Pool Heaters

Jump right in anytime. - The right heater fo you!

POOLS AREN'T CHEAP, so does is not make sense to add a pool heater to add as much as 90 days to your swimming season for just a fraction of your original investment? We think so!

While your neighbor's unheated pool is empty you, your family, and friends can be swimming in warm water for the lowest cost possible. No children with blue lips, no excuses for not having a pool party, just warm water fun when you want it. And it's environmentally friendly too!

swimming pool heater heat pump diagram

There are three types of heaters available for your pool: Electric, Gas, and Heat Pumps. If you haven't already guessed we are talking about HEAT PUMPs. A heat pump is a machine that moves heat from one area to another. You may have a heat pump now heating your home using the outside air or geothermal as a heat source. If you own a refrigerator or an air conditioner you already own a heat pump! In those cases the heat is being moved from IN the house to OUTSIDE the house. In the case of a pool heat pump the heat is being removed FROM the outside air and put INTO the pool water.

The beauty of a heat pump is its efficiency. Because a heat pump is not actually MAKING heat but rather MOVING heat, it is a fraction of the cost to use over other pool heater types. There are a couple drawbacks, however. The first is what’s called 'recovery'. The recovery is the speed that the desired temperature is reached. This is the same as we talk about a home water heater or furnace. A heat pump may take two days to bring your pool to the desired temperature verses one day using a gas heater but at a third of the cost. Most people think that’s well worth the tradeoff.

The second down side to a heat pump is the NEED for heat in the air. We refer to this as the ambient heat. The less heat that is in the air the less efficient heat pumps are. If you try to heat your pool when the outside air is in the 40's 50's and even low 60's – The heat pump will work but is not as efficient as it could be. This is not typically a problem because usually you’re not going to be swimming in those temperatures either.

The second type of heater is a gas or oil fired heater. These are frankly the most common type of pool heater due to their cheap initial price to install, and up until the last decade the only real option versus electric coil. Many pool builders use gas because they are cheap to install and clients like that...until they get their first gas bill. They can also be attractive to a family that needs a very FAST recovery time or wants to swim into the early winter (20-40 degrees F) or heat a hot tub when a heat pump will simply not pull the heat out of the air they need. This speed and ability to heat in the winter however comes at a cost. At the present natural gas per BTU is about THREE TIMES the cost of that yielded from a heat pump. In the Midwest (40 Latitude) there are very few customers that really need or should use gas. In northern climates gas may make more sense.

gas swimming pool heater

In addition to the cost to operate gas pool heaters there is another downside. Most gas heaters are made with copper heat exchangers. Copper is a metal that is sensitive to imbalanced water. If you don’t have perfectly balanced water OR you have a high level of chlorine you will quickly damage and perhaps ruin your heat exchanger. If you are planning on using a salt chlorine generator there are heaters that have a cupro nickel heat exchanger that are much more resistant to corrosion, but you will be looking at a similar cost to the heat pump counterpart that comes with a lifetime warranty titanium exchanger.

electric swimming pool heater

The last type of pool heater is an electric heater. This is the absolute CHEAPEST heater to put in but the MOST expensive to operate. The heater works similar to your oven. An electric coil is heated up red hot with electricity and water runs around it. Costs twice as much as gas and not even a consideration for 99% of all people. Electric pool heaters are also very susceptible to chemical damage just like gas heaters. The only application for an electric heater is for a spa or small pool that needs heat when the ambient heat is low and a heat pump could not operate and gas is not available. In most cases if a pool contractor is pushing you into an electric heater...RUN!

In general swimming pools can be heated very efficiently by using a heat pump. They are efficient because they are not making heat but rather moving it from one space to another just like a heat pump (or AC) in your home. Unless you want to heat your pool in extremely low temperatures (in which case you likely would not be swimming anyway) a heat pump is the best option for cost effectively heating your inground pool.


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