Swimming Pool Heaters – Electric | Solar | Gas | Covers

Despite the occasional cold-water enthusiast, most people prefer to swim their laps in pools where the water temperature ranges between 80 and 90 degrees. For these individuals and others who hope to extend the swimming season, the question is not whether to heat the pool at all but what type of heater to purchase.  Swimming pool heaters come in three varieties and we outlined each by efficiency and cost and little known circumstances.

The Different Types of Pool Heaters

  • Solar pool heating, the greenest available, is quickly becoming a favorite with owners of recreational pools. It is hard to deny the appeal of their ecological friendliness and negligible operating costs, but the quality of their performance will rise and fall with the sun.
  • Electric pool heat pumps, on the other hand, are the heater of choice for those who prefer keeping their water warm with or without the help of Old Sol.
  • Gas pool heaters are not only the least efficient of the three but also the shortest-lived. Before making a decision, it helps to know a few facts.


  • Although solar pool heaters will heat the pool’s water to a comfortable low 80s, it won’t generate heat on cloudy days, and during the down times, the water can cool fairly quickly.
  • Electric pool heat pumps will raise the water’s temperature to between 80 and 90 degrees. Although bad weather will not impede their operation, a power failure will put them out of commission in a hurry.
  • While gas pool heaters will warm the water quickly, the expense of running them can pose a problem for some.


  • Despite the higher initial cost of solar pool heating, its utilization of free energy from the sun will keep your electric bill down to an economical $30 to $75 a year.
  • On the other hand, despite their lower initial purchase price, electric pool heat pumps will consume between $250 and $500 worth of energy a year.
  • Gas pool heaters can easily run between $1,000 and $1,500.

When considering which type of pool heater to buy, you must also consider the pool heater unit’s expected lifespan. While most solar heaters will easily serve for 10 to 23 years, the life expectancy of the electric variety will normally range between 5 and 15. It could be the rare gas heater, however, that holds up for longer than five.

The Importance of Pool Covers

Without some intervention, the warmest pool water can’t stay that way for long. Pool covers are essential for keeping the water at a comfortable temperature. They not only do pool covers prevent the escape of carefully generated heat but also serve as excellent barriers to dirt, leaves, children, pets and wildlife. (not necessarily in that order)

Circumstances Alter Cases

Every pool is unique, and the best device for heating one may not suit another. In the end, a careful consideration of pool size, weather, budget and wishes will help the homeowner decide on the best pool heater for his needs.

Contact American Pools & Spas at 407-847-9322 for a free consultation when considering a pool heater and the type that will work best for your inground pool.