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HEATERS: BUYER’S GUIDE & FAQ



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WE ANSWERED

What type of heater is best for me? [open]
The answer to this depends on a few things and what is most important to you in the heater you pick. First, you’ll want to pick the heater that fits in your budget.

Pick a gas heater if you want to heat your pool quickly and want to use it in colder climates (when it’s below 50ᵒF). Note, you’ll typically pay higher operating costs.

Pick an electric heat pump if you want to be more environmentally friendly and want something longer lasting than a gas heater but want something more efficient than a solar heater. Note, you’ll pay a higher price upfront and won’t be able to use it when it’s too cold out.

Pick a solar heater if you’re passionate about wanting the most environmentally friendly option and have the sunlight to do it. Note, this heater type tends to be the slowest and requires direct sunlight. [Shop All Heaters]
How is a heater’s effectiveness measured? [open]
Heat production is measured in BTUs, British Thermal Units. It is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1ᵒF. The greater the BTU, the faster the heater will be able to raise the temperature of your pool and the more it will be able to handle. [Shop All Heaters]
What size pool heater do I need for my pool? [open]
While some solar heater product descriptions include a chart that says how many panels you’ll need for various pool sizes, this isn’t the case with all heaters. You’ll need to determine the minimum number of BTUs you need to heat your pool properly. This will require a little bit of math.

You’ll want to start by determining the square footage of your pool’s surface area.

  • For rectangular pools, use Length x Width
  • For oval pools, use (Length/2) x (Width/2) x 3.14
  • For round pools, use Radius x Radius x 3.14

Now you’ll need to figure out how big of an increase in temperature you’ll want. This is how warm you’ll want to keep your pool during the coldest months you’ll be using it. You’ll need to find the difference between the two. To do that, use:
  • Ideal Pool Temperature – Average Temperature = Temperature Rise You Want

With these 2 pieces of information, you’ll be able to calculate the minimum BTU to look for. Use the formula below:
  • Pool Surface Area x Temperature Rise x 12 (Hours it’ll run) = Need BTU

If you get a heater with a higher BTU than the minimum, your pool will be heated faster. It’ll also use more gas or electricity.
Do I still need to use my solar cover? [open]
Definitely! Whenever your pool isn’t in use, you’ll want to make sure you have your solar cover over your pool. You’ll still gain the same benefits of a solar cover, especially keeping your pool’s heat where you want it — inside your pool. [Shop All Solar Covers]
How long does a pool heater last? [open]
This varies from model to model and can be gauged by the warranty attached to the heater. In general, a gas heater can last up to 8 to 11 years with the average being 10 years, a heat pump will typically last 10 to 20 years, a solar heater might last 15-20 years and electric heaters can last 6-12 years or more.

Of course, this depends on the usage and upkeep of the heater. Maintain the right chemical levels at the right pH balance to not internally damage your heater. Remember the cleaner your pool is, the longer your heater will last! General pool health and overall hygiene are important so that each component of your pool can continue to do its job properly.

[Shop All Heaters]

HEATERS

Pool heaters are a great way to extend your pool season, but they can be a costly investment. You want to make sure you’re getting the best one for your needs. In most cases, a pool heater is installed after the pump and filter system. The heater falls into this cycle of your system, and the pump pushes water through the filter to the heater and then back into the pool.

There are three main types of pool heaters: gas pool heaters, heat pump and electric pool heaters and solar heaters. Each has its own pros and cons.
Gas Heaters [open]
You should choose a gas heater if you want to heat your pool with gas or propane. Remember that propane heaters require propane tanks but they do heat water relatively quickly. This will be useful in colder climates to make your pool swimmable. As for pricing, you’ll typically pay anywhere from the high hundreds to $5,000. The cost for operation involves the gas and propane prices. [Shop All Gas Heaters]
Heat Pumps [open]
Heat pumps use the hot air that is already around the heating unit while using less energy than an electric pump due to it transferring heat instead of creating it. A fan on the pump blows in warm air from the outside and an evaporator coil extracts the heat from the air. The coil’s cold refrigerant is warmed into a vapor, and the pool water flowing through is slowly warmed. This makes heat pumps better for the environment but also takes a longer time to heat your pool than a gas heater. Operating costs are cheaper than gas heaters, however, they are more expensive upfront and won’t work as well in colder climates due to the lack of hot air. [Shop All Heat Pumps]
Electric Heaters [open]
If you choose to purchase an electric swimming pool it will be better for extended use and can keep a pool between 80 and 90 degrees. An electric heater as the name suggests uses electricity to heat the water. However, they will take a longer time to heat your pool than gas heaters. The upfront cost for an electric heat pump typically runs between $2,500 to over $4,500. Operation costs however are less than gas pumps.
Solar Heaters [open]
A solar heater will not be as effective as gas or electric pump since it must rely on sunlight to heat a pool. This heater tends to be the slowest of the three but if you have enough direct sunlight and time this will be the most environmentally and budget-friendly option.

For more information on solar heaters, watch our video



[Shop Solar Heaters]
More Questions?
There’s a lot of options to choose from when picking out a heater, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. If you have any more questions, call our in-house pool experts at 1-800-356-3025.