Swimming Pool Heater Basics, Needs and Types, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on the various pool heaters and related items available for your new swimming pool. Even in warm summer locations like Utah, water temperature will not always match the outdoor temperature, and in fact will often be a lot cooler – which is why many pool owners choose to install a heating component.

At Packman’s Pools, we’re happy to discuss heating elements and your options within this realm during any of our custom swimming pool design and construction planning sessions. During today’s part two of our series, we’ll dig into a couple other pool heater types available to you if you’re going down this road, plus how to choose the proper size for your heater.

swimming pool heater basics types

Electric Heat Pump

Slightly different from other heating formats, electric heat pumps work by pulling in heat from the air and transferring it into the pool’s water. This is done in a similar format to solar heaters, allowing for strong energy efficiency and better environmental friendliness than gas heater types.

Generally, electric heat pumps are very inexpensive to operate – between $50 and $100 a month in most cases, one of the most cost-effective options. They do come with a higher installation and up-front cost, often ranging from $2,000 all the way to $7,000 or higher for certain custom models, but this value is realized over years of efficient use and low operating costs.

One note: In areas that sit below 55 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer, electric heat pumps might not be an option. They generally require air temperature of at least 55 degrees to operate.

Gas Pool Heater

For those who live in cooler climates or want the fastest possible pool heating, gas pool heaters are usually the way to go. These models are not as energy-efficient, which is a big downgrade for some but might not be as large a concern to others.

Gas heaters cost far more to operate than other types, usually between $300 and $500 per month due to the need for gas power. Installation and up-front costs may be cheaper, but the expenses add up over a period of months or years. Gas heaters also may have a shorter lifespan than other heater types.

Choosing Proper Size

No matter which of the options we’ve listed here you end up choosing, pool heaters will be sized based on British Thermal Units, or BTUs. The greater number of BTUs your heater is rated for, the faster it can heat your pool – this means larger pools require higher BTU ratings, generally.

In most cases, pool heater output should be rated for 50,000 BTUs for every 10,000 gallons of water present in the pool. If your pool holds 40,000 gallons of water, then, your heater’s BTU output should be at least 200,000.

For more on choosing the ideal pool heater for your new swimming pool, or to learn about any of our pools or custom spa builders, speak to the staff at Packman’s Pools today.