What Type of Pool Heater is Best for You?
pool heater

Nobody likes a cold pool. Sure, when it’s really hot, you want to jump into cool water, but that’s not the same thing as cold. You want that perfect almost room-temperature water to swim in. But even then, in the summer, because water takes a long time to heat up, the water won’t heat up fast enough during the day. By the time summer temperatures make your pool warm, the cool temperatures of nighttime are already bringing it down. To raise the water temperature, you will need a pool heater, but there are so many choices, including:

  • Propane pool heaters
  • Natural gas pool heaters
  • Electric pool heaters
  • Heat pump pool heaters

These are the most popular types of pool heaters, each with its pros and cons. Heat doesn’t come from anywhere, there needs to be something that to conduct it. But which type of pool heater is better for you? Let’s break down the best choices. 

Propane Pool Heaters

Pros of Propane Pool Heaters

  • Propane pool heaters work quickly. They are one of the fastest heaters available, which means you don’t need to wait too long to jump.
  • Propane is a fuel-efficient energy source. Because propane is an energy-rich fuel, it doesn’t take as much propane to heat pools as it would other substances. A gallon of propane should last a while.
  • Propane is more environmentally friendly than other pool heaters. Because propane is a clean source of energy, it has no negative effect on the environment when it’s used. 
  • Propane works in cold weather. We’ve recently talked about installing a pool in the winter, and if you install your pool early, you could potentially open and swim in it during the colder months of spring. A propane pool heater would make that possible.
  • Propane is widely available. This means that if you run out, you should be able to easily get more propane.

Cons of Propane Pool Heaters

  • Propane is not the cheapest substance. Propane is a liquid, so it is purchased by the gallon like milk. The price of propane fluctuates but averages between $2.50 and $3.50, which means it’s a relatively affordable price for some, but not others, and this may be too much if the pool is in constant use. 
  • Propane tanks are sold separately. While you only need to buy one once, they are not cheap and come separately from the cost of the pool heater and the pool. 
  • Propane is explosive. It’s rare for a propane tank to explode, but it is possible. They must be treated with care and with safety in mind.

Natural Gas Pool Heaters

Pros of Natural Gas Pool Heaters

  • Natural gas works quickly as well! Like propane, natural gas is also known for its speed. There isn’t a large recorded difference in how quickly they heat pools.
  • Natural gas is widely available. Even more than propane, natural gas is available through a wire to your house. 
  • Natural gas is cheap. This does depend on where you live but in many places natural gas can be cheaper than propane and other pool heaters.
  • Natural gas works in cold weather. Due to its ability to quickly heat a pool, it is also good for heating a pool in cold weather. 

Cons of Natural Gas Pool Heaters

  • Natural gas isn’t available in all homes. If you don’t have any natural gas going through your home, this type isn’t available.
  • Natural gas isn’t as fuel-efficient as other fuel sources. Natural gas burns faster than propane, which reduces its energy efficiency. You don’t have to refill it yourself, but you will still be using a lot of it when you heat your pool.
  • Natural gas isn’t environmentally friendly. Natural gas is mainly methane, a greenhouse gas. This means that natural gas is toxic, and leaks can damage the environment. Even if a leak never happens, that’s still a non-renewable resource you’re using.

Electric Pool Heaters

Pros of Electric Pool Heaters

  • Electric pool heaters have a lower upfront cost. Because they use electricity to heat the water, and no other substance, they don’t have installation and storage costs.
  • Electric pool heaters are environmentally friendly. They don’t emit air pollutants and don’t have any byproducts beyond what your electricity provider is already creating.

Cons of Electric Pool Heaters

  • Electric pool heaters have expensive installation costs. They cost more than any other pool heater to install. 
  • Electric pool heaters are slower than other types of pool heaters. Because of how slow they are, they’re not recommended for colder environments.

Heat Pump Pool Heaters

Pros of Heat Pump Pool Heaters

  • Heat pump pool heaters have the lowest monthly cost. They use electricity from your home like electric pool heaters but are different in how they distribute heat. 
  • Heat pump pool heaters last longer than other types of pool heaters. They are less likely to break down or be worn down because they don’t use any other substances to heat water other than electricity. 
  • Heat pump pool heaters are environmentally friendly. They don’t use any greenhouse gases or burn any substances to produce heat, so they emit no pollutants.

Cons of Heat Pump Pool Heaters

  • Heat pump pool heaters have high upfront costs. Because they work so well and are so environmentally friendly, they come at a premium price. 
  • Heat pump pool heaters warm up water slower than gas pool heaters. Propane and natural gas are still faster at heating pools, which means this isn’t a great pool heater for the winter.

Not Sure What Type of Pool Heater You Want? Aqua Leisure Pools and Spas Can Help!

Pool heaters are important to enjoying a pool as often as you want. Some people like cold swims, and swimming in cold water has benefits, but sometimes you don’t want that. Sometimes you just want to have fun with your friends and family. When you want to do that, you need to have a pool heater and one that works on your schedule and budget. We’ll help you figure out what’s best for you and the type of pool you want. All you need to do is contact us today!