Are you sick and tired of only being able to enjoy your swimming pool in the summer months? If so, you’ve come to the right place, because you’re about to discover the best pool heaters on the market today and learn how to choose the best one for your pool!

From gas heaters and heat pumps to electric resistance heaters and solar heaters, there are many types of pool heaters and a ton of models to choose from, which can make finding the best pool heater for you and your pool seem like an impossible task.

Unlike most pool heater reviews that simply gloss over a few models and send you on your way, this in-depth guide highlights top ten pool heaters out there and will teach you everything you need to know about pool heaters, helping you turn your frigid pool into an outdoor oasis all year long!

Our Top Recommended Pool Heater Comparison Chart

Pool Heater ModelOur Review
Hayward H400FDN
Hayward H400FDN

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Our Review
Hayward H100ID1
Hayward H100ID1

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Our Review
Zodiac Jandy LXi
Zodiac Jandy LXi

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Our Review
Zodiac Legacy LRZ250EP
Zodiac Legacy LRZ250EP

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Our Review
Hayward CSPAXI11
Hayward CSPAXI11

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Our Review
Hayward H150FDP
Hayward H150FDP

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Our Review
Eco Saver 20-Foot Solar Heating
Eco Saver 20-Foot Solar Heating

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Our Review
Hayward HP50TA
Hayward HP50TA

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Our Review
Pentair 460737
Pentair 460737

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Our Review
Sta-Rite SR400NA
Sta-Rite SR400NA

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Our Review

Top 10 Pool Heater Reviews

1. Hayward H400FDN 400,000 BTU Pool Heater

Hayward H400FDN 400,000 BTU Pool Heater

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This 400K BTU natural gas heater from Hayward is a shining example of why the company has become a leader in the pool heating industry. Thanks to its energy-saving hydraulic performance, the Hayward 400,000 BTU H400FDN is capable of heating an 800-gallon pool by as much as 30 degrees in under an hour and keeping it comfortably warm with reduced pump circulation, allowing you to enjoy an extended swimming season without noticing a drastic increase in your energy bill.

Type: Natural Gas Pool Heater

Pros
Cons

  • Energy Efficient
  • Powerful and fast-acting
  • Reasonably priced
  • LED control panel and display
  • Easy to install
  • A little loud
  • Not weatherproof

Product Details and Specifications:

  • 400K BTU natural gas heater
  • Dual Thermostat
  • Electronic ignition
  • LED digital display and control panel
  • Cupro Nickel Heat Exchangers
  • Polymer header for improved hydraulic performance
  • Meets NOx emission standards
  • One-year warranty

Hayward H400FDN Pool Heater Review:

As part of Hayward’s popular H-Series, the Hayward 400,000 BTU H400FDN Natural Gas Pool Heater is arguably the best pool heater on the market today.

In addition to being energy efficient and environmentally friendly, the H400FDN provides superior hydraulic performance and thermal efficiency.

With an electronic ignition, Cupro nickel combustion chambers for the fastest performance possible, corrosion-resistant heat exchangers, and an easy-to-use LED display and control panel, the Hayward 400,000 BTU H400FDN delivers dependable and lightning-fast performance with a simple touch of a button.

Conclusion:

If you’ve been reading pool heater reviews in search of the best one, you may be able to finally end your search.

Easy to use, affordable, and capable of heating a 60,000-gallon pool, it’s easy to see why the Hayward 400,000 BTU H400FDN is widely considered the best gas pool heater being made today.

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2. Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU Pool Heater

Hayward H100ID1 100,000 BTU Pool Heater

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Small above ground pools and spas have less surface area and certainly don’t need large pool heaters capable of spitting out 400,000 BTUs. Designed with these smaller pools in mind and operating at 81 percent thermal efficiency, the Hayward 100,000 BTU H100ID1 can heat up a 450-square foot pool to 85 degrees in just a few hours. With induced air technology and an affordable price tag, it’s hands down the best gas pool heater on the market for spas and above ground pools.

Type: Natural Gas Pool Heater

Pros
Cons

  • Energy efficient
  • Easily heats up to 450-square feet
  • Induced draft technology
  • Inexpensive
  • Limited in its abilities
  • No LED control panel

Product Details and Specifications:

  • 100K natural gas heater
  • Electronic ignition
  • FireTile combustion chamber
  • 120-volt electric cord included for easy installation

Hayward Hayward H100ID1 Pool Heater Review:

Designed for busy home owners with small above ground pools, the Hayward 100,000 BTU H100ID1 features an easy-to-use electronic ignition, FireTile combustion chamber, and induced draft technology to effortlessly heat any pool up to 450 square feet in just a couple of minutes. Furthermore, it’s fairly inexpensive, making it possible for nearly anyone to enjoy relaxing in comfortable 85-degree water throughout the year, even in the brisk spring and fall months.

Conclusion:

When it comes to pool heaters, the Hayward 100,000 BTU H100ID1 is fairly small and inexpensive. However, its smart design enables it to work surprisingly well in small to medium-sized pools. If you have a small pool and want a simple heater that will get the job done, this Hayward may be for you.

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3. Zodiac Jandy LXi LXI400N 400,000 BTU Pool Heater

Zodiac Jandy LXi LXI400N 400,000 BTU Pool Heater

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The days of flame outs and re-lighting pilots lights are over with the Zodiac Jandy LXi LXI400N 400,000 BTU Pool Heater. With fan-assisted combustion, state-of-the-art controls, corrosion-resistant polymer headers, electric spark ignition, this beast of a pool heater is easy to use and one of the most advanced heaters on the market today. If you can forego good looks for the sake of good performance, this is the pool heater for you.

Type: Propane or Natural Gas Pool Heater

Pros
Cons

  • Easy to use and remote control ready
  • Heats quickly
  • Performs well in windy conditions
  • Durable construction
  • Utilitarian design

Product Details and Specifications:

  • 400K BTU propane or natural gas heater
  • Fan-assisted combustion
  • Electric ignition
  • Corrosion-resistant polymer headers
  • Digital controls and display
  • One-year warranty

Zodiac Jandy LXi LXI400N Pool Heater Review:

The Zodiac Jandy LXi LXI400N 400,000 BTU Pool Heater utilizes fan-assisted combustion technology to efficiently and consistently heat the coldest of pools, even in stormy or windy conditions. While its low profile design and corrosion-resistant polymer headers make installation a breeze, it’s the heaters electric ignition, cutting-edge digital controls, and built-in diagnostics that really steal the show.

With the ability to alert you when service is needed and let you know when your pool needs backwashing, maintaining a pool and pool heater is easier than ever before. The same intuitive digital display makes it super easy to program as well.

Conclusion:

There are plenty of pool heaters on the market to choose from, but if you want one of the most advanced models available and arguably the best propane pool heater on the market, you can’t go wrong with the Zodiac Jandy LXi LXI400N 400,000 BTU Pool Heater.

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4. Zodiac Legacy LRZ250EP 250,000 BTU Pool Heater

Zodiac Legacy LRZ250EP 250,000 BTU Pool Heater

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Built upon Zodiac’s heralded tradition of quality and excellence, the Legacy LRZ250EP 250,000 BTU Pool Heater is a user-friendly and technologically advanced pool heater that’s built to last. Like the other heaters in Zodiac’s Legacy line, this 250,000 BTU propane heater is an energy-efficient pool heating solution designed with both your comfort and wallet in mind.

Type: ropane Gas Pool Heater

Pros
Cons

  • Energy-efficient
  • Effortlessly heats pools up to 20,000 gallons
  • Easy-to-use digital controls
  • Affordable
  • Utilitarian exterior design
  • Not weatherproof

Product Details and Specifications:

  • Feature-rich digital control panel with backlit display
  • Self-diagnostics feature for easy maintenance
  • 2-inch by 2 1/2-inch CPVC union connectors
  • Polymer headers
  • Ceramic fire combustion chamber
  • Hot surface ignition system for reliable operations time after time
  • Copper heat exchanger
  • Flo-thru baffles for maximum heat transfer and energy-efficiency

Zodiac Legacy LRZ250EP Pool Heater Review:

The easy-to-use and technologically advanced Zodiac Legacy LRZ250EP 250,000 BTU Pool Heater is a great all-around pool heater for medium-sized pools up to 20,000 gallons or 600 square feet in size. Not only does it have a reliable and energy-efficient electronic ignition, which means you’ll never have to light another pilot light ever again, but it also features a polymer header, copper heat exchanger, and flo-thru baffles for efficient heat transfer and reduced energy consumption.

If that weren’t enough, the Zodiac Legacy LRZ250EP 250,000 BTU Pool Heater comes equipped with digital controls, self-diagnostics, and the ability to communicate to the AquaLink RS system. With so much to offer, it’s easy to see why this competitively priced pool heater is a favorite for medium-sized pool owners.

Conclusion:

There are plenty of 400K BTU pool heaters on the market for large swimming pools, but if you own a large above ground pool or small in-ground pool, you’re options are a little more limited. However, if you need a quality 250,000 BTU pool heater equipped with the latest technology and capable of efficiently heating your medium-sized pool, this may be the best propane pool heater option for you.

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5. Hayward CSPAXI11 11-Kilowatt Electric Spa Heater

Hayward CSPAXI11 11-Kilowatt Electric Spa Heater

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Providing the same capabilities and sophisticated features as gas pool heaters twice its size, the compact Hayward CSPAXI11 11-Kilowatt Electric Spa Heater packs a powerful punch. Highly efficient and relatively inexpensive in comparison to traditional propane and natural gas heaters, this is the best electric pool heater around for anyone in need of an efficient unit to heat their spa or keep their small above ground pool nice and toasty all year long.

Type: Electric Resistance Spa Heater

Pros
Cons

  • Inexpensive compared to traditional propane and natural gas heaters
  • Highly efficient
  • Compact size
  • Easy to install
  • Works great for spas and small above ground pools
  • Limited to heating spas and small pools

Product Details and Specifications:

  • Service-ease design for hassle-free maintenance
  • Safety sensor electric heating element
  • Stainless steel tank
  • Stainless steel threaded headed
  • Heater on indicator light

Hayward CSPAXI11 Pool Heater Review:

Featuring a 304 stainless steel tank and powerful heating elements, the Hayward CSPAXI11 11-Kilowatt Electric Spa Heater is well-built and made to last yet small enough to be easily hidden behind most spa aprons.

While it’s powerful enough to effortlessly heat any large spa or small above ground pool, it does so without being bulky or costing an arm and a leg in operating costs. The Hayward CSPAXI11 happens to be reasonably priced in comparison to heaters with similar specs as well, making it an obvious choice for any budget-conscious pool or spa owner.

Conclusion:

Honestly, it’s hard not to like the Hayward CSPAXI11 11-Kilowatt electric spa heater. It’s easy to install, easier to use, and has a small footprint, making it the perfect heater for anyone with a spa or small pool.

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6. Hayward H150FDP Universal H-Series Low NOx 150,000 BTU Pool Heater

Hayward H150FDP Universal H-Series Low NOx 150,000 BTU Pool Heater

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The Hayward H150FDP Universal H-Series Low NOx 150,000 BTU Pool Heater is the best-selling pool heater on Amazon for a reason. With industry-leading thermal efficiency, low NOx emission output, a laundry list of features found on the most expensive pool heaters on the market, and a two-year warranty, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular pool heaters being made today. Regardless of whether you’re an environmentally-conscious pool owner or simply want a highly efficient pool heater that works, the Hayward H150FDP is tough to beat.

Type: Natural Gas or Propane Pool Heater

Pros
Cons

  • Very energy-efficientv
  • Superior hydraulic performance
  • LED display for easy operation
  • Ability to perform in the windiest of conditions
  • Slightly more expensive than other units with similar specs

Product Details and Specifications:

  • Superior hydraulic performance for reduced pump run time
  • State-of-the-art Finn Plate heat exchanger for faster and longer heating
  • Fire Tile combustion chamber for maximum BTU output
  • Silicon nitride ignition system
  • High and low voltage connections
  • LED display and control panel with self-diagnostics capability
  • Low NOx emissions complies with every state’s emission standards

Hayward H150FDP Pool Heater Review:

Want to enjoy a comfortably warm pool without paying an arm and a leg in fuel costs? Well, say hello to the Hayward H150FDP Universal H-Series Low NOx 150,000 BTU Pool Heater. Thanks to its industry-leading hydraulic performance, the Universal H-Series H150FDP can raise the temperature of an 800-gallon pool by 30 degrees in under an hour!

With stainless steel burners, Cupro nickel and Finn Plate corrosion-resistant heat exchangers, insulated Fire Tile combustion chambers, an exclusive silicon nitride ignition, and a forced draft system, this feature-packed pool heater is one of the best 150,000 models around.

Conclusion:

Thanks to its industry-leading thermal efficiency, low NOx emissions, and tons of features, it’s easy to see why the Hayward H150FDP Universal H-Series Low NOx 150,000 BTU Pool Heater is the best-selling pool heater on Amazon.

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7. Eco Saver 20-Foot Solar Heating Panel System

Eco Saver 20-Foot Solar Heating Panel System Review

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Specializing in green energy solutions, Eco Saver has developed arguably the best solar pool heater on the market. Capable of keeping your swimming pool comfortably warm all season long without impacting your electric bill, the Eco Saver 20-Foot Solar Heating Panel System is a budget-friendly pool heating solution for every modern pool owner.

Type: Solar Pool Heater

Pros
Cons

  • Utilizes the sun’s energy for power
  • Inexpensive and budget-friendly
  • Modular design
  • 20 percent wider than the majority of panels
  • Ability to add more panels for any size pool
  • Availability of accessories
  • Time-consuming set-up process
  • Lacks temperature controls

Product Details and Specifications:

  • 20-foot solar panel capable of heating a 15-foot by 30-foot in-ground pool or a 24-foot above ground pool
  • Modular design provides ability to add more solar panels for larger pools
  • Flexible panel material with twist-connect fittings for easier installation
  • Panels are 20 percent wider than traditional solar panels for maximum heating power
  • Roof mount kit, Intex pool adapter kit, diverter valve kit, and other accessories available

Eco Saver Pool Heater Review:

The Eco Saver 20-Foot Solar Heating Panel System can effortlessly warm a 15-foot by 30-foot in-ground pool or a 24-foot above ground pool, making it more than adequate for most swimming pools. It also features a modular design, allowing you to add additional solar panels for larger pools and maximum heat output.

The panel works by collecting heat from the sun and heating pool water as it circulates through the panel. Effective, simple in design, and inexpensive, the Eco Saver 20-Foot Solar Heating Panel System is a great choice for today’s pool owners.

Conclusion:

At a fraction of the price of gas pool heaters, electric resistance pool heaters, and heat pumps, the Eco Saver 20-Foot Solar Heating Panel System is an excellent pool heating solution. Although it may take a little longer to completely heat your pool, it works quite well and will save you a small fortune in the long run.

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8. Hayward HP50TA 50000 Titanium Pool Heater

Hayward HP50TA 50000 Titanium Pool Heater

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It may only have a 50,000 BTU output, but the Hayward HP50TA 50000 Titanium Pool Heater is a high-end heat pump pool heater capable of warming a 14,000-gallon pool up to a balmy 85 degrees in only a few short days. With an energy efficiency rating of 84 percent, this high-quality electric heat pump pool heater is incredibly energy-efficient as well. It may cost more than other heaters with similar BTU outputs, but the savings will certainly pay off in the long run.

Type: eat Pump

Pros
Cons

  • Compact
  • Easy to install
  • Corrosion-resistant design
  • Titanium heat exchanger
  • LED controls
  • Quiet
  • Expensive for its size and output

Product Details and Specifications:

  • Profiled fan blade and acoustic compressor cover for quiet operation
  • Titanium heat exchanger for unrivaled performance
  • Ultra Gold corrosion-resistant evaporator coil
  • LED control panel
  • Round base and compact size
  • 2-inch by 2 1/2-inch union connections

Hayward HP50TA Pool Heater Review:

Unlike large pool heaters that weigh a ton and take a small army to install, the Hayward HP50TA 50000 Titanium Pool Heater features a compact design and tops the scale at a meager 120 pounds. Despite its small size, however, the Hayward HP50TA boasts a laundry list of features, making it arguably the best pool heater for above ground pools on the market today.

For instance, it features a corrosion-resistant titanium heat exchanger, Ultra Gold-coated evaporator coil, and a durable polypropylene exterior construction for ultimate corrosion resistance. With a digital LED control panel as well, you can precisely control your pool’s water temperature down to the degree.

Conclusion:

Between its convenient LED control panel, high heat output, durable and compact design, and quiet operation, it’s not surprising to see the HP50TA being mentioned in numerous pool heater reviews as the best pool heater around for above ground pools.

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9. Pentair 460737 400,000 BTU Pool Heater

Pentair 460737 400,000 BTU Pool Heater

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The Pentair 460737 400,000 BTU Pool Heater provides the convenience, efficiency, and reliability you would expect from a top-quality pool heater, plus a whole lot more. Designed to be the best gas pool heater around and set the bar in pool heating efficiency, the Pentair 460737 features a compact design, corrosion-proof exterior, incredible energy efficiency, and the ability to quickly heat the largest of pools. So, if you’ve been scouring pool heaters reviews in search of the best gas pool heater for your pool, it’s hard to ignore this popular model.

Type: Natural Gas Pool Heater

Pros
Cons

  • Best-in-class energy efficiency
  • Certified to meet and exceed NOx emission standards
  • Rotating digital display
  • Rust-proof exterior
  • User-friendly indicator lights
  • Easy Touch automation compatibility
  • Boxy, utilitarian exterior design

Product Details and Specifications:

  • 400,000 BTU natural gas heater
  • Best-in-class energy efficiency
  • Rotating digital display for quick and easy viewing
  • Push-button digital controls
  • Electronic ignition
  • Cupro nickel heat exchanger
  • Water pressure switch and high limit switches to prevent overheating
  • Fully pre-mixed air and gas system

Pentair 460737 Pool Heater Review:

The Pentair 460737 400,000 BTU Pool Heater features user-friendly digital controls, a rotating digital display, and an electronic ignition for easy operation. It also comes equipped with a high limit switch, water pressure switch, and stack flue sensor, ensuring it never overheats like many of the sub-par models touted in other pool heater reviews.

Utilizing natural gas and capable of providing an impressive output of 400,000 BTUs, the Pentair 460737 is able to quickly heat medium to large-sized swimming pools up to 40,000 gallons, making it a great option for most pool owners in search of the best gas pool heater possible.

Conclusion:

Have you been left out in the cold with an outdated pool heater that simply can’t measure up to today’s feature-packed models? If so, the Pentair 460737 400,000 BTU Pool heater definitely deserves a spot on your short list. With every feature a pool owner could ask for, it’s definitely one of the best pool heaters on the market today.

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10. Sta-Rite SR400NA Max-E 400,000 BTU Pool Heater

Sta-Rite SR400NA Max-E 400,000 BTU Pool Heater

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Designed to last a lifetime and outperform every other pool heater on today’s market, the Sta-Rite SR400NA Max-E 400,000 BTU Pool Heater may come in a small package, but it definitely packs a powerful punch. With exact temperature controls, a rust-proof enclosure, and pre-mixed gas combustion technology, this impressive heater is durable, easy to operate, and works much better than many of the traditional pool heaters being made today.

Type: Natural Gas Pool Heater

Pros
Cons

  • Durable
  • Energy-efficient
  • Lightweight
  • Small and compact
  • LED control panel and display
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Low operating costs
  • A little noisy
  • Some complaints about packaging

Product Details and Specifications:

  • 400K BTU natural gas heater
  • Rust-proof Dura-Glas technology
  • High efficiency rating
  • Easy-to-use LED control panel
  • Self-diagnostics
  • Meets NOx emission standards

Sta-Rite SR400NA Max-E Pool Heater Review:

The Sta-Rite SR400NA Max-E 400,000 BTU Pool Heater is incredibly efficient and features a lightweight and compact design that makes installation a breeze. As a 400,000 BTU natural gas pool heater, it will heat a large pool in mere hours and keep it comfortably warm day and night. Thanks to its reliable design, you can enjoy countless hours of swimming long after the sun goes down all season long.

Built with cutting-edge Dura-Glas technology, the Sta-Rite SR400NA Max-E has a nearly indestructible exterior designed to hold up against harsh outdoor weather conditions and pool environments. Meanwhile, its large LED display and easy-to-use controls make monitoring and adjusting your pool’s water temperature as easy as can be.

Conclusion:

The Sta-Rite SR400NA Max-E 400,000 BTU Pool Heater may look more like a dinosaur egg than a cutting-edge, high-performance pool heater, but as hundreds of happy pool owners will attest, looks can be deceiving. With a compact-design, rust-proof exterior, LED control panel, and much more, this powerful 400,000 BTU pool heater is tough to beat.

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How Does a Pool Heater Work?

In order to find the a good pool heater for your pool and operate it successfully, it’s important to read pool heater reviews and learn how pool heaters work. Swimming pool heaters work by using solar power, gas, or electricity as fuel to create heat, which passes through a heat exchanger and warms the water before reintroducing it to your pool.

How Do You Size a Swimming Pool Heater?

Many pool heater reviews simply gloss over certain pool heater models and neglect to mention the importance of having the right sized heater for your pool. The truth is, you can have the best pool heater in the world, but if it’s designed for a 10-foot by 15-foot kidney shaped pool and you have a larger in-ground pool or a smaller above ground pool, it’s simply not going to be a good fit.

The rating of a swimming pool heater is determined by its BTU output. Short for British Thermal Unit, a single BTU is able to raise the temperature of each pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Thus, the more BTUs capable of being produced by your pool heater, the faster the water in your pool will be heated.

Since swimming pools are designed in an array of shapes and sizes and located in different climates, you must determine how many BTUs it takes to heat your specific pool in order to choose the best pool heater. To do so, you need to calculate the following variables:

  • Surface Area
  • Temperature Rise

After you have calculated the temperature rise and surface area of your pool, you can use the following chart to help you determine how many BTUs you’ll need to reach the desired water temperature of your pool:

Size of Heater Water Capacity of Pool Surface Area of Pool

100,000 – 200,000 BTU 1,000 – 10,000 gallons up to 300 square feet
200,000 – 300,000 BTU 10,000 – 20,000 gallons up to 500 square feet
300,000 – 400,000 BTU 20,000 – 40,000 gallons up to 800 square feet
400,000+ BTU 40,000 – 80,000 gallons up to 1200 square feet

Types of Pool Heaters Available

There are basically four types of pool heaters to choose from:

1. Electric Resistance Heaters

Typically used to heat small therapy pools and portable spas, electric resistance heaters generate heat through electric currents. While they work well, electric resistance heaters require a substantial amount of electricity, making them less than ideal for most pools.

Pros
Cons
  • The majority of electric resistance heaters are relatively inexpensive with price tags under $2,000.
  • Unlike gas heaters, electric resistance heaters don’t release gases into the environment, making them an environmentally friendly option.
  • Electric resistance heaters aren’t dependent on air temperature in order to operate.
  • Although relatively small, electric resistance heaters require circuit breakers with large amperage and heavy-duty wiring, potentially making them expensive to install.
  • Electric resistance heaters have a COP of 1.0, which means they’re not energy efficient and costly to operate.

2. Gas Heaters

Twenty years ago, any pool expert would have recommended a gas pool heater as this type of heater was widely used and considered the best pool heater option. However, since these types of pool heaters use propane or natural gas to heat pool water, their popularity is in decline as more and more pool owners are opting for more efficient heat pumps rather than paying increasingly higher gas prices.

Pros
Cons
  • Many gas heaters are inexpensive to purchase. In fact, many are available for less than $1,500.
  • Unlike heat pumps, which seem to dominate most pool heater reviews, gas heaters are not dependent on air temperature in order to operate.
  • Gas heaters are capable of heating pool water very quickly, ensuring your pool warms up quickly whenever you feel like taking a dip.
  • Due to rising gas prices, gas heaters are expensive to operate, costing pool owners $300 to $500 per month.
  • Like electric resistance heaters, gas pool heaters are not energy efficient. Most gas heaters have a COP of 0.80 to 0.85.
  • Unlike solar pool heaters, gas heaters emit air pollution and are not environmentally friendly.

3. Heat Pumps

Similar to electric resistance heaters, heat pumps use electricity to heat your pool. There are two types of heat pumps: air-source and water-source. Like their names suggest, air-source heat pumps transfer heat from the air to heat pool water and water-source heat pumps, or geothermal heat pumps, transfer heat from water. Thanks to their energy efficiency, these types of pool heaters have become increasingly popular in recent years.

Pros
Cons
  • Due to their high level of energy efficiency, heat pumps are inexpensive to operate and only cost pool owners $50 to $150 a month.
  • Water-source heat pumps are not dependent on air temperature to operate.
  • Heat pumps are durable and built to last. In fact, most models have a lifespan of up to 20 years.
  • While many pool heater reviews only mention solar heaters when the topic of environmental friendliness arises, heat pumps use renewable energy and do not emit harmful gases into the environment, making them an environmentally friendly option.
  • Heat pumps are more expensive to purchase than gas or electric resistance heaters, with many models costing $2,000 or more to purchase.
  • Air-source heat pumps are dependent on the temperature of the air in order to operate successfully.
  • Unlike gas heaters, heat pumps take a while to heat an average or large-sized pool.

4. Solar Heaters

Solar pool heaters utilize solar panels to transfer the sun’s heat directly to your swimming pool. The solar panels collect heat from the sun and transfer this heat to your pool water as it is pumped through the circulation system and solar panels. Since solar heaters are dependent upon the sun, they obviously work best in warm and sunny climates. Most pool owners also use an auxiliary heater on cloudy days or during the night.

Pros
Cons
  • Solar heaters require no additional costs to operate.
  • They operate via a pool pump, making them extremely energy efficient.
  • Like heat pumps, solar heaters are durable and have a lifespan of up to 20 years.
  • Solar heaters use renewable energy and do not emit harmful gases into the environment, making them an environmentally friendly option.
  • Not surprisingly, solar heaters are expensive to purchase. In most cases, you can expect to pay at least $4,000 for a quality model.
  • While many of today’s pool owners immediately consider solar heaters when reading pool heater reviews in search of the best pool heater, these energy efficient and environmentally conscious pool heaters are dependent upon the sun and can only operate efficiently on bright and sunny days.
  • Solar heaters heat water slowly.

Pool Heaters Tips:

There’s an array of makes and models when it comes to swimming pool heaters, which can make reading pool heater reviews and choosing the best one for your pool seem like a daunting task. Since everyone deserves to step into a warm, comfortable, and inviting pool, here are a few more things to consider on your quest to find the best pool heater for you:

  • Natural Gas vs. Propane – If you opt for a gas heater, your fuel options are limited to natural gas and propane. The type you choose should largely come down to the availability and price of these fuels in your neck of the woods.
  • Millivolt vs. Electronic Start Heaters – Due to the variety of swimming pool heaters on the market, it should come as no surprise that there are different types of ignition systems for various models. If you decide to go the conventional non-solar route, chances are you’ll have to decide between a millivolt swimming pool heater and an electronic start heater. Similar to a gas range, a millivolt swimming pool heater operates via a standing pilot light that must remain lit in order to fire up the heating process. Like its name suggests, however, an electronic start heater utilizes an electronic heat initiation process. While both have their merits, there’s no need to re-light a pilot light with the latter.
  • High-Altitude Pool Heaters – If you happen to live in the Rockies or anywhere 2,000 feet or more above sea level, you’ll need a high-altitude pool heater designed to perform well in lower oxygen environments.

What to Look For When Buying a Pool Heater

As outlined above, there are four basic types of swimming pool heating systems: solar heaters, heat pumps, gas heaters, and electric resistance heaters. In the end, determining the best heater for your pool boils down to a number of factors, such as your budget, location, and needs, so here’s a little more info on each of these pool heaters to help you make the best purchasing decision for you and your family.

Solar Pool Heaters:

As yow know, solar heaters require no operating costs due to their utilization of the sun’s bountiful energy, making them a cost-effective option in the long-term.

Ideal for recreational use, solar heaters work wonderfully 12-months out of the year in southern climates and help prolong the seasons up north. Although stormy days can hamper their effectiveness for short periods of time, a few bright and sunny days brings the temperature right back to a comfortable level. That being, proper sizing is a must for optimal performance.

Most quality solar pool heaters come with a 10-year warranty and have a lifespan of 20 years. They also happen to be virtually maintenance-free, making them a popular option for busy pool owners with a generous budget.

Heat Pumps:

If you would like to take a dip nearly any time of year regardless of the weather outside, a heat pump may be just what you’ve been looking for. Preferred by many pool owners for their ability to comfortably keep pools between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, heat pumps work extremely well when properly sized.

Unlike gas heaters, heat pumps operate via electricity and actually act similar to a solar heater, extracting heat from the air, compressing it, and transferring it to the water in your pool. Thanks to their relatively high level of efficiency, heat pumps are rather inexpensive to operate and only cost $20 to $30 per month in electricity.

Gas Pool Heaters:

If you would like to quickly heat a pool for short periods of time, then a gas heater is the pool heater for you. Typically oversized, gas heaters can easily heat and maintain practically any desired temperature in any weather condition.

However, gas heaters are fueled by propane or natural gas and are less efficient and more expensive to operate. For instance, the average pool or spa owner with a gas heater can expect to pay $500 or more over the course of a year in order to enjoy its convenient and therapeutic heating abilities.

Electric Resistance Heaters:

Electric resistance heaters work well, have zero emissions, and are less expensive than many other pool heaters in the marketplace, but they require quite a bit of electricity to operate and can be costly to install. Therefore, they’re typically only used for small pools or spas that are used infrequently.

Pool Heater FAQ

Do I need additional help to install a pool heater?

Many pool heaters can be installed by an adept handyman, but it’s recommended to have a professional contractor handle any needed electric or gas hook-ups. Most installations can be done in hours or a couple of days.

Can the solar panels used for a solar pool heater also be used for the house?

Unfortunately, the panels and controls of solar pool heaters are specifically designed to heat large volumes of water. Thus, they have a different solar application than standard household solar panel systems and are not directly capable of powering household appliances, space heating, or providing hot tap water.

How much does a quality pool heater cost?

Depending on the type, make, and model, you can expect to pay $1,000 to $3,000 for the unit itself. Installation, however, can add an extra $150 to $1,500 to the overall cost.

With today’s rising fuel costs in mind, does heating my pool make sense?

If you’re sick and tired of only being able to swim in the summer months and enjoy the notion of comfortably swimming at night or any time of the year, then the answer is an emphatic yes!

What is the ideal heating method for my pool?

Choosing the right heating method and type of heater for your pool comes down to a number of variables, such as the surface area of your pool, your location, your budget, and your specific needs and desires. By reviewing the four major types of pool heaters above, you’re sure to find the best one for your pool!

Bottom Line

Becoming a pool owner is a lifestyle decision. Not only do pools provide a refreshing escape from the relentless summer sun, but they’re excellent for staying in shape as well.

Unfortunately, a pool is hard to enjoy when the water it holds is ice-cold. A pool heater allows you to get the most out of your investment by extending the swimming season and allowing you to swim any time of day.

From gas heaters and electric resistance heaters to heat pumps and solar heaters, there are many types and models of pool heaters to choose from. While each type of pool heater has its merits, the sheer number of pool heaters on the market makes choosing the best one for you and your pool difficult at best.

Adding to the dilemma is the vagueness of most pool heater reviews. Recognizing this, we set out to create a comprehensive guide detailing various types of pool heaters and the best models in each category.

The right pool heater can make a world of difference and allow you to fully enjoy your pool. However, since everyone has different needs, budgets, locations, and so on, it’s important to choose the right type of pool heater in order to get the most out of your backyard oasis.

Whether you have a meager budget and a small above ground pool or a large budget with an even larger in-ground pool, one of the top-quality models above is sure to be a perfect fit for your pool and your needs, so pick one out today and say goodbye to those chilly dips and hello to endless days of warm aquatic bliss!

On a final note, when shopping for the best pool heater for your pool, keep in mind the importance of purchasing a thermal pool cover as well, especially if you choose a gas or electric resistance heater. Without a thermal cover, you will need a larger heater and have to pay twice as much in operating costs. Unless you like throwing your money in the wind, this should be a must-have item in your oasis arsenal.