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I noticed that heat pumps for swimming pools are a lot cheaper than equivalent heat pumps for home use. What could be the reasons for this?

To give an idea, a 16kW monoblock heat pump based on R32 (can heat to 60C in -15C/+40C) for home heating currently costs about 5000 EUR online (8k-15k if you get it from an installer, without installation). An equivalent swimming pool pump can go for 2500 EUR.

What is the difference?

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  • 1
    I doubt the swimming pool pump would reach 60C
    – Robotnik
    Jan 30 at 4:28
  • @LShaver I added some generic links, but here's a swimming pool one for 1900: univeco.com/en/heat-pump/…
    – w00t
    Feb 6 at 9:18
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There are a few factors here:

Temperature range. Domestic heating water ranges from about 90 F (35 C) to 140 F (60C) The latter is used in radiators and fan coil heat exchangers, the former used in in-floor heating.

Swimming pools are heated to only to mid 80 F. Depending on how much water you move, you need water only a few degrees to maybe 15 C warmer.

Most of the time swimming pools are used only in reasonable weather. The costs to heat an outdoor pool in mid winter is prohibitive. So the heat pump isn't working with a large temperature differential.

A house heat pump has to work in mid winter. This requires different engineering.

If a swimming pool heater breaks down, it's an inconvenience. A swimming pool takes days to weeks to cool, depending mostly on evaporation. A home pool owner can decide that he can wait to fix it in a few weeks, or next spring.

A home heating system breaking down is a "We need to fix this RIGHT NOW"

Most home systems are reversible. They can be used as cooling systems during the hot part of the year.

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I reached out to a manufacturer of swimming pool heat pumps, and it turns out that they go up to 40C or so.

So it seems that the difference is the maximum temperature they can reach, and presumably this influences the cost of the materials used.

They might also forego cooling, eliminating a component.

This is reflected in the weight: one generic poolside heatpump weighs 49kg, an LG Therma unit weighs 150kg.

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