Swimming Pool Heater Basics, Needs and Types, Part 1

There are few things worse than stepping into an ice-cold swimming pool you weren’t expecting, and you might be surprised how often this can happen even when the weather outside is beautiful and warm. Outdoor air temperature does not always match up with the water temperature in a given pool, and this is why many pool owners, even in warmer states like Utah, choose to add a heating element to their swimming pool.

At Packman’s Pools, we’re happy to discuss pool heaters and numerous other components during our custom pool construction consultations and design sessions. Does your swimming pool need a heater, or might other basic water-heating alternatives suffice? If you do decide on a heater, which of the three primary types should you choose? This two-part blog will cover each of these topics to help you understand everything you need to know about swimming pool heaters.

Does My Pool Need a Heater?

Here are some very basic questions to ask yourself that will help dictate whether you should install a pool heater in your new pool:

  • Is my preferred swimming temperature relatively high?
  • Will children, older adults or anyone with temperature sensitivity be using the pool?
  • Is the pool indoors or often closed-in?
  • Do I enjoy an extended swim season that includes late winter or early fall months?
  • Do I have room for a pool heater in the budget?

If you answered in the affirmative to at least one of these questions plus the final one, you should at least consider heating possibilities. Even if you’re unsure about the answers but want to learn more, you should investigate further.

Pool Heater Alternatives

Now, some pool owners find they can adequately heat their water without spending on a pool heater. Some basic DIY methods here include:

  • Ensuring optimal, prolonged sunlight on the pool
  • Using a solar cover rather than other types
  • Keeping the pool shielded from wind
  • Placing solar rings over the top of the pool to help absorb warmth
  • Using heating mats and water circulation (most valuable in smaller pools)

Solar Pool Heater

If you do choose to go with a pool heater, the most environmentally-friendly option available is solar-powered. While these options are on the pricy side to install, they make up for this cost by providing tremendous value and low-cost operations for years and even decades, generally lasting 15-20 years with proper maintenance. They also tend to come with solar tax credits, which benefit you even further financially.

Now, solar pool heaters may be a bit more laborious in terms of installation in addition to their higher up-front cost. They are also dependent on the sun, so there can be days or periods where they aren’t as efficient. Generally speaking, though, their benefits tend to far outweigh their drawbacks.

For more on swimming pool heaters, or to learn about any of our custom swimming pool design or construction services, speak to the staff at Packman’s Pools today.