Swimming Pool Heaters; Gas And Electric

swimming pool heaters

As winter creeps up on us some people would still like to enjoy their pool or spa…and a swimming pool heater is the perfect way to do so.  But if you are considering purchasing a heater for your swimming pool there are a few things you might want to consider first…

There are two different types of swimming pool heaters: Gas & Electric or (heat pump or heat exchanger) and they work very differently.



How they work

In short, Heat Pumps use electricity to draw in the surrounding air, compressing and evaporating the air into a gas, (which allows for increased temperatures) while the swimming pool water passes through these heated coils creating warmer water.

swimming pool heaters


Gas heaters use either natural gas or propane to burn in a combustion chamber while swimming pool water passes through, inside copper coils, creating increasingly warmer water.



Pros & Cons

Gas heaters and Heat pumps each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Whichever heating system you decide to choose it is important that you at least understand the pros and cons of the product your purchasing.


Gas Heaters

swimming pool heaters


Advantages of a Gas Heater:


Heat on demand

Gas heaters heat on demand. Which means it will have your entire swimming pool nice and warm in a matter of hours. This is the main selling feature of gas heaters because typically people do not like to wait for anything.

Initial Cost & size

Gas heaters are “simpler” in that they only really involve a combustion chamber, coils and an exhaust.  For this reason not only are they about half the size of an equivalent heat pump but the initial cost of a gas heater is significantly cheaper than that of an electric heater.

Independent operation

Gas heaters operate independently of the surrounding air, which means they will heat your swimming pool much better in cooler temperatures than a heat pump. Outside temperature typically does not effect the heating process.



Disadvantages of a Gas Heater:


Operating cost & inefficiency

Gas heaters are EXTREMELY expensive to operate and are the most inefficient and costly way to heat your swimming pool.


Gas heaters have an exhaust system because they burn fuel. These emissions are harmful to the environment.

Gas lines

Gas heaters need to either be hooked up to existing natural gas lines or to propane lines that sometimes require installing a storage tank (propane only) or running  brand new lines. This can become costly.

Life span

Gas heaters have a much shorter life span than heat pumps. About half that of a heat pump.


So for those customers looking to simply heat their swimming pool or spa on demand, whenever they want it warm, and not worry about anything else, a gas heater is probably for you.





Heat Pumps

swimming pool heaters

Advantages of a Heat Pump:


Life span

Properly maintained heat pumps can last up to twice as long as gas heaters.


Heat pumps are generally made of materials that are designed to last in the outside weather like your AC unit. They are also usually compared to your refrigerator or air conditioner when talking about reliability.

Operating cost & efficiency

Heat pumps are an extremely efficient way to heat your swimming pool or spa. They also have very low operating costs. (some cost less than $5.00 per day to operate.) Six times less expensive than a gas heater. Heat pumps also do not generate heat.



Disadvantages of a Heat Pump:


Initial cost

Because heat pumps involve a more complex system to generate heat, their initial cost is much greater than that of a gas heater. They are essentially one of the most expensive heating options for your swimming pool.

Heating time

A heat pump will heat your swimming pool in about 24 hours or so depending on the size of your pool and heater. It should heat your spa in about half an hour…

Cold weather

Because heat pumps draw in the surrounding air to begin heating, they are not very effective in lower temperatures and will not work at all under 56 degrees or so.


So for those customers looking for long term, economical heating solutions then a heat pump is your answer.
We also recommend purchasing a Heat pump over a gas heater but the decision is ultimately the customers. As long as we have educated you on the advantages and disadvantages of each then our job is essentially done.



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