There has no direct answer to the question “ What is the best pool heater?”. It depends on many factors such as the amount of solar resource, the amount of initial investment you want, the extent of quickness you want for heating pool water. You can choose your desired pool heater after reading this article. Here, I have discussed all pros and cons of the 3 popular types of pool heater.
Why Do We Need To Use Pool Heater
Extend Swim Seasons
We generally use a winter pool cover in the winter season and wait for summer to use the pool again. Using a pool heater, you can swim in your pool all year. You can produce the desired temperature in your pool water by using a pool heater.
Enjoy Winter Break
We get a break from the office and our children from school in winter but we miss our swimming pool. So, you can enjoy and make fun with your children by installing a swimming pool heater.
It is sometimes tough to go outside for running and jogging to keep you healthy in the snowfall. So, you can swim in the extremely cold weather using a pool heater. You can finish your daily exercise requirement by swimming in the pool. Experts recommend not to swim in the cold pool water.
Types of Pool Heater
3 types of pool heater are very popular in the market. Each has some benefits and drawbacks. Which one is the best varies person to person for the budget and other factors?
Type 01: Solar Pool Heater
The solar heater is one of the most cost-competitive pool heaters. After installation, it, forget about the cost of the electricity bill and other operating maintenance. Moreover, they have very low operating costs compared to the other two heaters.
How it works
First of all, the pool is pumped through the pool filter and then pumped through the solar collectors. At the time of pumping through the solar collectors, water is heated and the solar collectors send water back into the pool. You will be amazed to know that it not only heats pool water in the winter seasons but also colds pool water in the summer months.
Factors that you should consider at the time of choosing solar Pool Heater
- Type of Solar Collectors
Different kinds of materials are used to make solar pool collectors. You should choose solar pool collectors based on the climate in your area. Use an unglazed collector system if you are living in freezing temperatures. Unglazed collector systems are made of high-quality plastic or rubber that prolongs the life of the panels. Moreover, the unglazed collector is less expensive compared with glazed collectors due to its inexpensive parts. The installation process of unglazed pool collectors is also cost-effective.
On the other hand, glazed collector systems are made of high-quality materials. A copper tubing on an aluminum plate attached with glass covering, iron-tempered, has been used to produce a glazed system. High-quality materials of the glazed collectors help to capture heat more efficiently. You can use it in any climates in any season.
2. The efficiency of solar collectors
It is measured by the BTU or British Thermal Unit. The higher the number of the thermal units, the better for operating cost.
The purchasing and installing cost ranges from $3000 to $4,000. But you can save the cost of fuel up to 7 years.
Check the durability of the solar heater of your brands. Most of the solar pool heaters last more time than the electric and gas pool heater.
The ways of choosing the right solar heater
Step 01: Evaluate the pool’s Solar Resources
First of all, determine the amount of solar energy your get where you want to set the solar panels. The design of the solar pool heater depends on it.
Both diffuse and direct solar radiation are used in the solar pool heating system. If the building in your house locates south, you will get good heating from the sun. If you want to evaluate the solar resource of your pool site, you can call a solar system installer or supplier in your area.
Step 02: Determine the correct size of the solar system
Many of us ask a common question at the time of buying a solar pool system that what size is the perfect of them. The right size of the solar system depends on many factors. You must consider the following factors at the time of choosing a solar pool heater.
- The temperature of your area.
- The size of your pool.
- The nature of the solar resources in your locality.
- Desired pool temperature.
- The length of the swimming season.
- The use of pool cover.
The professional solar system suppliers use software to determine the exact size required for your pool. A rule of thumb is the size of the solar collector should be 50 to 100 per cent of the size of your pool. The ration increase when you live in a cloudier and cooler area.
If you live in northern California, people use pools 6 to 8 months per year, you need to choose a solar collector system 60 to 70 per cent of the surface of your pool.
Pool covers help to prevent water evaporation and keep pool water warm. So, you can decrease the size by using a pool cover over your pool. You need a larger or separate pump if you want to install a solar heater for your pool.
Step 03: Determination of the site’s orientation and tilt for the collector
To give the proper exposure, tilt, and orientation toward the sun, you need to mound collectors either roofs or anywhere around your pool. The performance of the solar pool heating system depends on the tilt and orientation of the collectors.
You should set the solar heater facing true south to get the maximum amount of solar energy. You can face up to 45 degrees west or east depending on the location you live in.
The right angle for tilting the collectors depends on the frequency of using the pool and the latitude of your house. Tilt at an angle equal to your latitude if you swim in your pool all year. On the other hand, you should tilt at an angle 10 to 15 degrees less than your latitude.
Step 04: Determine the efficiency
The collectors’ thermal performance is the indicator of the efficiency of the solar pool heater. This thermal performance is measured by the British thermal unit or Btu per day per squire.
The higher number of thermal performance indicates the more efficient of the solar heater. You can save the space of mounting the solar collectors and lessens the operating cost by buying and installing a high-efficient solar collector.
Step 05: Compare the system cost of the solar
Some people want to buy a cheap model of the solar heater and have to pay a lot of operating costs. So, you should estimate and compare the cost of every collector models before buying and installing a solar pool heater. You need to calculate the cost by the following ways.
Btu/$ per dollar spent= (BTU/day X number of the piping/panel modules) ➗ The sum of the installation cost
The thermal performance ratings per day 30,000 btu
The number of collector piping or panels = 4
The total cost to install of solar system = $3000
The Btu/ day per dollar spent = ( 30,000*4)/ $3000 = 40
To know more, you can visit the Department of Energy
Step 06: Comply with local codes, covenants, and regulations
You must consider the local codes and building code at the time of installing a solar pool heater.
Installation of the solar heater in pool
The installation of the solar pool heater in the right way depends on solar resources, local building codes, climate, and other safety issues. So, you should contact experienced thermal system contractors.
Do you want to install a solar pool heater by your self, click on the
Maintenance of the Solar Pool Heater
It is the best practice to read the manual of every product to prolongs the lifespan of a product. Like others, you need to take the owner’s manual from the contractor and read it thoroughly to run your solar heater smoothly for more than 15 years. Though solar pool heater requires less maintenance, you can’t avoid the maintenance at least once a year. You can either clean the solar collector by yourself or you can hire a professional. You must ask or want to know the following questions to the contractors at the time of selecting the right contractors.
- Is the company certified by the government?
- Do the members of the company have previous experience for installing the particular type you are going to install?
Limitations of Solar Pool Heater
- The solar pool heater depends on the sun so you may not get the expected heat if the weather becomes cloudy and cool.
- The purchasing and installation cost of the solar heater is higher compared to the other two popular types of pool heater.
- It takes more space of your roof so you get less space for roof gardening.
- Though the operating cost is less, solar heaters heat pool water slowly compared to gas and electric pool heater.
Type 02: Heat Pump or Electric Pool Heater
It is another type of pool heater. Like the other two, it has also some advantages and disadvantages. The following information will help you to know whether you need this type of pool heater or not.
How Do Electric Pool Heater Work?
The electric pool heater captures heat using electricity and heats pool water. At the time of circulating pool water, water passes through a pool filter and the heat pump. The liquid refrigerant absorbs the heat and becomes a gas. This warm gas passes through the compressor and the compressor creates a very hot gas. Then the compressor passes hot gas through the condenser. Through the heater, the condenser transfers the heat to the cool pool water.
Factors that you should consider at the time of selecting an electric pool heater pump.
Due to the higher efficiency of the electric pool pump, the operating cost of it much lower than the gas pool heater. The lifespan of the electric pool pump is higher than the gas heater. Consider the following factors at the time of selecting an electric pool pump.
# 1: Efficiency
The coefficient of the performance or COP is the indicator of the efficiency of the electric pool heater. The higher the number of the COP, the better for heating pool water.
# 2: Size
You have to determine the size of the electric pool heater. But what is the ideal size of the heater?” is a common question. The size of the electric heater depends on the surface area of the pool, the difference between the average air temperatures and the pool, humidity levels, wind exposure, and cool night temperature.
An electric pool heater is measured by horsepower and btu. To calculate an approximate heater size, follow the following steps
Step 01: Determine the temperature of your pool.
Step 02: Determine the average temperature.
Step 03: Subtract the average temperature from the desired temperature. Through this proces, you will get the “ temperature rise needed”.
Step 04: Measure the surface area of the pool in squire feet.
Step 05: (Pool area X temperature rise x 12 ) use this formula to determine the BTU/hour output requirement.
You must consider the primary investment for buying an electric heater and the operating cost of that heater at the time of buying it. You can see the annual savings comparisons of electric pool heater and gas pool heater designed by the Department of Energy.
Installation and maintenance of the Electric Pool Heater
To optimize the efficiency of the electric heater, you need to install and maintain properly. You should contact professionals to install and maintain the heater. Assign the maintenance task at least once a year to your local professional to keep the electric pool heater working.
The Advantages of Electric Pool Heater
- Initial Investment
The initial purchasing and installing cost of the electric heater is far less compared to solar and gas heater.
2. Multiple usages
Most of the electric heaters have the features to cool pool water. So, you can get cool water in the blazing days in summer.
You don’t need to depend on solar energy to heat the pool water. Again, there has no hassle for refilling gas if you use an electric pool heater. You can run the electric heater by your home electricity supply.
The disadvantages of the Electric Pool Heater
Higher Operating Cost
Though the initial cost of the electric pool heater is lower, the operating cost of this type is very high.
Type 03: Gas Pool Heater
The gas pool heater is the oldest and most popular option for heating pool water. The newer models of the gas heater are more efficient than the previous models. Yet, they are less efficient compared to the other two types of pool heater.
How Do Gas Pool heaters Work?
The curious people raise the question “ how do a gas pool heater work? ”to know the process of the working natural gas heater. Generally gas or propane is the most used fuel for a gas pool heater.
At the time of the circulating pool’s water, the water passes to the heater through a filter. The combustion chamer of the heater generates heats and transfer the heat to the pool water.
Suitable For whose?
If you use the pool for a short period of time and want to heat the pool’s water quickly gas pool heater is a great option. It performs the same regardless of the surrounding temperature of your local area.
Factors that You Should Consider At the time of Choosing A Gas Pool Heater
You can minimize the operating cost of the heater by selecting an efficient gas pool heater. The higher the efficiency rate of the gas pool heater, the better for heating and costs of operating.
To determine the perfect size of the gas pool heater, you need to contact a certified pool heater professional. The surface area of the pool, wind exposure, the humidity level of the pool, the temperatures of the cool nights affect the size of the heater. You also should consider the difference between the pool and average air temperature at the time of selecting a gas pool heater.
Like the other two types of pool heater, gas heaters are also rated by the British thermal unit or BTU. The formula for determining the size of the gas heater is same as the electric pool heater.
You should consider both initial investment for the gas pool heater and operating cost of it.
Installation and Maintenance of the Gas Pool heater
You can extend the lifespan of the gas pool heater by installing and maintaining it properly. You should properly follow the instructions of the manufacturer of the gas heater model. A good gas heater last more than 5 years with proper installation and maintenance.
Advantages of Gas Pool Heater
The Most Efficient
Gas poo heater is the most efficient and heat the pool water more quickly than other types of pool heaters. You can make your pool water to your desired temperature through this heater.
Disadvantages of Gad Pool Heater
Higher Installation Cost
You need to install metal pipes below the surface of the ground to fully set up the gas pool heater. The price of the installation increases when your pool locates in some distant place from your house.
Increase Operating Cost
Sometimes the cost of the fuel increase over time. So, the operating cost of the gas pool increases over time.
What size pool heater?
Regardless of the types of pool heater, you should consider the wind exposure, the humidity level of the pool, the temperatures of the cool nights, and other important factors. The size of the pool and the frequency of its usage also affect the size of the heater.
The professional pool heater installation companies use computer software to determine the size of the pool heater. They consider the hundreds of factors at the time of determining the size of the heater. So, you can save your time and avoid the hassles by hiring a heater installation expert.
Involved Costs in Heating Pool
There are 3 types of costs involved with the pool heater.
- The initial investment for Buying and installing pool heater.
- The maintenance cost of the heater.
- The cost of replacement of the parts of the pool heater.
Frequently Asked Questions Of Pool Heter
What is btu pool heater?
BTU or British Thermal Unit is the indicator of the efficiency of the pool heater. The higher number of BTU, the better for heating pool’s water. You can quickly heat pool water by choosing a higher pool heater.
How much is the pool heater installation?
The pool installation cost varies based on the type of heater. It ranges from $500 to $1,000 to install pool heater. The location and the expertise of the pool contractor also affect the cost of installing.
How much solar pool heater cost
To buy and install a solar heater, you need to pay $3000 to $4000.
Do I need pool heater in the hot weather?
The necessity of the heater depends on your temperature preference. If you are a morning bird and swim very early in the morning, you need a pool heater all around the year.
The pool heater is an excellent way to keep the pool water warm. So, we can swim in our pool in all seasons. No heater has priority over others. The right type of pool heater depends on your area and the habit of using pool by you. I have tried to discuss everything from all angels. If you have any inquiries about pool heater, you can contact us.