Pool Heater Options

Pool Heaters vs Pool Heat Pumps Which One to Choose?

In Pool Features by Platinum Pools

Whether it is a spanking-new swimming pool or an existing oasis, adding a heating system requires some research and having money upfront. Depending on multiple factors will decide whether you want a pool heater or a heat pump. But which is better suited for the climate of Southeast Texas? Which one is effective for a pool and spa combo? Let’s take a look.

Pool Heaters

Pool heaters are a popular option for warming swimming pools and spas. Many people are familiar with the traditional pool heater. Fueled by either propane or natural gas, select newer water heaters to fit a swimming pool’s size and energy-efficiency needs. 

How Pool Heaters Warm Your Pool

Whether it isnatural gas or propane-fueled heater, it burns inside the heater’s combustion chamber to generate heat. The water travels inside the pump, and the coils heat it before returning to the pool. The process is continuous, quickly getting the pool or spa water up to the desired temperature.

Benefits of a Pool Heater

  1. Cost – natural gas or propane-powered pool heaters generally cost a bit less upfront than a heat pump, making them an attractive option for many homeowners.
  2. Quick Results – a pool heater will change the water’s temperature quickly and at the desired temperature. 
  3. Excellent for Cooler Climates – pool heaters create their source of heat inside the combustion chamber. Usually, it is the best option for people who live in cooler climates where the outdoor temperatures go low.
  4. Great for Spas – if there is a spa, then a pool heater is the best option. It heats fast, and it gives high temperatures. 


Drawbacks of a Pool Heater

  1. It May not be as Energy-Efficient – pool heaters work fast to get the effect it needs. However, it requires a lot of power to heat a pool quickly, and, therefore, it may not be as efficient as a heat pump.
  2. Higher Operating Costs – the cost of natural gas or propane used to fuel a pool heater can add up quickly, primarily if used regularly.
  3. Not for Everyday Use – if a homeowner plans and heats their pool every day — rather than for a few weekends per year — it may be best to consider a heat pump. 


Heat Pumps

Heat pumps use the surrounding air and then transfers it to a pool’s water. Contrary to using gas or propane, it uses electricity to heat up your pool’s water. 


How Heat Pumps Warm Your Pool

A pool heat pump has a fan that absorbs the air outside. Once the air goes through the evaporator coil, a special liquid within the loop absorbs the heat and becomes a gas. After going through the heat pump’s compressor and condenser, the gas’s heat increases. Meanwhile, a pool pump works to circulate cool water into the heat pump.   

Benefits of a Heat Pump

  1. More Efficient Over Time – heat pumps, in most cases, cost more upfront than pool heaters. However, they are more cost-efficient since it requires less energy, especially in a warm climate.
  2. Works Great in Warm Climates – since a heat pump works by transferring heat from outside air into the pool, it works well for warmer temperatures where the air stays warm year-round (above the 40 to 50-degree range).
  3. Great for Frequently Used Pools – heat pumps may not heat as quickly as a gas or propane heater. On the other hand, it is an option for keeping a steady set temperature in a pool. It is a desirable choice for homeowners who plan to use their pools frequently.
  4. Operational Costs – the cost to use a heat pump is lower than a traditional gas heater. Heat pumps rely on ambient, ambient air temperature instead of content gas fuel flow that pool heaters use. 

Drawbacks of a Heat Pump

  1. Slow Heating Process – heat pumps do not generate heat as quickly as natural gas or propane-powered tank and not for heating a spa. 
  2. Not Appropriate for Colder Areas – if outside temperatures go under 40° to 50° degrees, the best option is to get a pool heater. 

Ask About Pool Heaters and Heat Pumps

Heat pumps and pool heaters are good options. However, when it comes to deciding on buying one, it is better to keep in mind the following: 

  • Both units can heat the pool to the desired temperature, but pool heaters can do the job faster. 
  • Heat pumps are great for warm climates, while a pool heater is better for lower temperatures.
  • If a homeowner chooses a gas heater, it is better to examine the cost and availability closely.
  • If a homeowner wants to save money, then consider a heat pump. It uses less energy; despite that, it may have to deal with upfront costs. 

An expert in pool installation can talk you through the climate factors, efficiency questions, and lifestyle needs that will shape your decision.