While there are some things you can do to reduce your heating bills without upgrading your heating system, it’s a fact that using an electric pool heater is a much cheaper alternative.
Electric pool heaters (also known as heat pumps) work by sucking heat out of the nearby air and transferring that heat to the water in your pool. The air is sucked in and compressed, raising the temperature, and water is run through a heat exchanger to pick up this heat.
With the cost of operation being so much lower for the heat pump, is there any reason why everyone doesn’t have one of these systems in the heart of winter?
In this article, we compiled 10 of the best electric pool heaters on the market. If you like any of these heat pumps, please check the links below.
Best Pick + Editor’s
Lifetime warranty, worth every penny, great quality, easy to install, and excellent water heater. Highly recommended
Best for Large Pools
Best Electric Pool Heaters for In-Ground Pools
Let’s dive in…
When it comes time to buy a pool heater. The first thing you should think about is the size of your pool. If your swimming pool is quite large, you will require a powerful heater that will fit. If you want to heat a 500-gallon spa tub, for example, you’ll need a 37,000 BTU/h heater. Another factor to consider is the system’s maintenance costs and effectiveness.
The cost-effectiveness of an electric heater is determined by the amount of power it consumes. Continue reading to learn more about electric pool heaters that are efficient, dependable, and cost-effective.
What is the best electric pool heater?
Several factors must be considered when determining which electric pool heater is best for your needs. To assist you in making a decision, consider the following factors.
- Pool Size
- Energy Efficiency
- Heating Element
- Titanium Heat Exchanger
- AHRI Certified Performance
1. Hayward HP21404T HeatPro In-Ground 140,000 BTU Heat Pump
Boasting 140,000 BTU of heating power, the Hayward HeatPro guarantees commitment to keeping your pool consistently warm round the clock during the chilly winter months. This heat pump will quickly raise the pool temperatures to the titanium heat exchanger which is very much efficient.
It runs quietly, is simple to install, and includes a standard ultra gold fin evaporator coil for superior value, performance, and dependability, as well as superior coastal corrosion resistance.
Because of its lightweight and compact design, the Hayward HP21404T works well in a variety of settings. This model’s price is also considered. It’s reasonably priced, so it fits into many people’s shopping budgets, and it has relatively simple maintenance requirements. You might be interested in this heat pump.
- Manufacturer: Hayward
- Dimensions: 32 x 43 x 40 inches
- Color: stainless steel
- Size: 140,000 BTU
- Customer rating: 4.4 rating
2. EcoSmart SMART POOL 27 Electric Tankless Pool Heater
EcoSmart SMART POOL 27 is an on-demand heat pump on the market because of the wealth of features and utility it possesses at a very reasonable price and is ideal for large and small pools due to its compact design.
It’s a 240V electrical panel with an easy and straightforward installation manual that is incredibly helpful. You’ll need to connect it to two or three 50-amp breakers (depending on the model). With that, it will offer fast and efficient heating of pools up to 15,000 gallons.
It is made from high-quality materials to protect from damage. The heat pump utilizes the latest sensor technology to activate drawing low power draw, which is quite impressive, causing it to work efficiently.
It can raise water temperature by 10 degrees in a 15,000-gallon pool in just 14 hours. It has soft rubber mounts, which is an all too important noise-absorbing mounting that can reduce noise caused by vibration, keeping noise at its absolute minimum. It’s also easy to use thanks to the digital control panel, which you can dial precise target temperatures for your pool.
- Dimensions: 6 x 14 x 17 inches
- Item weight 24.2 pounds
- Manufacturer: EcoSmart water heaters
- Voltage: 240V
- Customer rating: 4.2 rating
3. Hayward CSPAXI11 11 Kilowatt Electric Spa Heater
Hayward CSPAXI11 is another heater pump that you might want to give the nod to because it’s an on-demand heater pump that’s always ready to provide you with top-notch performance at a moment’s notice.
It’s a premium heater pump that takes approximately 20 hours to raise a 10,000-gallon pool temperature by 10 degrees. While some might complain about the time it takes to heat the pool; others are quick to point out that this is an affordable option for an electric pool heater that can be long-term reliable due to its inbuilt corrosion 304 stainless steel tank.
Hayward CSPAXI11 is an excellent choice as a heater pump, and its digital temperature panel makes it easy to check the temperature precisely. It’s not uncommon for this pool heater to raise pool temperatures of 1000 gallons by 5 degrees.
The Installation process is also a breeze. I consider Hayward CSPAXI11 as one of the most highly efficient electric pool and spa heaters on the market today, mostly because of its reliability and weather-resistance capabilities.
- Manufacturer: Hayward
- 11-kilowatt electric resistance swimming pool heater
- Item weight: 12.17 pounds
- Corrosion-resistant 304 stainless steel tank
- Electric heating element
- Stainless steel threaded head
- Heater on/off indicator light
- Safety sensor
4. Fibroheat Swimming Pool Heat Pump 55 K Btu/Hr Titanium
With the Fibroheat heat pump, you will be smitten by its quick operation. It’s capable of heating your in-ground swimming pool in no time at approximately 20 degrees in under a day. This heat pump is sleek and elegant, and it’s lightweight, and it’s able to operate while exposed to elements.
This pool heater is engineered for quiet, powerful performance, and it features an enamel-coated steel chassis that’s rustproof. This housing is durable, and with consistent heating performance, the Fibroheat heat pump is set to last a long time.
One of its downsides is the large intimidating size. Nonetheless, the Installation process is easy and quick due to its fittings and lightweight design. There’s plenty to like in this high-performing and relatively affordable heat pump.
- Dimensions: 45 x 25 x 15.98 inches
- 220-volt operation
- 55,000 BTU output
- Titanium heat exchanger
- Redundant flow switch
- Digital display and control panel
- Enamel-coated steel exterior
- Highly efficient
- Relatively low operating costs
- Works excellent for spas and pools up to 10,000 gallons in size
5. Water Heater Thermostat 220V 11KW Portable Pool Heater Electric Heater Pump
This is another efficient heat pump that’ll strike an outstanding balance between practicality and simplicity, and it’s also cheaper. It’s a state of the art heater pump with a capacity of heating less than 1320 gallons in an hour. It’s an automatic heater pump that operates when the temperature drops.
With Water Heater Thermostat 220V, You won’t also have a hard time keeping up with today’s sophisticated pool heating pumps because you can always refer to the detailed user manual for directions on specific things you need to do for this unit when installing or troubleshooting.
This unit measures13.78 x 7.87 x 4.72 inches, and it uses 120~240 V electrical cord to stay lit and operational even under fairly windy conditions. The pump comes with electrocoating materials that can effectively resist and prevent corrosion build-up.
Satisfied users of this heater pump frequently describe the unit as small and silent though some warn that the unit experienced malfunction after the initial 1-year warranty.
- Dimensions: 13.78 x 7.87 x 4.72 inches
- Item weight: 2.2 pounds
- Easy to wire up, and then the plumbing is not that much.
- Straightforward control panel and display
- Slim, compact design
6. Beacon Pet Swimming Pool Heater Electric SPA Heating Thermostat
The Beacon Pet Swimming Pool Heater is a heat pump that is mainly designed for small pools. This heat pump is a practical choice if you want a warm Jacuzzi or own a smaller swimming pool and don’t want to spend an arm and leg.
This pool heater is engineered to conserve energy thanks to the ultra-high temperature protection switch, limiting overheating while protecting users’ scalding. This feature enables the unit to maintain a target pool temperature with both heating and cooling within a temperature not exceeding 40 degrees C and, if cold, 6 degrees. In incredibly hot climates, it’s convenient to have a unit that does double duty to cool your pool down a few degrees when the intense sun might make your pool anything but refreshing.
So, suppose you’ve got a pool whose capacity is less than 5,000 gallons, and you live In incredibly hot climate. In that case, it’s convenient to have this unit because it will work as a double duty to cool your pool down a few degrees when the intense sun might make your pool anything but refreshing.
Operating it is simple with just quick plugs into a standard outlet and set up is simple according to the manual’s instructions.
- Automatic heating
- Thermostatic operation is fully automated
- The heater has an indicator light
- Super easy installation
7. IIS 220V 240V 3KW Premium Quality Portable Pool Electric Water Heater
Thermostat Heater Pump
IIS Portable Pool heater Features a compact, easy to install design, durable heating element, corrosion-resistant, and it’s also economical to operate, with well-engineered parts to maximize efficiency—like a titanium heat exchanger and scroll compressor to provide you with warm water in your swimming. It comes with a straightforward control panel that is easy to operate.
With a solid 4.0 noise rating by many customers, the IIS Portable Pool heater is among the market’s quietest heater pumps. Installation is also simple and convenient. The price of this model is also taken care of.
It’s offered at an affordable price, so it suits the shopping budgets of lots of people. You need to warm up your swimming, and it has relatively undemanding maintenance requirements. IIS Portable Pool heater is designed to provide you with years of warm relaxation extending swimming seasons.
- Dimensions: 10.4 x 5.9 x 5 inches
- It can be used both with swimming pools and spas
- Available in 3 different sizes 110,000, 120,000 and 140,000 BTU
- Two levels of heat output; high for freezing weather and lower for mildly cold weather- the two levels are controlled by a two-stage thermostat
- Minimum noise levels
- Customer rating: 4.1 rating
8. Hayward W3HP21404T Pool Heat Pump, 140,000 BTU
One noticeable feature of this model is the user-friendly control panel, which uses an LCD. A great thing about this control panel is that you can program it to maintain a set range of temperature ranges.
Powered by 240V, this heater pump features ultra-gold resistant evaporator fins that protect the internal components from corrosion. The dynamic titanium heat exchanger is designed to optimally transfer heat, enabling the unit to reach a maximum output of 140,000BTU.
Beyond its impressive efficiency and heating performance, this electric pool heater has an injection-molded plastic body that utilizes high-quality commercial-grade components to resist ultraviolet radiation, rust, and deterioration. This ensures that the unit is long-lasting. It’s also made from an acoustic compression cover to reduce noise, keeping its operating noise at its absolute minimum.
- Dimension 38 x 29.5 x 48 inches
- Weight: 320 pounds
- Titanium heat exchanger which is more efficient and long-lasting
- High-quality compressors
- Self-diagnostic software for monitoring the system performance
9. Welljoin 32KW Electric Water Swimming Pool Water heater 380V
Well join electric pool heater is a sleek enamel-coated steel casing designed to withstand wind, rain, sleet, sun, and snow, so you feel confident that this electric pool heater’s internal components are safe from the weather. The pool heater can warm up correctly either in-ground or above-ground pools, but it only has a modest output of 55,000 BTUs, making it a poor choice for larger pools.
The heater uses 220-volt power, so you might need to hire an electrician for installation, but it features a digital display that lets you make quick and simple adjustments to the pool temperature settings.
The electric pool heater uses a 100-percent titanium heat exchanger to ensure that swimming conditions are ideal as long as the outdoor temperature remains above 40 degrees. After the temperature drops below this point, the heater will be unable to keep up with demand.
Besides, it comes with a 10-year guarantee to replace or repair the compressor and a lifetime warranty on the heat exchanger. It comes with an easy and straightforward installation manual, which is incredibly helpful. Once you plug it in and it will start heating the water.
- Uses a Titanium Heat exchanger which can
- Available in different sizes
- High Energy Efficiency
- Dual thermostat
- Not noisy
10. Premium Water Heater Thermostat Portable Pool Heater for Swimming
The premium water heater has more than enough heating power to warm up any above ground pool or in-ground pool. This electric pool heater has an excellent heat output rating of 406,000 BTUs. It uses an electronic ignition system to automatically turn the heater when the temperature of the pool water drops below the temperature set on the thermostat.
It has enough heating power to warm up your swimming pool by as much as 20 degrees in under a day. The unit is affordable prices, and installation is just a breeze, so you can enjoy the summer feeling each time of the year.
The heater’s internal components sit inside a polyester-coated cabinet, designed to keep water and moisture out so that you don’t have to worry about corrosion in poor weather. The heater also has a stainless steel tube where the water exits the unit to ensure that the water traveling from the heater to the pool is rust-free.
- 1 X 220V 3KW SPA HEATER
- INPUT VOLTAGE:220V
- AUTOMATIC HEATING
- ULTRA-HIGH TEMPERATURE
In-ground Pool Heater Buying Guide
Here are some things to know and think about before buying an in-ground heater.
Your pool heater's location seems like an odd thing to consider, but depending on the type of pool heater, you might have to use parts of your house or yard to install the heater.
Your pool's size is a significant consideration to keep in mind while shopping for your next pool heater because the more extensive the pool's volume, the more energy is required to heat the water to the desired temperature. Because of this, a solar pool heater is seldom used to heat a very large swimming pool.
However, if you like the idea of solar energy heating up your pool, you might use two or more solar heaters to provide enough power to warm the water.
Water Temperature in Season
Climate plays a significant role in choosing the best heater for your pool. If you live in warmer weather, then you can choose just about any pool heater. However, you might not need the power of a large gas pool heater to keep the water temperature at the right level. In this case, an expensive gas pool heater would be a waste of money.
A solar pool heater or an electric heat pump that pulls heat in from the air is most beneficial for warmer climates.
Live in a colder climate that needs the extra power of a gas pool heater. You likely won't get much use out of a solar pool heater or an electric heat pump because the amount of solar energy and ambient heat in the air is much lower and unreliable.
Pool heaters are designed to direct the heat they produce into the water as it flows through the heater. To facilitate this, heaters are built to conserve water temperature using insulating materials like foam or plastic.
These feature prominently with solar pool heaters because they must be laid out in the open air to draw heat from the sun. However, doing so can also allow heat to escape from the water, so the materials used and the heating tubes' layout must balance functionality with the conservation of the produced heat.
Gas and electric pool heaters both have casings designed to keep the heater and the units protected from water, moisture, impact damage, and temperature fluctuations. These cases also are insulated so that the water flowing through them does not lose heat before it exits the pump.
They often are designed to look attractive so that they are not an eyesore in your yard. With solar pool heaters, you don't have to worry about the unit's casing because the bulk of a solar heater is not in the case. Instead, it spreads across a wide area to absorb as much sun and heat as possible.
Flow Rate Calibration
Flow rate is the measurement of the volume of water that can pass through the pump within a given period. Flow rate calibration allows the owner to change the pool heater's flow rate by increasing or decreasing the available space for water to flow within the system. Put simply, you are opening or closing the inlet or outlet valves to control the water flow.
This isn't a common feature with pool heaters because the pump and filtration systems typically control the water's flow rate. However, some pool heaters offer the option to calibrate the flow rate so that pool owners can optimize it to their preference.
Winterizing is the act of preparing your pool, pump, filtration system, pool heater, and any other pool components for freezing temperatures so that the hoses, brackets, filters, and internal parts do not bend and break because of ice.
Ease of Installation
If you plan to take on this project yourself, it is essential to consider how difficult it is to install the heater you choose.
A gas heater is a much quicker way of heating your pool, probably the fastest way possible.
Specifically, propane pool heaters are some of the best and most cost-efficient ways to heat your swimming pool. Gas pool heaters tend to be the least expensive to purchase. Propane swimming pool heaters can heat a more significant amount of water than electricity.
If available, you would use natural gas, and propane would be appropriate if you already store it for other purposes. The disadvantage of gas heaters, particularly propane powers, is that they can be expensive to run. This type of heater is right for warming pools over short periods and is ideal for homes where the pool isn't often used.
Like electric heaters, gas heaters can maintain desired pool temperatures regardless of outdoor weather. Gas pumps burn natural or propane fuel and operate by burning the gas in the combustion chamber and then transferring the heat to the pool water.
Gas heaters are usually oversize and require a storage tank for the gas.
They are not very energy efficient, and as a result, have a high cost of operation. They can last for up to 5 years but often require considerable maintenance due to the gas heater's high temperatures. To choose the right heater for your pool, consider the heater's capabilities and the size of your pool.
This type of heater is ideal for southern climates where energy from the sun can be easily harnessed. Solar heaters are an economical way to warm up your pool because they rely solely on the sun for energy and, as a result, do not add to the operating cost of running your pool.
For your solar pool heater to be effective, you will need to have a functional pool pump capable of circulating the water through the heater.
Although installing a solar pool heater can be pricey compared to installing other pool heaters, they are low maintenance. They can usually last for up to 20 years—these work by pumping the water through solar panels designed to collect solar energy.
As a general rule, the area of solar panels needed is the same as the pool's surface area. Solar systems can be more expensive to install than gas heaters or heat pumps but should last longer and will be cheaper to run. Besides, it is the most environmentally friendly way of heating your pool.
The disadvantages here are that there are many more issues to consider and get right with a solar installation than with the other types of heater, including solar resources, climate, local building code requirements, and safety issues.
In particular, you are dependent on the weather, so you need to be sure that your pool will be usable for the period you require. Having decided that you want a heater for your pool, you then need to determine what type.
This is particularly useful if you heat the pool intermittently and therefore need to raise the temperature quickly.
An electric heater is one of the most efficient ways to heat your pool, as it operates relatively quickly, getting your water to the right temperature in almost no time. Also, they are relatively cheap to run, so this should not be a problem.
Electric pool heaters take advantage of the heat that already exists in the outside air. The air heats Freon gas, which is then compressed to raise its temperature even higher. The hot gas is then piped to a heat exchanger, where the heat is transferred to the pool water. The heated water is then pumped back into the swimming pool.
It is possible to buy a direct electric heater, but these are only suitable for small above-ground pools. The type of electric heater that is becoming increasingly common is the heat pump. Heat Pumps work by transferring heat from the surrounding air into the pool water rather than generating heat themselves. This means that they can be several hundred percent efficient in terms of energy used to heat output.
As a result, they are cheaper to run than gas heaters and are more environmentally friendly. They are also expected to have a longer lifetime than gas heaters. Of course, there are disadvantages to heat pumps.
They are not as powerful as gas heaters and are best run continuously to maintain the pool temperature. They also need a minimum air temperature of 45 degrees to work efficiently.
One advantage of electric heaters is that they can warm the pool regardless of outdoor temperatures. Electric pumps heat the water by drawing air in from outside, compressing the air, and then warming the water with the heated air.
Heat pumps are very energy efficient, and as a result, have a low cost of operation. They are relatively inexpensive to install and can last anywhere between 5 to 10 years.
There are several ranges of low draft NOx energy-efficient heaters. The efficiency discussed concerning heat pumps is also called the Coefficient Of Performance or COP. This gives a relation between the amount of energy used to the amount of energy produced.
To compare apples with apples, a standard electric immersion heater (such as in a kettle) is around 90% efficient, so would have a COP close to 1, but heat pumps can be rated with a COP of 5, which means an efficiency of 500%. This is because heat pumps don't create heat (like an immersion heater does). They just move it from one place to another.
This is something the prospective purchaser must be aware of because heat pumps have a drawback.
When comparing different brands for efficiency, it is essential to calculate the COP under the same conditions for each pump.
How Does A Heat Pump Work?
If you have a refrigerator or a non-evaporative air conditioner, you already have a heat pump.
A car radiator is a heat pump. In basic terms, you are using a liquid or gas to pick up the heat at one point, then pumping it to a radiator (or heat exchanger) and releasing it.
A fridge is moving heat from inside the box and pumping it to a radiator outside the box where it goes into the air -- that is why there is heat around the outside of your fridge.
A swimming pool heat pump will take heat from the surrounding air and move it via refrigerant gas and a compressor to a heat exchanger, releasing the heat into the pool water flowing around it. The cooled gas travels on through piping back to where it started and picked up more heat and so on.
This is also called a "closed loop" because the gas keeps on traveling around it.
Should I Purchase A Heat Pump?
This is a more difficult question to answer. There are reasons for using heat pumps, and there are reasons for opting for an electric or solar heater. The main question you need to ask is, will you want to heat your pool water when the air temperature drops below the 45 to 50 degrees F mark?
If so, then forget it - your best bet is probably an electric heater.
Will A Solar Pool Heater Extend Your Swimming Season Enough?
If you have space, a solar system may be best even though it could cost more to purchase initially. A heat pump will heat your pool water on demand, so you don't have to worry about overcast weather as you do with a solar system. Usually, you would set the required water temperature, and the heat pump will run as needed to keep to that temperature.
They can heat a pool from cold if you only want to use the pool occasionally, but gas heaters are better at this. They are easy to install, require some straightforward PVC plumbing and an electrical connection (use a contractor for that), and do not take up a lot of space.
There are above ground electric pool heaters available as well as in-ground models.
What Is The Cost Of A Heat Pump?
A larger heating capacity will result in quicker heat-from-cold times but will add more to your power bill. Heat pumps do have quite a few moving and electrical parts, so it is a good idea to have them serviced yearly to get the best efficiency and lifespan out of them.
Your user manual will generally have a recommended maintenance schedule. With proper maintenance, they should last ten years or more.
The proper balance of your pool chemicals is vital; otherwise, the damage could result, and efficiency will drop.
In conclusion, Swimming pools have become very popular and could be one of the best investments you make in your home's value and your family's health. Many swimming pool owners opt for swimming pool heaters to extend their swimming season, especially if their home is in an area with relatively short summers.
An electric pool heater is a very efficient and effective way to heat your pool and provides you with genuine and significant savings compared to gas-powered pool heaters. The biggest hurdle that most people face when buying and installing these heaters is the relatively high cost. Still, as it pays for itself within a few years, it shouldn't be a reason to avoid using this efficient technology.
Running an electric pool heater is a lot cheaper than using a propane-powered gas heater. Gas-fired heaters burn through the gas quite quickly. The main reason why they are not as widely used as they should be is that they are quite expensive to buy and install. They can cost 3 to 4 times as much as a gas-powered heat pump, which puts many people off. However, with the low running costs compared to gas-powered heaters, they usually pay for themselves within five years.
The sun can keep your pool water at a comfortable swimming temperature during the long summer days. But in the transitional spring and fall months, the days are shorter, and the sun's angle isn't high enough to heat your pool water very much. That's where pool heaters come in.
f you live in northern climates, swimming pool heaters can practically double your swimming season.
Solar pool heaters use the sun's energy to heat the water. It would appear that you're getting the Heating energy at no cost from the sun, and in fact, you are. But don't forget you have to pump the water from your pool into the solar pool heater, where it is heated and returned to the pool.
Most people end up using an electric pump to move the water, which means you don't realize the full energy savings that you might expect.
Of course, most pool heater designs require pumping the water from the pool to the heater and back again.
Related Article: Best Above Ground Pools for Unlevel Ground