Best Pool Heaters
Choosing The Best Pool Heater For Your Application
As autumn and winter draw closer, we receive many calls and inquiries about swimming pool heaters. The questions range from which brand is best to what type of pool heater is best for my application. The answers vary as there are many factors that go into determining the best pool heater for your swimming pool or hot tub. Since this is a fairly large topic, we will have to break this down into several blogs to sort it out and get the information in here. So let us start with the basic types of pool heaters and their best applications.
Solar Pool Heaters
Solar pool heaters work by using the sun’s energy to heat pool water as it passes through panels or tubes typically placed on a rooftop. Your existing pool pump circulates the pool water through the panels for heating, then back into the pool. This is a fairly economic way to heat the water if the location of the pool and panels are right.
Because the average BTU’s of a solar pool heater are limited, they work best year round in southern climates with much sunshine. Cloudy or rainy days will definitely reduce the heat output of these units, but a few sunny days in a row and the pool water will warm back up again. Pools in northern locations should use another form of heating their water as solar panels have little effect during the cooler months.
Gas Heaters And Propane Pool Heaters
Gas pool heaters and LP pool heaters work by burning fuel within a chamber and transferring that heat to the pool water. The use of a natural gas heater or a propane heater will require a storage tank for propane, or a natural gas line hookup.
Gas or propane heaters have the highest BTU rating and work great in any climate. They are the quickest at heating up and maintaining warm pool water temperatures. Although very effective, pool heaters of this type can be costly to operate daily or over extended periods of time. Great for quick heat ups for short periods.
Heat pumps are often referred to as electric pool heaters. These pool heating systems work by absorbing energy from the outside air and compressing it. This compression of air causes heat, which is then transferred to the pool water. Heat pumps are great at maintaining pool water between 80-90 degrees all year. Because the cost of electricity is less than the cost of natural gas or propane, heat pumps are cheaper to run on a regular basis or for long periods of time. The downside of the heat pump is they become ineffective in cooler climates or temperatures below 45 degrees.
Regardless of which pool heater is best for your application, a good solar blanket or thermal pool cover is needed to help keep the heat in the pool water.
I hope this short blog helps sort out the basic differences between pool heaters and their applications. For more on pool heater sizing, please read our other blogs on the topic. Thanks again for reading.