decide to install a swimming pool, you are faced with
many options today regarding size, shape and materials.
You will also have to choose which type of pool heater
Here is a basic guide to the different types of pool
heaters available today:
Gas and propane pool heaters
Gas and propane pool heaters are the most common and
work most rapidly. This works with natural gas if you
have it, or propane tanks mounted above or below ground.
Gas heaters now boast of up to 90 percent efficiency
ratings and consume only as much gas as you allow. A gas
heater is thermostat-controlled, so you just set it and
forget it. It will also have an on/off switch, pressure
switch, gas valve and high limit switches in its safety
Gas heaters must be installed and vented properly or
hazards could result.
Cheaper to maintain than gas heaters, heat are a
clean, economical way to extract "free heat" from the
ambient air. A heat pump draws the natural warmth from
the air and uses it to maintain a comfortable
temperature. This is accomplished through a refrigerant
vapor compression cycle that transfers heat from one
source to another. It can be compared to a household air
conditioning system "in reverse."
Heat pumps are commonly used from Florida to Canada
and very efficient, allowing your pool to remain
operational down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Millions worldwide have been enjoying solar-heated
swimming pools for over two decades. You will probably
find that you will pay much less for a solar heater for
your above-ground or small in-ground pool than for any
other type of heater.
While the first solar systems for larger in-ground
pools may equal or somewhat exceed those of other
heaters, they return the cost difference in fuel savings
in the first year or two.
Solar pool heating systems
Gaining in popularity, solar heaters are also cheaper
to maintain than gas heaters and now account for about
20 percent of pool heater installations.
Solar heaters use your existing pool pump to
circulate water through the many small passages of the
solar collector where it is warmed by the sun. This
heated water then flows directly back to your pool
through your regular pool plumbing. This simple cycle
continues until your pool reaches your desired
You can also cool an overheated pool in warmer months
by simply running the pool pump at night.
Solar covers/solar blankets
Made from thin plastic formed with air pockets so it
can float on the surface, a solar cover cannot heat a
pool. It is not totally transparent to sunlight so it
blocks out much of the sun's energy that would otherwise
heat the pool. However, it effectively prevents
evaporation from the water surface, slowing down cooling
of the water at night and in bad weather.
Use of a solar cover is recommended at night on
above-ground pools with a solar heater.
A solar cover or blanket will help a pool retain
heat, but a solar system actually adds heat to raise the
temperature of your pool water.
If you have a larger solar heater on an in-ground
pool you can use a cover at night near the beginning and
end of the season when the nights are long and cool.