Pool Heater Cost: How Much Does It Cost to Heat a Pool

Heating a pool can be pretty expensive in the long run. But what costs can you expect using a pool heater?

To heat a 40 m³ pool by +41 °F (+5 °C), we need 0.86 kcal. Based on this data, 46.51 kWh is needed to heat the pool water. An average heating time of 8 hours/day and an electricity price of 10.66 cents will cost $ 4.96 a day. That would be $ 34,71 per week to heat the pool water.

In this article, you will find a detailed calculation of what it costs to have a pool heater. I will also give you practical tips on how to reduce your heating costs for the pool.

How much does it cost to heat a pool?

When you choose a pool heater, costs play an important role, as the pool needs to be heated often.

Therefore – in addition to my pool heater comparison – a cost report before the actual installation of the heating system is necessary.

A few basics must be explained before we calculate the pool heater cost.

  • An energy of 1 kcal (kilocalorie) is required to heat 1 liter of pool water by 33,8 °F (1 °C).
  • The output of the pool heater is given in kWh (kilowatt per hour) – 1 kWh corresponds to 1000 Wh (watt-hour).
  • 1 watt-hour provides approximately 0.86 kcal of energy.

Based on the data obtained, the output of the pool heater can be determined and set in relation to the desired water temperature.

Example: Let us assume that a 40 m³ pool basin will be heated by +41 °F (+5 °C).

All you have to do is divide the 40 m³ by 0.86 kcal to find out how many kWh the pool heating needs to generate to heat the pool water by 33,8 °F.

40 m³:0.86 = 46.51 kWh (heating output)

Do you want more details and a precise explanation of how the value is created?

No problem.

To heat the 40,000 liters of water by 33,8 °F, we need 45,000 kcal of energy. If we convert the 1 kcal into watt-hours (1 kcal = 1.16279 Wh), then we simply have to multiply the pool volume by the watt-hour:

40,000 kcal * 1.16279 Wh = 46.52 kWh.

And how much does the pool heater cost in the end to heat up the pool water to the desired +41 °F?

Multiply the calculated kWh by the desired temperature and the result with your electricity price per kWh.

Take a look at the table shown for the possible pool heating costs per month – The values ​​relate to a 40 m³ pool that should be heated by 33,8 °F.

Pool heater Performance Runtime Electricity price/kWh Costs/+34 °F
Reversible pump 8 kW 5.8 hours 17.7 cents 8.23 dollar
Oil heater 40 kW 1.16 hours 10.1 cents 4.70 dollar
Gas heating 40 kW 1.16 hours 7.1 cents 3.30 dollar
Solar system 15 kW 3.1 hours 7.23 cents 3.36 dollar

The pool heating cost table is only an example.

Inquire beforehand with your electricity provider what the costs per kWh are and include the values ​​accordingly in the invoice.

When calculating the heating costs in your pool, other factors such as the outside temperature and heat loss must also be considered.

Therefore, the specified running times may differ in practice.

But with the calculation and table presented here, would the decision in favor of pool heating be easy? Read my personal conclusion on this.

Conclusion: Which pool heater is the best?

A pool heater is useful and can extend the pool season in your garden.

To do this, a pool heating system must match your pool size and be used economically without increasing the monthly costs.

But in addition to the pool heater cost and the geological location of the pool, another aspect must be considered: Your own bathing habits.

For this reason, I cannot really name a pool heater winner, and the choice for a suitable system falls into the personal decision.

There is a choice of active or passive pool heaters, which have advantages and disadvantages.

Active pool heating:

  • Active pool heaters can be used flexibly.
  • The warm-up times of active heating systems are shorter.
  • Function regardless of the environmental conditions.
  • The energy consumption and the costs are high.
  • Partly complex installation to the pool water cycle.

Passive pool heating:

  • Passive systems are, among other things, dependent on solar radiation.
  • When there is little sunlight, the pool water hardly gets warm.
  • It can take a long time for the pool water to heat up.
  • Depending on the system, the costs are significantly lower.
  • Solar collectors can be installed quickly.

Is there enough space in your garden or on the house roof for the preferred system?

How is the connection made? Is it possible to connect the new pool heater to the pool yourself, or do you need a professional?

Beginners can quickly connect the reversible heat pump to the water cycle. A heat exchanger combined with a solar pool heater on the roof is more complicated.

After answering all the questions, another question appears: How often the pool heater will be used?

If the pool is only heated rare on weekends, active systems are the better choice. However, this results in increased costs, as shown by the pool heater cost table.

Solar systems and heat exchangers are recommended for continuous heating of the pool water due to the comparatively low energy costs.

Heating a swimming pool with solar energy is a future-oriented method and preferable to other systems.

But was the pool built in the right place for a solar pool heater?

The use of solar energy to heat the pool water depends on the incoming sun rays.

Many questions make it clear that you can only make the right decision based on personal preference.

One thing is clear: The most uneconomical method of heating a pool is to generate heat with electricity from the power plant.

Tips to save pool heating costs

Heating the pool water can be expensive if the wrong system is installed.

But regardless of the system you use, there are a few tricks that can lead to significant cost savings and heating energy.

  • Use a pool cover: A solar cover should always be used with all pool heaters to minimize heat loss. That saves up to 50% in energy.
  • Location of the pool: The location of the pool is a simple way of avoiding long heat-up times and high costs. Therefore, the ideal location should be determined before building the pool.
  • Put on a windbreak: If you don’t want to cool your pool, a windbreak like a hedge is ideal for reducing heating costs.
  • Measure the water temperature: A regular water temperature measurement keeps the pool water at the desired temperature and prevents unnecessary energy costs.
  • Do not overheat the pool: Warm water feels great, but do not overheat the pool and keep the temperature at the lowest comfortable temperature – water that is too warm promotes algae growth.
  • Switching off the pool heater: If you do not swim in the swimming pool for a long time, you simply switch off the heater.

With these tips, you will save costs heating the pool water and at the same time reduce the heat-up times.

Do you have any further questions about the pool heater cost?

Contact me at @contactswimfool on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube. I am happy to help you personally.

Have fun heating the water with the pool heater!

Photo of author
Hi. I'm Max Berg. I've been in the pool industry since 2015 and have always felt drawn to water. I'm the author behind swimfool.com, where I share my years of experience in pool maintenance and give helpful tips on keeping a swimming pool or hot tub clean. My tips reduce the costs of water treatment and protect the environment.

Keep Reading