Pool heaters are great amenities if someone is looking to enjoy the benefits of a pool year-round. Not just fun for the family and for hosting parties, swimming is great exercise that can strengthen the body in many ways. They offer accurate temperature regulation for in ground or above ground pools. No matter where your pool is, pool heaters can help create the perfect swimming environment. Learning about pool heaters, how they work, and what different pool heater features is important when considering which system is best for your swimming pool.

How do pool heaters operate?

Although pool heaters have the same goal, they don’t work the same way. Pool heaters break down into primarily three different categories that are based on the source in which they draw their power. While you research each system, you should think about how often you want to swim (every day, once a week, at your leisure, etc.), and what the average temperature is during the coldest months in the climate you live in.

Electric – In the Phoenix area, electric heating is an optimal solution for homeowners looking to extend their swim season to early spring and late fall months. Electric heat pumps work in the same way the heat pump for your home does. An electric heater for your pool draws outside air in and circulates this air through an outer evaporator air coil. The liquid refrigerant within the evaporator coil absorbs the heat from the outside air and transforms it into a gas. The warm gas in the coil passes through the compressor where heat is increased. As the gas and pool water is pumped through the heat exchanger, the hot gas transfers its heat to the water. The water heats as it circulates and then flows back into the pool at a comfortable temperature.

SolarUsing the sun’s heat is a much less involved process when it comes to pool heating. Solar thermal panels are installed on your roof or on the ground, depending on the direction your roof faces. Solar heating harnesses the radiant heat from the sun to heat the thermal panels, in turn, heating the pool water. The water is pumped from the pool into the solar panels, with each panel having dozens of small diameter tubes. The colder pool water is warmed as it travels through the panels and back into the pool. The process continues for as long as the panel temperature is warmer than the pool water temperature.

Natural GasPool heaters using natural gas will heat your pool in just a few hours compared to solar and electric heating which can take up to a day or two. Our natural gas pool heaters burn gas in a combustion chamber. In this heating process, cold pool water runs through the piping inside the chamber which is heated. This raises the water temperature to a comfortable, warm temperature which is then returned to the pool. The process continues until the desired temperature is achieved throughout the entire pool.

What are the benefits of pool heaters?

As you can see, each kind of pool heater does work differently, and their benefits and features vary. This is something to consider when investing in a new unit.

Solar – Solar pool heating has many benefits. You can easily double your swim season, which would allow you to swim in early spring and late fall months. There are no monthly operational costs, as the sun’s thermal heat is free! You’ll also be increasing your home’s value, as solar pool heating is only one of two home improvement projects that show dollar for dollar value back to the homeowner.

Electric – Electric powered units is the most classic option and has all of the same heating capabilities as gas and solar. It’s not the quickest method, but it’s suitable for constant pool usage. Electric has a lot of parts and can require maintenance and refrigerant refilling over time. It’s an excellent option for warmer climates even though it primarily uses air. This typically won’t affect the performance of the unit.

Natural Gas – Systems using a natural gas source is great for quickly heating a pool or for pools that don’t need to be heated on a regular basis. Natural gas units have the same benefits as other models but are superior when it comes to their agility in warming up space when needed. If you are looking to swim year-round, or even just a couple of times a week, natural gas heating could be the option you’re looking for. A natural gas heater heats the pool in just a couple of hours. Natural gas heaters are also known to be better for temperature accuracy, allowing the pool owner to manage and regulate the temperature.

Contact Aqua Science today

There are many options and styles to consider when looking to invest in a pool heater. They are a very useful device for those who want to swim all year, to keep in shape, or throw pool parties every once in a while. Taking the initiative to understand and learn about the different types is the first step in owning a pool heater. The next is having a professional look at your pool’s footprint. Contact Aqua Science to set up a consultation about getting a heater installed before winter!