Note: The information contained in this periodical weblog may be outdated. This was my personal weblog published before January 1, 2015. Since then I have been the co-owner and Principal Solar Designer at Florida Solar Design Group.


  1. I was wondering if you have every installed a heat pump and gas heater in parallel with each other. Allowing the gas heater to be used only when turned on but the heat pump can be used to maintain the constant temperature? We live in MI and the heat pump can not pull enough heat out of the air during early/late swim seasons so we are trying to figure out how to improve our heating method in order to extend our swimming season.

    1. Author

      I think you would want to hook this up in series, but I have an idea for you. We install solar pool heaters with heat pumps very frequently in Southwest Florida. You can automate the system to be in “Solar Priority Mode” where solar will operate when available, and then the auxiliary heater will take over. There is an option in the Pentair SunTouch controller to use “Solar as Heat Pump.” This lets you control a heat pump valve as if it were a solar pool heater. With a little logic and programming you could set it up to be completely automated based on desired temperatures.

      I’ve never done it, as gas heaters are not popular here, but the concept should work.

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