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An Introduction to Pool Heaters

Weather is wacky in the Midwest, and there’s no sure telling when swim season will begin or end. Storms aside, the best way to contest Mother Nature is to invest in a great pool heater. Pool heaters run in a variety of ways and are made by many brands at different price points.

This series of blog posts will touch on the specific heater types and their characteristics, as well as the installation process.  But first, we’ll discuss the basics.


Why Do I Want a Pool Heater?

In an area where there is a specific time frame for warm weather and sun, a swimming pool heater plays an integral role in getting the most use out of the pool – recreationally, athletically or otherwise. Maybe you enjoy frequent night swims, or perhaps you simply don’t like cold water. Swimming pool heaters provide convenience as they allow you to adjust your pool’s temperature at any given time.

Bigger Pool, Bigger Heater

Swimming pool heaters are measured by British Thermal Units, or BTU. A single BTU is the amount of energy needed to heat one pound of water by one degree (Fahrenheit). The higher the number of BTUs produced by a heater, the quicker it will heat your pool. Therefore, a larger pool requires a larger pool heater (if you want an efficient rise in temperature). In general, above ground pools necessitate smaller heaters.

To determine the appropriate BTUs needed to heat a pool you must first calculate the pool’s surface area. Rectangular pools are easy: multiple length by width. For varying shapes, be sure to research the proper formula. As a larger surface area leaves more opportunity for heat to escape the pool, having accurate calculations will assure you select the correct heater size.

Types of Heaters Overview

There are three main types of pool heaters: solar, gas, and heat pumps. The latter works by electricity, pulling air into the pump and running it through a compressor to be sent into the pool. Gas heaters, connected to either natural gas or propane, are possibly the most convenient type of pool heater, but are notorious for running up a bill if not utilized efficiently. Finally, solar-based heaters provide heat by – you guessed it – solar power. Solar pool heating requires an installation of solar panels or collectors on the roof of your house or an adjacent building, and is best for those who live in constantly sunny environments.

You may want to also consider investing in a pool heater after the first season. That’s because Kayak pool walls offer a unique honeycomb design that creates a natural air barrier within the wall for increased energy efficiency. This, combined with the heat of the sun’s ray, will aide in maintaining a comfortable water temperature.

Stay tuned for part two of our pool heater series, where we’ll dive in to the details of each type of swimming pool heaters.