Recently, we answered one of our most frequently asked questions, “Can I Swim Year-Round with a DynaDome Pool Enclosure?” With the answer being an absolute “yes,” we thought we’d provide some ideas for heating options just in case you find yourself wanting to go for a swim in the dead of winter.

In severe cases, such as the winter of 2013-2014, additional heat sources are necessary to bring the air temperature to a comfortable level for both swimmers and poolsiders. There are several ways to add supplemental heat to the space. Some methods are not applicable if the pool already exists, but for new pool projects, the choice is yours.

In the past, we have recommended a variety of heating solutions to our customers. These solutions all have varying degrees of success depending on location, contractor, equipment, and weather. In addition to the chart below, which quickly compares the heating options, we have provided a more detailed description of each solution so you can decide which option best fits your needs.

 

Up-front Costs

Life-cycle Costs

Efficiency

Heating Time

Radiant Heating

High

Low

High

1-2 hours if unit is turned down/off during off-swimming hours; immediate if desired temperature is maintained 24/7

Ventless Fireplace Unit with Brick Surround

High

Moderate

Low

A few minutes

Forced Air Unit

Moderate

Moderate

Moderate

10-15 minutes

Portable Heaters

Low

Low

High (for the immediate vicinity)

A few minutes

Spot Heaters

Moderate

Moderate

High (for the immediate vicinity)

10-15 minutes

Radiant Heating

Radiant heating is a great solution for heating your DynaDome enclosure and pool area. Radiant heating is best known for its capability to keep your feet warm wherever you walk due to the floor tubing circulating warm water beneath the surface of the pool deck. This is important to note, as you can only have radiant heating installed prior to the installation of your concrete deck.

Because of the luxury radiant heating provides, in addition to its high efficiency and low life-cycle costs, the up-front costs are slightly higher than the other heating solutions.  One great thing about radiant heating is that if you keep it at your desired temperature 24/7, then the pool area will always be ready to use. If the thermostat is turned down during off-swimming hours, then a minimum wait time of 1-2 hours is necessary to bring the environment to the desired temperature.

Ventless Fireplace Unit with Brick Surround

Another heating option is the ventless fireplace unit with a brick surround. A vent-free gas fireplace has no vertical chimney, so it can be used safely inside a DynaDome enclosure without getting in the way of the telescoping of the frames.  Most fireplace units will vent out the rear of the unit even though it’s not required.

While these fireplaces are aesthetically appealing, they do require high up-front costs. Additionally, ventless fireplaces do tend to be less efficient than the alternative solutions, since they will not heat up the entire space without a heavy blower. However, with ventless fireplaces, you get that “instant gratification” everyone is always talking about – you can turn the thermostat to the desired temperature and achieve that comfort level within just a few minutes (depending on the size of the building and the ambient air temperature).

Forced Air Unit

Forced air units are similar to what are found in most homes, but they can also be used effectively inside a DynaDome enclosure. They require moderate up-front costs and are not as efficient as radiant heating, but you also get the instant gratification with this heating solution; you can turn the thermostat to the desired temperature and achieve that temperature within 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of the building and the ambient air temperature).

However, forced air units do require either a duct system to be installed underground, or a fabric duct system installed with fan overhead in order to push the warm air downward. There are other solutions that involve forced air units, and they all have varying degrees of success.

Portable Heaters (Electric Heaters)

Another option for heating your DynaDome enclosure is portable heaters. Portable heaters are essentially the typical small space heaters you can get at any home improvement store. They can be very effective, particularly for poolsiders, but they generally don’t heat the entire space. In addition to being portable, they are also very lightweight and are easy to put away and store until they are needed again.

Portable heaters are also very inexpensive to purchase and have inexpensive operating costs. However, please note that the use of any electrical portable units around the pool must only be used in accordance with the local governing codes and laws; do not use any portable electrical equipment in an unsafe or unlawful manner in the pool area.  Maintain at least a distance of 10 feet or more from any water’s edge – that includes neighboring spas or Jacuzzis.

Spot Heaters (Electric Heaters Overhead)

A final heating solution we’ll talk about today is spot heaters. Spot heaters are generally hung overhead and are effective in localized heating, meaning that they will not heat an entire space. They have moderate life-cycle costs, and are typically permanent fixtures. However, they do come in aesthetically pleasing designs, will heat to your desired temperature within 15  minutes, are usually remote controlled, and – if you have a fixed frame DynaDome enclosure – will fit within our frame depth so that the telescoping effect of the frames will not interfere with the heating units.

 


As you can see, there are several heating solutions depending on your needs.  Many variables will dictate what is ultimately right for you and your situation.

If you have any questions about the various options listed, or any other questions in general, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-726-3962 (DYNA).

Want to request a quote? We’d love for you to by clicking the image below. We look forward to meeting you!