An Overview of Pool Heater Options: Gas – Solar – Heat Pump

Unless you live in a particularly hot region of the world, chances are you will need to heat your swimming pool. And whether the pool is for family fun, physical exercise, or entertaining, it will be a much more enjoyable experience when the water is warm. With an appropriate pool heater, your pool will be used to the max throughout the summer season, and often beyond. The only thing is to know is which type of pool heater would be right for your purposes.

In the pool industry, there are three main types of pool heater systems – solar powered; electric heat pump; and gas powered.  As the pool owner, your priorities will inform the final decision, and with some good retail help, that decision will be the right decision. Some things to consider:

  • what kind of water temperature do you want?
  • during which seasons will you be swimming?
  • what’s your geographic location and climate?
  • what is the total project and operating budget?
  • what is the size/shape of the swimming pool?
  • is there tree shade or wind pattern to consider?

Solar Pool Heating

A solar pool heater will provide warm water that is both cost-effective and eco-conscious. It will likely provide warm water beyond the summer season. And the experts will confirm that there is enough solar energy in most regions. A solar pool heater is recommended for those who prefer water temperatures that hover in the middle 20’s (centigrade degrees). In some regions, there may be solar energy rebates that could offset the upfront cost of product and installation. When choosing a solar pool heater, it’s possible to purchase a DIY kit or to contract a licensed pool professional to expedite the installation. Either way, it must be done properly, without shortcuts.

Electric Heat Pump

A heat pump is an electric pool heater. Essentially, the heat from warm air is extracted, then heated further (using a compressor), then transferred to the swimming pool water. A heat pump pool heater, when properly installed, can maintain water temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees centigrade. And because this type of pool heater is very energy efficient, the cost of operation is very low. As a pool heater, heat pumps can last up to 15 years when properly kept. However, as an operating machine, a heat pump will require regular service, usually by an air conditioning technician.  A quality heat pump will typically come with a long-term warranty.

Gas Pool Heater

For pool owners who require fast heat-up and consistent temperatures, regardless of the outside temperature, a gas pool heater may be the best option. This is also the best option for heating a hot tub. A gas pool heater (using propane or natural gas) is not the most efficient pool heater you can choose, and therefore not the most cost effective. All things considered, these pool heaters are the most popular option for swimming pool owners. And with many newer models, advanced technology allows for better energy efficiency. However, when compared to electric heat pumps or solar pool heaters, gas heaters will not deliver comparable efficiencies or cost of operation.

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