Pool owners who live in climates that are cold but not freezing during the winter, or owners that just want to extend their season, knowing how to heat a pool comes in handy, so owning a pool heater is the first step (as well as measuring your water temperature)
Let’s heat things up and take a look at some differences between some of the more popular options and things to consider when deciding on or adding a heater to your pool.
How to heat an inground pool
The first question that you should ask is whether or not you need a pool heater. If you can avoid closing your pool and would like to extend your swimming season when it’s not hot outside, then the answer is “yes”, so you do need a pool heater.
There are several different types of heaters. The most common ones are gas pool heaters and heat pumps, although you’ll even find wood fired heaters for the creative owners out there.
Heating a pool requires a different approach compared to heating a hot tub. Let’s take a a look at the most effective types of heating options for your pool.
Types of heating options for your pool
The next question should be “ok, what kind of heater” do I need? The US Department of Energy lists 3 types of the most common pool heaters for efficient heating: gas, solar, and heat pumps.
Let’s break down each type of swimming pool heater you can use to keep your pool nice and warm when it’s cold outside while also keeping the pool heater cost under control!
1. Gas Pool Heaters
Probably the most common type of pool heater is the natural gas (or propane) heater. It can be plumbed into your home’s natural gas feed and you will have a constant supply of gas just like you do for your gas stove or other appliances.
Also be aware that when you add a natural gas heater you will most likely need to upgrade your meter so that it can handle the additional pressure required. This should be discussed with the installer before agreeing to installation service.
If you do not have natural gas service available you will need to use a large propane tank (you know, the really big ones you see in the countryside), but know that you will need to fill it more often when using your heater.
2. Heat Pumps
Swimming pool heat pumps are another great option to heat your pool water, especially if you do not have natural gas or an existing propane tank. Unlike gas swimming pool heaters that create heat to warm the water, heat pumps use electricity to capture ambient heat and transfer it to the cooler pool water to warm it.
This leads to one thing to note with heat pumps, they aren’t effective if it’s below 45℉ outside do consider your climate and how long you want to use the heat pump as you may need to consider a gas heater or heat pump.
3. Solar Pool Heater
Solar pool heaters use a solar collector, similar to what you think of when you think of solar panels for electricity, but they can also come in other forms as well such as wrapped tubing. No matter what the form, the goal is to circulate water through a system that can use the sun’s heat to warm the water and return it to the pool.
Speaking of harnessing the sun’s heat energy, solar water heaters are the most cost effective use of solar in some climates according to the Department of Energy.
There are a few things to consider when using a solar heating system, such as whether or not local ordinances permit them if you are going to install the collector on your roof, whether you have enough access to sunlight to make it worthwhile, and the length of time you can use them during a season.
So there you have it, these are the most common types of pool heaters. They all have their pros and cons, so it’s important to understand which one works best for your individual situation. You need to make sure that the heater is sized appropriately and installed safely, so just like with a new pool build or installation it’s important to find a pool service provider that you trust and has a good track record.
Maximize the use of your pool all season long with a pool water heater and a Sutro Water Monitor to help you keep your water warm and clean and clear even when it’s chilly outside!