To Heat Or Not To Heat: Pool Heater Options

What’s more enjoyable than a brisk dip in the pool on a hot, sultry summer day? One second you’re perspiring and wishing it was October, and the next second you feel that exhilarating shock of cold water – instant refreshment! Hot days and cool swimming pools are the things heaven is made of.

Then there are the nippy days of winter when you’ve cranked the furnace up a few notches and put on a long-sleeved shirt. When you look into the back yard at your pool, you see one of two things: either an empty, covered pool that’s waiting patiently for summer days or you see a full pool with enticing tendrils of steam rising into the frosty air. Your pool heater is working perfectly! You and your partner and/or guests relax in the warm water while around you autumn and winter pass like summertime dreams.

If you plan to use your outside pool year round, a pool heater is a must unless you’ve a fondness for icy cold water. Like outdoor spas and hot tubs, pools properly equipped with a heater can create a soothing warmth and sense of well-being. Consider: in Yellowstone National Park, the burbling natural hot springs and geysers are a point of congregation for elk, buffalo, and bighorn sheep; nature’s own pool heater! Most living creatures seek warmth during cold winter days, and you’re no exception. A dependable heating device gives you year-round enjoyment instead of having to wait until summer to enjoy a cooling dip.

What Are My Pool Heater Options?

Keep in mind that the first hot water heating systems were steam-driven. While this method is still used in homes, it won’t work well with pool heaters. When buying a home with a pool or when constructing an outdoor pool, first decide if you want to use the pool year-round. If so, consider equipping your outdoor recreation pool with a good quality pool heater that’s housed in a small structure close to the pool. You can set the heater’s temperature to suit your own comfort, depending upon the weather. Although some like to bask in a hot pool during a rainstorm, this isn’t a good idea due to the possibility of lightening strikes. But in cold weather, a pool heater allows you to enjoy the warmth and comfort even during a light dusting of snow.

Pool heaters are predominately electrically-powered, the “industry standard.” Under construction, the heater will simply plug into a power source in its shed, while the heating elements are custom-fitted into the empty pool. Once the heater is working properly, you can refill the pool with the heater gently warming the incoming water.

Pool heaters aren’t cheap, but fairly priced, you can expect to pay around $700 depending upon the size of your pool. This is not a do-it-yourself project; the company that built the pool is best qualified to install the heater. Unless you’re an electrician and pool service technician, leave this project to those who are. The installer will give you an estimate that includes labor as well as parts. Since most pool heaters today are digital, the installer will give you a demonstration as to how the device works, and what to do if it isn’t working properly. Just like your pool in general, the heater will require seasonal maintenance; failing to service your heater as recommended will void the warranty if something major goes wrong.

When the December sky darkens and wisps of steam rise from your backyard pool, there’s only one thing to do: enjoy!