A pool heater is one of the most important accessories you should invest in if you own a swimming pool. The job of the pool heater is to keep your pool water warm and comfortable so that you can enjoy a long & relaxing swimming session even during seasons that aren’t usually favorable for swimming. Even when the weather outside is cold, you could enjoy swimming in a warm pool if you have a heater that works as it should.
This is why it is a good idea to invest a bit of time and effort in deciding what is the best pool heater to suit your requirements. You will come across various types of pool heaters in the market. Some may be solar energy-powered while some may run on electricity. Some others may use gas while some may use pumps to heat up your pool. Each of these different heaters offers unique benefits, so having a good understanding of the pros and cons of each one will help you make the best choice.
Getting the pool heater that suits your budget and pool requirements will avoid disappointments later on. In this article, we have listed the 10 best pool heaters in the market today. We have covered the best heaters in each of the categories so that it makes your decision-making process better and easier.
1. Different Types of Heaters
1.1. Solar Pool Heaters
If you are thinking about a solar pool heater for your pool, here are some important points that you have to keep in mind:
- Solar panel installations cost a lot of money initially; however, you don’t have to pay anything towards operating or maintenance costs every month
- Solar heaters take a long time to heat up the pool, but they are ideal if you are looking for heaters that are eco-friendly and don’t require any maintenance
- They help you to conserve energy as much as possible
1.2. Electric Pool Heaters
Electric Pool Heaters are the most commonly used heaters today. They run on electricity and here are some important points to remember while using them:
- They don’t require a huge investment initially, but they result in huge costs every month, based on their power consumption and your hours of usage
- You have to shell out a large sum towards operating/maintenance costs of these heaters every hear
- They heat up your pools very quickly
- They consume a lot of energy and are not great options if you are looking for environment-safe heaters
1.3. Electric Pool Heat Pumps
These are the heaters that use a pump to derive the heat from the air or water to keep your water warm. Some important points to know while using them are:
- Electric pool heat pumps are great options if you are looking for a durable heater; they last for years together
- They take a longer time than electric heaters to heat up the water in your pool
- You don’t have to spend much towards monthly operating costs when you use these pump-based heaters
1.4. Propane Gas Pool Heaters
Gas Heaters are very rarely used these days because gas prices have been continuously rising in many places across the globe. While the heater doesn’t cost you much to install and operate, you have to pay a lot of money for the gas that triggers the performance of the heater.
2. A list of the 9 best pool heaters is mentioned herewith:
2.1. Solar Heaters
If you are looking for an affordable solar pool heater that gives you the flexibility to mount it the way you want for your big swimming pool, the SmartPool Above Ground Solar Bear Heating System is a good choice for you. This is one of the few solar heaters in the market that will help you customize the unit based on the heating needs of your pool. Here are some more details of this product that will explain to you why this heater is a decent-buy.
- It comes with a 4 x 20 solar collector, which is quite large in size, a couple of 6ft. long hoses that have 1.5 inches diameter size, four clamps and all the elements that you require to install the kit
- Comes with a bypass valve as well that allows you to have control over the water that passes through the unit
- Gives you the flexibility to mount in three different ways – against your pool’s side, on the ground, on a rack or a roof nearby the pool
- Pool gets heated the best when the solar panel is mounted in such a way that it is slightly tilted between 10 and 30 degrees to the South
- Powered to increase your pool temperature by at least 10 degrees on a bright sunny day
- A single panel comes with the power to produce 80000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) for your pool; therefore, you can buy as many or as few panels as you want, depending on your pool size
- Comes with the useful feature of unobstructed sunlight between 10 AM and 4 PM, thereby providing optimum heating to your pool during this time
The Heating System for Above Ground Pools from SmartPool is definitely one of the lower-priced models when compared to its peers but it is definitely a great choice. Most of you may be on the lookout for solar heaters due to budget constraints. If that is the case, we would recommend this model. However, that doesn’t mean that this product isn’t good enough.
This pool heater a great choice is under three circumstances – if you have a lot of space for installation, if you do not mind some extra work with the solar panel installation and if you don’t mind spending a little more for a better solar pool heater.
If you are looking for a versatile solar pool heater that can be used for in-ground as well as above-ground pools, the SunQuest Solar Swimming Pool Heater is a good choice for you. This system uses the optimum use of solar energy to generate consistent warmth in the pool waters so that you can enjoy an extended swimming session. The water flows through the high-quality solar panels that are very durable, thereby giving you a chance to enjoy the heat in your pool almost all through the year. Yes, this pool heater does require a huge investment, but here are some details of this unit which will tell you why the price is justified.
- Made from professional grade high-quality solar panels, which are built to last for many seasons and many years providing consistent heating to your pool water
- Packed with superior technology that ensures that the panels make optimum use of the free solar energy in providing you luxurious warmth in your pool
- The highly reliable heater that comes as a complete kit with all the essentials you need for installation, thereby making it a breeze to install even for first-time pool users
- Panels come with connectors so that they are compatible to be used with a 1.25” or 1.4” flexible hose
- Comes with an additional connector that makes it possible for the heater to be used along with a 1.5 rigid pipe
- Comes with Max Flow design technology with 2” OD headers to allow good water circulation and reduce your pool pump’s back pressure
- Guaranteed heat increase by up to 10 degrees
- It comes in various quantities of the dimension 2ft. X (you may choose from a pack of 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 or 18 panels)
The SunQuest Solar Swimming Pool Heater Complete System with Roof Kits is a pure delight if you are looking for a high-quality pool heater. It can be used for in-ground and above ground pools, and it comes with an entire installation kit, making your job very easy. The main reason we are pleased with this product is the quality of its solar panels. The quality, durability, and reliability of these panels are top-notch, and you won’t find them in most of the other models in the industry today. If you can afford a significant initial investment, this is a great product for you as you wouldn’t have to pay much as part of its maintenance.
When you are looking for an effective, affordable and durable solar pool heater for your large in-ground swimming pool, the SmartPool S601P SunHeater Solar Heating System seems to be the right choice. Made from sturdy materials, this heating unit makes use of solar energy to make the water warm when it is returned to your pool. Here are some features of this heater:
- The high-quality solar collector made from heavy-duty polypropylene that provides matchless heating to in-ground pools of various sizes
- Direct Flow System ensures that each of the heating tubes has one header hole each for better flow and circulation of water
- Made from 80sq.feet of solar panels, which makes it quite effective in heating up large-sized swimming pools
- Guaranteed increase in temperature in your pool by up to 6 to 10 degrees F
- Can be installed to perfection when you buy the SK21 Installation Kit (which is sold separately)
- For pool sizes of 15’ x 30’, you will need 2 of these heaters; for pool sizes 16’ x 36’, you will need 3 of them; for pool sizes 20’ x 40’, you will need 4 units – you will need to buy the SK21 Installation Kit anyway, irrespective of your pool size
We always believe that when a product is designed for a purpose, it should be able to fulfill that purpose or at least come close to fulfilling it, without having to depend on any other product. We are not sure why a reputed company such as SmartPool would design a good-quality solar pool heater in the form of the S601P and then leave the users baffled when it comes to the installation part. Unfortunately, we wouldn’t recommend this product for you even though it is affordably priced because you will have to spend a lot of time, energy and money in installing and getting the unit to start working in the first place!
2.2. Electric Pool Heaters
When you are looking for an electric pool heater for your swimming pool, one of the first things that you would check is its energy consumption. You don’t want a heater that eats up into the monthly budget by generating exorbitant energy bills, do you? The FibroPool FH055 In-Ground Swimming Pool Heater is one such unit that is considered as one of the most energy-efficient heaters in the market. Here are some features of this heater:
- Comes with a 100% Titanium Heat Exchanger, robust rotary compressor from Mitsubishi and sturdy exteriors made from enamel-coated steel; one of the most powerful designs that you will find in this price range
- The electric heat pump does a great job of using the environment’s heat to provide warmth to your pool, thereby helping you conserve a lot of energy
- Comes with a digital display and controller, which makes it easy to use the unit
- Comes with piping that can be quickly disconnected, 1.5” PVC and 17Amps Power
Being an electric pool heater, the FibroPool FH055 In-Ground Swimming Pool does a fabulous job in energy conservation. It has been regarded as one of the top energy-efficient systems by the US Department of Energy. Yes, it does occupy a lot of space, and it costs a little more than a grand, but we feel that you should go for this heater if you have the space for the unit. The amount that you pay during purchase is the only huge investment that would be required of you.
The Ecosmart US Smart Electric Pool Heater is a good choice for you if you are looking for a heater that uses the latest technology to heat up the waters in your pool. Are you somebody who loves to have the freedom to set your own temperature for your pool water? If yes, here are some features that will tell you why this model is the perfect fit for your pool.
- Uses the latest sensor flow technology, thereby reducing all the risk of over-use of the machine
- Guaranteed reliability, durability and longevity of the unit
- Comes with digital thermostat control, which allows you the flexibility of setting your own pool temperature; you can use increments of 1 degree to set your desired temperature
- Compatible to be used with an Ecosmart Remote Control, thus making your job easy and comfortable
- Powerful enough to serve as a replacement for a booster or heat pump
The EcoSmart Smart Pool 27 Electric Tankless Pool Heater did make some tall claims when it was launched. We were impressed when we heard the terms flow activation technology and the latest flow sensor technology being used in the unit. However, in reality, we feel that the heater is a huge letdown. It is priced at less than a grand, and it is natural for us to expect it to honor its claims. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. There are some issues when you set the temperature and to top it all, it consumes a lot of energy, leaving you with a huge electricity bill! We wouldn’t recommend this heater for you if you aim to save money on your heating unit.
2.3. Electric Pool Heat Pumps
Pentair is one of the leading names in the field of manufacturing swimming pool accessories. It has managed to create a niche for itself, thanks to its high-quality products that provide value for money the users. The Pentair 460934 Ultra-Temp 140 High-Performance Pool Heat Pump is no exception to this rule. Yes, electric pool heat pumps are costlier than their electric counterparts, but there is a reason why they are over-priced. Here is why we feel that this pump from Pentair justifies its price.
- Heat exchanger made from 100% Titanium made from corrosion-free elements, which speaks volumes about the durability and longevity of the unit
- Technologically sophisticated Emerson Copeland Scroll compressors ensure that this heater does its job of heating up the pool quickly
- Comes with a user-friendly LCD on its front panel, which makes it easy for you to set the temperatures to your preference
- In-built with self-diagnostic software that monitors the unit for peak performance and helps it to deliver high-performance at all times, without any hassles
- Comes with TXV (Thermostatic Expansion Valve) controls that help the unit to perform to its maximum efficiency and give out anywhere between 50000 and 75000BTUs
- Unit is made from refrigerants that are safe, EPA approved and eco-friendly
- Comes with an automatic defrost feature that maintains the refrigerant temperature always and avoids instances of freezing
We only have one simple recommendation for you regarding this unit – if you can afford it for your pool, then go for it because it is a great unit and worth every penny that you invest in it, if not, it may be a good idea to look for a less costly option.
If you are looking for a pool heater that lasts for many years and delivers consistent pool heating consistently for all those years, the HP21404T HeatPro Titanium Heat Pump from Hayward is a good choice. The best part about this heater is that it is available in many sizes based on its BTU output. Currently, this heater is available in sizes of 110,000BTU, 120,000BTU, and 140,000BTU. Here are some details about this heater:
- Comes with ultra-gold evaporator fin that is resistant to all type of corrosion, which makes this heater durable and reliable
- The evaporator coil is well-protected by a polyethylene coil that helps the unit to maintain peak efficiency at all times
- Made from high-quality titanium, which promises you optimum warmth to your pool and efficiency at all times
- Exteriors of the heater made from injection-molded UV-resistant panels, which improve the longevity of the unit
- Resistant to dust, corrosion and all types of wear and tear
- Comes with heavy-duty, acoustic scroll compressors that deliver noiseless performance and uniform airflow, thanks to the unit’s profiled fan blade feature
While the HP21404T HeatPro Titanium Heat Pump is a very reliable, durable and efficient unit, we cannot deny the fact that it is priced at around four grand for a heater that has an output of 140,000 units. If you can afford this cost, you can go for it.
2.4. Natural Gas Heaters
Natural gas heaters that meet or go beyond the air quality emission standards in your particular locality are a great choice for you because it helps you to enjoy the best of both the worlds that way – the comfort of using high-performance gas heaters without any guilt of damaging your environment. When you invest in the high-quality H-Series H400FDN Pool and Spa Heater from Hayward, you will experience this delight that we have just spoken about. Why? Read on these features to get a better understanding of this product:
- Comes with Cupro Nickel State of the Art Finn Plate Heat Exchanger – a feature that you will find only in the heaters manufactured by Hayward; this ensures that the heater exchangers remain durable and strong even when the water quality is low
- Header equipped with premium and patented polymer; this helps to improve the overall hydraulic performance of the unit and protects it from the effects of corrosions and wear & tear
- Equipped with Forced Draft Combustion System which ensures that air moves at a consistent flow rate, thereby reducing the risk caused by the fluctuations in the outside temperature
- Comes with a LED Digital Control Panel, which is easy to read and control; you can set the temperatures, automatic on/off timings easily
Normally natural gas heaters emit a lot of toxic chemicals into the air and bring down the air quality to a great extent. However, with the Hayward H400FDN Universal H-Series Low NOx Natural Gas Residential Pool and Spa Heater, you will not face this issue. This is because the unit is powered by low Nitrogen Oxide emissions and meets the air quality standards. Also, the exteriors and interiors of this unit are made of heavy-duty materials, which make it very durable and long-lasting. Yes, you have to pay a lot initially, but the unit gives you good returns over many years. Therefore, we would recommend this unit for your residential pool or spa.
Are you looking for a natural gas pool heater that is eco-friendly as well? Do you want your heater to come in different sizes so that you have the flexibility to pick the one that suits your pool size? If yes, the MasterTemp High-Performance Eco-Friendly Pool Natural Gas Pool Heater from Pentair is the right choice for you. Here are some details of this unit:
- Comes in various sizes (175K BTU, 200K BTU, 250K ASME, 250K BTU, 300K BTU, 400K ASME, 400K HD, and 400K BTU
- Comes with easy to view, rotating digital display feature that gives you ultimate ease and comfort while operating the heater
- Comes with Cupro-Nickel heat exchanger that protects the unit from all corrosions
- Contains a sturdy exterior made from rust-proof and weather-resistant materials which improve the longevity of the unit by helping it combat all external disturbances with ease
- Comes with a pack of safety-first features such as water pressure switch (to prevent over-burdening of the pump), high limit switch (to check if water exceeds the prescribed temperature levels), manual gas shut-off (to switch off manually when required) and stack flue sensor ( to protect the unit from over-heating)
- Comes with 2” PVC Slip unions and is compatible with 120V or 240V
While the Pentair 460736 MasterTemp High-Performance Eco-Friendly Pool Heater is a good unit, what we found is that many people noticed broken parts that arrived when they ordered online. This is because the internal chamber of this unit is quite heavy and it is likely to damage or break the other parts during shipping. When you are about to spend over $2000 on your pool heater, you should take enough care that you also get it delivered to you properly, isn’t it? For this very reason, we don’t recommend you to buy this heater online. Yes, the unit is great, but only when you buy it from your nearest retail unit.