Trane Pool Heat Pumps stem from a long legacy of manufacturing and innovation. When purchasing pool equipment it’s important to invest in a reputable brand that you can rely on for service and quality. Thankfully, Trane has been around for over 100 years and they are a subsidiary of Ingersoll Rand.
In 1885, Norwegian immigrant from Tromsø, by the name of James Trane, decided to open a plumbing and pipe-fitting shop in La Crosse, Wisconsin. In 1913, James and his son Reuben incorporated The Trane Company. Trane pool heat pumps are the focus of this article but our goal is to educate you so you can make the best buying decision for your particular pool needs.
In this article we’ll discuss the different pool heating systems, including the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Then we’ll touch upon how to decide which heating system is right for you. And finally we’ll discuss two specific Trane pool heat pumps :
Table of Contents...
- 1 Intro | Trane Pool Heat Pumps
Intro | Trane Pool Heat Pumps
A swimming pool is a great investment and provides fantastic family fun and healthy exercise. It seems a shame to leave the pool unused for many months of the year and this why pool heating is so popular. In colder climates, you can extend your swim time by 3-4 months of the year, whereas in warm areas you could well enjoy the pool all year round with a quality pool heating system.
Of course, there are a number of questions that may want to be answered before diving in (excuse the pun) and installing a heating system for your pool. Money talks, so you’re going to want a system that suits your budget – this means looking at installation cost and running costs.
Efficiency will play a role in making your decision, do you want a pool that is at an ideal temperature throughout the day and night, all year round? Or do you simply want to have a few extra months of regular use?
We’re going to look into these and many more questions. We’ll start off by looking at your various options and compare the plus points and negative ones. In order to help you make an informed decision, we’ll also look at how these systems work, this will give you a better idea of what to expect in terms of maintenance, functionality and running costs.
To start with, there are three basic types of energy sources for heating your pool – gas, electric and solar. So it would be a good idea to start by looking into how each one works.
Gas Pool Heating
This is the most effective way to rapidly heat your pool under any ambient temperature conditions. You must take into account that you’re going to pay quite heavily for this convenience.
As you could have guessed, gas pool heaters use LPG or propane gas burners to heat the water in your pool. What makes this great is that gas burners heat the water very rapidly and their performance is not affected by the outside temperature, taking into account that there’s a greater heat loss in cold weather, regardless of what system you use. The downside is that you’re burning large quantities of gas every time you heat your pool and this cost can be prohibitive for many homeowners.
There are much more cost-effective ways to heat your pool if you’re prepared to compromise slightly on the length of time it takes to heat your pool and that some of the other methods are less effective in really cold weather. In terms of maintenance, gas heaters will require annual checks by a qualified gas technician, as gas burners to can be a fire hazard, if they aren’t correctly maintained.
Hayward HeatPro HP21404T | Comparable to the TR21474T (140,000 BTU)
Electric Pool Heating
Before we look at electric heating systems for your pool, we need to point out that there two types of pool heating systems that use electricity, these being, electric pool heaters and electric pool heat pumps. In general, electric pool heating systems have always been more common. Whether you’re using a pool heater or a more efficient heat pump, your energy costs will always be lower than that of gas and they require very little maintenance.
Electric Pool Heaters
Electric pool heaters make use of electric resistance heaters, pretty much the same as an electric stove plate or electric bar space heater. An electric pool heater may be less expensive to install that a heat pump, but in time you’ll be paying for this in electricity costs. A resistance heater is not very efficient and for this reason, heat pumps are becoming the preferred method of heating water for all applications.
Electric Heat Pumps
These work in the same way an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system would work in your home. A compressor pump compresses a refrigerant, usually hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), which is then depressurized into a heat sink. The heat sink will draw heat from the surrounding air which is blown into the heat pump by using a fan.
Trane Pool Heat Pump : Models —TR21474T / TR21174T
The heating coefficient of performance (COP) is a technical term used to compare the energy input to the heat produced. So in the case of electrical heating, your COP calculation will be the amount of heat that is produced per watt of electricity that is consumed. On average, the COP of a heat pump is 3-4, depending on the ambient temperature.
If one compares this to resistance heating used in pool heaters, that have a COP of 1, we see that heat pumps generally use 3-4 times less electricity than pool heaters.
It is, therefore, quite obvious that a heat pump is the most cost effective heating solution for your pool or, for that matter, the hot water that you use in your home too. There is one thing that you must remember, though. Because a heat pump works by means of a heat transfer from the air around it, your heat pump won’t be very effective in extremely cold weather. This means that heating your pool at night or in the early morning won’t be a good idea if you’re using a heat pump.
Of course, any heating system isn’t ideal in cold weather, because the heat loss is greater when the ambient temperature is lower. To get the most cost effective use of any pool heating system, it’s recommended to only heat your pool during the day – when temperatures are higher.
Solar Pool Heating
Many people are turning toward solar as a form of heating for many applications. It seems to make a lot of sense – you’re using free energy provided by the sun. However, this only true up to a point for two reasons.
Firstly a solar heating system uses solar collectors that use sunlight to heat the water, which means if there’s no sunshine, there’s no heating. Many of you might think this only comes into effect at night, but in fact, it applies to days when there is cloud cover too. When it’s overcast, you’ll get very poor performance from a solar water heater.
The second reason is that solar collectors take up a lot of space and need to be placed in direct sunlight, usually on the roof of your house. This means that water has to be pumped over some distance in order to circulate it through the collector panel. The pump will require electric energy, so your solar power is not totally free, though the cost of pumping your water a few extra yards is much cheaper than electric heating. Another factor in moving water over this distance is that there is a degree of heat loss as the water moves from your pool pump to the solar collector panels and back to your pool.
There’s no doubt that a solar heating system will save on your electricity bills but it doesn’t provide constant reliable heating, so you won’t get as much use from your pool, as you would using an electric or gas heating system. The ideal solution is to use a hybrid system if you’re in a position to make the extra initial investment.
Using a solar collector in conjunction with a heat pump is the most cost effective solution over the long term and will pay for itself, albeit over a period of many years. Using the sun’s energy when it’s available and then only making use of electric energy to supplement this when there isn’t sufficient sunlight, will reduce your electricity usage – saving you money in the long run.
Choosing the right pool heating system
As a heat pump offers the best all-around convenience at the lowest running costs, this would be the best way to go for most people. Now if you’re going to go this route, there are some factors you’ll need to consider before making your final decision.
What size heat pump would you require?
When it comes to heating, bigger is better right? In the case of pool heating, this would definitely be true. Of course, if you have a large pool, you’re going to want the most powerful heat pump that you can get – heating a large volume of water requires more power. Though even with a smaller pool, a larger, more powerful heat pump will be beneficial as it will heat the water faster and be able to keep it at a higher temperature. So it really depends on how much you want to spend.
Most heat pumps are relatively easy to install and anyone with a good deal of DIY experience could probably do a good job of it. Though it might not be the best idea to try and save a few dollars on installation costs at the risk of losing your warranty. Most suppliers will not honor their warranty if the unit is not installed by a certified technician. So you may well regret your decision to install it yourself later on down the line.
Is it important which brand you buy?
While there are some that may disagree, I think the brand you choose is of the highest importance. A heat pump is not a particularly cheap item, so you’re going to want it to last. Moreover, you’re going to want good backup in terms of service and replacement parts over the lifetime of the product.
Experience should have taught most of us by now that buying technical equipment on the cheap almost always ends up costing you more over time. That being said, we all have a limit to what we can spend. So if you want a brand that offers you great value for money – good quality at an affordable price, I recommend Trane pool heat pumps as the best option.
Why Trane pool heat pumps?
Reputation counts for a lot and Trane have been providing high-quality heating solutions to homeowners for over a hundred years, making them a world leader in this field. They have a reputation for quality and this shows in their pool heat pumps. Trane pool heat pumps make use of a titanium condenser with a corrosion resistant evaporator coil, this offers the highest level of durability for any make of heat pump.
Their superior design offers the best efficiency possible and you’ll see this when we look at two of their products a little later. Another great design feature is that they’re probably the easiest pool heat pump to install. So, if you’re one of those people who isn’t concerned about your warranty and wants to install it yourself, you won’t have too much work to do. Even if you have it installed by a professional, the easy installation process will save you money because it takes very little time to install – time is money when it comes to installation costs.
Now, let’s take a look at what your options are when it comes to Trane pool heat pumps.
TR21474T | Trane Pool Heat Pump
- AHRI certified
- Most Durable Heat Exchanger Combination: Titanium Condenser and Coastal Environment Evaporator
- Ultra Quiet Performance
- Front plumbing installation
- Easy Plumbing and Drop-In Replacement for AquaCal Heatwave SuperQuiet Series
- 2″ x 2″ unions
- Dual thermostat (pool and spa)
- Electronic temperature control
- Polymer cabinet for long life will not rust or corrode
Overview | Trane TR21474T Heat Pump
This is the top of the range and if the price works for you, this should be your first choice. It terms BTU (Basic Temperature Units), it produces 140 000 at an ambient and water temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit (relative humidity 80%) – that’s really great performance.
Now would be a good time to refer back to the bit about COP figures. If you remember, heat pumps offer around 3-4 COP on average. Well the Trane TR21474T will blow your socks off when you look at its performance. You’re looking at 5.7 COP at 80 degrees Fahrenheit ambient and water temperature (80 % relative humidity) and 4.0 at 50 degrees Fahrenheit (63% relative humidity). This is way above average, even at low temperatures. This means that you’re going to get great heating capabilities and save on electricity.
It’s a nicely sized compact unit: 30.25″W x 34″D x 44″H. So you could put anywhere close to your pool without it being in the way. This will save on piping and reduce heat loss compared to a large unit that may have to be positioned further away.
So for top performance at a good price you really can’t do any better than the TR21474T.
TR21174T | Trane Pool Heat Pump
Note : The basic features of the TR21174T are identical to the TR21474T Trane heat pump. See differences below.
Many of us have a limited budget and would prefer to pay less. So if this sounds like you, the TR21174T makes an excellent runner up. Where the larger model generates 140 000 BTU’s at 80 degrees, this one produces 110 000 at the same ambient temperature and humidity. For the rest, it compares quite well to the TR21474T. You’ll get slightly lower COP in the mid-temperature range, but at 80 degrees and 50 degrees this figure is the same as the larger model.
So, in the end, you’re going to get less heating power – 30 000 less BTU’s at higher ambient temperatures and around 10 000 less at 50 degrees. If you prepared to have a pool that’s a little less warm and takes a bit longer to heat, the smaller model might be worth the savings. It takes up the same ground area as the larger model but is 7″ shorter and weighs 55lbs less – not that this should really affect your decision.
So whether you want to go large or save a little by going smaller, Trane pool heat pumps offer you a great deal either way. You could spend a little less on a cheaper brand and live to regret it or you could end up paying quite a lot more for something that isn’t quite as good. This is a good value for money choice and will provide you with many years of reliable service, with the backing of an established and trusted brand.