Swimming pool heaters vs pool heat pumps

Swimming pool heaters vs pool heat pumps

Pool heaters can come in handy to stretch the pool season beyond the summer months. As a pool owner, you can choose between a gas heater or a pool heat pump. Both options are as excellent as efficient, however in order for such equipment to work properly, your pool or spa water must be balanced.

A smart water monitor like Sutro will solve your pool maintenance issues by keeping it monitored at all times.

Based on conditions such as budget, climate and your own lifestyle, you might be better suited with one type or the other. Let’s take a look at the facts about swimming pool heaters vs pool heat pumps, as well as its pros and cons.

Swimming pool heaters

Swimming pool heaters are one of the most popular choices when it comes to heating your pool water all year round. They use natural gas (or propane) to heat water, pumping it from the pool to the heating chamber where gas is burned, and then back to the pool.  

Gas pool heaters are better suited for colder climates

Pros of pool heaters

  1. Natural gas heaters are great if you want to heat a pool quickly. For example, let’s say you’re setting up an impromptu pool party and you need to heat the water in no time, then pool heaters are a great choice.
  2. If your property has access to a natural gas service, it makes perfect sense to choose a natural gas pool heater.
  3. Since the water heats up quickly, they’re perfect if you don’t use your pool on a regular basis, or if you want to heat your hot tub, spa or a small pool for that matter.
  4. Gas pool heaters cost less than heat pumps, so they require a smaller investment upfront.
  5. They’re better suited for colder climates.

Cons of pool heaters

  1. Repairing and maintenance issues. If pool chemicals in your water are not well balanced, natural gas heaters are more vulnerable to malfunctions due to corrosion. 
  2. They’re not that energy and cost efficient. As gas prices fluctuate, the cost of regularly heating your pool can increase tremendously, especially in the colder months.
  3. Installation price. Even though they have a lower cost compared to heat pumps, installation plus connecting a natural gas pipe to the pool heater, could mean a much higher installation price.

Electric pool heaters or pool heat pumps 

This type of pool heating device uses electricity to heat your swimming pool water. They do this by taking the air around the unit, then passing it through an evaporator coil, turning it into gas and transferring it heated to the water, back to your pool.

Heat pumps are the best choice if you own a larger pool and you want to use it regularly. 

A pool heat pump do a great job of keeping a constant water temperature

Pros of using a pool heat pump

Even though they have a higher upfront price, in the long run they’re more cost efficient, (given your pool is located in warmer climates). This is due to the fact that heat pumps use the ambient air, then the higher the temperature, the less energy they require to function. 

They also offer this benefits over gas pool heaters:

  1. They work better in warmer climates.
  2. Great if you plan to heat your pool frequently. 
  3. Heat pumps keep a constant water temperature.
  4.  They’re easier to install.

Cons of heat pumps

  1. If speed is important to you, you might want to know that they work slower than a gas heater. 
  2. Not that efficient if you want to heat a hot tub or Jacuzzi. 
  3. Not recommended for cold climates. Although they can perform in low temperatures, they’re more efficient above 50ºF.

Conclusion – Pool heaters vs pool heat pumps

The major deciding factor in choosing between a pool heater or a heat pump comes primarily to location, followed by budget and your pool needs. 

If you live in colder climates and want to open your pool beyond the summer months, you should consider a pool heater. Same case if you need to quickly heat your hot tub or pool.

In this case you’ll also want to take a look at the costs of gas or propane in your area, and take it into account. 

On the other hand, if you live in milder climates and you want to extend the use of your swimming pool, a heat pump is your best fit. It may cost more money upfront, but in the long run, you will definitely save costs and energy with this option. 

Either way you go, having your swimming pool or hot tub water properly balanced, will increase the lifespan of your pool equipment. 

Sutro will measure and monitor the water chemicals of your pool or spa, and send you the right treatment options adjusted to your pool needs.

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