There are various pool heaters on the market that can heat the water. But which pool heater is the best and what do you have to look out for when buying?
The choice for a pool heater is a personal decision because bathing habits, the geological location of the pool, the available space in the garden, and the installation knowledge play a role. In practice, reversible heat pumps have proven their worth when heating a pool.
This article compares the most common pool heaters in terms of their effectiveness and cost.
The best pool heater
Before deciding which pool heater to buy, it is important to compare the systems in terms of efficiency, installation options, and costs.
The following pool heater comparison is helpful for this purpose.
The table is currently being processed…
It is difficult to compare the different pool heaters because of many factors, such as the size of your swimming pool.
The size plays an important role when determining the pool heater cost. Read more about the costs in my blog post.
In addition, other factors such as the cooling of the pool due to the weather or the loss of heat through the pool’s surface were not considered in this comparison.
The pool heating test shown here is imperfect, but it is completely fine for an overview.
How to buy the best pool heater
If you want to heat your pool, you must choose between an active or a passive system.
- Active pool heating: Reversible heat pumps or oil and gas heating fall into this category.
- Passive pool heating: All systems that heat the pool water without a direct power supply, such as solar systems or geothermal systems.
Which system you ultimately want to use to heat the pool depends on the usage, your habits, and the region in which you live.
In my blog post linked above, you can calculate the required performance for your pool yourself and make a cost comparison. That should make the buy decision easier for you.
But first I would like to explain the different types of pool heaters in more detail.
Reversible pool heat pump
The reversible pool heat pump is an active system for heating the pool water.
Practically, 70% of the heating output is obtained from the ambient heat, and only 30% of the energy is supplied electrically – We speak of a heating efficiency of 1:4.
The advantage of a reversible heat pump is that the heating-up times are kept relatively short, so you can enjoy a pleasant water temperature in the pool earlier.
If you have little space in the garden and want to install the reversible pool heater yourself, you will be satisfied with the heat pump without much knowledge.
But how does such a heat pump work, and what do you need for it?
The reversible heat pump is connected directly to the existing pool system and does not require additional equipment.
A liquid medium is located in the housing of the pool heater, which enables the heat exchange between the condenser and the water from the pool. You can find a detailed explanation in the blog under the link above in the text.
In this pool heater comparison, the reversible heat pump and the solar collectors performed the best – see calculation in my other blog post.
When you buy a heat pump, however, you should make sure that you do not use a too weak system. In my opinion, anything below 8 kWh is too weak and would lead to long heating times and more costs.
Solar pool heater
Solar pool heaters are a practical system to passively heat pool water.
For this purpose, the solar heater is connected directly to the existing water circuit in the pool. The collectors collect the solar energy and transfer it directly back to the water in the pool.
You can choose between the following solar pool collectors:
- Vacuum tubes: A solar pool heater with vacuum tubes require less space in the garden and is 20% more efficient than regular solar collectors.
- Absorber systems: The absorber system is comparatively cheaper but requires more space and a sunny location in the garden or on the house roof.
The size ratio between the collector and the water volume in the pool should match when you buy a solar pool heater.
In addition, a more powerful pool pump may be necessary, depending on the location of the solar pool heater.
I have to mention that it becomes problematic with a solar pool heater when you heat the water in spring, autumn, and winter. In these times of the year, there is not enough sunshine in most regions.
Tip: I recommend combining the solar pool heater with a control device to achieve an efficiency of 45% when heating the pool – in midsummer, an efficiency of 80% is possible.
Heat the pool with an oil and gas heater
If you want to heat the pool using the existing oil and gas heater from home, you need an extra heat exchanger.
The heated water from the oil and gas heater flows without mixing with the water from the pool in the heat exchanger. The heat is transferred to the pool water, which flows back into the pool.
Given the rising cost of oil and gas, this system is not always recommended as a pool heater.
But if you prefer short heating times and simple regulation of the water temperature in your swimming pool, you can consider heating the water with an oil and gas heater.
Pool solar cover for hot water
A solar pool cover is not a particularly efficient (passive) pool heater, but it can still heat small pools.
The advantage of the solar pool cover is that the tarpaulin only needs to be stretched over the water’s surface.
When the sun comes in, the sun’s rays are bundled via the air cushions on the solar cover and released into the water – in practice, the solar pool cover can heat the water by 35 to 38 °F (2 – 3 °C).
Manufacturers of solar tarpaulins for the pool promise a heat output of +50 °F, which is hardly achievable in the northern region.
Nevertheless, I always recommend using a solar pool cover in addition to a regular pool heater.
This is because the solar tarpaulin minimizes heat loss in the pool and shortens the heating-up times.
In practice, you can reduce pool heating costs by around 50% by combining a pool solar heating system and a reversible heat pump. In addition, the tarpaulin minimizes the entry of dirt and helps to keep the water in the swimming pool clean.
Do you have further questions about the pool heater?
Contact me at @contactswimfool on Twitter. I am happy to help you.
Have fun in the warm pool water!