Pool/Spa Heating

There are four major ways to raise the temperature of your pool: pool covers, natural or propane gas heating, electric heat pump and solar heating. Each has strengths and drawbacks and the best choice for you depends on your unique needs.  Check out the different heating options below or call us today for your Free Consultation.


Most swimming pool heat loss occurs at the surface. The least expensive way to maintain a warmer pool is by keeping a cover on the pool during the nighttime hours, when surface evaporation would otherwise cool the pool down. The cover stops this nighttime evaporative would otherwise cool the pool down. The cover stops this nighttime evaporative heat loss and enables the pool to stay at a higher temperature. Pool covers are not difficult to use and can easily add two months to your comfortable swim season.

Pool covers cost between $85 and $150 for most residential pools. In fact, all of the other pool heating methods discussed in this article should only he used in conjunction with a pool cover. Not to do so would be like running your house air conditioner during August with the doors and windows open. The system will still work, but the operating cost will be as much as three times higher.


The advantages of gas are low initial cost of the installed unit, including a propane storage tank, for a typical residential pool the ability to maintain a desired temperature during almost any weather conditions, and very fast recovery (the period of time needed to bring the pool up to temperature.) The principal drawback is operating cost. For a typical heating season propane costs to maintain a 15X30 Central Florida screened pool at 80 degrees Fahrenheit are about$1,200 when a pool cover is used and can exceed $3,000 with no pool cover in use. While many pool owners now consider gas prohibitively expensive, you may want to consider it as a winter supplement to another, more cost effective form of heating if you need to swim for medical reasons.


Electric swimming pool heat pumps take heat out of the outside air and put it into the pool, generally producing three to five units of usable heat energy for every unit of electricity consumed. As a result, heat pump operating costs are about half of that for a gas heating system – about $540 with a pool cover for the same pool scenario described in the gas heating example and about $1,800 with no pool cover in use.  

Why don't smaller heat pumps do well in extremely cold weather? Colder weather requires the machines to run longer – as much as 24 hours in the case of a 60-80,000 Btu/Hr. machine during a winter cold front. Although manufacturer hourly heat output ratings multiplied by the longer running hours might suggest that the smaller machine can do the job, a heat pump does not produce heat at anywhere near its rated efficiency when it is forced to run during much of the colder nighttime hours (below 50 degrees.) So if you have a pool surface area of 300 to 600 square feet and want year-round swimming at 80 degrees or better with a heat pump, install a 90,000-118,000 Btu/Hr. model.

Have you considered getting a pool heater?

They give you the option to swim in comfort all year long at an affordable cost. A pool heater is totally safe!  There are no potentially dangerous propane or natural gases.  It simply moves heat from the air to the water to heat, or water to the air to cool for pennies a day. Operating costs are 75% to 80% less than LP Gas heaters, 50% to 55% less than natural gas heaters.

Advantages - Your swimming pool is an investment and you want to maximize that investment. Without heat, pool usage is limited. Your family can exercise, relax, swim and entertain in warm water even when there is a chill in the air. Extend your season and enjoy more quality time with your children and the company of your friends in the comfort and security of the ‘resort style and feel’ in your own backyard.


In these systems, pool water circulates through a large heat exchange surface, usually located on your roof, and absorbs the sun's energy. The principle is similar to the way your car radiator works, only these solar heat exchangers collect heat instead of radiating it. Most solar "collectors" are flat black panels manufactured from high technology plastics which have been designed to resist weather and ultraviolet radiation.

The major advantage of these systems is that because sunshine is free, they have no operating cost. Another plus for environmentally concerned pool owners is that solar energy is renewable and non-polluting. The major disadvantage is that solar does not provide heat on demand. In other words, the solar system can only put into the pool the heat which is available from the sun on any given day. You cannot make more solar energy the way you might burn more gas or use more electricity to maintain your pool heating system used in conjunction with a pool cover can more than double your comfortable swim season, from four months to nine or ten months every year.

So why, you ask, doesn't every pool have a solar heating system? Solar pool heating systems do require an initial investment of $3,500 to $5,000 for a typical 300 to 400 square foot surface area residential pool.  Also, a solar heating system does not get any warmer than 10 degrees above ambient air temperature. 

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