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AquaCal vs Hayward Heat Pump: Which Brand Makes a Better Pool Heater?

  • 8 min read

Struggling to choose between an AquaCal vs Hayward heat pump? You’re not alone, as these are two of the leading manufacturers with reputations for consistently delivering quality products. 

However, we lean towards AquaCal for several compelling reasons. AquaCal's heat pumps stand out for their superior efficiency, extensive experience in the pool heating realm, and exceptional performance. 

It's these qualities that make us at Outdoor Direct proud to offer the full line of AquaCal heaters, ensuring our customers access to the best in pool heating technology. 

So if you want to save yourself a few minutes, go ahead and explore our range of AquaCal pool heat pumps at Outdoor Direct and see for yourself why these are the #1 choice online. Otherwise, let’s compare and contrast these two manufacturers below!

Overview of AquaCal Heat Pumps

AquaCal has been perfecting its craft since 1981 and has served a whopping 375,000 customers globally globally over that timeframe. As such, it’s no surprise that the brand has cemented its status as the go-to choice for pool heat pumps. 

AquaCal heat pumps are celebrated for their cost-efficiency, an attribute that extends beyond their initial purchase price. While they might present a higher upfront cost, the long-term savings they offer in operational efficiency are unmatched. 

These pumps are designed to consume less energy while operating and generate less heat, a feature that not only saves on energy costs but also contributes to the longevity of the pump.

Each AquaCal heat pump is a product of American craftsmanship, ensuring superior quality and easy access to support. They’re made right here in the USA, specifically, in Florida.

The brand's versatility is another of its strengths, offering solutions for various needs, from small residential pools to larger commercial facilities. This range is embodied in their two main series: the budget-friendly AquaCal TropiCal Heat Pump line and the premium AquaCal HeatWave SuperQuiet Heat Pump series. 

The TropiCal series is ideal for homeowners seeking an efficient yet affordable option, while the HeatWave SuperQuiet series is tailored for those who prioritize advanced features and maximum energy efficiency. 

Both of these are excellent choices for anyone seeking the most efficient, dependable pool heating solution possible. That being said, let’s take a look at the other half of the AquaCal vs Hayward heat pump debate below.

Overview of Hayward Heat Pumps

Hayward has been a prominent player in the swimming pool industry for more than 80 years now, renowned for its high-quality products and exceptional customer support. Their commitment to quality and innovation has kept them at the forefront of pool equipment manufacturers.

The acquisition of Summit Heat Pumps in 2008 expanded Hayward's portfolio, enhancing its heating product line. This strategic move has allowed Hayward to offer a more comprehensive range of heating solutions, catering to diverse customer needs. 

Manufactured in the United States, Hayward heat pumps represent a fusion of technological advancement and domestic craftsmanship.

Hayward's lineup of heat pumps is known for its reliability and efficiency. They are designed to cater to various pool sizes and types, ensuring that there is a suitable option for every pool owner. 

The brand's focus on energy efficiency is evident in its products, which are engineered to provide optimal heating performance while keeping energy consumption to a minimum. 

This efficiency translates to cost savings over time, making Hayward heat pumps a smart investment for the environmentally conscious and budget-aware pool owner.

In terms of customer support, Hayward excels with its approachable and knowledgeable service. This commitment to customer satisfaction, combined with its long-standing reputation in the industry, makes Hayward a trusted name in pool heating solutions.

However, you’ll notice that Hayward is a pool equipment manufacturer that has recently developed a heat pump division. On the other hand, AquaCal specializes in heat pumps. 

This narrow focus is part of what leads to the AquaCal pumps performing better across the board than their Hayward counterparts. We’ll talk about this more below as we compare and contrast AquaCal pool heaters vs Hayward in depth.

AquaCal vs Hayward Heat Pump: Which Brand Makes a Better Pool Heater?

We want to preface this entire comparison of the AquaCal vs Hayward heat pump by saying both manufacturers make a great product. However, you can only choose one for your pool - and you deserve the best. 

The fact of the matter is that you cannot beat the AquaCal pool heat pump lineup in terms of efficiency, reliability, and performance features. 

This is why we’ve curated an unbeatable selection from this manufacturer here at Outdoor Direct instead of Hayward, as we only want to offer our customers the best. 

It’s also important to note that both manufacturers offer a wide array of heat pumps to choose from. AquaCal specializes in electric heat pumps, while Hayward offers everything from natural gas to propane and electric pumps.

So, to offer a more apples-to-apples comparison, we’ll be looking at the Hayward HeatPro Pool Heat & Cool Pump W3HP31005T vs the AquaCal HeatWave SuperQuiet SQ145 Pool Heat Pump. While it’s not a perfect comparison, these models are fairly close in terms of pricing, sizing, and performance.

Energy Efficiency

AquaCal clearly outperforms Hayward when it comes to energy efficiency. This efficiency is most notably reflected in the Coefficient of Performance (COP) ratings of their models. The AquaCal unit boasts a COP rating of 7 compared to the COP rating of 6.4 for Hayward.

In other words, the Aquacal unit uses only 5.1KW of electricity to generate 121,000 BTU of heat. In comparison, a Hayward model requires only slightly less electricity at 4.7KW to produce dramatically less, only 100,000 BTU of heat. 

This difference, although seemingly small on paper, represents a significant disparity in operational efficiency. Over time, this gap in energy consumption can lead to substantial savings on electricity bills for AquaCal users, making it a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly choice.

Longevity and Warranty Considerations

AquaCal offers a comprehensive warranty package: 2 years of labor coverage, 7 years on all parts, and a lifetime warranty on the titanium heat exchanger. 

In contrast, Hayward provides a 2-year warranty for parts and labor, 5 years for the compressor, and 10 years for the heat exchanger. 

AquaCal's more extensive warranty on parts and the lifetime coverage on the critical component of the heat exchanger suggest a strong belief in their product's durability and performance. If you want to enjoy peace of mind when buying your heat pump, stick with AquaCal.

Key Features

Choosing between the AquaCal vs Hayward heat pump requires you to understand what matters most to you in a heating solution and choose a product with features that align. 

Be clear - both of these pumps offer an impressive range of features. For example, here are some of the most notable features of the AquCal HeatWave SuperQuiet pump:

  • Patented ThermoLink Titanium Heat Exchanger: Enhances durability and efficient heat transfer, reducing operational costs.
  • Corrosion-Proof Cabinet and AquaTop: Offers increased durability and optimal airflow.
  • Microprocessor Controls: Facilitate ease of operation.
  • PoolSync Ready: Allows temperature control via a smartphone, with an additional purchase of the WiFi controller.
  • Efficient Hydraulic Design: Optimizes compatibility with variable speed pumps, reducing energy consumption.

It’s truly the most sophisticated pool heat pump on the market, and it’s why those who demand the best don’t look any further. However, Hayward is no slouch either. These pumps come equipped with a range of features such as:

  • Compact, Round Design: Ideal for easy installation and service, especially in tight spaces.
  • Ultra-Gold Evaporator Fin and Titanium Heat Exchanger: Ensure corrosion resistance and durability.
  • Self-Diagnostic Codes: Monitor performance and compatibility with various control systems.
  • Dual Electronic Thermostat: Allows precise temperature control, compatible with many industry control systems.
  • Multi-Speed Fan: Modulates speed automatically for quiet, energy-efficient operation.

In the end, though, AquaCal has the advantage in terms of sophistication, reliability, and automation from a features standpoint. 

Cost Considerations

Keep in mind that you get what you pay for, and you shouldn’t skimp on quality in a pool heat pump as you’ll soon realize that you’d have saved money by investing in higher quality from the start.

Looking at the AquaCal vs Hayward heat pump through this lens is a perfect example. The AquaCal models generally have a higher upfront cost due to their advanced features and patented technology.

However, the operational efficiency of the AquaCal pumps, especially with their compatibility with variable-speed pumps, can lead to significant savings in energy costs over time.

Conversely, Hayward pumps are known for offering value in terms of performance and reliability at a competitive price point. They’re cheaper up front, but the long-term energy costs should be considered, especially in comparison to AquaCal's higher COP ratings.

In looking at the specific models we’re comparing here, AquaCal comes in at around $5,435.00 (with free shipping). On the other hand, the Hayward unit is priced at around $4,700 (with free shipping). Ask yourself this, though - how much is your peace of mind worth?

If you want to rest assured you’re getting the most efficient, dependable heating solution possible, surely $700 or so is worth paying for.

Customer Support

Anecdotal evidence in looking at user reviews suggests that reaching AquaCal's customer service during peak season is more manageable compared to Hayward. 

This responsiveness not only enhances the overall customer experience but also indicates a higher level of commitment to customer satisfaction from AquaCal. 

Quick and helpful customer support can be a decisive factor, especially when immediate solutions are needed for pool heating issues. This is even more evident when you shop here at Outdoor Direct, as we are always on standby to provide personalized help and support when necessary. 

So, Which Brand Makes the Better Pump: AquaCal vs Hayward?

At this point, it should be clear which pump is better between AquaCal vs Hayward. AquaCal's commitment to energy efficiency is evident in its higher Coefficient of Performance (COP) ratings. 

For example, AquaCal's models demonstrate greater efficiency in converting electricity to heat, with significantly lower kW usage for a higher BTU output compared to Hayward. This efficiency translates into tangible energy savings and cost-effectiveness in the long run.

Moreover, AquaCal's dedication to innovation and technology is showcased in features like the patented ThermoLink Titanium Heat Exchanger and PoolSync compatibility, enhancing both durability and user convenience. These technological advancements contribute to operational longevity and ease of use, reinforcing AquaCal's reputation for quality and reliability.

Furthermore, AquaCal's comprehensive warranty, including lifetime coverage on critical components like the titanium heat exchanger, reflects the brand's confidence in its products' durability and performance.

Make no mistake, Hayward heat pumps work well and serve customers around the world on a daily basis. But, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than the best with an investment of this scale - and for that, the overwhelmingly obvious choice is AquaCal!

Discover the Difference in Reliable, Efficient Pool Heating Today at Outdoor Direct!

Here at Outdoor Direct you’ll gain access to the best selection of pumps online from AquaCal - at the lowest prices possible. We are passionate about empowering you to make the most of your time outside, and we’re committed to offering you the solutions necessary to accomplish this.

We offer the full range of AquaCal pumps in our catalog, ranging from the HeatWave SuperQuiet to the TropiCal series. You can even check out our AquaCal chillers if you have problems keeping your pool comfortable during the summer.

Beyond our diverse product range, our commitment to customer satisfaction sets us apart. Our knowledgeable team is always ready to assist you, offering expert advice to guide you through the selection process. 

We understand that investing in a pool heat pump is a significant decision, and we strive to make it a seamless and informed experience for you. So, get in touch today and experience the warmth of a well-heated pool and the assurance of a smart investment with Outdoor Direct.

Bringing Our AquaCal vs Hayward Heat Pump Comparison to a Close

As we wrap up our comparison of AquaCal vs Hayward heat pumps, remember that AquaCal's superior energy efficiency, technological advancements, and robust warranty as key differentiators.

Higher COP ratings, innovative features like the ThermoLink Titanium Heat Exchanger, and comprehensive customer support - what more could you ask for? 

While Hayward brings commendable qualities to the table, AquaCal's commitment to performance and long-term value makes it the standout choice.

If you’re looking to upgrade your pool heating experience with a pump that combines efficiency, reliability, and advanced technology, there’s just one thing left to do. Explore Outdoor Direct's selection of AquaCal heat pumps today and discover the ideal solution for your pool!