Nobody enjoys swimming in cold water, which is why most people installing a pool opt for a swimming pool heater to keep the temperature more comfortable. Several options exist, including gas, heat-pump and solar power. Which option is chosen by the pool owner will be determined by their budget.
Understand, most swimming pool heaters operate on the same premise. Water is pumped from the swimming pool, through the heater and back into the pool where the heated water raises the temperature level of the pool water. A thermostat installed on the line into the pump records the temperature of the water in the pool and stops pumping until the temperature drops below a pre-set temperature.
How the water is heated is what determines the cost. There are two variables to consider when deciding the type of swimming pool heater is best for your pool. The initial cost and the annual operating cost. Some may offer cheaper installation costs, but prices of utilities and the climate in the area, may make them expensive to operate during the season.
Installation And Operating Expenses
Of the three main types of swimming pool heater, gas, either natural or propane, is the cheapest for initial installation. For comparison purposes an example of a 15 foot by 30 foot kidney shaped pool will be used. A gas swimming pool heater will cost roughly $1,200 and another $500 for installation. A homeowner can usually install a swimming pool heater themself, but it is highly recommended that connections for gas and electric be left to a licensed professional.
A heat pump swimming pool heater is more expensive to install, about $3,900 including installation and a solar powered swimming pool heater will run about $3,000 with installation. Their operating costs are what sets them apart.
A gas swimming pool heater will cost about $1.20 to realize a dollar’s worth of heat. On an average, it’s expected to cost between $1,000 and $1,500 per season to operate on propane. Depending on the price of natural gas in the area, it could cost about 50 percent less.
A heat pump swimming pool heater, on the other hand will cost about 20 cents for $1,00 worth of heat, bringing the annual cost of between $250 to $500 per year, which can offset the initial cost. A solar powered swimming pool heater will cost about $30 to $75 in electric to operate the pump required for water circulation, but not for the power itself.