Gas and propane pool
Gas and propane pool heaters
are the most common and work most rapidly. This works with natural
gas if you have it, or propane tanks mounted above or below ground.
Gas heaters now boast of up to
90 percent efficiency ratings and consume only as much gas as you
allow. A gas heater is thermostat-controlled, so you just set it and
forget it. It will also have an on/off switch, pressure switch, gas
valve and high limit switches in its safety circuitry.
Gas heaters must be installed
and vented properly or hazards could result.
Cheaper to maintain than gas
heaters, heat are a clean, economical way to extract "free heat"
from the ambient air. A heat pump draws the natural warmth from the
air and uses it to maintain a comfortable temperature. This is
accomplished through a refrigerant vapor compression cycle that
transfers heat from one source to another. It can be compared to a
household air conditioning system "in reverse."
Heat pumps are commonly used
from Florida to Canada and very efficient, allowing your pool to
remain operational down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Millions worldwide have been
enjoying solar-heated swimming pools for over two decades. You will
probably find that you will pay much less for a solar heater for
your above-ground or small in-ground pool than for any other type of
While the first solar systems
for larger in-ground pools may equal or somewhat exceed those of
other heaters, they return the cost difference in fuel savings in
the first year or two.
Solar pool heating systems
Gaining in popularity, solar
heaters are also cheaper to maintain than gas heaters and now
account for about 20 percent of pool heater installations.
Solar heaters use your
existing pool pump to circulate water through the many small
passages of the solar collector where it is warmed by the sun. This
heated water then flows directly back to your pool through your
regular pool plumbing. This simple cycle continues until your pool
reaches your desired temperature.
You can also cool an
overheated pool in warmer months by simply running the pool pump at
Solar covers/solar blankets
Made from thin plastic formed
with air pockets so it can float on the surface, a solar cover
cannot heat a pool. It is not totally transparent to sunlight so it
blocks out much of the sun's energy that would otherwise heat the
pool. However, it effectively prevents evaporation from the water
surface, slowing down cooling of the water at night and in bad
Use of a solar cover is
recommended at night on above-ground pools with a solar heater.
A solar cover or blanket will
help a pool retain heat, but a solar system actually adds heat to
raise the temperature of your pool water.
If you have a larger solar
heater on an in-ground pool you can use a cover at night near the
beginning and end of the season when the nights are long and cool.