evaluating swimming pool heater types

Even for those Utahns who only plan to use a swimming pool during the warmest months of the year, a pool heater should be a serious consideration. Pool water often does not match outside temperature even when it’s very warm, and you’d be surprised at how often your water is much cooler than the outdoor environment, even uncomfortably so – this is why a pool heater is potentially valuable.

At Dolphin Pools & Spas, our quality custom pool construction services include a detailed explanation of what a pool heater is and why each of our clients might want to install one in their new swimming pool. One important theme while making this choice is evaluating the various pool heater formats available – here’s a quick primer on each of these types and which might be best for meeting your needs.

Solar Heater

For those looking to both heat their pool and be environmentally conscious, the solar pool heater is the top choice available. Solar panels utilize heat from the sun converted into energy to heat the pool, allowing you to save other forms of energy for other needs.

Solar pool heaters are extremely inexpensive to run and are highly efficient. They also last for up to 20 years, a valuable quality. They are more expensive up-front than other heater types, though this value is often made up by years of quality performance. For those who like to swim at night, do note that an auxiliary heater might be required since solar panels don’t do as well at night.

Electric Resistance Heater

This form of pool heater uses an electric current to stimulate a resistor located inside its unit, which in turn heats up the water that washes over it. You mostly see these kinds of heaters used in small pools or spas – this is because they’re pretty expensive to operate, with significant monthly costs above $500. They’re moderately priced for initial purchase, but you have to keep these operating costs high in mind.

Electric Heat Pump

Another electrical solution that comes at a far lower cost is the electric heat pump, which pumps in transfer heat it’s collected. Heat pumps are becoming more and more popular for modern pools due to their reasonable operating costs and mid-tier initial purchase costs (between $2,000 and $4,000 in most cases), plus their strong energy efficiency.

Like solar panels, these pumps last many years and are also environmentally friendly. One minor drawback is that they’re a bit slower heating pools, but this isn’t an issue for most owners.

Gas Heater

Finally there’s the gas heater, which uses either natural gas or propane to create the heat needed in the pool. These have historically been the most popular options, but alternatives like solar power and electric heat pumps have begun to eat into this popularity due to their improved efficiency and costs. Like resistance heaters, gas heaters are expensive to operate and not very energy efficient.

For more on choosing the right heater for you new swimming pool, or to learn about any of our swimming pool or spa services, speak to the staff at Dolphin Pools & Spas today.