So, what is the best above-ground pool heater? Let’s find out…
Well, in this post, I’ll walk you through some of the best above-ground pool heaters to help you make an informed buying decision.
Moreover, I would also throw light on various parameters that you shouldn’t IGNORE in order to buy that one above-ground pool heater that wouldn’t only cater to your need but also falls well within your budget.
Lastly, I would be responding to the queries related to the above-ground pool heater review to help you clear most of your doubts if not all so that you can buy a “value for money” pool heater.
But, before that, I would be asking quite a few questions in order to improve the quality of our comprehensive buying guide on the best pool heaters for beginners.
So, are you ready to help me?
Which is your favorite pool heater brand?
How much are you willing to spend on your favorite above-ground pool heaters?
How often do you read product reviews?
Enough of questions, right?
So, without any further ado, let’s begin…
What’s The Best Above-Ground Pool Heater For The Money?
To be honest, tagging any particular brand or model as the best wouldn’t be fair at all.
In fact, each heater comes with its own set of pros and cons.
So, what we suggest to our clientele is to look for a product that not only caters to your requirements but also falls well within your budget.
However, during our evaluation process, we found some of the models performing extremely on most of the evaluation parameters and were also the first choice of our clients.
So, we decided to recommend them to the readers of izzysmarthomeguide.com as well.
Below is my recommendation which is based on our testing and the feedback that we’ve received from our clientele over a period of time.[Related]
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Best Above-Ground Pool Heaters Review
As we all know, the market is flooded with a wide range of above-ground pool heaters, and every brand and model has their own claims of being superior.
So, it becomes really difficult to find the perfect above-ground pool heater, right?
If you’re an avid reader of izzysmarthomeguide.com then definitely, you would be aware of the fact that we follow a mathematical approach to find the top 10 products for review, right?
For those who are new to our blog, please allow us to explain the methodology that we use to come up with some of the best products in a particular category.
Does it make sense?
First and foremost, our experts select a set of parameters on which we want to evaluate the products.
During the test, each product is assigned certain scores across the evaluating parameters depending upon their performance.
Finally, the summation is done to find out the top 10 products that made our list.
Note: We don’t do any paid promotion and the products that we list in our reviews are solely based on their performance in our test.
Best Gas Above-Ground Pool Heaters
Well, gas pool heaters either run on natural gas or propane and use copper coils for the heating process.
Moreover, as compared to other types of pool heaters, they are expensive, but at the same, their ability to heat the pool water quickly and efficiently makes them worth the investment.
It goes without saying that they are some of the best pool heaters which don’t have to rely on other factors such as sunlight or even warm air to work properly.
So, if you’re looking for the best above-ground pool heater for cold climates then nothing could match or even come closer to the gas pool heaters.
Let’s have a quick look at some of the best gas pool heaters that not only made our list but completely dominated the evaluation parameters.
Hayward W3H150FDP Universal H-Series 150,000 BTU Pool and Spa Heater, Propane
When it comes to manufacturing high-quality pool equipment including pool pumps, Hayward is a name that you can blindly trust.
It goes without saying that the brand is serving pool owners for more than 80 years by manufacturing cutting-edge, technologically advanced pool equipment.
And, of course, Hayward has proved its mettle time and again, and the W3H150FDP is in alignment with the quality and value that the brand brings to the table.
Frankly speaking, the Universal H-Series heaters from Hayward have completely dominated our test by scoring very high on most of the evaluating parameters including performance, durability, convenience, usability, and customer service.
The entire H-Series is environment-friendly because of low NOx emission and is also packed with idiosyncratic features to help you achieve an optimum result.
Even though you’re operating this superlative heater in aggressive water chemistry conditions still you’ll find the performance to be top-notch without the heater making a compromise on either durability or longevity.
Furthermore, the patented polymer head design plays a crucial role in ensuring top-notch hydraulic performance as well as helps not only save energy but also in providing protection against the damaging effect of erosion from high flow conditions.
To tackle the problem caused by external factors including weather variables, a forced draft combustion system is kept in place which is responsible for moving air through the combustion chamber at a precise flow rate.
Lastly, the L.E.D digital control panel helps the pool owners like you and me to get better control over the entire process in order to expedite the operation in a hassle-free and smooth manner.
Moreover, the digital panel is equipped with features such as digital temperature readout, diagnostics, and electronic ‘lock-out’ of temperature set-point that not only ensures accuracy but also saves you time and money in getting the pool to the perfect temperature.
To conclude, the 150,000 BTU Hayward W3H150FDP is one of the best propane gas pool heaters and is worth your investment.
Pentair MasterTemp Propane Gas Heater (125,000 BTU)
Frankly speaking, the 125,000 BTU Pentair MasterTemp is definitely one of the most effective and powerful pool heaters that my team has come across.
In fact, you get a larger and more powerful heater in a compact size that not only comes with energy-saving features but also advanced operating features to help you achieve an optimum result effortlessly.
Not only does MasterTemp 125 heater expedite the ultra-fast heat up but also offers 82% thermal efficiency and the credit goes to state-of-the-art pre-mixed gas combustion technology.
In spite of you being a first-time buyer, you’ll not find it difficult to install this idiosyncratic superlative gas heater.
When it comes to programming and monitoring the process, the Pentair heater makes it so simple and easy as it is equipped with a rotating digital display that helps you to get the best result without any hassle.
The heater is not only lightweight but also comes with a gas line up to 50 feet from the source.
Moreover, you get a 110V plug-in cord which if needed can be converted to a 240V as well.
Since the enclosure is both corrosion and UV resistant so you can expect the gas heater to last longer.
All in all, a great product to invest in for achieving optimum results, and the same has been verified and confirmed in our test also.
With a 125,000 BTU rating and the capability to heat the pool up to 15,000 gallons capacity makes Pentair gas heater is a perfect choice for both small and medium-sized pools.
So, what are you waiting for?
Hayward W3H150FDN Universal H-Series 150,000 BTU Pool and Spa Heater, Natural Gas
Well, it goes without saying that the brand Hayward has proved its mettle time and again by introducing high-quality and innovative products on the market.
And, the Hayward W3H150FDN is definitely in alignment with what the brand Hayward has been offering for years.
The Universal H-Series 150,000 BTU Pool and Spa Heater is a unique blend of reliability and convenience.
Unlike the aforementioned heater that runs on propane, the W3H150FDN uses natural gas as fuel.
Moreover, the heater comes with hydraulic efficient solutions and at the same time, low NOx emission makes it even more environment friendly.
The heater is uniquely designed and especially the patented polymer header design makes all the difference.
It comes to your rescue against the damaging effect of erosion and also ensures improved reliability without compromising on either performance or power saving.
Moving further, the forced draft combustion system is yet another thing that might grab your eyeballs.
It plays a crucial role in maintaining an adequate flow rate while moving the air through the combustion chamber.
And, as a result, most of the external factors including high wind conditions that might impact the performance are successfully eliminated, and thus, you can expect a well-balanced performance from this little beast.
Lastly, the L.E.D digital control panel ensures that you have better control of the heater and all operation is expedited with ease.
Since the control panel is equipped with features such as digital temperature readout, diagnostics, and electronic ‘lock-out’ of temperature set-point, etc so not only the accuracy is enhanced but also time and money are saved in getting the pool to the perfect temperature.
Do I still need to convince you?
Raypak 336,000 BTU Digital Electronic Ignition Propane Pool Heater
So, here I come with yet another performance-driven gas pool heater that has scored extremely well on parameters such as usability, wind resistance, fuel efficiency, and longevity in our testing.
The Raypak 336,000 BTU doesn’t need much of your interference as the built-in microprocessor-controlled thermostat will do most of the job for you.
All you need to do is just set the heater and forget or get engaged with other important jobs, rest assured that Raypak would do the trick for you.
The user-friendly digital display will inform you when the water is getting heated as well as when your target temperature has been reached so you don’t have to worry at all about what’s happening in your pool.
Furthermore, the heater is uniquely designed to tackle external problems including snow, sleet, wind, and falling debris in an effective way and without any additional cost to you.
Since the gas heater comprises the copper fined tube so you can expect an effective heat transfer resulting in an optimum outcome.
Moreover, both the cabinet and the internals are non-corrosive and rust-resistant so you don’t have to worry at all about the durability as well as longevity of this high-rated gas heater.
In case, your heater had some faults, then the self-diagnostic control will expedite the troubleshooting and give you a clear picture of the fault.
You’ll also be informed about the drop and fluctuation of the voltage by the Raypak pool heater so that you can stop the unit in case the voltage has dropped below a certain level needed for the proper functioning of the unit.
It is packed with idiosyncratic superlative features including PolyTuf Textured powder coating, polymer headers, all copper-fin-tube heat exchanger, stainless steel tube sheet, 2-inch CPVC water connections, burner tray, and fire tile to help you achieve an optimum result without compromising on usability, reliability, and serviceability.
However, the heater is meant ONLY for residential purposes and refrain from buying it if you’re looking for a gas heater for commercial purposes.
Sta-Rite SR333NA Max-E-Therm Pool And Spa Heater, Natural Gas, 333,000 BTU
The Sta-Rite SR333NA is perfect for both indoor, as well as outdoor pools and can be installed without any hassle.
Moreover, the SR333NA is packed with great features including an LED temperature readout with dual thermostat controls, temperature safety lockout, a 6-position control panel, and PMG burner technology to help you achieve optimum results effortlessly.
The temperature safety lockout ensures that the target temperature is reached with ease and also further increase in temperature is prevented.
In fact, the 333,000 BTU comes with a low-maintenance cost and also ensures that higher efficiency is met without compromising on performance.
Furthermore, the lightweight natural gas heater has a compact design and is thus, suitable for retrofit installation.
To tackle both heat and external factors in an effective way, rustproof housing sleek and a matte black enclosure are kept in place so even though you’re a first-time buyer you don’t have to worry at all.
As per our testing, three parameters on which the SR333NA has performed extremely well are lightweight, unique and compact design and lower operating cost.
So, even though you have a huge upfront cost involved still it’s a good deal as the gas heater will save you a good lump sum in the long run.
Lastly, problems such as low pH, high flow, and heavy uses are well taken care of and the credit goes to the cupro-nickel exchanger that the heavy-duty heater comes with.
Best Electric Above-Ground Pool Heaters
It goes without saying that electric pool heaters are one of a kind, and are known for delivering high performance.
The good thing about an electric pool heater is that it pulls the heat from the air and circulates the pulled air through an outer evaporator air coil.
Moreover, from there, it is transformed into a warm gas and that warmth is increased inside the coil system in order to achieve an optimum result.
Along with gas, pool water is also pumped through the gas exchanger, and as a result, the hot gas transfers the heat to the pool water.
In spite of being costlier, these types of pool filters are quite popular among pool owners because of their reliability.
EcoSmart SMART POOL 27 Electric Tankless Pool Heater, 27kW, 240 Volt, 112.5 Amps with Self-Modulating Technology
Definitely, the EcoSmart SMART POOL 27 is one of the best electric tankless pool heaters available on the market.
The tankless heater is definitely unique in its own sense, and the best thing is that it uses the latest flow sensor technology instead of pressure switch activation.
As a result, you can expect it to last longer because the chances of burning the element out are too less.
Moreover, the heater is compact and user-friendly.
In fact, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned player, the installation wouldn’t be a problem for you.
The control panel is sophisticated and gives you better control over the device.
Furthermore, the digital temp panel would allow you an increment of 1 degree.
For the best result, you can use it with Eco smart remote control.
The heater comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Ecosmart ECO 18 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 18 KW at 240 Volts with Patented Self Modulating Technology, White
The Ecosmart ECO 18 comes with patented self-modulating technology and is capable of heating 2.5 gallons per minute.
Furthermore, the smart technology tankless heater performs extremely well in the climate wherein the incoming water temperature is 62 degrees Fahrenheit and above.
The good thing about this idiosyncratic device is that it gives you an option of temperature increments of 1 degree, and as a result, you’ve better control over the temperature in terms of precision.
The electric device heats the water as it passes through the unit, instead of storing hot water like a traditional heater.
Compared to the traditional water heater, the Ecosmart ECO 18 consumes less space because of its sleek and wall-mounted design.
In the longer run, it will help you save a lot on electricity bills because of its advanced self-modulating technology, that is, it uses the electricity to heat water only when it’s needed.
As per the DOE, Ecosmart cut down heavily on heat loss and thus saves up to 50 percent in water heating costs.
All in all, a great electric tankless heater that is not only affordable but also compact and durable.
So, what are you waiting for?
Best Solar Heaters For Above-Ground Pool
As the name suggests, a solar pool heater collects heat from the sun, and disperse it into water.
And, there are quite a few types of solar heaters available on the market.
So, depending on your requirement and budget, you can select the one that caters to your needs.
If I’m not wrong then many of you would be well familiar with solar panels.
Most of you would’ve noticed these big glass-looking panels mounted either on rooftops or frames.
Another very popular type of solar heater among pool owners is none other than the solar blanket aka solar cover.
Mostly, they look like giant sheets of bubble wrap that pool owners like you and me put over their pools when not in use.
These solar covers also get the heat energy from sunlight and transfer it directly to the water underneath.
Similarly, the sun ring works like a cover or blanket and comes in small circles that you can distribute on the surfaces.
Moving further, we would be having an in-depth discussion on some of the best solar pool heaters available on the market.
Blue Wave NS115 8-mil Solar Blanket for Round Above-Ground Pools, 21-ft, Blue
So, here I come with one of the most popular and affordable above-ground solar blankets that are meant to deliver high performance for sure.
The Blue Wave solar blanket comprises insulating thermal cells that trap the heat to keep your pool water warm, even on colder days.
Moreover, the solar blanket is made with a UV-protected material that holds up relatively longer than other products when exposed to UV rays present in sunlight.
Not only does the solar heater keeps your pool warm but also, uses passive heating to raise the temperature of the water up to 15 degrees.
Another good thing about this heater is that it prevents a lot of evaporative water loss, and as a result, it will help you use less water to fill it up, and thus, you can expect the pool chemicals to be more balanced.
Well, the long-lasting solar heater not only retains heat but also extends evaporation to help you achieve an optimum result.
Lastly, the heater is backed by three years of manufacturer warranty.
Intex Solar Heater Mat for Above-Ground Swimming Pool
Personally, I vouch for Intex Solar Heater Mat because of its eco-friendly feature and unique design.
Needless to say, Intex is a well-trusted brand that has proved its mettle time and again.
Since the manufacturer is Intex so you can directly connect it to the Intex pool pumps.
It is not only highly affordable but also compact, readily available, and easy to store.
Moreover, depending upon the weather conditions, you can expect this heater to warm your pool water by up to 5 degrees which isn’t bad at all, right?
The solar heater is highly effective for the pools with a maximum capacity of up to 8,000 gallons of water.
Sun2Solar Blue 21-Foot Round Solar Cover
The Sun2Solar solar cover is compact and made from thousands of tiny air pockets that hold in the heat from the sun.
Moreover, the solar cover is popular among pool owners because of its lower water evaporation capability which simply means that you’ll have to refill the pool less frequently.
It comes in a wide variety of colors, styles, and sizes so you’ve got a good number of options to choose from.
The solar cover gives you the best result when you place the bubble side of the blanket facing downwards towards the pool water.
Frankly speaking, by doing so, the solar cover takes advantage of the free heat produced by the sun while retaining heat within your swimming pool.
The thing that I really admire about this solar cover is its ability to stop unwanted debris and dirt from entering your pool.
Do I still need to convince you?
SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater 2 by 20-Feet, Black
The SunHeater S120U is definitely another solar pool heater that is not only compact and economical but also made in the USA.
Moreover, the S120U has a simple installation process and can be used for both in-ground and above-ground pools.
The USP of SunHeater S120U is its patented web design that helps the device to get maximum exposure to the sun’s rays.
Well, the solar heater is capable of raising the pool water temperature between 6 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can install the solar heater on the roof, rack, ground, or fence.
I highly recommend this solar heater because of its usability, idiosyncratic features, and affordability.
Goplus Solar Dome Swimming Pool Heater Above Ground, Pool Solar Heater, Sun Heater
As compared to the aforementioned solar heaters, the Goplus solar dome is a bit different.
Like other solar panels, this above-ground pool heater also absorbs sunlight but the way it does is definitely idiosyncratic.
The unique thing about the Goplus solar dome is that it comprises a dome-shaped lens that acts as a magnifying glass and is used to maximize the efficiency of the heat from the sun.
The heat dissipated is captured by the black coils that circulate the pool water through them.
It has a unique size that allows it to absorb a huge amount of heat.
All in all, a highly efficient solar heater that you’ll not regret investing in.
Our core team has tried to the best of its capabilities to bundle all the important information related to buying in one place in order to help you make an informed buying decision.
In case, you’ve got a doubt or a query, feel free to reach out to us, and our core team would be more than happy to assist you.
Does it make sense?
Can I put a heater in an above-ground pool?
Definitely, you can put a heater for an above-ground pool.
And, all the types of heaters that we discussed so far in this post would work fine with an above-ground pool for sure.
I’ve seen a lot of newbies getting confused with the buying options available for an above-ground pool.
If that is the case with you as well, then all I can say is, stay with us, as we would be discussing every aspect of buying a heater for an above-ground pool.
Reasons Why You Need A Heater For An Above Ground Pool
To be honest, if you reside in a hot and humid climate then you don’t need a heater at all from your above-ground pool, but at the same time, if you’re looking forward to a comfortable swimming condition then definitely, you should buy one.
I know like me, many of you would be trying to extract as much enjoyment as possible from your pool, right?
So, warm water definitely increases the swimming experience multiple folds.
On the other hand, if you own a pool that resides in a cold region where the temperature is not so favorable for swimming, then you don’t have an option but to opt for a high-quality pool heater to increase the pool water temperature for a favorable swimming condition.
Either way, who doesn’t wanna swim in a warm and comfortable pool water temperature?
Let’s have a quick look at some of the reasons that might force you to think that you need a pool heater for sure.
Does it make sense?
Extended Pool Season
Yes, you heard it, Right?
With the help of a pool heater, you can easily extend the usability of your pool as compared to a pool that doesn’t have a heater.
In fact, a pool without a heater will close down far early for winter even before the temperature outside dips to colder weather.
Relaxed Muscles and Joints
If you’re an avid reader of this blog then definitely, you would be aware of the fact that a pool with warm water also has some health benefits associated with it.
In fact, warm pool water helps swimmers with relaxing their muscles as well as soothing joint pain to some extent.
Swimming in warm water regularly and for a longer duration would definitely help in easing out both stress as well as depression.
So, if you’re one who is suffering from short-term stress then you should definitely try swimming in order to reduce your stress level.
Things That You Need To Consider While Buying The Best Above-Ground Pool Heater
Well, to be honest, there are certain things that you need to consider when it comes to buying an above-ground pool heater.
Irrespective of the type and size of the pool heater, you need to consider the below points for buying a “value for money” product.
Let’s have an in-depth discussion on each of the buying parameters so that the newbies can derive maximum benefits from our discussion.
Definitely, efficiency plays a key role when it comes to buying an above-ground pool heater.
A highly efficient pool heater is capable of heating the water at a rapid pace.
Out of all the types of heaters, gas pool heaters are the most efficient ones.
But, it doesn’t mean in any way that other types aren’t efficient.
Depending upon the climate, pool size, and type of pool, you can select a pool heater.
At times, a solar heater or electrical heater would do the trick for you.
Frankly speaking, since the gas pool heaters are the most efficient ones so it doesn’t mean that you always need them.
If you’re planning to invest a good lump sum then definitely, you would be looking for a heater, irrespective of type, that would last longer.
And, this is only possible if the materials used in manufacturing the heater are of high quality.
The selection of a particular type of pool heater to a large extent depends on the size of the pool as well.
For example, a small pool would be requiring a very little amount of heat for getting heated up.
On the other hand, a pool that is relatively larger in size would be needing more amount of heat to make the water warmer.
In fact, if you’re an owner of a very small pool then definitely, you would be needing sun rings to stay warm.
A gas pool heater would be a perfect choice if you’re an owner of a very large commercial pool.
Out of all the three types of pool heaters, gas variants is the ones that might cause some problem to the environment because of their emissions.
However, as per my knowledge and experience, I can affirm that most of the newest gas heater models meet emissions in even the strictest of states.
Needless to say, solar and electrical heaters are environment friendly as they don’t emit any gas, good or bad.
Installation and Maintenance
Always look for a pool heater that is easy to install and maintain irrespective of whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned professional.
Try to refrain from buying a pool heater that comes with a tedious and time-consuming installation process.
Well, affordability is a relative term and it means different things for a different person.
However, when narrowing down the options, you need to also consider the maintenance cost.
For example, a product that may be affordable for you might not be for me, and vice-versa.
It goes without saying that climate is one of the most important factors in choosing a pool heater.
A pool in a hot and humid region wouldn’t be needing a very powerful heater.
In fact, even a solar pool heater would do the needful.
On the other hand, a pool in a cold climatic region would be needing a very powerful heater.
And, a gas pool heater might be a great choice because of its efficiency.
Which Is Best: A Swimming Pool Heater or A Heat Pump?
Let’s have an in-depth discussion on which is better, a swimming pool heater or a heat pump.
This is one of the most sought questions among my clients on, a year-on-year basis.
It goes without saying that both pool heaters and heat pumps act as excellent heat sources for pool heating.
Simply, saying that one is better than the other wouldn’t be a correct and logical answer.
If I’m not wrong the answer to the aforementioned question would depend upon quite a few factors.
Without any doubt, the final call would always be yours.
However, the best that I can do for you is to discuss the pros and cons of swimming pool heaters and heat pumps.
Does it make sense?
Frankly speaking, heaters and heat pumps are great solutions for swimming in a cold climate.
And definitely, they play a crucial role in extending your swimming season.
But, it is equally important that before purchasing either a heater or a heat pump, you need to be well aware of what you actually want.
A pool heater could be a preferred choice in case, your swimming pool resides in a colder climate, and your primary aim is to either extend your pool season or heat the pool water fairly quickly.
On the contrary, if your pool is in an area where the temperature doesn’t drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit something similar to Florida, then my best bet would be a heat pump.
A heat pump could be a great option for pool owners who simply want to keep their pools warmer during the normal swimming season.
How do pool heaters warm your pool?
A pool heater comprises a heater combustion chamber wherein fuel such as propane or natural gas is burnt to lead to the generation of heat.
For heating the pool water, it is drawn into coils inside the pump.
So, as you pass the water through the heated coils in the chamber, it gets heated and is moved back to the pool, and thus, surging the pool water temperature.
Moreover, the process is repeated continuously to achieve the desired temperature for your pool water.
Pool Heater Benefits
- Well, if you’re on a shoestring budget then definitely, I’ve got good news for you, gas or even propane-powered heaters would cost you a little upfront
- The pool heater is capable of heating your pool water quickly and with ease
- If your pool resides in a cold region where the temperature drops too often then a pool heater will do the trick for you as it is capable of creating its own source of heat inside the combustion chamber
Pool Heater Drawbacks
- The pool heaters aren’t as cost-efficient as heat pumps
- Well, the pool heater comes with higher operating costs because the cost of natural gas or propane used to fuel a pool can add up quickly
- May not be the best choice for frequent use
How heat pump warms your pool?
The transferring of heat via a heat pump is idiosyncratic and involves certain steps.
As the heat pump begins the process of transferring heat, the pump’s fan sucks in the air outside your pool.
In the next step, the pool water is passed over the evaporator coil in the heat pump, and a special liquid is present within the coil that absorbs the heat and changes to a gaseous state.
After passing through the heat pump’s compressor and condenser, the gas heat surges.
Moreover, you might be needing the help of an effective pool pump that could circulate pool water into a heat pump so that it can be treated by hot gas into the condenser and then returned back to the pool.
Repeat the aforementioned process to achieve the desired result.
Heat Pump Benefits
- Though the heat pumps have a more upfront cost still it’s more cost-effective over a period of time because of their less energy requirement
- Heat pumps are perfect for the warm climate as it works on the principle of transferring heat from outside air into the pool.
- A heat pump is a great option for the pools wherein you want to maintain a steady set temperature throughout the year
- And, they are a perfect choice for all those pool owners who are on a shoestring budget because of their lower operating cost
Heat Pumps Drawbacks
- Not as fast as a pool heater because the heat pumps don’t work on the principle of generating its heat through burning fuel
- May not be the best bet in extremely cold climates where the outside temperature falls frequently below 40 or 50 degrees Fahrenheit
Gas Pool Heater Vs. Electric Pool Heater
To be honest, both gas and electric pool heaters are good in their own sense.
Depending upon your requirement and budget, you can select the one that caters to your need.
Well, to be honest, an electric pool heater varies significantly from its gas counterpart in terms of cost.
Both the upfront cost, as well as the installation cost of an electric pool heater, is more than the gas heater.
However, in the long run, an electric pool heater tends to be cheaper and is also known to have a longer lifespan, and is more reliable as well.
Efficiency and Installation
In case, you’re living in a cold region wherein temperature drops significantly, and your primary aim is to increase the pool season, then definitely, a gas heater would be more efficient.
Gas heaters are more efficient in a cold climate because they come with their own heat-generating system.
On the other hand, an electric pool heater might take a longer duration to heat your pool water just because its heat mechanism depends upon outside heat.
If we talk about the installation process, then to set up a natural gas pool heater, you need to link the unit to your gas line, and if you’re using a propane heater then it will require a propane tank to work.
On the other hand, the installation of an electric pool heater is less time-consuming and tedious.
All you need is a certified technician who’ll install the electric heater safely and correctly.
Solar Vs. Electric Vs. Gas: Pool Heater Comparison Chart
Frankly speaking, my team has put loads and loads of effort in order to come up with this idiosyncratic comparison chart to help you make an informed buying decision.
Does it make sense?
|Solar Pool Heater
|Electric Heat Pump
|Gas Pool Heater
|It uses the sun’s energy to circulate water through the heater
|It pulls the heat from the air and transfers it into the water
|Uses propane or natural gas to heat the water
|Efficient in southern climate round the year,
|Cost-effectively, easy installation
|Operates efficiently irrespective of the outside temperature
|Requires 50 to 100 % pool’s surface
|Requires at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit to function properly
|Relatively expensive as compared to other types of pool heaters
Above-Ground Pool Heater Installation Tips
I’m assuming that you’ve found your favorite above-ground pool heater, and now it’s high time that you install it and enjoy the swimming.
Trust me, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned professional, the tips and tricks that we’re gonna discuss in a while would definitely help with the installation of an above-ground pool heater.
Frankly speaking, if you’ve got a scarcity of time, then definitely, the best option would be to hire a professional who could install it for you.
But, it might cost you cost extra bucks and if you’re on a shoestring budget then you might not be able to afford it, right?
Needless to say, a proper installation would allow you to prevent expensive repairs in the longer run.
When it comes to installing an above-ground pool heater, then definitely, selection of the location, water connection creation, gas line installation, electric line installation, testing, maintenance, etc are some of the important parameters that you can afford to overlook.
I’ve been in the industry for over a decade now, and I can affirm that a proper installation of an above-ground pool heater would help you to keep loads and loads of problems at bay in the longer run.
Try to find a level area for the heater so that it can sit properly.
For the best result, you need to keep your pool heater off the ground.
I personally use stone patio blocks or even a cement slab for this purpose.
But, at the same time, keep in mind that you need to install a gas heater close to the gas line.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to install a solar heater for your above-ground pool then it provides you lots of flexibility in terms of location preference because it doesn’t need a power source at all.
Create the Water Connection
In order to expedite this step, you would be needing certain tools such as a hacksaw to cut out a section of the pump return.
Similarly, you would be needing an elbow joint to connect the heater, pool return, and pump.
And, with the help of a pipe or even a hose, you can connect one end of the elbow joint from the heater to the pool return.
Now, connect the other end of the heater to the pump.
Gas Line Installation
This installation step needs to be expedited only if you’re installing a gas heater for your above-ground pool.
It is very important for you to ensure that the heater has a permanent power source, and for this purpose, the best thing that you can do is to connect the heater to your home’s main gas line.
Electrical Line Installation
Well, you need an electrical line run from the breaker box to the pool heater.
I highly recommend you should check for your local laws so that you can prevent any last-hour misadventure.
If you can do it on your own then it’s perfectly fine or else you can take the help of an electrician.
Can I avoid steps such as electrical/gas line installation?
Definitely, you can skip the last two steps, that is, electric line installation, gas line installation, etc.
And, trust me, it’s easier than you think.
All you need to do is to install a solar-powered heater for your above-ground pool.
Most of the solar pool heater comes with solar panels.
The way solar heater works is that the water is flown through the solar panels, and the panels transfer heat to the water.
The solar panels exploit the heat energy present in sunlight.
Frankly speaking, the reason why a solar heater makes your entire installation process easier is that it doesn’t require an outside energy source.
You heard it, RIGHT?
The path to success is testing, improving the installation, and again testing till you achieve an optimum result.
Once you’re done with the aforementioned steps, you need to start the heater and test whether things are working properly or NOT.
Look for the leaks if any.
You need to ensure that the warm water is being released into your pool by checking the feeder jets.
Now, adjust the water temperature to your desired level.
Lastly, once the temperature is set, it would be solely your pool heater’s responsibility to maintain it from that point.
Irrespective of the system you’ve built over a period of time, regular maintenance is required to keep things moving smoothly and without any hassle.
And, the same holds true with both in-ground and above-ground pools.
It is highly recommended that you test the pH level, calcium hardness, alkalinity, and free chlorine level after you’ve expedited the installation process to make sure that no loophole is present anywhere, and everything is working perfectly fine with ease.
You can use a pool chemistry testing kit for this purpose.
As promised to my clientele and readers, I would be responding to the queries related to the best above-ground pool heater to the best of my capabilities.
In case, you’ve any doubts or queries related to the above-ground pool heater, then definitely, mail us and someone from our team would help you in clearing your doubt.
What is the best way to heat an above-ground pool?
Needless to say, there are more than one ways to heat an above-ground pool for sure, and the method that you select depends to a large extent on your requirement and preference.
Let’s understand it with an example.
If you’re a resident of Florida and own a small pool, then a solar ring might be the perfect choice for you as it would do the needful in the best possible way.
On the other hand, if you own a commercial pool and are a resident of New York, then definitely, a gas heater would be a preferred choice.
In simple terms, solar heaters are the most environmentally friendly, and gas heaters are the most efficient ones.
Are above-ground pool heaters worth the money?
Technically speaking, it DEPENDS…
If you’re a resident of northern climate or even milder climate and want to prolong your swim season then definitely, you should opt for an above-ground pool heater.
Does a solar heater work well for an above-ground pool?
It goes without saying that a solar heater works perfectly fine for both the inground as well as the above-ground pool.
Can I heat my pool cheaply?
Definitely, you can heat your pool cheaply and it depends to a large extent on the type of heater that you’ve opted for.
As per my knowledge and experience, the cheapest way to heat any pool is by using a solar blanket.
These affordable pool heaters come in different shapes and sizes, and you can even trim most of them to fit your pool size.
How long does it take to heat a pool to a 10-degree increase?
Well, to be honest, how long it takes to heat a pool to a 10-degree increment depends to a large extent on how big your pool is and what type of heater you’re using.
FORMULA: Determine the time required to increase water temperature by 1 degree Fahrenheit
# of gallons in pool X 8.34 = ___________ lbs. of water
______ pounds of water / BTU Size = The hours it takes to raise the water temperature by 1 degree Fahrenheit
You have a 20,000-gallon pool and use a 125,000 BTU heater.
Your water is currently 70 degrees Fahrenheit but you would like it to be a minimum of 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
How long will it take before the pool water reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit?
20,000 x 8.34= 166,800 lbs
166,800/125,000= 1.33 hrs to increase 1 degree
80-70= 10 degrees difference
10 x 1.33= 13.34 hours of heating before the pool reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
What size above-ground pool heater do I need?
Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned professional, what size of above-ground pool heater do you need is definitely a question that would’ve come to your mind at least once, right?
And, you know what, the best thing is, most manufacturers take the guesswork out of it for you, astonishing, isn’t it?
To make things simpler and easier, let’s understand it with the help of an example.
For a pool up to 10,000 gallons, you’ll need 50,000-65,000 BTUs.
For a 20,000-gallon pool, you’ll need 85,000-125,000 BTUs.
The reason why I’ve given a range of BTUs is that with the help of a high-quality pool heater, you can extend the swimming season.
You can consider the lower range of BTUs if you want to only swim in the summer season.
On the other hand, a higher range of BTUs would help you to extend your swimming season.
So, it’s you who has to take the final call.
How long can an above-ground pool heater last?
Well, how long can an above-ground pool heater lasts depends to a large extent on the type of heater, how frequently you use it, and how well you maintain it.
For the best result, you need to consider all three parameters.
However, I would be giving you a rough estimate that you can consider as a reference for buying your favorite pool heater.
A branded and good-quality electric or gas heater can last up to 10 years.
Moreover, a solar panel heater can last even for a longer duration to the extent of 15 years.
Lastly, a solar heating blanket has a lifespan of approximately 3 years.
It’s A Wrap
First and foremost, I would like to thank you for being with us till the end.
Frankly speaking, I and my team have put loads and loads of effort to come up with this comprehensive guide to help you make an informed buying decision.
Furthermore, if you would’ve liked our effort and want to appreciate us then you can rate us on a scale of 1 to 5 with the latter being the best.
Cutting long-story-short, a high-quality swimming pool heater can help you extend your swimming season.
Moreover, warm pool water also comes with certain health benefits.
However, there is nothing like the best above-ground pool heater.
In fact, the term “best” is relative, and what may be best for you might not be for me and vice-versa.
So, choose the pool heater that not only caters to your needs but also falls well within your budget.
Before we end this discussion, as the author of this blog, I’m inquisitive to know whether or NOT you were able to find your favorite above-ground pool heater.
And, I’m also interested to know, which is your favorite type of pool heater, and how much amount are you willing to spend on your best above-ground pool heater.
Fervently, awaiting your response in the comment section.
Last but not least, share this piece of information with the ones who are in need of it.
After all, sharing is caring, isn’t it?