Whatever your reasons are for getting a pool heater, you should know all of your options. There are three kinds of pool heaters: solar pool heaters, gas pool heaters, and pool heat pumps. In this post, we’ll be focusing on information concerning gas pool heaters.
Gas pool heaters operate with natural gas or propane. Water travels through a hot tube as a combustion chamber burns and heats the water before returning to the pool.
Gas pool heaters come in two types: natural gas and liquid propane. Your choice will depend simply on whether natural gas and/or liquid propane are available in your area and the cost of each. The heaters themselves are similarly priced.
If your home already has natural gas, you can use it for your pool heater. Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase a large propane tank, place it in your backyard, and fill the tank up frequently. If you use propane, note that it can be more than twice as costly as natural gas.
You’re also going to need either a millivolt or an electronic ignition. Millivolt ignitions make use of a pilot light with a constant stream of gas so that the ignition will always be ready to fire up. An electric ignition sparks the burners on in the same way a gas grill would. There is no gas leak risk with an electric ignition, and it uses far less fuel as well.
Most gas pool heaters are designed to be “Low Nitric oxide (NOx),” which means that they release minimal emissions, and, therefore, are more efficient than non-Low NOx heaters. This also helps heat your pool faster. California and Texas legally require Low NOx pool heaters.
Other features that some gas pool heaters have include dual thermostats, one for a pool and another for a spa, and a wind-resistant design or forced draft system to prevent problematic weather from affecting the heating process for your pool.
In-ground gas pool heaters range from $1,500 to $3,500, with the price varying based on the brand, size, and style of pool heater. Running a natural gas pool heater costs anywhere from $300 to $600 on average monthly.
As with other pool heaters, you will need to calculate your pools surface area (multiply the pool’s length by its width) and look up the average air temperature where you live, particularly during the coldest month of your swimming season. Work out what temperature you would like your pool water to be during that coldest month, and subtract the average temperature of that month from your desired pool water temperature to figure out how much of a temperature increase is necessary. Multiple the pool’s surface area by the temperature rise, and then take the resulting number and multiply it by 12. This will give you the BTU output necessary for your pool heater.
Gas pool heating systems have both benefits and drawbacks. They heat your pool quickly, have lower emissions and are less expensive up front; however, gas pool heaters are not eco-friendly and have a five-year average lifespan. Fuel costs can add up fast, and gas leaks can be dangerous and difficult to deal with.
You can decrease the costs of running a gas pool heater by investing in a solar or liquid solar cover for your pool. These covers further heat your pool and retain that heat by reducing evaporation.
Before purchasing a gas heater, be aware ahead of time about where the heater will be installed and the distance between there and the gas meter. The heater might not fire if it is too far from the gas meter based on the length and size of the gas line. Running a new gas line for $500 to $1000 when you didn’t expect to, on top of whatever you already paid for the heater, can be beyond annoying and eat away at your wallet.
If you need help with finding the right gas pool heater, or you need help with any other pool service such as or cleaning, maintenance, or repair, please visit the Arrow Pool contact page to submit a form, or call us at (610) 557-3851.