How to Heat a Pool

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Are you vexed by the question of how to heat a pool in Sacramento?

There are three main types of pool heaters to choose between that will help you fight the cool pool blues:

  • Gas Pool Heaters
  • Heat Pump Pool Heaters
  • Solar Pool Heating Systems

Which system do you prefer for your Sacramento home? Your choice could end up costing you thousands of dollars – or saving you a bundle.

Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons of the three main types of pool heaters to discover which one is the best fit for you.

How to Heat a Pool

Gas Pool Heaters

Gas-powered pool heaters are the most popular pool heating systems available, but their energy-efficiency pales in comparison with heat pumps and solar pool heaters.

Using either natural gas or propane, gas pool heaters circulate pool water through a filter and then to the heater. Once water is heated it gets circulated back into the pool. It’s a relatively simple system that will heat a pool up in a hurry, regardless of the outside temperature or climate.

The drawback? Gas pool heaters are expensive to run with average annual operating costs pushing well into $2,000+ territory nationwide.

Heat Pump Pool Heaters

Heat pumps themselves don’t actually generate heat. Rather, they use electricity to capture heat and move it from one place to another. In this case, the heat is captured from a compressor before being passed to a condenser coil and then transferred to your pool water.

The efficiency of a heat pump is determined largely by outside air temperature: colder temps increase the energy needed for the heat pump to warm your pool. For California residents this means limiting the swimming season from early-June to late-August.

Another drawback of a heat pump pool heater is cost. Although heat pumps are more energy-efficient than gas pool heaters, the cost of operating one can still be significant.

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Energy the annual cost of heating a pool in San Francisco with a heat pump and without a cover is anywhere between $800 and $1,100. This range is in line with the national average, so Sacramento residents can expect to incur similar costs.

Solar Pool Heating Systems

Rapidly growing in popularity, solar pool heating systems are a viable alternative to gas and heat pump pool heaters. We’ve written an entire article about how solar pool heating works  but the gist of it is this: water is heated by the sun when it is circulated through a set of solar collectors and this sun-warmed water is then pumped back into your pool.

Perhaps the biggest selling point a solar pool heating system has to offer is its incredible energy-efficiency. Because a solar pool heating system is powered by the sun you’re no longer constrained by dependence on conventional fuel – and that can lead to big savings.

In fact, when you factor in the annual costs of operating a gas or heat pump pool system most pool owners can expect to see their solar system paid for in as little as three years. After that, keeping your pool warm, comfortable and relaxing will cost you little to nothing at all. And with their low maintenance needs and 15 – 20 year lifespan, a solar pool heating system is a hassle-free investment you and your whole family can enjoy for many years to come.