A heat pump is not meant to raise the temperature of the water significantly, but can maintain the heat and extend the season. However it is the only choice for many people who are limited to electric heat. If you are having a party on the weekend you need to turn it on earlier in the week to warm the water.
A natural gas or propane heater are much better at raising the temperature faster, however, many times it is not cost effective to run the gas line to the pool to use one Propane also has limitations. Size and application are important in the Pool Heating decision. The Twin Pool and Spa Team look at the whole system, customer’s needs and pocketbook to make a recommendation. Caution: only a licensed gas plumber can hook up the gas line.
Gas-fired pool heaters pack a powerful punch and can heat your pool’s water quickly. Gas heaters can run on either natural gas or propane. Either fuel will make your pool just as warm and comfortable as the other, but differences in energy content, distribution methods and fuel cost may make one of them more fit for your pool and wallet.
The greatest benefit of gas pool and spa heaters is that they heat your pool and spa in minutes or hours versus the hours or days required initially to warm the pool with a heat pump. Gas heat is ideal if you don’t use your pool on a daily basis, and just want to efficiently and reliably heat the pool as needed. They’ll heat your pool on the coldest of days versus the limits of a heat pump.
If you have access to natural gas service, getting the fuel to your heater has great advantage over the propane option. Natural gas is delivered via a permanently fixed line, and there’s always more gas available. Propane, on the other hand, requires a storage tank, which, aside from being unsightly, needs to be refilled whenever it runs dry. That means you have to actively manage your heater’s fuel supply instead of simply counting on it being there when you need it.
Sizing a Gas Pool Heater
Brent, Derrick and the Twin Pool and Spa team can perform a proper sizing analysis for your specific swimming pool to determine pool heater size. Sizing a gas pool heater involves many factors. Basically, a heater is sized according to the surface area of the pool and the difference between the pool temperature and the average air temperature. Other factors affect the heating load for outdoor pools: wind, humidity, and cool night temperatures. Gas pool heaters are rated by BTUs.
Heat pumps are incredibly energy efficient at maintaining a constant water temperature and can deliver savings of up to 70% versus a gas heater. Heat pumps are very efficient because they utilize the heat from the surrounding air to heat the pool’s water versus burning natural gas or propane. Heat pumps are at a disadvantage in our variety of colder seasons. At these lower temperatures a heat pump is likely not the best option for heating your pool in our off-season.
One of our favorite pool heaters is the dependable and simple design of the Raypak® RP digital heater made by a division of Rheem® that’s entirely focused on pool heaters. The electronic display is user-friendly. Troubleshooting problems is easier and quicker. The Raypak® RP unit accommodates most pool sizes through reasonably cooler temperatures. You should call us if you need heater repair or to explore your heating options.