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Are you sick and tired of only being able to enjoy your swimming pool in the summer months? If so, you’ve come to the right place, because you’re about to discover the best pool heaters on the market today and learn how to choose the best one for your pool!
From gas heaters and heat pumps to electric resistance heaters and solar heaters, there are many types of pool heaters and a ton of models to choose from, which can make finding the best pool heater for you and your pool seem like an impossible task.
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Unlike most pool heater reviews that simply gloss over a few models and send you on your way, this in-depth guide highlights top ten pool heaters out there and will teach you everything you need to know about pool heaters, helping you turn your frigid pool into an outdoor oasis all year long!
In order to find a good pool heater for your pool and operate it successfully, it’s important to read pool heater reviews and learn how pool heaters work. Swimming pool heaters work by using solar power, gas, or electricity as fuel to create heat, which passes through a heat exchanger and warms the water before reintroducing it to your pool.
Many pool heater reviews simply gloss over certain pool heater models and neglect to mention the importance of having the right sized heater for your pool. The truth is, you can have the best pool heater in the world, but if it’s designed for a 10-foot by 15-foot kidney shaped pool and you have a larger in-ground pool or a smaller above ground pool, it’s simply not going to be a good fit.
The rating of a swimming pool heater is determined by its BTU output. Short for British Thermal Unit, a single BTU is able to raise the temperature of each pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Thus, the more BTUs capable of being produced by your pool heater, the faster the water in your pool will be heated.
Since swimming pools are designed in an array of shapes and sizes and located in different climates, you must determine how many BTUs it takes to heat your specific pool in order to choose the best pool heater. To do so, you need to calculate the following variables:
After you have calculated the temperature rise and surface area of your pool, you can use the following chart to help you determine how many BTUs you’ll need to reach the desired water temperature of your pool:
100,000 – 200,000 BTU 1,000 – 10,000 gallons up to 300 square feet
200,000 – 300,000 BTU 10,000 – 20,000 gallons up to 500 square feet
300,000 – 400,000 BTU 20,000 – 40,000 gallons up to 800 square feet
400,000+ BTU 40,000 – 80,000 gallons up to 1200 square feet
There are basically four types of pool heaters to choose from:
Typically used to heat small therapy pools and portable spas, electric resistance heaters generate heat through electric currents. While they work well, electric resistance heaters require a substantial amount of electricity, making them less than ideal for most pools.
Twenty years ago, any pool expert would have recommended a gas pool heater as this type of heater was widely used and considered the best pool heater option. However, since these types of pool heaters use propane or natural gas to heat pool water, their popularity is in decline as more and more pool owners are opting for more efficient heat pumps rather than paying increasingly higher gas prices.
Similar to electric resistance heaters, heat pumps use electricity to heat your pool. There are two types of heat pumps: air-source and water-source. Like their names suggest, air-source heat pumps transfer heat from the air to heat pool water and water-source heat pumps, or geothermal heat pumps, transfer heat from water. Thanks to their energy efficiency, these types of pool heaters have become increasingly popular in recent years.
Solar pool heaters utilize solar panels to transfer the sun’s heat directly to your swimming pool. The solar panels collect heat from the sun and transfer this heat to your pool water as it is pumped through the circulation system and solar panels. Since solar heaters are dependent upon the sun, they obviously work best in warm and sunny climates. Most pool owners also use an auxiliary heater on cloudy days or during the night.
There’s an array of models when it comes to swimming pool heaters, which can make reading pool heater reviews and choosing the best one for your pool seem like a daunting task. Since everyone deserves to step into a warm, comfortable, and inviting pool, here are a few more things to consider on your quest to find the best pool heater for you:
As outlined above, there are four basic types of swimming pool heating systems: solar heaters, heat pumps, gas heaters and electric resistance heaters. In the end, determining the best heater for your pool boils down to a number of factors, such as your budget, location, and needs, so here’s a little more info on each of these pool heaters to help you make the best purchasing decision for you and your family.
As yow know, solar heaters require no operating costs due to their utilization of the sun’s bountiful energy, making them a cost-effective option in the long-term.
Ideal for recreational use, solar heaters work wonderfully 12-months out of the year in southern climates and help prolong the seasons up north. Although stormy days can hamper their effectiveness for short periods of time, a few bright and sunny days brings the temperature right back to a comfortable level. That being, proper sizing is a must for optimal performance.
Most quality solar pool heaters come with a 10-year warranty and have a lifespan of 20 years. They also happen to be virtually maintenance-free, making them a popular option for busy pool owners with a generous budget.
If you would like to take a dip nearly any time of year regardless of the weather outside, a heat pump may be just what you’ve been looking for. Preferred by many pool owners for their ability to comfortably keep pools between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, heat pumps work extremely well when properly sized.
Unlike gas heaters, heat pumps operate via electricity and actually act similar to a solar heater, extracting heat from the air, compressing it, and transferring it to the water in your pool. Thanks to their relatively high level of efficiency, heat pumps are rather inexpensive to operate and only cost $20 to $30 per month in electricity.
If you would like to quickly heat a pool for short periods of time, then a gas heater is the pool heater for you. Typically over-sized, gas heaters can easily heat and maintain practically any desired temperature in any weather condition.
However, gas heaters are fueled by propane or natural gas and are less efficient and more expensive to operate. For instance, the average pool or spa owner with a gas heater can expect to pay $500 or more over the course of a year in order to enjoy its convenient and therapeutic heating abilities.
Electric resistance heaters work well, have zero emissions and are less expensive than many other pool heaters in the marketplace, but they require quite a bit of electricity to operate and can be costly to install. Therefore, they’re typically only used for small pools or spas that are used infrequently.
If you are shopping for a pool heater, look for something that will be most suitable to you. Factors like the location of the swimming pool, its size and the climate play important roles in determining the type of pool heater you will buy. The cost of operating the pool heater will also play an important role. If you are in a place that experiences plenty of hit and warm weather then a solar heater would be the best heater to opt for with regards to your swimming pool. Others can opt for the solar systems but in seasons that are less sunny they can have alternative backup sources of energy or fuel. Look at the pros and cons of the various types of pool heaters as this will enable you to know what suits you, with regards to installation and maintenance you can consult a pool expert on what choice to go for.
Many pool heaters can be installed by an adept handyman, but it’s recommended to have a professional contractor that can handle any needed electric or gas hook-ups. Most installations can be done in hours or a couple of days.
Unfortunately, the panels and controls of solar pool heaters are specifically designed to heat large volumes of water. Thus, they have a different solar application than standard household solar panel systems and are not directly capable of powering household appliances, space heating, or providing hot tap water.
Depending on the type, make, and model, you can expect to pay $1,000 to $3,000 for the unit itself. Installation, however, can add an extra $150 to $1,500 to the overall cost.
If you’re sick and tired of only being able to swim in the summer months and enjoy the notion of comfortably swimming at night or any time of the year, then the answer is an emphatic yes!
Choosing the right heating method and type of heater for your pool comes down to a number of variables, such as the surface area of your pool, your location, your budget, and your specific needs and desires. By reviewing the four major types of pool heaters above, you’re sure to find the best one for your pool!
Many buyers tend to see the solar cover as an inconvenience but what they don’t know is that the covers are able to reduce the expenses of the solar heater in terms of energy used. This means that you will also be able to save on the amount of chemicals used and water.
All your claims with regards to the warranty of your pool heater will be handled with your employer, with the involvement of the retailer from whom you purchased the pool heater from. From the warranty you will find the details of the pool heater, the contact information of your manufacturer and the user manual will also be there. In case of any issue just call your manufacturer and an expert will be sent over to come and check the pool heater. In case you are in a distant place then the manufactures will be obliged to hire services of independent contractors to come and do the repairs.
It’s true that the gas heater is able to heat up the pool much faster compared to the other sources of fuel. The only challenge with gas heaters is that they have very high operating costs, other additional costs that you need to watch out for are like putting up the propane tank and running a gas line.
Becoming a pool owner is a lifestyle decision. Not only do pools provide a refreshing escape from the relentless summer sun, but they’re excellent for staying in shape as well.
Unfortunately, a pool is hard to enjoy when the water it holds is ice-cold. A pool heater allows you to get the most out of your investment by extending the swimming season and allowing you to swim any time of day.
From gas heaters and electric resistance heaters to heat pumps and solar heaters, there are many types and models of pool heaters to choose from. While each type of pool heater has its merits, the sheer number of pool heaters on the market makes choosing the best one for you and your pool difficult at best.
Adding to the dilemma is the vagueness of most pool heater reviews. Recognizing this, we set out to create a comprehensive guide detailing various types of pool heaters and the best models in each category.
The right pool heater can make a world of difference and allow you to fully enjoy your pool. However, since everyone has different needs, budgets, locations, and so on, it’s important to choose the right type of pool heater in order to get the most out of your backyard oasis.
Whether you have a meager budget and a small above ground pool or a large budget with an even larger in-ground pool, one of the top-quality models above is sure to be a perfect fit for your pool and your needs, so pick one out today and say goodbye to those chilly dips and hello to endless days of warm aquatic bliss!
On a final note, when shopping for the best pool heater for your pool, keep in mind the importance of purchasing a thermal pool cover as well, especially if you choose a gas or electric resistance heater. Without a thermal cover, you will need a larger heater and have to pay twice as much in operating costs. Unless you like throwing your money in the wind, this should be a must-have item in your oasis arsenal.