Best Pool Heater for Any Weather Condition and Season

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Swimming pools are a fun way to spend time with friends and family. However, some days are too cold to take a dip and relax or have fun. Instead of ditching the water, you can heat the water. There are different types of pool water temperature regulators, including; Electric, natural gas, propane, and solar pool heaters. Let us look at the best pool heater.

Solar pool heaters capture heat from the sun to raise the pool's temperature by around 6-10 degrees F. Many pool owners opt for solar heaters because they are cost-effective compared to most pool heaters. The pool heaters can be used for above-ground and in-ground swimming pools. As long as the pool is in a position where it can receive direct sunlight, the solar heater will work just fine.

The best heater for areas with warmer climates solar heaters will save your electricity and use sun that is free of charge. Above ground pools that can move often do not require permanently installed heaters, making solar heaters very ideal and useful. Let us take a look at our best picks for the best pool heater.

a) Intex Solar Heater

Intex Solar Heater Mat for Above Ground Swimming Pool,...
  • Solar technology increases temperature of the pool water by...
  • Simple hook up, compatible with filter pump up to 1/2 HP or pump...
  • Suitable for above ground pools up to 8000 gal (30,280l)
  • Includes: 1 1/4 " (32mm) hose attachment points

Intex solar heater maximizes heating performance by connecting up to six solar mats to warm up water up to 9 degrees higher, depending on the sun's strength. The solar-powered heating system comprises mats with one meter square of the area in which water winds. Each of the six mats is made of PVC with UV stabilized, keeping them at their optimum functioning state. The pool heaters have a bypass valve that comes in handy when you are satisfied with the water temperature.


  • The pool heaters are eco-friendly as they maximize the sun's natural rays to get the water heated.
  • Your swimming pool will not need to be connected to electricity.
  • Pool owners have the cheapest option of heating their pool and spa available in stores around them.
  • The system is quite easy to set up and manage.
  • A bypass valve in the system lets you choose whether to use the solar system or not.


  • Solar heaters warm water up by only a few degrees.
  • The system heavily depends on the sun and is not useful during winter.
  • You can heat your pool with the system. However, you will not be able to regulate the temperature.
  • The system will not keep your pool heated as it only depends on the water passing through the system to stay heated.
  • The pool heater does not have a titanium heat exchanger that will move heat from one point to another.

b) SunHeater Solar Pool Heater

SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater 2 by...
  • Simple DIY installation; for in ground or above ground pools
  • Installs on roof, rack, ground or fence
  • Patented web design for maximum exposure to sun's rays
  • Uses existing pool pump
  • Raises pool water temperature 6-10 degrees F

The SunHeater is a simple DIY system to set up to heat your above-ground or in-ground pools. The solar panels install anywhere, including the roof, fence, rack, and even the ground. All you need to ensure is fix an existing pool pump to the system to help drive water through it. The new pool heater has a patented design that is revolutionary and efficient in heating your pool.


  • The system is energy efficient as it only uses solar power to heat water.
  • The pool heaters have a patented design that maximizes the exposure of water to the sun's rays.
  • The solar pool heater needs an existing pool pump to drive water through the panel.
  • Sun heater raises water temperatures by 6-010 degrees, making it very effective.
  • You do not need a heat pump or too many accessories to run the panel.
  • The solar heater can be installed almost anywhere in your compound, including the fence, ground, roof, and even on a rack, making it the best solar pool heater in the market.


  • The heater will not extend your pool season for a very long time as the heater fully relies on the sun.
  • The heater needs an open space with direct sunlight to install and function effectively.
  • The pool heaters raise the water temperature by only a few more degrees.
  • The heating power of the pool heaters is fully dependent on the power of the sun.
  • The pool heaters are of no use during the night as they are fully dependent on the sun for their functionality.
  • The pool heaters will be useless for indoor pools.

2. Electric Pool Heaters

One of the most popular ways that pool owners keep their pools warm is by using electric heaters. The pool heaters circulate cold water into the system and release warmed water back into the pool. The pool will remain heated even in a cool weather season, keeping the water at a consistent temperature of your choice. There are two kinds of electric heat pumps. One warms the water and releases it back into the pool, while the other heats air and passes the heat through coils, heating the water. Let us take a look at the best electric pool heater available in the market for your use.

a) EcoSmart Tankless Electric Pool Heater

EcoSmart SMART POOL 18 Electric Tankless Pool Heater,...
  • Flow Activation
  • Ecosmart Pool Heaters are compact and easy to install for a new...
  • Set your temperature digitally to increments of 1-Degree. Set it...
  • Compatible with Ecosmart Remote Control
  • Can be used as an alternative to or booster to heat pump. Phase -...

The EcoSmart electric tankless heater is a one-of-a-kind system that uses 240 volts to heat water in your swimming pool. Ecosmart has a self-modulator that lets you set and forget about making adjustments. The pool heaters will adjust automatically with a 1-degree increment while heating the pool. The system is easy to control and use as they have a remote control that lets you have control while enjoying your time in the pool.


  • The pool heaters are easy to install.
  • The system is controlled remotely.
  • The electric pool heaters have self-modulators and will automatically increase the water temperature gradually by 1-degree.
  • The electric heat pump is compatible with the Ecosmart remote control.


  • The pool heaters need electricity to function.Since it is an electrical appliance, the system needs to be installed professionally.
  • The pool heaters cost a lot to operate.
  • The pool heaters will need a power access point, which has to be wired or pre-existing.

b) ZMM Coasts Electric pool heater

ZMM 240V 11KW Electric Pool Water Heater For Above...
  • 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 pool heaters are ideal for above-ground pools. The Coasts product doubles up as a spa heater as well. You can achieve your desired temperature using the effective thermostat to keep your pool warm. The heat pumps are portable, making them sharable with friends and family who want to heat their jacuzzies, pool, and spa. The pool heater is suitable for traveling without having to worry about heating your next pool. Your swimming season will not be interfered with by weather changes, and its 5.1-year warranty guarantees the efficiency of the pool heater.


  • The electric pool heater has the latest temperature controller to regulate the pool's water temperature.
  • The pool equipment is ideal for the massage pool and spa industry.
  • The electric appliance has a very efficient thermostat that regulates the water temperature to your desired level.
  • The pool heater has an intelligent self-diagnosed system that keeps it in check whenever you are heating the pool.


  • You need an electrical power source to operate the heat pump.
  • The electric heat pumps cost a lot to run.
  • The pool heat pump needs pre-existing electrical connection points or newly installed ports.

3. Natural Gas Pool Heater

Natural gas pool heaters are the most efficient of swimming pool warmers. The gas heaters will work in any condition for your cold pool regardless of the outdoor temperature. Water is drawn from the pool and passes through a filter, going to the heater, which initiates a temperature rise. The gas gets burned in the heater's combustion chamber. The gas is the best pool heater for when you want to warm up the pool fast and over a short period, bringing the water to an ambient temperature.

Unlike solar pool heaters and electric heaters, the gas types of pool heaters can warm and maintain water to any desired temperature under any weather conditions.

a) Raypak Natural Gas Heater

Raypak 266,000 BTU Digital Electronic Ignition Natural...
  • Built to withstand various weather conditions, perfect solution...
  • Intermittent spark ignition pilot safety controls. Pilot only...
  • Space-age material means the heater won't retain residual heat...
  • Part Number: 009217 | Model Number: P-R266A-EN-C
  • PLEASE NOTE: Item is unable to be shipped to state of California

Raypak is the go-to heater when you want to warm the pool water fast and efficiently. The gas heaters have a strong metal body that has gone through 7 stages of washing. The cabinet is polyester coated to make it non-corrosive from all the interactions with water. The natural gas heater drafts naturally9 and does not need any fans for cooling. The natural gas pool heater is wind resistant, and the heating will not be interrupted. The waterways have porcelain which makes the pool heater long-lasting, unlike its metallic counterparts.

The gas pool heaters have a cupronickel heat exchanger as an upgrade, making the heater one of a kind. Condensation protection keeps the heater running at its optimal, efficient speed. You cannot make a fair comparison between Raypak natural gas and electric heaters, as the former can withstand rain, snow, wind, and debris.


  • Unlike electric and solar pool heaters, Raypak can work very efficiently in any environment, maintaining the temperature you require.
  • Raypak is the best pool heater because it has a polyester-coated cabinet and a porcelain-lined interior for durability.
  • The gas heater can withstand snow, rain, sleet, wind, debris, and other elements, making Raypak the best pool heater for use outdoor.
  • The body is made of galvanized metal that will protect against rust since the gas pool heater is exposable to all the natural elements. The durable body ensures maximum heat transfer.
  • You can plumb directly to a gas line with the threaded union that the pool heater has.
  • The heater has very low nox emissions making it environmentally friendly.


  • The gas pool heater is very expensive to run compared to other types of heaters.
  • You can heat your pool only for a short while to save power.
  • The pool heater is quite bulky and will need to set up before you can heat your pool.
  • Gas pool heaters take time to install. Compared to a solar pool heater.

4. Propane Pool Heater

Natural gas or propane water warmers work a lot like gas heaters. The propane heat appliances will bring the water temperature in your swimming pool to your preferred temperature. Let us take a look at the propane pool heater you should go for.

a) Hayward Propane Pool and Spa

Hayward W3H200FDP Universal H-Series 200,000 BTU...
  • BEST FOR: In-ground pools and spas with a surface area up to 600...
  • PREMIUM PERFORMANCE: The Hayward Universal H-Series 200,000 BTU...
  • CORROSION PROTECTION: The Universal H-Series boasts exceptional...
  • ENERGY SAVINGS: The efficient, industry-leading design reduces...
  • EASY-TO-USE: Intuitive front control panel provides easy...

Hayward has protection against unbalanced water chemistry, making the heater last longer than its counterparts. The front panel has an intuitive controlling pad for service, maintenance, and operation. Hayward is the best propane pool heater because it has low nox emissions to the recommended environmental standards. Just like a gas pool heater, the propane heaters are very fast and efficient. You can easily control the energy-efficient heater using the controls to keep a consistent temperature across the pool.

Hayward is the type of pool heater you want to have when you have a short time to heat the pool because it has a heat exchanger to distribute heat evenly.


  • Hayward has protection against unbalanced chemicals in the water.
  • Hayward is the best pool heater for heating the pool in the shortest time.
  • Hayward has very low nox emissions to the environment.
  • The gas pool heaters have control functions to regulate heat to the accurate temperature you want.


  • The heater is very expensive to maintain.
  • The electricity consumption is very high and costly.
  • The heater occupies space that might need to be considered beforehand.

Features of the Best Heater

A good product needs to check a few things off the list to stand out ahead of the rest. Let us take a look at a few features that the best pool heaters have.

i) Low Nox Emission

The environment requires the efforts of every person, and getting eco-friendly heaters is a huge step towards taking care of our environment.

ii) Low Power Consumption

A heat pump should work throughout the non-pool season without paying a huge price for it. It would help if you enjoyed yourself without having to worry about whether it is worth it.

iii) Heating Speed

A pool heat pump should be able to warm up water at a fast rate for you to start having fun as soon as you can. Electric pool heaters are a bit slower than gas heaters, but they still maintain heat for a longer time. If you need a spa heater, electric ones will work longer, making it more suitable for that situation.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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