.  Can a heat pump heat a pool overnight?
Yes. However it all depends on the size of the pool and the time of year. Heat pumps are made to maintain pool temperature on a daily basis. If the heat pump is sized properly to the pool size, once the desired temperature is reached it will automatically maintain that temperature all month long.

9.  What are kW and BTU?
Electricity is sold by a unit called “kilowatt-hour.” One “kilowatt-hour” is equal to 3412 BTU. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit.  It’s a unit of measure that some heat pump manufacturers use on their specifications.

10.  What does COP mean?
COP stands for Coefficient of performance i.e. The ratio of energy output to energy input. This is dependent on the ambient air temperature and the temperature of the water of the swimming pool. It tells you the energy efficiency rating of the heat pump.

 11.  Why should I use a solar blanket or pool cover?
As with all swimming pool heating systems you are advised to use a pool cover when the swimming pool is not in use. This will keep evaporation (the greatest heat loss) to a minimum and so reduce the overall pool heating costs and unwanted frustrations. A pool cover can cut total heat loss by 50% to 95%.

12.  Will the AQUA-HEAT unit run all the time?
No! At the beginning of the season you set the electronically programmable thermostat to the desired temperature. Once set, it will monitor the swimming pool water temperature and only start the unit when required. (e.g. when the pool water temperature drops below the required temperature). 

13.  How is an AQUA-HEAT heat pump controlled? 
It is controlled by the programmable electronic thermostat on the control panel which has a digital temperature display.

14.  What is the lowest ambient air temperature at which the AQUA-HEAT heat pump can work?
 The AQUA-HEAT is a heat pump with a positive de-ice system that allows the unit to efficiently heat your swimming pool water at near zero degrees Celsius ambient air temperatures.

15.  Will the AQUA-HEAT heat pump ever need more freon?
 The AQUA-HEAT heat pump has a sealed refrigeration system that is filled with a refrigerant called “Freon”. The factory charge of Freon should last for the life of the unit. Freon is a very stable gas and should not degrade or breakdown even under severe operating circumstances. If your unit needs Freon it probably has a leakage which must be located and repaired before more Freon is added, otherwise the problem will not be resolved. Fortunately Freon leaks are rare and usually only occur due to shipping damage.

If you are interested in getting a quotation on this product or service, please complete and submit our service request form form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.


Solar panel swimming pool heating

Why solar panel pool heating?

Many households in Gauteng enjoy solar heated swimming pools.  Solar pool heating is the largest use of solar energy in the world today, for many good reasons. The initial capital outlay of a solar pool heating system saves you 50% of a conventional heating system i.e. heat pumps, not to mention running costs.  A solar heated swimming pool is extremely reliable, safe and durable year after year. 

These systems are not subject to the common downfall of conventional systems for example;
1.They do not suffer from corrosion
2.No motor failures. 
3.No compressor failures 
4.No gas leaks / no flames 
5.Solar pool heating is environmentally friendly (green energy). 

How efficiently will solar energy heat my pool?
When you follow our recommended solar heater sizes and the panels have proper exposure to the sun, your pool should be conservatively 6 to 12 degrees warmer than it was before you heated it, under the same weather conditions.
Evaporation of water from the surface of the pool causes most of the cooling of the water. The larger the solar collector area, the more of the sun’s energy it will collect and send to the pool. Therefore, the larger the solar collector area is in relation to the surface area of the pool, the warmer the pool water will be.

What about maintenance?
No special maintenance is needed to run your solar heated swimming pool.

What about a solar pool cover?
A solar pool cover is made from thin plastic formed with air pockets so it can float on the surface. It is not totally transparent to sunlight so it blocks out much of the sun’s energy that would otherwise heat the pool.  However, it effectively prevents evaporation from the water surface, slowing down cooling of the water at night and in bad weather. We recommend use of a cover at night near the beginning and end of the season when the nights are long and cool.

What are the advantages?
Unlike conventional space heating systems, solar swimming pool systems do not burn fuel. 
1.They avoid the creation of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and other air pollutants.
2.Enjoy free solar pool heating after the system has paid for itself in reduced utility bills. 
3.Increase the resale value of your property. 
4.Quick payback on investment. 
5.Extends swimming season, maximising the benefits of a swimming pool investment. 
6.Heated swimming pools provides more comfortable swimming temperatures.  

How well does solar energy heat a pool?
Solar energy is just another fuel with which to heat your pool.  A properly designed solar pool system can achieve the same results as other heating equipment.  On days when you can relax comfortably in a bathing suit at the poolside, but the water is too cold for swimming, solar energy can heat your pool to a temperature comfortable for swimming.

In simple terms, how does a solar pool heater work?
Using the pump that circulates pool water through the filter, the water is automatically diverted so that it flows through the many small passages of the solar collector.  While passing through the collector, it is warmed by the sun.  This warm water then flows directly back into the pool. When the pool has reached your desired comfort level, the water then bypasses the solar collector and returns directly to the pool.

Do the solar collectors have to face North?
Not necessarily. The solar panels should just be installed where they can be in the sun a good portion of the day. Depending on the angle of the mounting surface, east and west facing systems can function well enough. Our solar panels can be fitted on just about any roof, including a flat roof. However, if possible, it should be north-facing.

Why would I want my pool heated?
You probably bought your pool for many reasons like; family fun, entertaining friends, exercise, those quiet relaxing moments or perhaps even for therapeutic reasons. You spent a lot of time making the decision to invest in a quality pool, furniture, fencing and accompanying items that go along with a pool.  You are therefore expecting to get the most use out of your pool.  But if your pool is frequently too cold to swim in comfortably, you are not realising the full benefit of your significant investment of the swimming pool cost of between R40,000 and R175 000.  Solar pool heating can effectively double the length of your pool season, by extending it to between 06 to 08 months of the year.

Will it damage my roof?
No. Depending on the roof type, we make use of standard roof washers and roofing screws to fasten the panels.

How much will my solar pool heater cost to operate?
Since the sun's energy is free, there are no operating costs.

How does solar pool heating compare with heat pumps for pool heating?
The initial capital outlay for an electric heat pump is generally double the cost of a solar heating system. Over and above that, it requires electricity to operate. The unit also needs to be serviced on a regular basis, which could be quite costly. 
For the solar heating system: the sun's energy is FREE.

 If you are interested in getting a quotation on this product or service, please complete and submit our service request form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.