Understanding Your Options for Pool Heating
Having a heated pool can make it more comfortable to use during cooler summer days, and allow you to use it more often in the spring and fall when the water isn't going to be warm enough on its own. A heated pool can also be used into the night, keeping everyone comfortable. You have many options for heating a pool and understanding how each one works can help you to better decide on which is right for your pool and your budget.
1. Solar Heaters
Solar heaters have the advantage of no costs incurred when they're used, since they use solar power to keep the pool heated. The water pump of your pool circulates the water over the heated coils or panels of the heater and deposits it back into the pool. These are also the most environmentally-friendly option since they create no pollution from energy usage to operate.
The downside of solar heaters is that they do need to have sunlight to get warm, so during darker days you may notice that the pool water does cool off slightly. (For more information, contact Pool Solar & Spa.)
2. Electric Heaters
Typically called a heat pump, electric heaters are the most reliable form of heater for the pool and easier to operate than a gas-powered pump, since you don't need to fill one with fuel. They also have the advantage of exact temperature control, so you can adjust the temperature as you see fit.
The disadvantage of electric heaters is that they are more costly to operate in terms of your utility bills. This is especially true if you use your pool during the cooler seasons and during off-hours, as you'll need to run the heat pump almost consistently to keep the water at an ambient temperature.
3. Gas Heaters
A gas heater is best for pools that are only used occasionally, or for when you only need to heat the pool sporadically. These are not a good choice for constant and consistent heating, as they burn through propane with each use. If you have a pool in a second home or vacation home or only need to heat it for a few weeks out of the year, they can be an affordable option.
The downside of gas heaters is that you must keep them filled with propane, and the tank for the propane itself can be cumbersome. In some areas gas pool heaters can be hooked up to a city gas supply, but if not, you would need to purchase and connect your own propane tanks regularly.