Heat Pump vs. Gas: Which Pool Water Heater Is Right for You?

By September 7, 2022Pool Tips, Pool Safety

Pool Heaters and Pumps: Gas vs. Electric

Winter is the perfect season for frigid outdoor activities, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying some aquatic fun in your pool. A pool heater may help you get the most out of your swimming pool, but the $64,000 issue is: which model will you choose? This article will compare the advantages, costs, and downsides of gas versus electric pool heaters.

Without further ado, let’s get started! (Intended pun)

Which pool heater is best for your pool?

Natural gas or propane pool heaters are the most frequent kind of pool heaters. The kind of pool heater you choose will be determined by the energy requirements and size of your pool.

The Operation of a Gas Pool Heater

A combustion chamber transforms propane or natural gas into heat in a pool heater. This heat is carried via coils inside the pump, letting water to travel through, heat up, and return to the pool. It is a continual procedure that progressively increases the temperature of the pool to appropriate levels.

Depending on the size of your pool, gas pool heaters may warm it up by roughly 1oC each hour throughout the summer. To get the most out of this form of heating in the winter, you’ll probably need a pool cover. For scheduled swimming sessions, gas pool heaters are perfect.

For example, if you swim at a certain time each week, you may program it to reach your ideal temperature by the time you’re ready to swim.

Gas pool heaters may not be as energy-efficient as electric pool heaters.

Nonetheless, it is an excellent solution for buildings that need intermittent heating. Gas pool heaters may be challenging to install because they sometimes need electrical and gas supplies.

Whatever you do, keep combustible things, electronics, plastics, and chemicals far away from the pool heater exhaust. On the pool heater delivery side, you need also install heavy-duty PVC tubing. Also, keep in mind that your pool may need to be remodeled in order to properly install your gas heater.

Gas pool heaters are also classified into two types:

1. Natural Gas: These pool heaters need a gas line hookup and a professional installation. Natural gas heaters are more expensive to install but have a longer lifetime.

2. Propane: To heat your pool, propane pool heaters need a tiny refillable gas canister. While it is less costly than a natural gas heater, it is still more expensive than a heat pump.

Benefits of Gas Pool Heaters

1. Great for hot tubs: If you want to heat your hot tub or jacuzzi to high temperatures, propane or natural gas heaters are probably your best option.

2. Ideal for colder regions: Because pool heaters generate heat via the combustion chamber, they are ideally suited for milder climes to avoid overheating.

The Drawbacks of Gas Pool Heaters

1. Unfriendly to the environment: pool heaters emit emissions that contribute to global warming.

2. Expensive in the long run: The gas cost of a pool heater may easily spiral out of control, particularly if the pool is used often.

Heat Pumps for Swimming Pools

Heat pumps use electricity to heat your pool, as opposed to gas heaters, which use fuel to generate heat. Heat pumps are one of the most prevalent ways of pool heating and are popular alternatives for competitions and swimming meets.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

Heat pumps extract heat from the surrounding air as it passes over the evaporator coil within the heat pump. The refrigerant in the pump absorbs the heat and converts it to a gas. As it goes through the heat condenser and compressor, the gas continues to heat up.

At the same time, the pool pump takes water from the pool into the heat pump, where it warms up before returning to the pool. This technique is repeated until the water reaches the ideal temperature.

The Benefits of Pool Heat Pumps

1. Suitable for warmer climates: Because the heat utilizes the surrounding air to heat the pool, it is a good option for hot weather when the air is already warm.

2. Greatest for Regular Use: A heat pump may not heat your water rapidly when you need it to, but it is the best option for maintaining your pool at a consistent temperature. For customers that use their pool often, the heat pump is the recommended solution.
Disadvantages of Pool Heat Pumps

1. Slow heat: Heat pumps heat your pool more slowly than gas heaters. As a result, it’s not the finest answer for your hot tub or jacuzzi.

2. Unsuitable for colder regions: Because heat pumps utilize the surrounding air to heat your pool, they are unsuitable for colder climes.

Cost of a Gas vs. Electric Pool Heater

A gas heater will cost between $1500 and $2500, and that is just for the equipment. Installation and incidental costs might range from $500 to $2000. The price of a gas heater is normally cheaper, but the long-term consumption and maintenance expenditures are higher.

Electric heat pumps, on the other hand, cost between $2500 and $3500, plus a $1000 installation charge. While the equipment is more costly, the operating and maintenance expenses are lower in the long term. The typical monthly cost of running a gas heater is $200 to $400. In contrast, the monthly operating expenses of an electric heat pump are between $100 and $200.

Is it more expensive to heat a pool using gas or electricity?

It is not apparent whether approach is more expensive. The cost of pool heating is determined on the size of your pool and how often you swim.

Furthermore, power and gas prices fluctuate, impacting the cost of consumption. If you possess a huge pool, you may redesign it to make it smaller in order to save money on heating in the long run.

Is a Gas Pool Heater a Good Investment?

Gas pool heaters are ideal for regular travelers or owners who only use their pool on occasion. A gas heater may save you money and last longer depending on the cost of your power bill.

What Is the Most Efficient Method of Pool Heating?

According to the Department of Energy, the most energy-efficient method to heat your pool, especially in warmer areas, is with a heat pump. For greater efficiency, consider purchasing a heat pump with a scroll compressor rather than the reciprocating compressors used in many heat pumps.

Considerations for Heat Pump vs. Gas Pool Heater

It might be difficult to choose between a gas heater and an electric pump for your pool. However, before making a decision, it is advisable to examine the following alternatives.

  • Long-term and short-term costs
  • Energy conservation
  • Consistency of heat
  • Costs of installation, maintenance, use, and repair

If you still can’t determine which pool heating equipment to purchase, think about how often you’ll use it and if you’ll need to winterize your pool. Determine the typical temperature in your area and if you want to use your pool during the colder months.

What Is the Best Swimming Pool Heat Pump?

There is no optimum heat pump for a swimming pool since the sort of pump you need is determined by a variety of variables, including your power bill and frequency of use.

However, before you choose a heat pump, consider the following:

Costs of Size Efficiency

To determine the pool heater size, it is advised that you seek the assistance of a knowledgeable specialist. It requires expertise to size a heat pump pool heater since you must measure the surface area of the pool, as well as the difference between the pool and average air temperature.

Cool night temperatures, wind exposure, and humidity levels are all variables that may influence heat pump size. If your pool is in an area with higher-than-average wind speeds, exceptionally chilly nights, and low humidity, you’ll most likely require a hefty heater.

Heat Pump heaters are classified based on their horsepower and BTU. Sizes that are common include:

  • 3.5hp/75,000 BTU
  • 5hp/100,000 BTU
  • 6hp/125000 BTU

Which Swimming Pool Heater Is Best for Cold Weather?

Natural gas heaters are ideal for cold areas since they do not rely on the temperature of the surrounding air. The output of these heaters ranges from 75,000 BTU to 450,000 BTU.

To estimate the approximate heater/heat pump size for your outdoor pool, follow these steps:

  • Determine your ideal pool temperature.
  • Determine the average temperature for the coldest month of pool usage.
  • Subtract this average from the ideal pool temperature to get the needed temperature increase.
  • Determine the pool’s square footage.
  • To determine the heater’s BTU/hour output performance, use the formula below.

Pool size multiplied by temperature increase multiplied by 12. The finest gas heaters have a high energy efficiency rate ranging from 85% to 95%.

A 70% efficient heater, for example, will provide $70 of heat each $100 of fuel used.

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