Installing a swimming pool is a large investment and the cost of maintaining it is not insignificant. However, the reward that can be obtained from having your own swimming pool is not financial (unless you are renting it), it is enjoyment. However in many cases the pool is only usable in the warmer months, as it is too cold the rest of the time, and this limits the return on that big investment. The solution is a pool heater which will extend the times the pool is usable. This table shows the likely costs of using a gas heater by city.
Pool heaters simply make sure that the water is kept at a specified temperature so that it is comfortable for swimmers at all times. The recommended temperature for a pool is usually set at 78 degrees but some people, who prefer to swim in warmer water, set their pool heaters to up to 80 degrees.
The types of pool heaters normally seen in residential applications are gas/oil powered, heat pumps (electric) and solar powered. Choosing which type of pool heating system to install in your own pool is an important decision as there are certain factors to consider like the design of your pool and the house, the pool’s location, and of course your budget.
The most common type is the gas-fired heater which uses natural gas or LPG and is the least expensive to purchase although can be costly to operate, particularly with LPG.
The following are examples of gas pool heaters:
- Laars Lite 2 – A well known range of heaters which were significantly smaller and lighter than their predecessors. The range is now being superseded by the Legacy range.
- Raypak 2100 – The design enables it to withstand all sorts of weather. Just set the required temperature and forget it.
- Hayward H Series – A top quality range of low NOx products using materials that will enable them to offer reliable and efficient heating for many years.
Another type of pool heater is the electric heat pump heater. This is usually more expensive to purchase but running costs are low. This is due to them not generating heat but simply moving it from the air to the water. In fact some “heaters” can be reversed in summer to cool the water.
There is also the solar pool heater that uses energy from the sun. While it uses renewable energy sources, it is costly to setup. Additionally, it requires a solar collection area that is equivalent to the surface area of the pool that will be heated. Also there is still an energy cost as electricity is required to pump the water through the solar panels.
While a heater is a significant additional investment, it will greatly enhance the usability of your pool by extending your swimming season.