swimming-in-snowWinter time is the right time for pool owners to consider adding a heater to extend your swimming season. Owners who opt to purchase a heater have the luxury of enjoying their pool year round. Swimming pool heaters are able to maintain a comfortable swimming temperature throughout the year so that you can enjoy the pool with your family in cool weather and even in the dead of winter. And while there are additional costs in running a heater for your pool year round, it’s not as expensive as you might think. Keep in mind, pool heaters come in a wide variety of types and sizes to match every budget and need.



Which Type of Heater is Right For My Pool?

Swimming pool heaters all function in different ways, each with their own lists of pros and cons. We’ve tried to assemble a short list of the three major types of pool heaters most homeowners consider when making a purchase:

Electric Heat Pump

Even though these pool heaters use electricity, they are actually a form of solar heating. When the air outside the pool is over 45 degrees, these heaters take the warmth from the atmosphere and electrically convert it to the water through a compressor. These are great for year round use because despite bad weather, they will heat the pool to between 80-90 degrees. They’re a bit more expensive depending on the quality of the unit you purchase, but they have a low cost to operate due to their efficiency and can last up to a decade without breaking down as long as they are properly maintained by HVAC professionals.

Gas Pool Heater

Pool heaters fueled by natural gas are great for quick heating. However, due to rising gas prices, they can be a bit expensive to operate, but since they burn so quickly, your pool will heat up in no time. The initial costs to run one are actually quite reasonable and their efficiency is pretty decent, however they add to your utility bills if you run one year-round (unless you’re using propane, which is slightly cheaper).

Swimming Pool Heaters VS. Solar Pool Heaters

Since most pools are built in warmer climates, a solar pool heaters might just be the way to go. They aren’t as powerful as heat pumps (the water doesn’t get as warm), but they are much more efficient in their heating because there is virtually no cost to operate one. Solar pool heaters simply extract the warmth from the daytime air, and your pool pump re-circulates the heated water back into the pool. The solar panels are normally found on the roofs of the house or building and can take up a lot of area because of how large they are (proper sizing, depending upon the proportion of your pool, is crucial for efficiency), but they are reasonably priced and can last up to two decades with almost no maintenance. However, one big drawback is that during bad weather (cloudy conditions) the swimming pool heater will be temporarily out of use. Come to think of it, a raging thunderstorm probably is not the best time to go for a dip anyway.

Finding the Pool Heater That’s Best For You

When you finally decide to purchase a pool heater, make sure to consult a Premier Pools & Spa representative for additional information and installation. Since each pool comes in many different shapes, sizes, and features, the selection of a heater should not be rushed. Factors to consider are costs, budgets, location of the pool, regional climate, location of the roof (for solar heaters), and the desired length of your swimming season. Plus, all pool heaters (gas, electric, solar) has its own specifications pertaining to set-up, so leave it up to an experienced professional for safe and efficient installation.