Swimming pool heaters are used to keep the water temperature in swimming pools at a consistently warm temperature. This allows a pool owner to extend the swimming seasons, by two or even threefold. There are three basic types of swimming pool heaters: gas heaters, electric heat pumps, and solar-based heaters. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages.
Heat pumps rely on electricity to operate. Air is pulled into the pump, ran through a compressor, then sent into the water from below. This type of pool heater is ideal for athletes and pool owners that wish to benefit from consistent warm waters. They are able to maintain a consistent temperature regardless of the weather, and they also tend to keep the water warmer than other swimming pool heaters. This is one of the best options for homeowners.
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Gas heaters run on propane or natural gas, and thus require a propane tank, or a natural gas hookup. Gas heaters can be rather expensive to operate once they are installed if they are run constantly. They work great for pool owners who only wish to turn them on occasionally when guests come for a visit, or if the pool is located at a vacation home, and is only used periodically. It is easy to keep the water at a consistent temperature using a gas heater no matter what the weather is, so gas heaters tend to work great for spas.
Solar Heaters consist of panels being installed on the roof and rely on the sun to heat the pool. Although the expense of installation is about the same as other types of heating, you are at the mercy of the weather. Meaning no sun, no heat. This limits how long you can swim during the year as well as not being able to heat the pool on demand.