Although it may seem like pool heaters are available in an almost endless number of different styles, the truth of the matter is that there are really only 3 basic types current sold. There are solar pool heaters, pool heating pumps, and natural gas or propane swimming pool heaters. And that’s it. Some of these are more suitable for in-ground pools, and others are more suitable for above-ground pools.

The problem that many people have when choosing one of these heaters is selecting from among all of the different manufacturers. That can make the task of buying the best heater for a pool quite difficult. That’s why we’ve decided to take it upon ourselves and review some of the heaters currently available, so you can find the best pool heater for you.

Best Pool Heaters

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10Hayward H150FDN Natural Gas Heater


Designed with the highest quality components available, including a standard Cupro-nickel heat exchanger and a weather-resistant exterior, this product is sure to provide the pool owner with years of pool heating excellence. This model uses cost-effective natural gas and is one of the more reliable and economical pool heaters in its class. It’s known for its hydraulic efficiency and for being able to provide pools and spas with up to 150,000 BTU of heating power. And it can be used on a variety of different pools. Although it does require professional installation, it is a product that’s sure to do its job well.

9Xtremepower US Solar Pool Heating System


This swimming pool heater is made from high-quality materials that not only do a job at capturing the rays of the sun to heat above-ground and in-ground pools but is also durable enough to hold up to a variety of different weather conditions. Using the pool owner’s own pump and filter system, this model heats the water before it’s returned to the pool. This allows it to heat up the pool by up to 10-degree Fahrenheit. Each system is made using 2-foot by 20-foot panels that are light, flexible and made out of black polypropylene.

8Hayward H400FDP Universal Propane Heater


Although this pool heater is designed to be professionally installed, once it’s been set up it’s a unit that’s very easy to use. It’s a propane unit that’s designed to be efficient and reliable. This model and has an intuitive LED control screen that’s easy to read and provides the operator with not only the temperature readout for the pool’s water but also diagnostics and lock-out temperature settings as well. This digital control allows the operator to set the ideal temperature for their pool without all of the guesswork that some other models require.

7Sta-Rite SR200NA Natural Gas Heater


Although this natural gas pool heater costs more than comparable heaters, it’s designed to be up to 84% more efficient, and this makes it one of the more energy efficient heaters in its class. This product also has a compact design that allows it to be used even with older pools. It’s also lightweight, has weather-proof housing and is easy to use. Additional features that can be found on this model include an LED temperature readout, 6-position control panel, dual thermostat controls and a safety lockout for the temperature. And since it outperforms most air pollution output standards, it’s also an environmentally conscious heater to use.

6Fafco Solar Bear Heating System


This 20-foot by 4-foot heating panel is designed and manufactured by a company that’s been making efficient swimming pool heaters for the past 47+ years, so they know a few things about keeping pools warm. And their expertise really comes to the forefront with this model. Since it’s designed without couplings or connectors, it doesn’t lose its heating capacity due to a reduction of circulated water like smaller 1.5-inch headers have a tendency of doing. As long as its properly set up and tilted at a 10 to 30-degree angle to the South, it will warm average sized above-ground pools quite well.

5Fibropool FH 220 Heat Pump


Designed to heat pools up to 7,500 gallons and also suitable for use with just about any hot tub manufactured, the Fibropool FH 220 is a model that’s sure to provide the homeowner with the warm waters they’re looking for. This 240-volt model has a 20,000 BTU heating capacity which allows it to heat round above ground pools up to 18-feet in diameter and whirlpool spas of just about any size. This model is highly efficient, so it won’t cost the operator a ton of money to run every year. And since it only has a foot print of 36×16-inches, it’s easy to place and use.

4EcoSmart Smart Pool Tankless Heater


Although this electric tankless water heater is a little more complicated to set up than many other pool heaters and requires the homeowner has a sufficient number of 50-amp double pole breakers in their electrical box, once set up this model can heat up to 11,000 gallons of pool water. It’s also equipped with flow activation and has a digital thermostat that allows the operator to set it and forget it. The temperature of the pool can be raised by 1-degree increments, and this model is compatible with the Ecosmart Remote Control if the user decides to buy it separately.

3Smartpool Sunheater Above Ground Heater


Manufactured out of durable polypropylene and with a square footage of 80-square feet, this product is not only durable, but it also heats up pool water quickly and efficiently. This panel array is easy to set up and is approximately 20-feet long and 4-feet wide. Since it uses the pool’s existing pump system, the pool owner doesn’t have to spend extra money on a specialized pump. All they have to do is unroll it, hook it up and then let the sun do its job. Using this product, pool owners will see the temperature in their pool increase by a maximum of 15-degrees Fahrenheit, which allows for a longer pool season.

2EcoSaver Solar Heating Panel System


Designed to be used with your pool’s own water pump, this 20-foot solar heating panel system can quickly and cost-effectively heat both in-ground or above-ground pools. This model can be used in 24-foot above-ground pools or in 15×30-foot rectangular or oval in-ground pools. It has a design that’s modular, meaning that additional solar heating panels can be added to it if the need arises. Since this product is up to twenty percent wider than some other solar panels, it’s capable of heating up pools a whole lot quicker. And since it has twist-connect fittings, it’s quick and easy for most people to set up.

1Kokido Keops Solar Dome


Just because summer may be coming to a close doesn’t mean that you have to stop using your above ground pool. After all, you can keep on using it well into the autumn months by simply installing the Kokido Keops Solar Dome on your pool. This pool heater is designed to be connected to your pool between the pool return and the filter pump and uses the power of the sun to heat the water all year round. This makes this product not only environmentally friendly but also means that it’s easier on the pocketbook. And since it’s compatible with just about all above ground pools, just about anyone can use it.

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Pool Heater Guide

Many unique parts make up a quality pool heater and not all products are capable of delivering efficient heat. When the temperature drops, there is no reason why your pool shouldn’t be a place you can take a warm dip or get some lengths in the bank.

To get the most out of owning a swimming pool, making it useable in the cold days is a must. To find a pool heater that is worth buying, you’ll need to know what to look for. The following guide will help shed some light on what you should expect.

What To Look For In A Pool HeaterĀ 

  • Energy Efficiency – This will vary greatly depending on the size of the pool, and the type of heater. Even still, an electric pool heater is usually one of the more expensive options but you can find some brands that are cheaper to run than others. Gas heaters can also be pricey and there is less chance of finding an efficient one.
  • Easy To Install – Certain types of pool heaters require expert hands for installation such as gas but if you are looking at a solar pool heater, this is going to be a lot easier. Whatever you go for, there is going to be some graft involved and if it isn’t something you can see yourself doing, it is not uncommon for any of the different types of pool heaters to be installed by an expert.
  • Quiet Operation – A loud pool heater is going to spoil some of the enjoyment, not to mention make you reluctant to switch it on when you’re at home. The better products are economical when it comes to the bills, as well as noise pollution.
  • Environmentally Friendly – You can’t beat a solar-powered pool heater when it comes to energy efficiency and they cost nothing to run when set up. Gas and electric can’t compete in this area so if this is your main concern when looking for a pool heater, you know which route to go down.
  • Adjustable Settings – Most pool heaters will have several settings and timer functions so they are energy efficient and you can make sure your pool is heated when you typically need it to be.
  • The Correct BTU – Otherwise known as British Thermal Unit, the size of your pool and how much power you need will determine how many BTU’s you need to get the temperature up. Make sure you get at least 50,000 BTU’s for every 10,000 liters of pool water.

Different Types of Pool Heaters

  • Electric – The most common type of pool heater and although this might seem obvious, some of the benefits are not. Eco-friendly when compared to other types, they are quick to heat the water but there is the downside of what this does to your electric bills. Look for a product that is energy efficient to soften the blow.
  • Solar – Of course, this is going to be far more eco-friendly than other ways of heating your pool but what does hit you in the pocket is the initial cost. The installation and cost of the pool heater will likely be more expensive than others but the running costs are lower.
    It is slower to heat the pool than other options and is often better in sunnier climates where it can make the most of the warm hours and heat the pool later in the day when the temperature drops.
  • Gas – The two types of gas you will find a pool heater uses are Propane and natural gas. You’ll need to connect it to your gas pipe in which Gas pool heaters are well-suited to larger pools as they can heat quickly just keep an eye on the price of gas as you might be less inclined to use the pool if it fluctuates the wrong way.
  • Electric Heat Pump – Using ambient heat they are slower to warm the pool but are relatively energy efficient in comparison to a regular electric system. An electric heat pump transfers warmer air into the system and pushes cold air away so your pool only gets the warmth. They aren’t as powerful as other types but are more cost-effective.

Does Climate Affect A Pool Heater?

Yes, those in particularly cold climates or those who want to use a pool heater in colder months are going to need something with the power to raise the temperature. A solar-powered pool heater might not be able to make the water tempting enough unless you are looking to use it in the evening on warm days.

An electric pool heater can be a good choice if you don’t live in a warm climate and it works fast.

How Easy Can A Pool Heater Be To Repair

This depends on the extent of the damage and type of pool you have. Anyone with a gas-powered pool heater will know they are some of the most reliable types but when it comes to repairs, they can be expensive. You might need to call an expert because you are working with gas.

Because there are plenty of videos online, not all repairs need to cost you anything just be sure you are doing so safely.