Swimming in a cold pool is only fun when it's blazing hot outside. What happens when the weather is super chilly, and all you want is to swim? Well, that's where pool heaters come in.
The best pool heaters allow you to enjoy swimming in all conditions regardless of the weather/climate. Electric pool heaters are often a popular choice as they allow you to skip the hassle that gas heaters tend to have.
The best electric pool heater is reliable, energy-efficient, and will raise the water temperature, thus allowing you to enjoy your swimming pool at whatever time you'd like.
This article features 5 of the best electric pool heaters and outlines features to consider when buying them.
Best Electric Pool Heaters
1. Hayward HP21404T HeatPro Heat Pump
- Acoustic compressor cover and profiled fan blade ensures quiet...
- Ultra-Gold corrosion resistant evaporator fin for extreme...
- Titanium heat exchanger designed for maximum heat transfer,...
- Durable injection molded UV-resistant body panels that are...
- 2in x 2 1/2in CPVC Union Plumbing Connections - Common union for...
The Hayward Heatpro tops our list as the best electric pool heater.
The electric heat pump features corrosion-resistant and durable materials. The pool heat pump comes equipped with injection-molded UV-resistant body panels that are resistant to rust and deterioration.
The pool heater has an acoustic compressor cover, and the profiled fan blade ensures quiet operation. You can set the temperature to what you'd like, and the pool heat pump starts automatically.
2. FibroPool FH120 Above Ground Heat Pump
- 120 Volt, 60Hz, 10A draw
- Built in 8 foot long power cable with standard USA plug
- Suitable for pools up to 7500 gallons in coastal climates
- Plug into an GFCI protected outlet
The FibroPool is designed to allow you to extend your swimming season by ensuring you enjoy comfortable swimming conditions. The pool heat pump caters to above-ground pools of up to 7,500 gallons and has an output of 20,000 BTU.
The above-ground pool heater is powered by electricity, and the company has designed the pump to run at an average of ~16 cents per hour. (That’s roughly less than $2 per day if you run it 24/7.) It plugs into a standard 120-volt outlet which allows for fast and easy hookup without professional installation.
The above-ground pool heater features a slim profile with a weatherproof casing designed to accommodate various placement options. It's easy to hide in your yard, and the heat pump offers easy-set digital controls.
The company claims that the heat pump can deliver comfortable water temperatures, even when the outdoor temperature is as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit)
3. FibroPool FH055 In Ground Pool Heater
- 100% Titanium heat exchanger
- Quick disconnect piping, 1 1/2" pvc and 17 Amps power-220 volts
- Digital display and controller
- 16" x 40" footprint, slim fit
- US Department of Energy top Energy Efficient System, 25 cents per...
If you've been searching for the best electric pool heater for your inground pool, then this may be for you. The electric pool heater features a Copeland high-pressure differential compressor and a titanium heat exchanger that helps maximize energy efficiency. This pool heater is specially designed for in-ground pools of up to 10,000 gallons.
It runs on a 12 gauge, 220-volt circuit and is powered by electricity. The pool water heater has a slim profile, a weather-proof case designed to accommodate various placement options. The pool heater is coated with steel which protects from the elements and corrosion.
The electric heater has a digital panel that provides quick access to all unit controls.
4. ZMM 240V 11KW Electric Pool Water Heater
- 1.This thermostat is designed specifically for the hot tub, the...
- 2.Voltage: 220V / 240 Power: 11KW 50/60HZ
- 3.Automatic heating: thermostat will first reach the preset...
- 4.ST series pool heaters are special used for small pool less...
- 5.1 Year Warranty!
The ZMM Electric Heaters is specifically designed for hot tubs. It works by installing the thermostat in the pipeline jacuzzi. When adding hot water into the bath, start the pump, then the thermostat will automatically heat the insulation.
Your bath water temperature is maintained at 39 degrees Celsius, giving you a more comfortable environment. The electric heater allows you to adjust the water temperatures thanks to various flow and temperature sensors.
The pool heater automatically monitors the temperature. It also regularly conducts Intelligent Self-Diagnose. It takes note of issues such as poor water flow, dry fuel, etc., and quickly reacts and displays corresponding hint messages for any incident. Lastly, the pool heater features a digital display.
5. EcoSmart SMART POOL Electric Heater
- Flow Activation
- Eco smart Pool Heaters are compact and easy to install for a new...
- Set your temperature digitally to increments of 1-Degree. Set it...
- Compatible with Eco smart Remote Control. Activation Flow - 12...
- Can be used as an alternative to or booster to heat pump.
The Ecomart Smart Pool and spa heater can heat pools of up to 15,000 gallons. When opting for an electric pool heater, keep in mind the required voltage to properly and safely install the heater.
The electric heater requires service from a 200 amp electrical panel and will need to be connected to two or three 50 amp breakers (depending on the model you choose). The company claims to raise pool temperatures by 10 degrees in a 15,000-gallon pool in as few as 13.5 hours. You can also set the temperatures digitally to increments of 1 degree.
The pool heater can be used as an alternative to heat pumps or as a booster.
Features To Consider When Buying Best Electric Pool Heater
a) Heating Element
Electric pool heaters work through heating elements. The pool water passes through the element and is warmed and pumped back into the pool. Hence, the heating element is a key consideration when choosing an electric heater.
It is usually made of an electrically charged nichrome wire resistor and comprises a significant unit portion. It is important that the resistor material sufficiently regulate the electric current flow since nearly all of the electrical current’s energy is sent to it.
b) Energy Efficiency
The international COP ( Coefficient of Performance) is the universal standard for measuring energy efficiency for heating equipment. This refers to every unit consumed; x units are produced.
Above-ground electric resistance pool heaters have a COP of 1.0. This means that 1 unit of heat is provided for each unit of electricity, a 1:1 ratio, or 100% efficiency.
Electric in-ground pool heat pumps have a COP of 3.0.
Geothermal water-source heat pumps that get and transfer heat from a consistent, renewable energy source that does not rely on ambient air temperatures may have a COP as high as 5.0 (500% efficiency).
To ensure maximum efficiency, correctly size your pool heater to the pool area you wish to heat.
Electric pool water heaters tend to consume less energy than gas heaters in the long run but a lot more than heat pumps and solar heaters. The energy consumption of an electric pool heater may cost up to $600 a month for a single pool.
This is because the Coefficient of Performance (COP) of an electric pool heater is 1.0. Hence, meaning that it doesn’t use energy as efficiently as a heat pump with a COP of 5.0 or solar panels with a COP of 10, which are entirely renewable.
Most people prefer smaller models as they don't consume as much electricity. If you have a hot tub or a spa, then a smaller heater is a better idea. However, if you can handle the cost, you can opt for powerful and expensive pool heaters.
c) Control Panel
Your control panel will determine the amount of energy your heater uses. Electricity tends to contain a lot of energy; however, your control panel can modify the current amount that passes through your electric heater.
You can also set your pool’s desired water temperature and mode. The control interface enables you to communicate with the sensors allowing you to cue the fan motor and compressor when to power on/off.
d) Installation & Maintenance Requirements
If properly installed and maintained, electric pool heaters can outlast gas pool heaters. Installation and annual maintenance are key for achieving peak efficiency, and they should always be performed by a professional who is knowledgeable in swimming pool electrical equipment.
e) Initial Cost
The initial cost of an electric pool heater varies based on the model, efficiency of the device, electronic features, and overall capacity and size.
Normally, an electric heater costs about $500 for a less powerful and pretty straightforward model. Larger electric pool heaters with additional features may range from $2,000 to $5,000 or even more.
When considering the initial cost, you also need to factor in the installation costs.
Most electric pool heaters use heavy-duty wiring, high amperage circuit connections, and while others even require an additional pump to work. This could add up to $1,000 more to the initial price of the device. You may also need to consider hiring an electrician.
Compared to solar panels that can cost $3,000 for a simple device without installation, or heat pumps that can go up to $4,000 for standard models – electric heaters are still more affordable.
When considering costs, choose a heater that meets your sizing needs. If you have a small pool or hot tub, you don't necessarily have to pay more than $1,000 for a single standard device.
Frequently Asked Question About Electric Heaters (FAQ)
What's the difference between a gas heater, electric heater, and solar heater?
Pool heaters come in different types and use one of three energy sources. There are gas pool heaters ( including natural gas and propane), electric pool heaters, and solar pool heaters. The main difference lies in their power sources, and this affects everything from their installation processes to their running costs and the climates they are best appropriate for.
a) Gas pool heaters
A gas pool heater burns either natural gas or propane in a combustion chamber and transfers the heat energy to the water as it circulates through the heater.
It has to be connected to a gas line through an underground gas pipe. The initial cost tends to be lower; however, the installation costs are usually higher. Also, depending on the location of your nearest gas source, installation can even be quite costly. The running and maintenance costs of a gas pool heater are higher as well. This is because gas prices tend to fluctuate, making it hard to determine the exact ongoing cost of running your gas pool heater.
Gas pool heaters are more powerful than other types of pool heaters. This makes them better suited for heating bigger pools that hold a large volume of water. They are also the best pool heaters if you want to heat your pool quickly. They’re ideal for pool owners who live in cooler climates or if you intend to heat the pool occasionally and for just a few hours.
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to heat your pool and conserve energy, then a gas pool heater is not ideal.
- Natural Gas Pool Heater
If you don’t already have a running gas line in the right place, adding a gas heater wouldn't be a good fit. However, if you have access to a natural gas line, you can connect it to your heater.
A natural gas pool heater is ideal for larger inground pools, as it is more effective at heating and raising the pool temperatures.
- Propane Pool Heater
Propane pool heaters are similar to natural gas heaters. However, propane heaters offer high efficiency, which can help you save more on energy costs.
b) Solar Pool Heaters
Solar pool heaters are very eco-friendly. Unlike other heaters, a solar pool heater uses natural energy sources, making them very economical.
Solar pool heaters use solar collectors to transfer the sun's thermal energy to the water in the pool. You place the solar collectors next to the existing pool pump to transfer the heat to the water as it’s pumped into the pool.
They are the best pool heaters as they have almost no maintenance costs and no monthly operating costs. Once the panels are in place, all you do is sit back and let the sun do work.
A solar pool heater is easy to install as it doesn't need to be connected to any energy outlet. Hence you don't need to hire an electrician. The downside is that they do work slower compared to a gas pool heater, but once the pool reaches the desired temperature, it’s easy to maintain the temperature. Just remember to place your solar collectors in areas with plenty of sunlight. Your pool should also be in a place with a lot of sunlight.
A solar pool heater is best suited to warmer climates that get plenty of sunlight. If you want to use the pool at night without experiencing cold water, you may need to buy a diverter, so factor in the additional cost.
c) Electric Pool Heaters
Electric pool heaters tend to be the most popular heater type and are also considered efficient. They work all year round and tend to be the fastest way to heat your pool. They do have monthly costs; however, if you buy an energy-efficient electric pool heater, you can expect a friendlier electric bill.
Electric heaters are more eco-friendly than gas pool heaters as they use the ambient temperature to heat the water. They don’t need to be connected to a gas line; hence they are easier to install than gas pool heaters. Electric heaters raise your pool’s temperature less quickly than gas pool heaters, but they can be kept running longer for less money, so they’re more cost-effective if you want to use your pool every day.