When you think of pool heaters, you may not realise how many options you have available to you. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to picking out the best pool heater, and the one you end up with will depend on your situation and your unique needs. The three most popular options are gas, solar and electric pool heating elements.
We’re going to make it easy for you to understand these different pool heating options, and we’ll also give you the knowledge you need to pick out the best pool heater to keep your water temperature warm and ready to swim in whenever the mood strikes you.
Five Benefits of Installing a Pool Heater
Why would you need a pool heater in the first place? Can’t you just swim in the water without worrying about the temperature? While this may be true, pool heating gives you the option of always having comfortable temperatures in the water. It can get cold overnight, or maybe you have a cold snap in your location in Queensland. These things can drop your water temperatures to uncomfortable levels, and the best pool heater will help even it out. Other benefits include:
1. Extends Your Pool Season
Even living in Queensland won’t give you year-round access to your pool. Introducing a heater into your swimming pool can easily help you extend your pool seasons so you can have the perfect water temperature whenever you want. Depending on the type of pool heating element you get, you’ll be able to enjoy a nicely heated pool without seeing a huge jump in your energy bills.
2. Increases Your Pool’s Value
When you make the choice to invest in a pool for your home, your property value can go up. If you want to increase your pool’s value further and get the most from your initial investment, add a heater. A heater will enhance your pool experience because you can use it longer throughout the year. Additionally, it’s a nice way to create a perfectly relaxing environment in your yard where you can go to sit down and unwind after a long day at the office.
3. Allows for Night Swimming
Temperatures tend to drop at night, especially throughout some regions in Australia. Although the nights tend to be quite warm in Queensland, even here the average temperatures drop below 12°C in June, July and August (this is for Emerald QLD) The air temperature fluctuations will make the water temperature change. When you have a pool heating element, the temperature of the water will stay static, and it won’t matter what your air temperature does. If you want to throw an evening pool party or have a night swimming session, this will come in very handy.
4. More Motivation to Exercise
No matter if you have a plunge pool or a smaller above-ground model, having warm water will motivate you to exercise. Swimming is a low-impact aerobic workout that won’t add stress or strain to your joints, and warm water can help protect against stiffness, joint pain and aches that are sometimes common in colder water. Warmer water also helps you relax and soothes any sore muscles you have.
5. High Return on Investment
The newer pool heaters offer a high return on your initial investment. You’ll be able to keep your overall energy consumption and costs low while getting warm pool water whenever you want it. Additionally, you can have a quick installation process that reduces your overall costs. A high-quality pool heater will also last for years, and most of them require minimal maintenance.
Three Popular Types of Pool Heaters
There are three main categories of pool heaters available. You can get gas pool heating, solar pool heating or electric pool heating. A high-quality pool building company can come in and install your pool heater once you pick out a type and decide to invest in them.
Electric Pool Heating
Electric pool heating systems work by pulling heat from the air around it and transferring it into your pool’s water. Since this heater depends on the surrounding air temperatures to work well, you could technically classify it as a solar element. The air temperature should be at least 12°C for the pump to heat your pool water effectively. Since the average temperature in Queensland is around 29°C, you should have no problems with this type of pump working very well.
- Environment-friendly compared to other choices
- Low monthly costs
- Lasts 10 to 20 years
- Extends your swim season by weeks
- May heat your pool slower than other models
- More expensive to install and buy
Gas Pool Heating
Your typical gas pool heating element uses propane or natural gas, and it burns it in a combustion chamber. This will heat the copper coils that circulate your pool water. In turn, it gives warm water back to the pool. This type of pool heater doesn’t rely on the external air temperature or sunlight to operate, and this can boost the appeal of this model if you live in a colder climate. It’s more expensive to use, and it can easily cost between $300 and $500 a month for fuel.
- Heats the water quickly
- Doesn’t rely on warm air or sunlight to work well
- Can be more inexpensive to buy
- Not very environment-friendly or energy-efficient
- Expensive to run each month
- Shorter lifespan
Solar Pool Heating
Finally, we have solar pool heaters. This is the most popular pool heater type in Australia, and it uses a solar pump that runs on a small amount of electricity. The pump links to capillary tubes that it forces water through at a very quick rate. This will help to create a constant temperature for your pool water, and it can help prevent water temperature fluctuations. It is more expensive to install this type of system, and you could end up paying thousands of dollars for the initial installation. However, this system can pay for itself in the savings you get in the long run.
- Inexpensive to run and environment-friendly
- Lasts 15 to 20 years
- Possible solar tax credits
- Extends swim season by several weeks
- Expensive installation
- Heavily dependent on the amount of sunlight
- Heats slower than other choices
Tips to Decide What the Best Pool Heater is For Your Pool
Now that you know what the different heater choices are, how do you figure out which is the best pool heater for your needs? This can be an expensive addition to your existing setup, so it’s important that you make the correct choice.
Look at Your Pool Type
One of the first things you do is look at the type of pool you have and any special considerations that go along with it. For example, fibreglass is a warm material in general, so you won’t need a huge system to heat your water. However, concrete is a naturally colder material that will require a more efficient pool heater to keep your water temperatures tolerable.
Do you have an in-ground or above-ground pool? This will also factor into which pool heater is best for your needs. Generally, above-ground pools are smaller than in-ground models, so it’s easier to heat a smaller volume of water. Above-ground pools also lose heat quicker than in-ground pools because it can lose heat through the sides and top instead of just the surface. So, you’ll need a pool heater that is capable of keeping up with water that cools more rapidly.
You’ll need a pool heating system even in the warmest regions of Australia. Pool water isn’t generally as warm as you think it is, and it can drop significantly overnight once the sun goes away. Then, it can take hours to heat back up in the morning. During the winter months, it gets considerably colder due to less sunlight and colder air temperatures. The pool heater you pick out should match your local climate to ensure it has enough power to keep your water at a comfortable temperature the whole time you use the pool.
It stands to reason that a larger pool with a higher water volume will take more time to heat, and your pool heater will have to work harder to keep the temperature consistent. So, if you have a bigger pool, you’ll have to get a pool heating element that cycles the water through quickly and has enough power to keep it at a comfortable temperature. This isn’t as big of a deal with smaller pools because they have a lower water volume to heat and keep it at your desired temperature. You can usually get away with a heater that works slower in small pools.
The Pool People Will Help You Choose the Best Pool Heater
Installing your pool heater requires a trained and licensed professional, and you absolutely don’t want to take on this project by yourself. Having licensed professionals come in and perform all the electrical and gas works ensures your pool stays compliant with local laws.
We at The Pool People specialise in swimming pool heating in the Central Queensland Region. So whether you’re looking for a new pool heater or swimming pool heater repairs in Bundaberg, Emerald, Gladstone, Rockhampton or Yeppoon (and the surrounding townships), we’re the pool company to call. We’ll take care of all pool heating needs. Contact us today!