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Pool Heating Options

Pool Heating OptionsAs winter approaches and the weather cools down, that overused swimming pool is going to see a lot less use. That is, of course, unless you can heat your pool. But, if you are building a pool are looking for solutions for heating your existing pool, you might wonder what your pool heating options are. Also, what are the monthly costs? Does it mean that you will have to get your pool maintained more often? What are your pool heating options?

There are a few options for heating your pool. The most popular are natural gas, propane, heat pump and solar. Natural gas and propane are similar methods, in that they mechanically heat your water as it is recirculated back into the pool. Heat pumps draw heat from the outside air to heat your water.

Natural Gas Pool Heater or Propane Pool Heater

The only main differences between these two pool heating options is that the equipment purchase is slightly different and natural gas is usually quite a bit cheaper. In some cases, natural gas is 70-80% cheaper than propane. It take more natural gas to heat the same amount of water, but, that doesn’t close the gap in cost. Also, propane is, technically, not a greenhouse gas before use. As it burns, it does emit CO2, but it’s still easier on the ecology than natural gas. So, if expense is your major concern, natural gas is your choice. If you want something more eco-friendly, try propane.

Heating your pool with natural gas or propane is faster and more efficient than other pool heating options. But, if you don’t have access to either on your property, this option won’t work for you.

Electric Pool Heat Pump

Heat pumps are an extremely economical way to heat your pool, and don’t require that you have access to natural gas or propane on your property. Sometimes a new electrical panel is needed if the existing panel doesn’t have room for the new heater.

The major drawback for the heat pump method for pool heating options is that it draws heat from the air, rendering it nearly useless when the temperature dips below 50 degrees. In Arizona, we are lucky to enjoy warmer winter temps, but at night it often gets colder than 50 degrees. You may struggle with heating on these cooler days and nights. Some pool owners opt for using a heat pump and a gas or propane heater, only resorting to using the latter when it gets really cold. Some say that swimming when it’s really cold out isn’t pleasant anyway, so they stick with the heat pump as a primary heating method.

Pool Heating Costs

The cost of heating your pool fluctuates quite a bit, depending on how big your pool is, the temperature outside, how you are heating it, and how warm you want the water. It also depends on what method you use to heat the water.

As a pool owner or future pool owner, knowing the amount of gallons your pool holds will be important for maintenance, equipment repair and purchase, and, you guessed it, pool heating calculations. That being said, knowing how long it will take to heat your pool and how much it will cost is a pretty complicated mathematical calculation. Here is an estimate, based on a common pool size.

A 20,000 gallon pool takes about 5 hours to heat 10 degrees with a 300,000 BTU heater. This makes the cost:

  • $20 for a natural gas heater
  • $35 for a propane heater
  • $3.15 for a heat pump (heat pumps require less BTU’s, so this estimate is for 100,000 BTU’s. You can also try this awesome calculator from Pentair.)

No matter how you heat your pool, or don’t heat it at all, many prospective pool owners don’t know that the water needs to be treated weekly, even when it’s not being used or when it’s cold. Without weekly chemical service, the water will become unbalanced and could etch and damage pool equipment. You could also begin growing algae and other nasty germs, especially if it’s a warm winter. So, don’t neglect your pool, even if you aren’t using it. 

Need a pool cleaner? Call us today to schedule an appointment.