If you have a swimming pool, you may want to use it even in the cold months. Having such a swimming pool is really a long-term investment which allows your family enjoy for many years. However, if you plan to use it in cold months, you really need a pool heater which can heat your water. This means even in cold months, you can swim in your pool because the pool water is warm. Due to the advancement in technology, on the market, there are several different types of pool heaters you can choose from, including electric pool heaters, gas pool heaters, solar pool heaters, and pump pool heaters. No matter which type you finally decide to choose, they extend your swimming season. Even if you live in a cold area, they also work and you can enjoy swimming for several weeks when the weather becomes chilly.
Best Pool Heater
We’ve done a lot of research and made this list of the best pool heaters for you. We don’t only focus on only one type, but only concentrate on performance, ease of use, ratings and customer reviews.
1. Heliocol Swimming Pool Solar Heating Panel 4′ x 10′ 6 – HC-40
This is a solar powered pool heater, which means it doesn’t need any power from the grid. The reason we choose it on our list is because of its green energy, maintenance free and savings for money and labor. Once you have installed it, it will not cost you anymore.
2. Hayward H400FDN Natural Gas Residential Pool and Spa Heater
This Hayward H400FDN pool heater is designed to save more energy than you can imagine. At the same time, it provides superior hydraulic performance. That’s why we choose it on our list. This hydraulic design is able to reduce circulation pump run time, making it save up to 18% energy than other less efficient heaters. And it is also able to prevent erosion. Its forced draft system pumps air constantly through its combustion chamber at a desired flow rate, making it weather resistant. What’s more, it combines easy installation on existing or new equipment pads, a standard Cupro heat exchanger and low Nox emission. Therefore, it is really a good choice to heat your spa or pool for years to come.
3. Sta-Rite SR400NA Max-E-Therm Natural Gas Pool And Spa Heater,
As one of the most popular pool heaters on the market, this Sta-Rite SR400NA pool and spa heater is highly recommended by many people thanks to its lightweight and compact design and energy-efficiency. Its compact design means it is perfect for any retro-fit installation. Its housing is sleek and rustproof.
4. XtremepowerUS Inground / Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System
This best solar pool heater features 2” x 20′ Solar Collectors which can raise the water temperature up to 11 degrees F. it also features a quick connect design, so the assembly is pretty easy. How many these solar panels you need for your pool depends on the size of your pool. The larger your pool is, the more solar panels you may need. You can search for some websites to estimate the specific quantity. And this one is also very cheap, which will not be a burden for you. Highly recommended.
When it comes to choosing the best pool heaters for your spa or swimming pool, you really need to know whether the one you choose suits your pool best. And it is worth having such a pool heater, because it enables you to swim or spa even when it gets chilly outside. If the budget is the first thing you need to consider, you can choose a solar pool heater. If you need one to heater water much faster, a gas pool heater is the best choice. Anyway, you can choose one according to your needs.
Pool Heaters Buying Guide
Reading pool heater reviews and learning the functions its functions is important for you to end up getting and operating one successfully. Gas, solar power and electricity are used as a fuel to create heat, so that swimming pool heaters can work. Before reintroducing it to your pool, it will pass through a heat exchanger where the water will be warmed.
The Proper Size Really Matters for Your Pool
Most reviews about the pool heater don’t pay enough attention to the right size of a pool heater. The size really matters. In reality, the best pool heater in the world can be acquired. However, it will depend on the size of the pool. In case the pool’s kidney shape is 10-foot by 15-foot and the in-ground swimming pool is larger or above ground swimming pool is smaller then it will not be a good choice.
BTU or British Thermal Unit output will determine the swimming pool heater’s rate. The temperature of each pound of water will rise by one degree Fahrenheit with a single BTU. For this reason, the pool’s water will be heated faster if there is more production of BTUs in your pool heater.
The number of BTUs really matters when it comes to choosing the best pool heater. And you should choose the right BTUs according the size of your pool. Keep in mind that there are different shapes and sizes of swimming pools that are located in different climates. The variables listed below should be calculated for you to have this done:
- Surface Area
- Temperature Rise
The chart below can be used after calculating your pool’s temperature rise and surface area. With this, the number of BTUs needed in reaching the desired water temperature of your pool will be determined:
Choose the Right Size of Heater Water Capacity Based on Your Pool Surface Area
|BTUs||Volumes Of Pool Water||The Size of Your Pool|
|100,000 – 200,000||1,000 – 10,000 gallons||up to 300 square feet|
|200,000 – 300,000||10,000 – 20,000 gallons||300 – 500 square feet|
|300,000 – 400,000||20,000 – 40,000 gallons||500 – 800 square feet|
|400,000+||40,000 – 80,000 gallons||800 – 1200 square feet|
Which Type of Pool Heaters to Choose From
On the market, there are 4 types of pool heaters you can choose from.
Gas pool heater is recommended by most pool experts in the past. This type of heater is used by many and is known to be the best pool heater twenty years ago. Propane or natural gas is used by this type of pool heaters. However, pool owners go for more efficient heat pumps today that is why they are no longer popular. Pool owners don’t want to spend more on higher gas prices.
Most gas heaters come in cheap prices. One can buy without spending more than $1,500. These gas heaters don’t rely on air temperature for it to function. Heat pumps are mentioned in many pool heater reviews.
Pool water may heat up quickly using gas heaters. Pool will warm up in no time whenever you want to take a dip.
Since gas prices continue to increase, operating it becomes more expensive, which require pool owners to spend $300 to $500 per month.
Gas pool heaters are not energy saving as well because it has 0.80 to 0.85 COP, which is the same to electric resistance heaters.
Gas heaters also are not environment friendly because it emits air pollution unlike solar pool heaters.
Electric Resistance Heaters
This type can be used to heat small therapy pools and portable spas as well as electric resistance heaters that will generate heat using electric current. Electric resistance heaters function will but a substantial amount of electricity is required. Because of this they are not excellent to use in most pools.
Most of the electric resistance heaters are affordable as you can purchase them for less than $2000. Compared to gas heaters, electric resistance heaters are more environment-friendly as they don’t release gas.
Electric resistance heaters will work with the aid of air temperature.
Circuit breakers with large amperage and heavy-duty wiring are required by electric resistance heaters that is why the installation is more expensive.
Operating electric resistance heaters are costly and they are not energy savers because of their 1.o COP.
Solare panels are used by solar pool heaters when transferring heat of the sun directly to your swimming pool. Heat from the sun is collected from the solar panels and the heat is transferred to your pool water, which is pumped through circulation system and solar panels. It is best to use solar heaters during warm and sunny climates because its primary source is the sun. An auxiliary heater is used by most pool owners during cloudy days or night time.
Solar heaters will operate without additional costs.
They can work with the use of pool pump that is why it is highly energy efficient.
Solar heaters will also last up to 20 years just like the heat pumps.
Solar heaters are environment friendly because harmful gases are not emitted by it and renewable energy is used.
Solar heaters are prone to be expensive as it will cost you over $4,000 to purchase a quality system.
Most pool owners nowadays think solar heaters are the best pool heater based on pool heater reviews. These heaters rely on the sun and will work more during sunny days, making it more energy efficient and environment friendly.
Water heats up slowly with the use of solar heaters.
For heat pumps to heat your pool, they use electricity like the electric resistance heaters. Air source and water source are the two types of heat pumps. Air-source heat pumps transfer heat from the air for pool water to heat. Water-source heat pumps, or geothermal heat pumps are transferring heat through water. The popularity of these types of pool continues to increase because they are energy efficient.
Pool owners will spend $50 to $150 a month in operating heat pumps because they have a high level of energy efficiency. Water-source heat pumps will work without air temperature. Also, heat pumps will last long when use as they are durable. They can be used up to 20 years.
When it comes to the topic about friendly to the environment, solar heaters are popular in many pool heater reviews. Renewable energy is used by heat pumps and harmful gases are not emitted by them that is why they are considered environment friendly.
Compared to gas or electric resistance heaters, generally, heat pumps are more expensive. They cost $2000 or more.
For air-source heat pumps to work, they depend on air temperature.
It takes time for an average or large-sized pool to heat with the use of heat pumps than the gas heaters.
Differences Between Different Types
It might take time reading pool heater reviews considering there are too many models and brands of pool heaters that one needs to check out. A warm, relaxing bath in the pool may just make your life better, so here are some features and aspects to look further into in order to get the ideal pool heater for your pool.
- Propane vs. Natural Gas – The best choice of fuel is one that is most available to you at the best price, so that inconvenience is prevented when you need heating most. Remember that for a gas heater, there are only two options for fuel: natural gas or propane.
- Electronic Start vs. Millivolt Heaters – Since there are many different kinds of swimming pool heater available, there are also variations of motor and system models to cater this wide array of models. You may need to choose between an electronic start heater and a millivolt pool heater if you opt for a non-solar route heater. A millivolt pool heater works the same as a gas range that requires a main source of heat in order to keep the system working, but there is a need for regular tending to ensure that heat is constant. On the other hand, the electronic start heater makes use of electricity to kick-start the process. The electronic start heater doesn’t require constant looking over for the main source of heat to keep the system working.
- High-Altitude Pool Heater – This kind of pool heater is best for those who live 2,000 feet above sea level because pool heaters in these areas need specific features fit for places with low oxygen.
Key features When it comes to choose a pool heater
There are many factors that will affect your choice of pool heaters, including expenses, location, and your required specification of the pool heater. There are 4 different types of pool heaters in general that most people opt for and these are heat pumps, solar heaters, electric resistance heaters and gas heaters. Here are short descriptions of each type, so you can easily decide better on which pool heater best fits your family’s need.
Solar Pool Heaters:
Solar heaters are chosen by homeowners because they save expenses thanks to their ability to utilize the heat from the sun. There is a 10-year warranty on a solar pool heater, with its 20-year life span, but this only applies for those that are high quality. Since they do not require too much maintenance, they let the homeowners save expenses in the long run. For those who are living in the tropical and southern regions of the world, they will be able to reap the benefits of the heater all throughout the year and for those in the north, they could still enjoy a warm pool even after the summer season. It is not too effective during stormy days but once the weather goes back to normal, the heater will also work normally. It is necessary that the size of the heater is in proportion to the pool’s size.
Heat pumps keep the pool heated in temperatures of 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and could work all throughout the year, which is why many homeowners pick it for their family pool. With the right size of the heat pumps in proportion to the size of the pool, you will be able to enjoy swimming comfortably no matter what season it is.
Heat pumps cost as less as 20$ to 30$ of the electricity bill per month because they are more efficient compared to other heaters. Heat pumps work like a solar pool heater with the air as its source of heat except that it is powered by electricity.
Gas Pool Heaters:
The gas pool heater is best for those who want to heat the pool within a short period of time. Usually, gas heater systems are bulky but they can heat quicker and keep a certain temperature no matter what kind of weather it is.
Expect to pay more if you opt for gas heaters because the operation is fueled by natural gas or propane only. If you own a spa or an average pool with a gas heater, you are more likely to pay more than $500 annually if you want to get the most out of it and so you can reap its benefits for your spa business.
Electric Resistance Heaters:
This kind of heater is more ideal to small pools, like those that are used in spas and typically are not used every day. They have good operations and are more environment-friendly, more affordable and requires less energy, so it helps you save on expenses in general.
Pool Heater FAQ
Is a professional needed during the installation of the pool heater?
It is always recommended that a professional should help install the pool heater, to prevent mistakes from happening. However, some pool heaters could be installed quickly that even a handyman could do it in a few hours.
Can the solar panels of a pool heater also be the same as regular solar panels for the house?
The solar panels for the solar heater are meant to be used for the machine, so no. They have a unique built compared to the solar panels that are used for homes as they could damage appliances, and fail in terms of heating the walls, or even water from the tap.
How much would I pay for a high quality heater?
The price of each model of a good pool heater depends on the brand, type, and functions, but mostly they fall on the $1,000 to $3,000 price range for each unit. Expect installation fees ranging from $150 to $1,500 in addition to the original price of the unit
Is it advised to use a pool heater considering the surge in the fuel price?
Some people live in places where summertime is the only time they can swim comfortably, or there are those who feel that night swimming is impossible because the water is too cold, which is why it would be ideal for them to get a pool heater.
Which method will be perfect for your pool?
There are many factors that need to be considered including, the size, the surface area, location, amount of money you want to spend, any feature you want to add, and the operation. Since the four classic pool heaters have already been discussed above, you will definitely be able to make your choice easily.
The Bottom Line
Swimming pools are one of the best ways to enjoy a day under the sun, and they also help with your fitness as swimming is a great form of exercise. Having your own pool is a big decision to make because it requires tending.
A pool heater is ideal especially to those who live in cold places but can’t enjoy swimming because the water turns cold quickly. Installing a pool heater is worth it because you get to enjoy a warm pool time no matter what season it is.
Choosing from the type of heaters available is difficult because there are lots of choices for you such as electric resistance heaters, solar heaters and heat pumps , and more. Adding to the complexity of choosing is the advantage and the disadvantage of each kind of pool heater.
Pool heater reviews also add to the difficulty of choosing which one is best. Because of this, we created a guide specifically for it so that a homeowner could understand how each model differs from another and eventually choose one which suits their interests best.
Note that there are differences in the preferences of each homeowner, which is why it is important to figure out how the budget, location, and other features converge into one model. With the right choice, the pool could become a big change in your lifestyle.
It doesn’t matter how much you are willing to spend because the four kinds of pool heaters mentioned are the most common choice for many homeowners, who have made a big difference in how they enjoy their swimming pools despite the chilly weather.
If you want to save while still getting the best from your heated pool, you need an item that keeps the heat longer in the pool. A pool cover is also recommended for those who choose gas or electric heater, and you can shop for them while looking for pool heaters, too. It keeps the heat longer, so that you don’t have to keep the heater on for longer and pay much on the bills.