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Pool Heater vs Pool Heat Pump

Pool heaters (natural gas) and pool heat pumps (electric) offer different features. Choosing the right option for your pool depends on how often you use the pool.  In Arizona we have super hot months where a heater chiller combo may be a perfect choice for your pool equipment addition.  There are also upgrades and automation that will help you control your energy costs and automation that let you can control your pool lights, pump, heater, water features, etc. right from your phone.

Swimming pool heaters are most efficient when they are used for short periods of time. They are good for heating a pool rapidly and will heat water faster than pool heat pumps. Natural gas or propane gas heaters are able to maintain a constant water temperature in any weather condition.  This may be a good option if the pool isn’t used frequently in cold months.  Rental house owners sometimes prefer this option so they only pay to heat the pool for the days the home is rented.  Gas or propane-powered pool heaters generally cost a bit less upfront than a heat pump, which makes them an attractive option for many homeowners.

If you use your pool infrequently; only on weekends or several times per week then you will only need to turn on the heater as you use the pool.  This would make a gas heater the most efficient heating method for your application.  Pool heaters run on natural gas or liquid propane.  If you don’t have gas at the equipment, you can have a line run to the pool equipment.  However, it may be prohibitive to run gas lines if there isn’t already availability at the house or depending on cost of gas.  Alternately, you can have a propane tank installed that would require to be refilled and hooked up.  The type of fuel you use should be based on the availability and price of gas and propane in your area. 

Pool heat pumps run on electricity and are an efficient, environmentally friendly way to heat a pool.  They use less energy than other heating methods, making them more affordable to run.  For regular use of the pool, Heat pumps can save pool owners money in the long run as they typically have  much lower annual operating costs than gas heaters.  They operate by extracting heat from the outside air, increasing the heat with a compressor, delivering the heat to the water, and ejecting the cold air out the top of the unit.  Pool heat pumps will not get the water as warm as a pool heater, however they keep the water consistently warm and ready for use.

Choosing the best option for you varies on operating cost, access to energy source, outdoor temps, and most importantly, how you use the pool.  Natural gas heaters tend to have lower upfront cost but higher operating costs than heat pumps.  Electric Heat Pumps are less expensive to operate, however they are ineffective at temperatures below 50 degrees.  Gas Pool Heaters do not have this limitation and heat the pool faster.  Depending on the size of the pool and if there are waterfalls or features that cool the water, gas pool heaters warm the water in several hours versus several days.  

To get your free estimate and project consultation call Arrowhead Deck and Pools at 602-833-8560 or email to [email protected].  For more information and to learn about all our services, visit our website at www.ArrowheadDeck.com.  

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