What if we told you that there is an affordable and efficient way of making every season a pool season? Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? But we’re here to convince you otherwise.
The trick to achieving this dream is quite simple really, as all you need is a pool heater that fits your needs as well as your budget.
But coming across such a heater can be a daunting task for any buyer. And if you’re struggling with the same dilemma, you have stumbled on to the right guide.
After thorough and extensive tests on all the pool heaters that the market has to offer, we’ve handpicked for you, some of our personal favorites that are sure to fit all your swimming needs.
But before we get any further in best pool heater reviews, let’s take a look at the different kinds of pool heaters and their specific advantages and disadvantages.
Types of Pool Heaters.
You might be asking yourself, ‘what size pool heater do I need?’, but the functions of a pool heater has more to do with type than size. And there are as many types of pool heaters as there are customer demands, so it’s essential to pick the one that best suits your pool and your needs.
To make your choice easier, we’ve listed out the more popular and affordable ones.
1. Gas Pool Heater.
With a gas engine base, the gas pool heaters run on the principle of combustion. As the water passes through the filters, the combustion chamber warms the water as it’s returning back to the pool. Therefore the tube in which the water travels is continuously heated, to keep the pool warm for a more extended period.
Initial Costing and Long-Term Outlook.
Even though the initial purchase is cheap, the long-term fuel cost and maintenance makes the gas pool heater quite an expensive investment. The initial purchase of any acceptable gas heater may be as low as $1500, but as gas is not a renewable resource, obtaining fuel on a regular basis, can become costly.
- Heating is almost instantaneous.
- Affordable above ground pool heater.
- Cheap initial buy.
- High fuel cost.
- A non-eco-friendly option.
The gas pool heaters are all about speed and are perhaps one of the best ways to heat above ground pools. The best part is it heats the water almost instantaneously.
And as gas pool heaters mainly run on natural gas or propane, its heating ability is not inhibited by factors such as weather and temperature.
2. Electric Resistance Pool Heater.
The electric heater warms the pool water in short, methodical cycles. As its thermal unit generates heat by electrical currents with the help of an external power source, the water is then allowed to pass through the resistor which heats it up.
But a more symbiotic process happens here, while the resistor heats the water, the water, in turn, cools the resistor down, so that the cycle can start anew.
Initial Costing and Long-Term Outlook.
Though a more eco-friendly alternative to gas heaters, the electric heater in comparison is not as energy efficient and will incur higher electric bills. But just like the gas heater, its initial buy is cheap as well and ranges around $2000.
- Gives a year-round operation as it needs low maintenance.
- Easy installation.
- Simple cyclic heating process.
- Not energy efficient.
- Cost of operation can get expensive.
An electric pool heater might appeal to you more if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly option than a gas pool heater. Even though it might take a longer time to heat your pool, its installation is easy, and its heating procedure is more thorough as well.
3. Pool Heat Pump.
The pool heat pump uses air as its primary heat source, it imbibes the heat from the surrounding atmosphere and then feeds it to the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is the area through which the water passes and gets heated as a result. The water is then channeled back into the pool.
Initial Costing and Long-Term Outlook.
The more conventional heat pumps come at a range between $2000-$4000 and mostly yields a COP of 5.0-6.0. Even though cheap and efficient, a heat pump can only function optimally until a particular air temperature threshold, which lies at around 50 degrees for most models.
- High energy efficiency calls for a low operation cost.
- Not affected by weather change.
- Has a longer lifespan than other heaters.
- Temperature restricted.
- Our Thoughts.
When it comes to pool heating systems, none are as efficient as air-source pool heat pumps. For a pool water heater, the pool heat pump is unique as it uses air as its primary heat source.
The heat pumps operational cost is low as well as it mainly runs on sustainable resources making it a natural gas pool heater that utilizes minimal amounts of electricity.
4. Solar Pool Heater.
The solar pool heater functions by harvesting renewable solar energy. Its panels are installed strategically around the pools, thereby acting as the primary heat source. The water is then drawn into the pump system and let out through these panels, thus getting heated while it returns to the pool.
Initial Costing and Long-Term Outlook.
The solar heaters are expensive when it comes to the initial purchase and lies within a range of $4000-$7000. But it more than makes up for it in the long run, as it utilizes renewable energy which keeps its operational cost low and doesn’t need periodic maintenance.
- Most eco-friendly pool heater.
- Low cost of operation.
- Zero harmful emissions.
- Expensive initial purchase and setup.
- Highly weather dependent.
Solar pool heaters are one of the most eco-friendly options for keeping your pool warm in the coldest of winters. Even though its mode of operation is weather restricted and non-functional on cloudy days, it makes up for it by being amazingly cost-effective.
As the solar heater is naturally powered its heating action is slow as well but to balance it out you can always pair it with a low-grade pool heat pump.
Best Swimming Pool Heaters You Can Buy
Gas Pool Heater.
When it comes to gas pool heaters, the Hayward H400FND effortlessly tops our list, and it’s no surprise why. What attracted us most about it was how versatile and accommodating it was for the existing pool installations. And this amazing adaptability comes with a lightweight design and a sleek modern appearance, which makes it an extremely popular gas heater in today’s market.
But the versatility is not restricted to its design alone; the Hayward also comes equipped with a state of the art finn plate heat exchanger that fits every water condition. May it be salt-based, high flow or aggressive water chemistry, the exchanger’s high durability adapts to all.
With low NOx emission rates and a forced draft combustion system, the Hayward is one of the most environmentally responsible gas heaters as well.
Efficiency, convenience, and reliability are the three highlighting points that came to mind when trying out the Pentair. With the best-in-class efficiency, it’s equipped with a manual gas shut-off that will help to conserve energy and reduce your monthly fuel cost.
But its vertical plumbing fixtures make it challenging to connect to water supplies, as older units had parallel connections which are not that easy to manipulate. Although what the Pentair lacks in versatility, it adequately makes up for with its convenient and easy to use features.
The helpful rotating digital dial and the user-friendly indicator lights make for amazing poolside accessories to have.
The Pentair has an incredibly compact design that provides quite operations as well, which improves the overall deck side experience. And you won’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbors every time you plan to take a dip.
Electric Resistance Pool Heater
If you have a spa of a maximum capacity of 1500 gallons, which is in need of heating during the colder months, then the Hayward CSPAXI11 can be your pick for the day. The Hayward electric spa heater is all about boasting a sophisticated look without compromising on utility and heating.
This electric heater has an amazingly lightweight and portable design that can accentuate any garden decor. It’s easy to fit and can be housed in the most compact spaces, even under spa skirts and poolside steps. With easy to install functions and operations, the Hayward can be an ideal fit for deckside hot tubs and kiddy pools as well.
It has a durable 304 stainless steel build that runs on just 11 kilowatts at 240 volts, thereby keeping your electricity bills in check.
The FibroPool FH055 best suits those who inhabit harsher climates, as it was one of the most durable electric heaters we’ve come across on our list. The ingeniously made enamel-coated steel chassis installed in its build is designed to withstand the elements for years, while also providing a sleek and attractive finish.
And if you’re looking to be able to control your pool’s temperature from the comfort of your home, then FibroPool has got you covered. The easy-set digital panels allow extension add-ons, which enables a more extensive variety of placement configurations away from the unit. This makes controlling the heater from the confines of your home possible.
The FibroPool’s meticulously designed pumps make it one of the most energy efficient heater of its class.
Pool Heat Pump.
Pump pool heaters are not known to be fast at water heating especially when compared to gas-powered heaters. But the Hayward HP21404T HeatPro 140.000 will heat your pool almost as quickly as any other gas heater, if not faster.
And it’s all thanks to its cutting-edge titanium build, which makes the heater’s performance unrivaled and uncompromising even under the harshest conditions.
The HeatPro is exceptionally robust and long lasting as well. It features heavy-duty, “super-quiet” scroll compressors with an injection-molded UV-resistant body which keeps it resistant to rust and physical damage. You’ll not have to worry about its maintenance on a regular basis.
Its lightweight and compact body is quite easy to install and maintain. Its highly flexible features make it perfect for both new pools and existing systems alike.
A bigger model of the HeatPro series of heat pumps, the 50,000 BTU caters to the bigger pools that reside primarily in the coastal areas. It comes with an Ultra Gold corrosion-resistant evaporator fin which is ideal for facing the moisture and salt in the air and the stormy weather of the coastal regions.
Along with the fins, the 50,000 BTU even has a polyethylene screen that protects the evaporator coil hence reducing maintenance costs by keeping the heater functional for long.
And if you live in a crowded neighborhood with noise-sensitive neighbors, then you’ll be happy to know that this heater has an acoustic compressor cover. Not only does it minimize the compressor sound level, but along with the profiled fan blades, it ensures quiet and efficient airflow as well.
Solar Pool Heater.
Well, we’ve finally arrived at the most eco-friendly part of our list, so let’s push things off with one of the best solar pool heaters the market has to offer.
The quality of the SunQuest is unrivaled, to say the least, and it’s completely premium grade but at an affordable price. With superior technology and overwhelmingly positive customer reviews, it sits at the top of the pool heating world.
Perhaps its best feature lies in its installation, which to our delight was a simple DIY project. The SunQuest comes with an easy to follow installation guide and customizable panels with connectors to attach it with. The 1 2/4 inch flexible hose completes the job, and it takes less than 30 minutes to get the whole setup up and running.
The SunQuest range of pool heaters for above ground pools is genuinely one of the best when it comes to customer satisfaction.
What surprised us about the XtremepowerUS is its fantastic durability. Solar pool heaters are at a disadvantage compared to other heaters when it comes to braving the elements. But the XtremepowerUS is as robust as they come and along with a 28”x 20” solar collector, it boasts an amazing heat catching ability.
If you have a somewhat cluttered deck side, then this heaters versatility might just come in handy. It’s quite easy to install, and you can customize the panel placements whichever way you choose.
As it has a large catch surface, the XtremepowerUS can be ideal not just for private spas but public pools as well. And unlike the other solar heaters of its class, it has a much faster heating ability.
When considering pool heating options, it’s necessary to understand your personal swimming needs. With a variety of heater types and each with their unique specifications, choosing the right one can be tough. So, we hope that we were able to help you out with our best pool heater reviews.
But, pool heaters are a more permanent pool heating solution. If you’re looking for a more temporary one, why not go for a convenient solar pool cover?
Feel free to check out this extensive resource we have on solar pool covers here.
Till we meet again!