Consumers owning an above ground pool often feel as if added features associated with in-ground pools are unavailable to them. In many cases, this is correct as the basic dimensions and composition of above ground pools are much different and a bit more limited than in-ground pools.
Fortunately, as technology has advanced, above ground pool heaters are now available for these pools in order to keep you pool warm and enjoy it year round. Such a technology is often confusing for consumers that have little background in such heaters. Also, internet research provides very little regarding the details of this wonderful technology. Fortunately, this article will serve to assist in gaining a broader understanding of above ground pool heaters which could assist in making an informed and educated purchase.
Type of pool heater
Go for the gas powered heater
Gas powered appliances have always been a favorite among consumers as they are much less costly to operate and often provide a safe method of use. An above ground pool heater is no different. Not only are the much cheaper to operate without draining your electric bill, they are provide an extremely effective and high powered method of heating your pool. Gas powered pool heaters are much cheaper in price than electrical above ground pool heaters. Furthermore, gas powered pool heaters are more effective than electric power heaters. In fact, a gas powered pool heater heats the water in your pool five to seven degrees within two hours. This is a phenomenal rate of heat that is unable to be found with electric powered heaters.
Electric powered heater
Okay, so while bashing the electrical powered above ground swimming pool heater, this section will discuss the positive aspects of the heater. The electric powered heater is much more expensive than the gas powered pool heater merely due to the added technologies and advanced features associated with them. Fortunately, these features make the heater extremely easy to use. Electrical powered pool heaters are available in numerous color and design patterns that allow for a compact heater to be purchased or a larger and more powerful heater. Perhaps the most convenient factor of the electric powered heater is that they avoid the hassle of having to constantly replace the gas source with the gas powered heater. Simply put, all you have to do is plug in the power cord to the closest available outlet and the heater is ready to heat your pool efficiently and effectively.
The Solar powered heater
The solar powered above ground swimming pool heater is the most expensive to purchase and advanced in technology of all pool heaters. The total cost of ownership and operation is much cheaper than the other two heaters. Unfortunately, those without substantial on-hand capital to purchase one will not be able to take advantage of these savings. A disadvantage of this technology is that it is relatively new and still has kinks to work out. One of the most noticeable disadvantages to the solar powered heater is that they currently do not store enough power to operate; thus, unless it is very sunny, the unit will not work on solar energy.
Top 5 Above Ground Pool Heaters for the Money
1. Hayward HP50TA 50000 Titanium Pool Heater
- Heater has kept pool at a comfortable temperature for the family to use.
- Even though it is large, the heater is not too loud.
- It’s very easy to install, user-friendly and cost-efficient.
- New heater worked only for a week before it began to give a low refrigerant warning.
- Heater worked well for one season but then required repairs.
- This heater seems to use a lot of power to keep the pool warm.
- Cover your pool even when you have a heater, to keep the heat in.
- Use a variable speed pump with this heater for best performance.
- If installing yourself, get a helper for hook-up.
2. Hayward H200FDN Universal H-Series Low Nox 200,000-BTU Natural Gas Pool Heater
- This unit can heat a 20,000 gallon pool by about one degree per hour.
- One the desired temperature is reached, the heater doesn’t have to work hard to keep it there.
- Very easy to operate, even for new pool owners.
- The first heater one reviewer purchased developed pin holes, but the replacement heater has been performing well.
- One reviewer had to have a new gas line run for the heater, which raised the overall cost.
- Installation was difficult and required professional help to complete.
- Have someone who knows about natural gas help with the installation.
- Watch the initial temperature changes closely so you don’t have to run the heater for longer than is necessary.
- Check your gas line locations before you have the unit installed.
3. Pentair 460732 MasterTemp High Performance Eco-Friendly Pool Heater, Natural Gas, 250,000 BTU
- Access to the heater is quite handy, and it’s easy to work around.
- The unit is small enough to fit in tight areas, but still heats the pool water very quickly.
- This heater is quite reliable and when parts are needed, they are easy to find.
- One buyer had repeated problems with a stuck thermostat.
- The unit requires a high flow of natural gas in order to warm the pool water.
- The heater is noisier than some other units and generates a lot of heat around the unit.
- Install a check valve if you use a chlorinator in your pool, to keep gas from backing up.
- Backwash the filter when needed, to avoid the heater switching on and off.
- Turn the heater off if you will be away for a time, to save money.
4. Smartpool WWS601P Sunheater Solar Pool Heater For In Ground Pools
- Adds months to your swimming season. We now swim from April to October in a region with cool springs and cold falls.
- This heater raises temperature by about three degrees per day, which is a good rate for solar heaters.
- It is much less expensive to use solar power than to run a gas or electric heater.
- Received defective parts with the heater and the manufacturer would not replace them.
- Had to spend more on parts to help with installation – some should have been included and were not.
- The mounting instructions are not as clear as they could be.
- You can use heavier duty clamps than the ones provided with this heater, for more effective installation.
- Get help for the installation – the unit is good sized and help will be welcome.
- Use a solar blanket to keep the heat in.
5. Smartpool WWS421P Sunheater Solar Pool Heater
- Solar power is much healthier for the environment than using a conventional heater.
- Temperature went up 20 degrees in less than a week; very impressive performance.
- If you don’t want to build a frame, the ridges allow you to lay it on the lawn to heat your pool.
- Photo showed the panels mounted, but they come in rolls. You have to buy the mounts yourself.
- California buyer has not seen any appreciable heat increase in the pool since the solar heater was installed.
- You will need more hose adapters than they send with the kit.
- Speak with a technician before you install the heater, to make the instructions easier to follow.
- Be sure that you install in an area that is exposed to the most sunlight.
- Get help in building a rack you may use for the panels.