Basics to know about swimming pool heaters

Basics to Know about Swimming Pool Heaters

As anyone who’s ever jumped into a frigid pool knows, a swimming pool heater is a handy gadget to have, especially for those cooler days and nights that hit every summer. People living in cooler climates usually like to extend their swimming days past Labor Day, and a heater makes it possible to enjoy that last bit of summertime fun before the leaves start turning.

Swimming pool heaters are generally offered with electric capabilities or, for more rural areas, propane or natural gas. In addition to the traditional heater, people today also have a choice of purchasing a heating pump as well as utilizing solar power through the use of a solar heating system, which is an energy efficient and environmentally friendly way of keeping that pool water warm during at least three out of four seasons a year.

In most cases the size and horsepower of a swimming pool heater will depend on the size of your swimming pool, or gallon capacity, and the temperature of your climate. It will take less energy and horsepower to heat a swimming pool on a cool Arizona night that it would in Minnesota.

In addition, whether your pool is above ground or in ground will also make a big difference. Most heaters come with an adjustable thermostat, which makes maintaining a constant temperature not only comfortable, but also energy efficient as well.

Most swimming pool heater options range in the 80-85% efficiency rating system, but some brands reach as high as a 95% rating. Try to avoid heaters that rate less than 83% or you’ll be spending more than an arm and a leg on your electric bills. Also, check the BTU’s that a swimming pool heater rates.

A BTU is the amount of energy that is needed to heat water by one degree, and most heating units offer between 75,000 and 400,000 BTU units. While the higher number will heat your pool in less time, they also cost more, so individual buyers will have to determine their savings quotient to determine which model will best suit their needs and utility budgets.

Heating pumps are also an option when comes to swimming pool heater choices. While original cost outlay is high, they utilize outside air to help warm water, so if you live in a warmer climate, this might be an option to look in to. Solar heating panels are also growing more popular among swimming pool owners around the United States.

Solar panels collect and store energy absorbed from the sun and can be used year round in sunny climates like Florida and California, as well as desert areas. Keep in mind however, that their use is based on weather patterns, so while they may be efficient most of the year, the winter months may prove frustrating.

Of all forms of swimming pool heater choices, the electric heaters are considered to be most energy efficient, though propane heaters come in at a close second. Price ranges for above ground pool heaters usually start at around $600, while those for in ground swimming pools run around $1,000.

No matter which type you’re thinking of purchasing, do your homework, shop around and make sure you know your options. Before you even start shopping for a swimming pool heater, know your basics.

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