What Are the Best Pool Heating Options for the Summer?
There’s nothing like a dip in the pool to cool you off on a hot summer day. However, if the temperature is too cold, no one will want to spend much time in the water. Maintaining a comfortable temperature for your pool allows you and your guests to enjoy their swimming experience fully. So, if you plan to use your pool throughout the summer season (and not just on warm, sunny days), it’s advisable that you invest in an efficient heating system.
Many aspects go into choosing the right heating option for your pool. The size and type of pool you have, your current residential heating system, your temperature preference, and how often you swim are all considerations to keep in mind. Additionally, the weather conditions where you live, costs of gas and electricity, and your budget can all contribute to which system is the best option.
With the right pool heater, you can extend your swimming season (or even swim year-round depending on where you live). But what is the best pool heater to get? The possibilities for swimming pool heaters include heat pumps, pool heaters, tankless heaters, and solar. They all have their pros and cons, and some are also more energy efficient than others.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these four systems so you can choose the best heating option for your pool.
1. Heat Pump
Heat pumps work by extracting heat from outside air, increasing the temperature with a compressor, and bringing the heated water into the pool while ejecting cold air out.
A heat pump is an environmentally friendly and efficient way to increase the temperature of your pool water. They typically have lower operating costs compared to other methods (like gas heaters) and can last a long time with proper maintenance.
However, for a heat pump to operate effectively, your outside air can’t be too cold. Therefore, this method of heating is best suited for pool owners that live in warmer climates. Heat pumps have a higher initial cost as well.
2. Pool Heater
Natural gas and propane pool heaters help maintain a consistent water temperature regardless of the weather conditions. They work by using a heat exchanger to warm your water and return it to your pool.
Although they require higher operating costs, these systems are great for heating your pool quickly. However, when compared to other heating methods, pool heaters are not as energy efficient.
Types of heat exchangers for your pool heater include:
- Plate Heat Exchanger – These exchangers heat fast and eliminate the need for gaskets and external pressure retaining parts. Although they are durable, they do not last as long as other types of heat exchangers. Plate heat exchangers are economical, but they are not an ideal choice for saltwater or chlorinated pools.
- 316 L Stainless Steel Tube and Shell Heat Exchanger – This is a high-quality pool heat exchanger option made out of sturdy stainless steel. However, it is not best for saltwater pools. If you chose this option, you must carefully monitor your chlorine levels. If the level gets too high, the chlorine can eat away the stainless-steel structure.
- Cupro Nickel Heat Exchangers – If you have a saltwater or chlorine pool, this heat exchanger is an excellent choice because it’s able to withstand corrosive effects. These systems are durable and easy to maintain and clean. However, they are also more expensive than other kinds of heat exchangers.
- Bowman Titanium Heat Exchangers – These heat exchangers provide great value and are the best option for saltwater pools. Although they are the most expensive choice, they perform well and can handle higher pH levels.
Pool heat exchangers are the most efficient way to heat your pool because you only need to turn them on when you plan to swim. They also have a lower initial cost compared to other methods and are a good choice if you live in colder areas (since outside air does not determine their effectiveness). However, if you select this method, you also need to keep in mind the price of propane or gas in your area.
3. Electric Tankless Heater
Tankless heaters have lower initial costs, but they can cost five to six times more to heat your entire pool than a heat pump. Therefore, they are best for spas, hot tubs, or small pools.
You may want to consider using a heat pump in warmer months and an electric tankless heater in the colder months to get the most cost savings.
4. Solar Heaters, Blankets, Covers, and Panels
Using solar as your pool heating choice is an environmentally friendly option that can be expensive to set up but cost you little to nothing to operate. Solar panels pump your pool water into a solar hot water collector positioned towards the sun. Then, the panels convert the sun’s energy into heat and the heated water goes back into the pool. Solar covers and blankets float on top of your swimming pool when it is not in use. They absorb sunlight, and they also can help retain the heat from heat pumps and pool heaters.
In colder climates, solar may not have the ability to extend your swimming season much. If there is no sun (or if the sun’s rays are weak), solar panels and covers can’t heat your pool to comfortable swimming temperatures. Therefore, this heating option is best for warmer climates.
Before you dive into finding the best pool heater for you, keep your location in mind, budget, and temperature preferences. That way, you can choose an option that fits your specific needs. For more information on alternative heating solutions visit Alternative Heating & Supplies!