Just imagine a nice, clean and sparkling pool in front of you…
You dip your toe and its real cold. Well, the low temperature shouldn’t be keeping your from enjoying a swim, and you are lucky enough to have portable water heaters for pools as an ultimate solution to relish a swim or even a pool party at any time of the year.
Best of pool heaters come with a number of features but also differ in their types, installation, maintenance costs and so on …
Let us start with the basics, we have covered electric gas and solar pool heaters for your above ground or an in-ground pool to control the swim season with these wonderful pieces of equipment. But be sure that the one you pick suits you and your pool needs.
Best Portable Swimming Pool Heater : A Quick Comparison
Top 7 Portable Water Heater For Pool
Electric Pool Heaters
Electric pool heaters work to pull the heat from air and then transfer it into the pool water. Technically this is a kind of solar energy as it depends on the air temperature that surrounds to work.
Though the heat pumps that are made with newer technology work even with lower outdoor temperatures.Their installation charges may cost you around $2,000 to $7,000 up. These can be used at any place irrespective of the time of the year.
Cost: Around $50 to $ 100 monthly, basically cost effective
Comparison: They are environmentally friendly than the gas heaters but expensive than the solar pool heaters
Life Span: Long, around 10-20 years
1. FibroPool FH055 electric inground pool heater
- Size: 48 x 20 x 24 inches
- Weight: 120 pounds
- BTU: 55,000 British Thermal Units
You can extend your swimming season with this large capacity-heater. This is designed to heat up inground and above ground pools both. Any in-ground pool which is up to 10,000 gallons and aboveground 15’ x 30’ oval and 21’ round, this pool warmers can be used for.
This uses a Copeland high-pressure (COP) differential compressor with a titanium heat exchanger. This works to maximized energy efficiency (COP of 5.92), like this gives an output of 5.92 x heat for every dollar of electricity.
This runs exclusively using a 220 V-circuit (not 110 compatible).The installation can be done in less than 30 minutes with 1 ½” compression fittings.The case is enamel coated and can last for long time.
- A sleek design with a weather-proof case.
- 100% Titanium heat exchanger.
- Digital display and controller.
- Costs just 25 cents per hour (US Department of Energy, energy efficient system).
- Quick disconnect piping.
- Powered by clean and effective electricity keeping it eco-friendly.
- Some aren’t happy with the customer service.
2. Hayward CSPAXI11 11-Kilowatt Electric Spa Heater
- Size: 0.00 x 8.31 x 12.00 inches.
- Weight: 12.17 pounds.
This features a tank of stainless-steel along with a safety sensor. The light indicates when the heater is on. Operates at 240-volts this model has a stainless-steel threaded head and an easy-to-use dial.
This features a safety-sensor electric heating element. Above ground and in-ground pool compatible. UPS is shippable with the product. All the manual instructions should be followed seriously to avoid any malfunctioning.
- A heater on indicator light.
- 304 stainless-steel tank.
- Comes with a 304 stainless steel threaded head.
- Safety sensor electric heating element.
- A service-ease design that gives simple access to internal controls.
- Reset button issues.
Solar Pool Heaters
Solar water heater for pool make use of solar panels for heating pool water. Adequate heat is absorbed from the sun to be transferred through a circulation system into the pool. The terrains that have a lot of sunlight are the places where these pool warmers for solar prove of great worth.
Their installation charges may come around $2.500 to $9000, depending on the unit size. It requires space too for installation and the roofs are ideal for them. they may be bigger than your pool size. Even the solar inground winter pool covers are also available that help in retaining the pool’s heat later. For this you can keep the pool covered in the night.
Cost: Around $300 to $950 yearly
Comparison: They are environmentally friendly and relatively less expensive than other types. But are sun dependant for generating heat.
Life Span: Long, around 15-20 years
3. Smartpool S601P SunHeater Solar Heating System
- Size: 48 x 1 x 240 inches.
- Weight: 29 pounds.
The SunHeater is a well-renowned brand that is into pool heating for 20 years. The heating panels are constructed with durable polypropylene and this solar pool heaters for inground pools is designed for easy DIY installation that raises the pool temperatures as much as 15 degrees F.
This has a liquid heat shield that locks in heat by reducing pool water evaporation. The amount designated for your pool should be added by using the easy-to-read markings on the bottle.
The solar blanket can be applied and removed with ease with the advanced reel systems. You can use for both above ground and inground pools. Installation kit is sold separately.
- Features a direct flow system with one header hole for each heating tube.
- This comes with 80 square feet of solar panels.
- Appropriate for heating any in-ground pool.
- Raises pool water temperature decently.
- Dependant on the sun’s heat.
4. SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater 2 by 20-Feet
- Size: 120 x 27.5 x 16 inches.
- Weight: 18 pounds.
This installs easily on ground, fence, rack, or roof. This has a patented web design for maximum exposure to sun’s rays. Utilizes the existing pool pump. Raises pool temperature 6-10 degrees F.
This solar heater for above ground pool is certainly a cost-effective way to heat your pool and by simple DIY installation you can set this pool warmer for above ground or in-ground pool.
At least 6 hours of full sun are sufficient during the day as longer the collectors remain in the sun they will work better. It is suitable to have a southerly direction if you are mounting the pool heater on an angle.
Once your pool is swim ready then you can enhance the fun by adding a pool basketball hoop to your pool. A product proudly manufactured in the United States.
- This is easy to install with DIY (Do it yourself) method.
- A patented web design for maximum exposure to sun’s rays.
- The power source type is manual.
- Uses existing pool pump.
- Extremely cost-effective.
- Not appropriate for rainy weather places.
Gas Pool Heaters
Natural gas or propane is used in the combustion chamber by a stereotypical gas pool heater. The copper coils are heated and the pool water is circulated thereby warming the pool. This quality of these pool warmers makes them more appealing for the people residing in colder climates.
The installation charges may cost around $300 to $500 monthly.The propane gas has many advantages to it and it is richer than the natural gas as this uses less heat for the pool. The BTU’s per cubic feet are less and by natural gas but this is inexpensive than propane.
Cost: Around $300 to $500 monthly
Comparison: They are not expensive, quickly heat the pool but are not environmentally friendly.
Life span: Shorter, around 5 years
5. Pentair 460736 Eco-Friendly Pool Heater, Natural Gas
- Size: 29.9 x 36.1 x 22.75 inches.
- Weight: 120 pounds.
- BTU: 400,000 – British Thermal Units.
This is a compact and quiet pool heater for your swim pool or spa. A good thing is that this is certified for low Nitrogen Oxide emissions and this keeps it eco-supportive. A durable product that features a robust and rust-proof exterior.
The rotating digital display allows for easy viewing and the manual gas shut-off whenever service is needed. This gas pool heater has a corrosion-resistant exterior that keeps it suitable for all seasons. Once you install it you can remain relaxed for a few years.
The Pentair MasterTemp offers reliable, efficient, and convenient features that you are looking for in a pool warmer. This heats up the pool faster than the others on the list.
- Compact heater with quiet operation.
- Easy to use.
- Enables fast heat-up.
- Strong and rust-proof exterior.
- Flaunts its efficient, convenient, and reliable features.
- A product more preferable for places with cold climate.
6. Hayward W3H150FDN Universal H-Series
- Size: 31.3 x 30.8 x 28.6 inches.
- Weight: 149.7 pounds.
- BTU: 1500,000 – British Thermal Units.
Cutting-edge technology and producing advanced pool equipment have been the goal of Hayward for an impressive 80 years. The H-Series natural gas heater delivers premium heating performance for pools with reliable and long-lasting comfort qualities.
This owns a durable cupro nickel heat exchanger that offers exceptional protection against premature failure corrosion caused by unbalanced water chemistry. This industry-leading hydraulic design reduces circulation pump run time to provide major energy savings though the pool pumps works efficiently for clearing debris.
The front panel-only access and intuitive control pad provide easy operation, service, and maintenance.The low NOx emissions meet air quality standards ensuring low environmental impact.
- This delivers efficiently with a long-lasting comfort.
- Low NOx meets air quality standards.
- Superior hydraulic performance and reliability.
- LED digital control panel for easy access.
- A high-priced product but worth your investment.
Propane Pool Heaters for In & Above-ground Pools
7. Raypak Digital Swimming Pool and Spa Heater
- Size: 27.5″ H x 12″ wide x 27″ Deep.
- Weight: 115 pounds.
- BTU: 156,000 – British Thermal Units.
This features a compact size and remains robust, reliable, and efficient. The heater features a microprocessor-controlled thermostat for precise pool and spa temperature setting. The digital control proves of great help as this displays the problem and not the codes as accompanied by self-diagnostic center.
Reliable and fast heat is delivered by the spark ignition system as there is a self-adjusting and easily accessible stainless-steel tray. This also has a thick-walled heat exchanger (copper) that features a built-in bypass valve and the flow is balanced for a wide range of flow rates and pump sizes.
- Good for above-ground and in-ground pools.
- Digital control is accompanied by self-diagnostic center.
- Compact size, robust, reliable, and efficient.
- Gas connection is 1/2″ NPT and measures 4 5/8″ off the ground level.
- 1-year warranty.
- Good if warranty could be increased by the manufacturer.
Ultimate Buying Tips For Inflatable Pool Heater
What Pool Heater Size Do I Need?
There are a few things that will help in determining the best pool heater size. These devices are sized using British Thermal Units -BTU’s and this tells us the power of a heater. According to pool size you should decide the model you want to invest in.
The output of the pool heater should be rated for the gallons of water it holds (50,000 BTU’s for every 10,000 gallons).
The temperature you prefer and in amount of time for your pool heating and this all should be decided prior.In nutshell your pool size determines the pool heater size.
How Fast You Want Your Pool To Be Swim Ready?
If you want some quick and instant pool heating then gas pool heaters or electric ones are the ideal ones. Solar pool heaters tend to take more time after harnessing the sun’s heat and making your pool swim comfortable.
Many of the models have digital controls and you can pre-set the settings for the desired output. Always follow the instructions given on the manual by the manufacturer for maximization of results.
They should be made to run like an AC unit for optimum heating and as discussed above the pool heater and the pool size should match each other.
Pool Shape and Type
We have mentioned about the different types of pool heaters and their recommended products in the article. Some of the pool warmers can be used for in-ground and above ground pools both while some are specifically designed for one type of pool.
You can refer to the relevant products before you select the best one. The heater dimensions and their BTU’s can further help you decide better. For larger pools an effective pool heater with a large BTU will work well.
Even the weather conditions of a place also help in dictating your pool warmer buying decision. The places with more sun can have a solar pool heater to heat pools, while the pools in colder regions may require a gas or an electric pool heater for increasing the swim season.
From buying a portable pool water heater installation and monthly bills, there is a lot more that should be thought of you before. Select the one that is not heavy on your pocket.
We have separately mentioned the installation charges and monthly expenses of every time of pool warmer already. Solar pool heaters are the least expensive, then are the electric ones, and gas pool heaters are expensive to run.
(refer the differences of all the three types of pool heaters and their related costs above).
Solar Pool Heater
- These harness the sun’s energy to heat the pool. These are more suitable for warmer places.
- They are weather dependent. If the sun doesn’t show their functionality is hampered.
- Their life span is 15 to 20 years.
- The expenditure comes around 25 dollars to 80 dollars in the monthly electric bill.
- They cannot be used at night and are slower in heating the pools.
- They don’t require much maintenance costs.
- They have the ability to provide a greenhouse effect.
- Solar power heaters are the safest one to use.
Gas Pool Heater
- Propane or natural gas is used to heat the pool by gas pool heaters. They work well in a cold climate.
- Different weather conditions don’t affect their performance. They are least affected by the weather.
- They come with a shorter life span of 5 years.
- They add around 300 dollars to 500 dollars in the monthly electricity bill.
- They can be used at any time or month of the year, and consume less time for pool heating.
- These are expensive to maintain.
- They just keep the pool heated up.
- They might be risky in case of any gas leakages.
Electric Pool Heater
- These pool heaters work on electricity, which helps in heating the pool. Suitable for colder regions.
- Even the harshest or extreme weather conditions don’t affect them.
- They come with a maximum life span of 15 to 20 years, more than gas pool heaters.
- Monthly bills go roughly from 50 dollars to 150 dollars.
- They can be used at any time, and need proper air temperature to operate.
- They come with high price tag and maintenance costs.
- They help with heating the pool.
- Any short circuit might cause damages.
All three types of pool heaters have their advantages and disadvantages. The one which fits into your needs should be chosen.
Who Needs A Pool Heater?
Any pool heater is required when the water temperature of a pool is not desirable or fit for use. The places which are cold or the places with climatic conditions that are not suitable for pools need pool heaters. The pool owners, be the residential or commercial ones, at some point in time require pool heaters.
To extend the swimming fun, these pool heaters work the best making you feel comfortable and relaxed. These pool heaters work with great efficiency, versatility, and reliability to keep the pool temperatures maintained as per requirement. The best thing is that the pools can be used in the day or even in the night for swimming.
The variety of pool heaters is available, making it affordable and easy for you to buy one. They also come with air-source pumps that can do both, heating and cooling if required. A person or a pool owner who just loves to swim irrespective of any weather conditions is certainly benefited by these amazing pool heaters.
Just make your pool time awesome and exciting without worrying about the weather. After considering the various parameters the right pool type should be chosen.
Frequently Asked Question's
Q1. Is a heated pool safe to use with portable heater for pool?
Ans1. An appropriate level of heat is required for swimming and excess or less may prove harmful. According to the month, weather, and your comfort the temperature should be set and then you should go inside the pool. A thumb test can be done to ensure that the pool is perfectly heated and ready for use.
Q2. How to make pool water warm fast?
Ans2. Pool heating is directly related to the pool warmer type you select and the BTU’s command the power. For quicker heating the gas pool heaters and electric ones are the best. For places with a huge amount of sun solar pool heaters tend to be most efficient pool heaters and cost effective too.
Q3. Can we install pool heater on our own?
Ans3. It is always recommended to get your pool heater installed with the help of a professional. If you are aware of the complete installation of the heater, then only you should take the risk of doing it on your own. On a positive note, in some cases it is possible to install, but most of the times taking an expert’s help for setting up the pool heater is appropriate.
Q4. Can a pool heater be installed under a deck?
Ans4. Installing a pool heater, especially of gas is not at all recommended to be installed under a deck. The gas fumes might prove harmful for health hazards. Under the deck or a window place is not an acceptable feature and is a risky thing to do. Though, sometimes we might try to hide the pool heater, but that may let the gases increase suffocation leading to people’s sickness.
Q5. Pool heaters are environment friendly or not?
Ans5. If we talk about gas pool heaters, they prove to be the least environment friendly. Electric ones are also not a very good idea, as the grid might emit heat and gases. The solar pool heaters are considered to be the safest ones, and harness the natural heat of the sun for keeping the pool comfortable for using in cool weather also. They prove to be environmentally supportive in every way, and are inexpensive too.
Q6. Is the conversion of a gas device to propane possible?
Ans6. A gas device’s conversion to propane (a flammable hydrocarbon gas) is possible. Not all, but many of the devices and appliances can be converted into propane from natural gas. Basically, natural gas is a low-pressure gas and propane a higher pressure one, and the appliances that can handle high pressure propane can only be used for this purpose.
Q7. What is the maintenance cost of a portable pool heater?
Ans7. The gas and electric pool heaters come with a higher maintenance cost. The solar pool heaters are the most cost effective. The maintenance including material, repairs, electricity bills and overall costs may range between 3000 to 5000 dollars yearly. The pool size and the type of heater also decides the maintenance costs. Some additional expenditure can also incur during the life span of a heater.
Warm pool sessions can be enjoyed by you and your family and the fun-filled splish-splash moments in the water could be experienced even in winter months. So, after going through many popular types and models the confident buying decision is much required.
An electric one, solar model, or gas pool heater (natural or propane) should be taken after being thorough about all. See folks this is a major decision and investment alike!! Go for some real quality stuff that has been mentioned above. A wrong decision may make you come across some real troubles in future. So, choose nicely and wisely!!