POOL HEATERS – All You Need To Know
We will provide all the information you need to know about pool heaters in general and the popular models on the market.
Do you need a pool heater?
You may be concerned about the cost or perhaps that heating a swimming pool might be environmentally unfriendly. These are valid points but if you have already made a significant investment in a pool you will get a lot more use out of it with a pool heater and swimming is a very good form of exercise (see Why install a Pool Heater).
What type should you go for?
Before looking at pool heater reviews of individual models you need to decide on the type of heater you want. You can choose between:
- Direct Electric Heaters – Expensive to run and really only worth considering for a small above ground pool see Electric Resistance Pool Heaters.
- Natural Gas Heaters – A popular choice, these are powerful and reasonably cost effective. Available with both electronic and millivolt ignition (electronic ignition is better for several reasons but it requires an electricity supply) see Gas Pool Heaters.
- Propane Heaters – Most natural gas heaters are also available for propane and they are identical except that the propane version costs much more to run.
- Electric Heat Pumps – Increasing popular, although they are more expensive to buy than gas heaters they are cheaper to run. Their heating capacities are lower than gas heaters so they are best suited to pools that are heated for long periods (i.e. they take longer to get the water up to the required temperature) see Pool Heat Pumps.
- Solar Pool Heaters – The most environmentally friendly option which can be effective given the right location (see Solar Pool Heater).
The graphic below is from the Raypak Heat Pump brochure and gives the comparative energy costs:
What size of pool heater do you need?
This is a common question which is not quite as straightforward as you might think. There are tables which give guidance based on pool size but location also has a big impact. The big enemy of pool heaters is wind (see Pool Heater Sizing and Choosing A Pool Heater) !
Where to buy a pool heater?
Of course there are many potential suppliers so it is worth looking for any special offers but watch out for high shipping costs.