Today, we’ll be talking about how to heat a pool and the different ways that can actually help you with your swimming pool heating task. This article will also make you understand how different types of pool water heaters work, Moreover, you will get a summarized guideline that can allow you to choose the right type of pool heater for you based on its design. There are four main ways to actually heat your swimming pool –
- Gas heater
- Pool heat pump
- Solar heaters
- Electric heaters
Gas Water Pool Heater
My team and I have found this to be the most popular pool water heater by looking into its sales statistics. Besides being popular, this type of heater knows how to heat a pool really quickly. However, one of the downsides is that it needs propane or natural gas in order to operate. I believe that I don’t need to tell you how expensive the gas prices piling up would be. With the prices skyrocketing, you might have to worry about that cost if you are going to swim in your crystal-clear pool frequently.
Pool Heat Pump
The second one is the heat pump. What these contraptions do is that they take the outside air and actually use it to heat your swimming pool. These kinds of pumps are becoming increasingly popular these days in colder regions. The reason behind their popularity is that they’re a lot more economical and save you money in the long run since they use just electricity and the outside air.
Solar Water Pool Heater
Solar heaters come with different solar panels that are usually installed on your roof for your in-ground pools. For your above ground swimming pool, they’ll actually sit next to your pool. It works when the different solar panels channel and capture the heat and redirect them into the water. They are in black color, absorbing all the different wavelengths of light and heat. So, all the heat is captured there and goes into your swimming pool.
If you actually size these panels correctly, you can raise the temperature of your pool water by anywhere from 10 to 15 degrees. One thing you really want to do is no matter what heating system your swimming pool has, you should use a solar blanket. Using it without a blanket is like boiling a pot of water without a lid. That means the solar blanket acts like a lid, containing all the heat and trapping it inside your swimming pool.
However, one thing that you have to watch out for is that this product isn’t as efficient when it comes to pool temperatures lower than 50 degrees. But that’s the price you have to be willing to pay for an economical, environment-friendly solution. Keep in mind that you can buy the heater in different sizes and heat pumps come in different heating capacities. Another thing you need to know is that the larger the heating capacity the quicker it’s going to increase your pool temperature.
Electric Water Pool Heater
The last type of heater that I need to talk about is electric water pool heaters. These are also as popular since they’re mainly used in spas. Those are the places where we see most of these electric heaters. But obviously, the electric solution is going to cost you a lot more. So, I’d personally recommend people to go for a gas, heat pump or solar pool heater
How to Heat a Pool – 3 Cheap yet Effective Ways
If you’re looking to learn about how to heat a pool on a budget, let’s talk about three of the cheapest methods that can make the summer last just a little longer. I got an email from a friend named Jean, who asked me about a good, cheap way to make his summer swimming experience last just a little bit longer. In response, I had to look at a few different cheap alternatives to pool heating.
Those of you who aren’t interested in buying a gas water pool heater, heat pump, a solar water pool heater or an electric water pool heater, can rely on these good and cheap methods. There are three ways to heat your pool using the power of the Sun:
To start off, the cheapest and the most effective way to heat your pool and to keep it warm is to use a solar blanket/cover. These are those bubble wrap like plastic covers that lay on top with the bubble side down on your pool water. Moreover, it stops the water from evaporating and attracts some heat to your pool as well. But if you have a really a big pool you may want to invest in a solar cover reel or just cut the cover in pieces in a way so that they’re more manageable.
Liquid Solar Covers
You can also make use of liquid solar covers. These are little decorative objects that can come in the various shapes, like a small fish or tiny balls. These products usually last only a month. These objects constantly secrete a little bit of liquid, bit by bit, all month long while floating on the surface of the water. In doing so, it creates a molecule-thin layer of non-toxic liquid on the surface of the water. Although this will make cleaning your pool a bit difficult, this will help you retain the water temperature. This way, it prevents water from evaporating, thus minimizing heat loss. Although, this isn’t going to do any wonders if your pool is already cold, but it helps trap the sunlight and keep the water at a little higher temperature than normal. We often come across a question from a lot of our readers about the safety concerns of this product. For your information, “Yes! It’s totally safe to use.”
Lastly, you can use solar rings to heat up your pool, which are round floating rings that look like little mini solar covers. They float on top of your water and they connect with magnets. They can actually provide up to 21,000 BTUs of heat per day.
These are the three main solutions to heat your pool at a low cost. But if you already have a top-class water pool heater, you don’t need these stuff to keep your pool warm.
Difference Between Solar vs Gas Heating
There’s a big difference between how to heat a pool with a gas pool heater and a solar pool heater. A gas pool heater is probably the most expensive way to heat your pool. However, it’s also the most versatile one. Basically, it’s like this: feed money into it and it makes your pool hot. Moreover, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is or what the ambient pool temperatures of the air are, if you feed enough money into it you can go swimming on a Christmas Eve.
However, having a solar water pool heater does not extend your swimming season. You’ll not be able to get to swimming earlier in the year or later with a solar heater like you can do with a gas water heater. But a solar heater is the most cost effective way of heating your pool. So, if you choose a solar heater, you will have a relatively low upfront cost and zero running costs.
With the minimal performance in terms of heating up your pool water, solar heating will not allow you to swim in cold weathers. So, why use it in the first place? Why heat swimming pools during the scorching summer days? For a start, not all summer days are hot. Second, the temperature differs in different regions. There are times with high sunlight but low ambient temperatures. And most of all, when the summer is dying down slowly, it still will be a viable solution.
But if you’re looking towards a gas heater, that’s a totally different situation since it also has a fairly large upfront cost and a fairly huge running cost. Besides that, a lot of people don’t realize just how big a water pool heater is. As President Trump would say, “It’s HUGE!”
The most common sizes would be 250,000 and 400,000 BTU. Now 400,000 BTU is a lot that’s the equivalent of 10 large barbecues running over a full heat. So, you can now imagine just how much money you might be spending behind heating your pool, let alone other maintenance costs.
In the end, it all depends on your budget, purpose, and preference. If you want something that has a low running cost but high heating and if you’re not worried about spending a lot on the purchase, you should go for an electric heater. If you’re looking for something absolutely economical and are ready to settle for a lower heating capacity, go for a solar powered pool heater. But if you’re not afraid of a high running cost, for a high heating capacity and a relatively lower purchase cost (compared to electric heaters), gas pool heaters are your choice.
For an optimal situation, if you have enough money, you could install both a solar heater and a gas heater, and use the solar heater for warming up the pool water when the water is cool and use the gas heater to heat it up when the water is cold.