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Solar Pool Heaters
Heat Pump Heaters
Gas Heaters
Performance & Use

Best for recreational use
with pool temperatures
ranging from low-mid 80s.

Works year round in
southern climates

Extends swimming season in
northern climates. Several
sunny days brings pool back
to a comfortable temp.
after inclement weather.

Performance & Use

For those who enjoy
swimming regardless of the
weather.

Maintains any desired pool
temperature between 80º
and 90º when the outside air
temperature is above 45º.

Also recommended when a
home is not "solar feasible"
e.g. solar will not fit on roof.

Performance & Use

Ideal quick heating for
short periods.

Maintains any desired
temperature regardless of
the weather.

Best for pools or spas that
are not heated on a regular
basis. Gas is effective but
expensive to operate

Solar Pool Heaters
Heat Pump Heaters
Gas Heaters

How Does It Work?

Solar Heaters utilize the sun
to heat the water in the
panels, usually located on
the roof, your existing pool
pump circulates the water
from the panels to the pool.

How Does It Work?

A Heat Pump uses electricity
to operate. It absorbs and
collects energy from outside
air. This energy is
compressed and transferred
to the pool water.

How Does It Work?

Burns natural or propane fuel
in a combustion chamber
where the heat is transferred
to the pool water. Requires a
storage tank for propane gas,
or hookup to natural gas.  

Solar Pool Heaters
Heat Pump Heaters
Gas Heaters

System & Installation Cost

System kit cost range:
$1000 - $4800

Installation cost:
$500 - $2500

Typical 15x30 free-form pool:
7 (4x12) Deluxe Kit $1900
$2800 Standard Installation

Plus Optional Controllers

System & Installation Cost

System unit cost range:
 $2400 - $4600

Installation cost:
$350 - $950

Typical 15x30 pool:
$3200 Unit
$4200 Installed

System & Installation Cost

System unit cost range:
$875 - $5400

Installation cost:
$350 - $850

Typical 15x30 pool:
$1300 Unit
$1650 Installed


    The size and cost of a pool heater depends on the size of your pool and the
    conditions at your location. A range of costs are outlined above, plus the cost
    for a typical 15' x 30' Kidney Pool with a screen enclosure in central Florida.

Solar Pool Heaters
Heat Pump Heaters
Gas Heaters

Energy Rating & Efficiency

Rated by FSEC (Florida Solar
Energy Center) in BTUs per
SqFt. The higher the BTU,
the more heat output. The
average output is 900-1000
BTUs. This equates to 3-7%
difference between brands. 

To determine the best value,
divide the total cost by the
total SqFt of panel. The
lower the cost per SqFt, the
better the value.

Energy Rating & Efficiency

Not rated by any governing
body.  Manufacturer
determines the BTU at a
specific water/air temp. and
relative humidity value. Also
given a COP (coefficient of
performance) rating,
generally 3-6 which converts
to an efficiency of 300-600%.

To accurately compare one
unit to another, these test
values must be the same, or
the comparison will be
distorted. 

Energy Rating & Efficiency

Gas Heaters are rated in BTU
output, and are tested by
government standards.  Their
efficiency ranges from 60% to
80%. Efficiency may decrease
over a period of time due to
scaling in the burner or heat
exchanger.

Solar Pool Heaters
Heat Pump Heaters
Gas Heaters

Cost of Operation

Solar is a free energy source
and has no cost of operation.
The pool pump must run for
the solar heater to function,
and may increase your
electric bill by $30 to $75 per
year depending on your
normal filtering time.

Cost of Operation

Due to their high efficiency,
heat pumps have a low cost
of operation. Typically, for
every 20 cents of electric
input, you receive $1.00
worth of heat. The typical
pool averages $250 to $500
per year for heat.

Cost of Operation

The low efficiency of gas
heaters result in a high cost
of operation. $1.00 worth of
heat requires $1.20 or more
of fuel.  The typical pool
averages $1000 to $1500 per
year for heat with propane. 
Natural gas is approximately
50% less.

Solar Pool Heaters
Heat Pump Heaters
Gas Heaters

Size Heater Required

Sizing is based on the pool's
surface area, geographical
location, environmental
conditions such as shading
and wind, blanketing against
night time heat losses, and
direction of the roof. 

Click here to calculate the
size for your specific pool.

Proper sizing is critical for
good performance.

Size Heater Required

Sizing is based on the
swimming pool's surface
area, geographical location,
environmental conditions
such as shading and wind,
blanketing against night time
heat losses, and more.

Click here to calculate the
size for your specific pool.

Proper sizing is critical for
good performance.

Size Heater Required

Sizing is based on the time
required to heat pool. If rapid
heat is desired, a larger unit
is required. If water is
gradually heated and
maintained at that temp., a
smaller unit may be used.

Click here to calculate the
size for your specific pool.

Proper sizing is critical for
good performance.


    Keep in mind that a Thermal Pool Cover is recommended for all heating systems.
    Heating a pool without a cover is like heating a house without a roof... the heat just
    goes right out the top. Without a pool cover, the cost of operating a Heat Pump or
    Gas Heater is doubled, and a Solar Heater's effectiveness is dramatically decreased.
    For convenience a roller may be added to ease placement and removal of the cover. 
    If a pool cover is not be used, the size of the heater must be increased by 100%.
    Pool covers range in cost from $48 to $118 for residential pools; rollers start at $179.

Solar Pool Heaters
Heat Pump Heaters
Gas Heaters

Longevity and Maintenance

A quality Solar Heater will
typically last 10 to 20 years.

Very low maintenance.

Most systems have a 10
year warranty on the
panels.  

Longevity and Maintenance

Heat Pumps will last between
5 and 15 years or more.

Because heat pumps have
many moving and electrical
parts, they require periodic
service by a A/C technician.

Warranties from 1-15 years

Longevity and Maintenance

Gas Heaters typically last 5
years or more.

Due to the high operating
temperature inside a gas
heater, maintenance may be
more frequent, and major
repairs can be costly.

Warranties from 1 to 5 years


    Do-it-yourself Installations

    All three types of pool heaters can be installed by the handyman, although it is strongly recommended that electric and gas hookups be made by a professional contractor. The typical installation will require 1 to 2 days for solar, less than 1 day for heat pumps, and about half a day for gas.

    View and purchase all Pool Heaters at The Energy SuperMarket, Solar Direct's online
    resource for energy efficient products.