Pool heaters overview
If an ice cold pool is not something you like then you might consider investing in a pool heater. With a heater in your pool, you will be able to enjoy a warm swim way into spring and even autumn. To get maximum benefits, however, you must ensure that you get the best heater for your pool.
Pool heaters come in three main types. These are electric heaters, solar heaters, and gas heaters. Electric heaters are quite reliable and will warm your pool whatever the season. On the downside, they are expensive to maintain. Solar heaters, on the other hand, are easy to maintain as most of the energy come from the sun. The only disadvantage is that they are only effective in the summer and a little after. The initial cost of a solar heater may also be high compared to other heater types. Gas heaters are not as common today as they were a few years back. This can mostly be attributed to rising gas prices that have made these heaters extremely expensive to maintain. That said there are more than enough options for people looking for gas heaters.
Below we look at the best heater in the above categories.
1. Smartpool S601P SunHeater Solar Heating System
SunHeater is a US brand known for its high-quality heating systems for both in the ground and above ground pools. Like other SunHeater products, this heating system is made to the highest standard and with the end user in mind.
Unlike most solar pool heaters, this SunHeater creation is quite affordable. It also comes with a lot of features that make it quite versatile. The pool heater can be used in all types of in-ground pools. Other notable features include;
- 80 Square Feet of Solar Panels
These panels provide enough space to absorb sun rays and convert the rays into solar energy. These panels together with the polypropylene collector installed in the heating system make this product quite effective as far as heating your pool is concerned. Most people who have used the heater say that they noticed a considerable difference in the pool temperature in a matter of hours. If you are looking for a heater that will warm your pool in a few short hours, then this pool heater is an ideal choice.
It is important to remember that the overall effectiveness of a solar heater is dependent on a number of factors. These factors include the availability of sunlight, the orientation of the solar panels, and the location of the pool. While there is nothing much you can do about the sunlight, ensure that the panels are installed in a way to make maximum use of the available sunlight. You can also move your pool to an area where heating will be more efficient.
- Good Build
As mentioned above, this pool heater is made by a reputable company. It comes with a sturdy build and all parts are made to the highest standards. This is to ensure durability. As long as the heater is handled well, you can be sure that it will serve you well for a number of seasons.
This is easy to install the heater. All you need to do is roll it out and fit it in the designated area. While it is designed to be installed on the roof, you can install it in any other area where you get direct sunlight. The heater is not bulky and there is minimal maintenance required after installation. The fact that the heater relies on solar energy makes it ideal for homeowners looking for a low-maintenance heater for their pools.
- Installation Problems
Many people have complained about fixture problems that complicate the installation process. Low-quality valves, ties, and tools are some of the things that many users have a problem with. The problem can simply be used by using your own installation kit. You can also buy your own valves and ties to ensure that the panels are secure and the heater is well connected to the pool.
While an expert is not necessary when installing this heater, you may need to find someone who understands the installation instructions. A person with experience in solar heater installation may help a great deal especially in identifying the best area to install the heater for optimal benefits.
2. Hayward HP 21104 HeatPro Titanium Residential Pool Heater
This pool heater produces up to 110,000BTUs. This means that it can heat your pool to a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit in a few hours. The temperature, however, depends on the size of the pool and how full the pool is. Overall, this is a high performing heater that will ensure that your pool stays warm despite the weather conditions. It also comes with numerous other features that ensure that the pool heater works effectively and is energy efficient. Some key features include;
- Corrosive Resistance
This pool heater is designed to be corrosive resistant. The body is made using ultra-gold titanium that is both strong and corrosive resistant. Given this is designed to be an outdoor pump, it is only fair that it is made using a rust-resistant material. Other parts are made using stainless steel that also comes with corrosion-resistance properties.
Thanks to this feature, this heater would work great even for people who live near the ocean or in areas where the heater will be exposed to salt water. The pool heater can withstand the harsh conditions and show minimal if any wear over the years.
That said getting a cover for the heater is a good idea. The cover will keep the pump protected during winter months and other harsh conditions.
- Acoustic Compressor and Fan
The compressor and fan work to minimize noise when the pool heater is in use. If you are concerned about noise, this pump is a great choice. The heater also features a fan guard that works to keep out bugs, dirt, and other elements that may compromise the quality of the pump.
This heater comes with a number of user-friendly features. For one, it is quite easy to install and if you are handy you can install it without professional help. The installation process is quite straightforward and all installation instructions are quite clear. The heater also comes with an easy to read thermostat so it is easy to adjust it to the temperature that you want. The pool heater is also quite compact and will take up very little space in your backyard.
- Comes in a variety of sizes
The heater works great for small to medium-sized pools. You can compare the sizes available and ensure that you get a pool heater to match your pool size.
- Not ideal for large pools
This heater is only effective for pools that hold about 10,000 gallons of water. If you have a larger pool, then you would be better off with a different heater as this one will not heat your pool adequately not to mention the fact that you will be consuming a lot of power.
- Not ideal for extremely cold areas
Extreme cold affects the performance of this heater as it requires an outside temperature of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit to perform optimally. This means that though the heater might work if you live in a cold area, it will not be as efficient. You will end up using too much energy and the pool heater will have a shorter lifespan.
All electric pool heaters are expensive to maintain given the high power prices. To minimize power consumption you can get a solar blanket that traps heat and makes use of solar energy for your pool. This will also prolong the life of your pool heater as it will not be working overtime to keep the water in your pool warm especially on cloudy days.
This heater also does not come cheap. On the upside, it is sturdy and high in quality and if well taken care of, it will offer excellent service for years.
3. Pentair 460736 MasterTemp High Performer Eco-Friendly Natural Gas Heater
Pentair is a well-known manufacturer of high-quality pool equipment and accessories. Like all Pentair pool heaters, this heater is designed to offer optimal heating in a short time. This makes it ideal for people looking to warm their pools within a short time. The heater makes use of natural gas and is designed to be energy efficient and friendly to the environment. Other notable features include;
This pool heater is designed with the user in mind. To make it easy to use, the pool heater comes with a rotating digital display that is easy to operate. The control panel also features some led lights that indicate when the heater is due for servicing. Even better, the heater is ultra quiet. If you are keen to get a pool heater that will come without that annoying noise you get with other heaters, this, definitely, is a wonderful choice.
- Fast and Reliable
This is one of the pool heaters that can significantly raise the temperature in your pool in a matter of hours. The pool can raise the temperature in the pool by up to 3 degrees in every hour. It also comes with a digital thermostat that is accurate and makes this a highly reliable heater.
The heater is made using a strong and durable a copper and nickel alloy. The nickel strengthens the copper but leaves it with most of its flexibility properties. The pool heater is, therefore, not damaged when exposed to the sun and other harsh weather conditions. The alloy is also rust resistant. This heater can work in harsh conditions including those with salty water and still stand the test of time.
- Small Footprint
This is a compact heater that takes very little space. You, therefore, have nothing to worry about if you do not have much space left in your backyard.
- Easy to Install
The installation process is quite straightforward. You can get a professional to fix it for you if you are not the handy type but nothing is really hard and the instructions are very clear.
- Vertical plumbing fixtures
This can be difficult to connect to the water supplies. Horizontal fixtures would have been much easier to work with.
- Temperature can only be set when the pool heater is on
This only becomes a bother when you want to set the heater to start at a later time. You will have to put the heater on, set it to the temperature that you want, and switch it off again.
- Faulty pieces
Though this has nothing to do with the quality of the heater, most of the negative reviews about this heater are about faulty pieces. It seems that some pieces get damaged during shipping which means that some online shoppers may get a heater that simply will not work. Most of the damages that occur during shipping are attributed to the fact that the heater is not packed right for shipping. Fortunately, you can get the heater replaced if the piece you receive is faulty in any way. Where possible, you can also buy the heater at a store near you to ensure that no damages occur during transportation.
These are some of the best pool heaters available in the market today. All are made using quality materials and the manufacturers have dedicated a lot of effort to ensure that the end product meets most if not all your needs.
It is important to note that pool heater systems are complex and while one heater may work for one person, it may not be as effective in another pool. You also need to remember that efficiency, durability, and overall performance is dependent on a number of factors. If you want a pool heater that will last, it is always advisable to go with reputable brands. You also need to consider the size of your pool. Get the right size of heater for your pool to ensure that the heater runs efficiently.
Care and maintenance is also something you need to consider. Given that pool heaters are not cheap, you need to ensure that proper care and maintenance is done regularly. You should also ensure that proper water chemistry is maintained at all time. Acidic water has been found to do a lot of harm to most heaters and other pool accessories.