Fall is just around the corner, and if you want to extend the summer fun for your backyard, a pool heater is an excellent choice. Heating your pool will require different heaters and pumps, depending on the size and type of your pool. However, using your pool long after Labor Day weekend makes a heater well worth the investment.
How to heat a pool
Heating your pool can be done in a variety of ways because there are many types of heaters on the market. Some options are more efficient than others, while other pumps are a considerable initial investment but relatively inexpensive to run.
A solar heater is the most efficient way to keep your pool at a comfortable swimming temperature in the cooler months. They are a significant investment initially, but the majority of their power is generated by the sun. Solar heaters need to have plenty of direct sunlight on the panels and may not run as efficiently on overcast days. You also need space in your yard for the panels.
Heating pumps work by heating the outside air and transferring it into the water of the pool. They heat a pool quickly, and they will operate at full efficiency with or without the sun. Because they use the air to heat the pool, they will not work correctly if the air temperature is below freezing. Some will only work until the outside air temperature meets 50 degrees F. These heaters are ideal for keeping your pool open until the late fall or opening it in early spring–and if you don’t plan to use your pool during the winter.
A gas- or propane-powered heater is a relatively inexpensive initial investment, but because they operate on fossil fuels as a resource, they can become more expensive over time. Gas heaters are the fastest way to heat your pool, and they can be operated all year long. If you’re concerned about heating costs, gas heaters work well for a smaller pool or spa.
How to heat an above ground pool
Above ground pools are usually smaller than inground pools, so the heating options can be less expensive and more varied. If you are planning to heat a small above ground pool, a gas or propane pool heater for an above ground pool might be the best option. Not only will they warm the water quickly, the costs of heating it might be more palatable.
Because of the smaller size of an above ground pool, solar heaters are another excellent above ground pool heater option. In general, your solar panels should take up the same amount of surface area space as 50-100 percent of the size of your pool. If you have a small backyard or limited access to direct sunlight, this might not be feasible. For those who have those luxuries, it can be an energy-efficient way to keep your pool water warm.
Heating pumps are also an excellent choice as long as you don’t want to use your pool in the winter months. Heating pumps can raise your water temperature by up to 20 degrees so that you can enjoy your pool long into the fall.
Heating an inground pool
Depending on the size of your inground pool, you may find some heating options to be more cost-effective than others. Heating pumps are the most popular choice to heat inground pools because they work with the ambient air and are relatively inexpensive to operate. A heating pump will allow you to open your pool early in the spring and keep it open until the late fall.
If you have space and direct sunlight, solar heaters are an excellent way to keep your inground pool water warm. They are eco-friendly and are less expensive to run. Solar heaters can raise the temperature of your pool by 15 degrees. Your solar heater will need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day, and you’ll need space equal to at least half of the surface area of your pool.
Gas and propane heaters are an option for smaller inground pools. With a gas or propane heater, you can raise your pool temperatures by 30 degrees fairly quickly compared to other heaters, and you can use them for your water therapy all year long. For many, heating your pool with a gas or propane heater is the only choice.
It’s best to have a professional assess your pool before you purchase a heating system. This way, you’ll know what kind of heater will work best for your needs, and which will be the most cost-effective for your household. A pool heater is an excellent investment for being able to use your pool long past the summer season.