Best Above Ground Pool Heaters Reviews & Buying Guide

It is imperative that you take optimum use of your above ground pool and enjoy it to the fullest. This may be easier said than done when the ambient temperature drops and the water is unbearably cold. Don’t be disheartened un-necessarily there is a remedy to ensure you have a warm and comfortable pool of water to have fun and frolic into early spring and late fall. You just need to get the best above ground pool heater and keep Nature at bay at least within the confines of your above ground pool. The options you have to select an above Ground Pool Heater is very wide and varied hence prudent searching should get you the best there is in the market.

Perusing through this and other above ground pool heater reviews should hold you in good stead to select the perfect and most appropriate heater for above ground pools to get your pool into the realms of comfort. It is easy to install Above ground pool heaters to any pool because most of them are made to universal standards. But it would be still prudent of you to check the Above ground pool heater with the brand, size and type of above ground that you have and ensure both are compatible.

To help you in the quest we have listed out some of the salient features that you would have to check on before you buy the above Ground Pool Heater to ensure both match and marry each other. One basic thumb rule to remember would be to calculate the quantum of water in your pool and match it with the capacity of the best above ground pool heater. The above Ground Pool Heater that you select should match the pool in perfect harmony if you are to enjoy unimpeded enjoyment. Prolonging the use of your pool would be the idea and that could be achieved only if you have installed the best above Ground Pool Heater.

It is also imperative that you select the most economical above Ground Pool Heater to suit your wallet and the state you would live in the United States. Energy costs could vary from state to state, hence selecting from either gas, heat pumps, electric or solar heaters for above ground pools would be your prerogative. In selecting gas too you would have an option which is between natural and propane gas. It would be prudent to write down every advantage and disadvantage pertaining to them before you would make that crucial decision. Selecting the best above ground pool heater would need careful consideration hence using your discretion would bring you out trumps once you have installed it.              

How to select best above ground pool heater

Here we advise you in 14 easy steps as to how you could select the best above ground pool heater to match and marry with your pool. Prudently following the following step should hold you in good stead and give you a warm pool wherever in the United States you may live for a longer period than what otherwise Nature would permit.

  • Step 1.

Heat energy is measured in our part of the world in British Thermal Units (BTUs) and in the same context the heating capacities of heaters for above ground pools are rated in these units. The quantum of heat energy required to heat one pound of water through one degree Fahrenheit is equivalent to one BTU. Comparing an in-ground pool with an above ground pool you would notice that the latter would generally have lesser water in it than the former. Hence any above Ground Pool Heater would carry a lower BTU rating in comparison to one used for an in-ground pool.    

  • Step 2.

Above ground swimming pools around the average sizes generally available would need between 100,000 and 140,000 BTUs to heat up the water in it to required levels. Three popular brands of heaters for above ground pools stand tall among all others, for quality, performance, reliability, durability and price. They are the Hayward, Raypak and Pentair any one of which would be perfectly suited to match and marry with your above ground pool. Selecting one of these and maintaining it carefully would ensure you have trouble free service all through the year.

The Hayward H100ID along with the Minimax from Pentair has identical capacities of 100,000 BTUs whilst the Raypak boasting of a higher capacity at 130,000 BTU. They are all versatile in operational capability and leave minimal carbon footprints ensuring lesser environmental issues.

  • Step 3.

It is a general rule that the time taken to heat up your above ground pool could vary from location to location, the prevalent ambient temperature and the size of the pool. To place facts in the right perspective we could take the Hayward H100ID as an example and see how it would perform in general conditions. These rises in temperature have been calculated over an 8-hour period.

*. Pool Size —————————-a) 15’ Round, a)18’ Round, c) 21’ Round, d) 24’ Round, e)12’x24’ Rectangular

*. Gallons of water——————-a) 5,300, b) 7,600 c) 10,000, d) 13,500, e) 8,600

*. Average temperature rise (F)—a) 15.2 degrees, b) 10.4 degrees, c) 8.0 degrees, d) 4.8 degrees, e) 9.6 degrees

The above chart would apprise you on how best you could get the optimum benefit from your above Ground Pool Heater and enjoy a warm and refreshing dip to rejuvenate and revitalize you every time you slip into the water.

  • Step 4.

The above chart provides an insight as to how an average Above ground pool heater would perform in an 8-Hour period but if you envisage a quicker heating time, it would be possible by using a heater with an increased BTU rating. Higher BTU rating are available for in-ground pools as they hold more water but could be installed for above ground pools too. The only disadvantage would be the higher price which would be inevitable. The price difference between an in-ground pool heater and an above Ground Pool Heater could be twice with the latter being cheaper.

In-ground pool heaters are available in the range between 150,000 and 400,000 BTU and installing one with a higher capacity for your above ground pool would save on energy costs as the heating time will be much less, than the 8-hour period calculated above. Hence taking into consideration all relevant factors it would be a prudent decision to make and ensure you have the best above ground pool heater and enjoy your stay in the water to the optimum.

  • Step 5.

The cost of operating a pool heater would need to be calculated but initially you would need to determine the total number of hours you intend operating the above Ground Pool Heater. Estimate per day and over a week or month. If you would contemplate of using either a natural gas or propane gas heater the costs could vary depending on the prices of each. Propane gas prices are based on gallons hence you would need to purchase it in gallons. On the contrary natural gas is sold per therms, hence you would need to buy and use it based on the amount paid per therm. The gas supplier in your area would apprise you on the respective costs.

Once you have the estimate of the hours the heater for above ground pools would operate and the cost per therm for natural gas or cost per gallon of propane gas respectively, the gas supplier or heater manufacturer’s representative could advise you on the cost. There is basic technical aspect which would need some inputs from these professionals.

  • Step 6.

The price of natural gas or propane could fluctuate and one concern would be the cost of using either to heat up your above ground pool. The advantage with gas heaters for above ground pools is that they are generally affordable in price compared to other types of heaters and would be around US $ 1,000/= or thereabout. If the operating cost is beyond your budget the possibility of procuring other types of heaters for above ground pools could options that you could look into. Hence before you would decide on the type of Above ground pool heater it would need some prudent thinking with the right technical directions taking into consideration the weather conditions and gas prices.

  • Step 7.

One pertinent option that you have instead of using either natural gas or propane gas heaters for above ground pools is to use heat pumps which operate on electricity. The principle in the operation of heat pumps is that it draws air from the outside and transfers the heat in it onto the water. It operates similar to and air-conditioner or refrigerator with a compressor and refrigerant assisting the process. The process to heat up the pool would take longer when compared with any of the two types of gas Above ground pool heaters.

On the positive side operating a heat pump as an above Ground Pool Heater, would cost much less that any gas heater. The savings could be about 80% compared to propane gas and 50% to 70% in comparison to natural gas. The downside is that a heat pump could cost substantially more than any gas heater for above ground pools. Some pool owners would prefer heat pumps to heat up their pools in comparison to gas heaters because of the safety factor. Gas is very combustible and could be vulnerable to cause untoward or unfortunate disasters. A heat pump like the Aqua Pro PRO600 with a capacity of 60,000 BTU would suffice for most sizes of above ground pools.

  • Step 8.

The negative issue with heat pumps as the heater for above ground pools is they become relatively ineffective operationally when the ambient temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because heat pumps draw heat from the outside air and when it drops the heat pump is unable to sustain itself. In warmer climes the heat pump would be the most effective above Ground Pool Heater. Using a heat pump in conjunction with a solar blanket which would prevent heat loss from the pool when not in use could be an option.

  • Step 9.

A solar blanket or cover is a very good option to use on your pool. This is cover or blanket which would float of the surface of the water in the above ground pool or even an in-ground pool. It acts like an insulated cover which prevents heat loss form the water in the pool. With myriad of air bubbles a solar blanket or cover would absorb heat from the Sun and transfer it onto the water below. On the other it would prevent heat loss thus keeping your pool at and comfortable temperature to enable you to enjoy it to the fullest.

Using a solar blanket or cover you would be reducing substantially on your energy costs as your pool would already be at a comfortable temperature and would need just another few degrees increase if that is what you envisage. A solar blanket or cover would ensure it keeps the cool night air away from the water thus preventing any loss of heat. The idea is to ensure the water in the pool is at a comfortable temperature and that would be achieved with the aid of a solar blanket or cover.

  • Step 10.

Installing a solar blanket or cover is very easy as it stays of the surface of the water in the pool with the air bubble side down whatever size or shape the pool would be. Removing the solar cover or blanket could be cumbersome but with a long tube, reel and hand crank the task could be simplified. When you opt for a solar blanket or cover you could apprise yourself of the best options to lay it and remove it with least hassle. The solar blanket or cover would do a world of good to ensuring the water in your above ground pool is comfortable and warm.

  • Step 11.

Another option that is being vigorously promoted by many environmentalists is the use of solar energy which is clean and green with no carbon footprints at all. There is an initial investment which could be high with all the required solar panels and installations. After that the operational costs are minimal or nil but the need for good sunshine is a must. If the Sun hides the solar panels would be ineffective. As a heater for above ground pools solar energy is a good option if there is ample sunshine to harness.

Solar power is renewable energy and the best the world could get if the Sun is in abundance. No gas lines, no electrical wirings and last but not least no parts to corrode makes solar energy a super option as an above Ground Pool Heater.

  • Step 12.

Solar panels have standard sizes and would come in either 2’ x 20’ or 4’ x 20’ which would depend on the system that you would decide on. To reduce the price and offer a competitive solar panel in the market some manufacturers offer smaller panels which are not as efficient as it should be. The larger panels would be the best Above ground pool heaters and would be efficient in operations too.

The opening that allows the water to circulate could also play a crucial role in the efficiency of the solar above Ground Pool Heater system. The larger headers which allow more water to pass through are considered as more efficient than the smaller headers. The better water in a solar power system the better heating efficiency it would be. Still the need for the Sun to shine on the solar panels would be the most important criteria to ensure optimum efficiency.  

  • Step 13.

It is the pool pump that facilitates the passing of water through the solar power system ensuring the efficiency of the above Ground Pool Heater. Solar panels could be mounted anywhere with optimum exposure to the Sun and that could be on a roof, ground, fence, or on a rack. The passing water in the panels absorbs the Suns solar heat on them and transfers it onto the water. This continuous cycle ensures the water going into the pool is warm whilst what leaves the pool is colder. The continuous operation of the system ensures increases the temperature of the water in the pool making it the best above ground pool heater.

If the water in the pool is too hot during the months of summer you could cool it by operating the system during the nights which would in fact reduce the temperature of the water with the low temperatures prevailing in the nights. You could be having the best of both worlds when you have efficient solar power heaters for above ground pools.

  • Step 14.

Wherever you may install the solar panels it is imperative that you ensure your pool pump is powerful enough to push the water through the system. If the panels are on the roof the pool pump should be able to push the water through the system efficiently. It is imperative that you obtain proper technical guidance from professional solar power installation experts before you would proceed on the matter. Efficiency in the system is impetrative if you are to enjoy superlative and unimpeded service in your above Ground Pool Heater.

A solar blanket or a solar cover would be imperative to ensure you do not lose the heat from the pool during the night. The heat transferred during the day by the solar power system should not be lost in the night and to ensure it does not happen, the best bet would be a solar blanket or a solar cover.

Ways to Heat an Above Ground Pool Fast

Once you have completed the installation of your above ground pool and attached all the required auxiliary equipment it would be time to fill the water and run the system. Then it would be time to add all the necessary chemicals to ensure your pool is clean, clear and healthy. All is well that ends well, and with much confidence in the Sun above which is also shining its brightest on the day you step into the water.

Alas! You are jolted because the water is not warm and cozy but biting cold even with the Sun up and that would be quite unexpected. It is only then would you realize the need to have an efficient above Ground Pool Heater to bring the water to a warm and comfortable temperature and enjoy a rejuvenating and revitalizing dip to ease all those aches and pains.

You have a few prudent ways of ensuring your above ground pool is warm and inviting for you to dip in whenever you would be in a mood to do so. Selecting the most appropriate and cost effective Above ground pool heater would be your prerogative.

We take a look at the options that you have to heat up your above ground swimming pool and help you to select which of them would be best suited for you in affordability, efficiency, service and durability. The following are the best options that you have.

  • Heat pumps
  • Gas heaters
  • Solar heaters
  • Solar covers
  • Wood burning heaters

 Tips to heat above ground pool

We list out a few tips which would help you with the best above ground pool heater and also ensure it stays warm as long as possible even when the ambient temperature drops. You could extend the days of fun and frolic in your above ground pool to early spring and late fall by utilizing the following options.

  • Install gas heaters and heat pumps onto your existing pool system with just a few additional changes where required and you would be able to increase the temperature of the water in the pool substantially.
  • Use solar panels to harness solar energy and convert it to heat up the water in the pool. The water circulating through the solar panels would absorb the Sun’s solar heat falling on them and transfer it onto the water.
  • Use solar blankets or solar rings and ensure the heat bestowed by the Sun is retained and transferred onto the water ensuring it rises a few degrees in temperature.
  • Use an electric heater which would use electricity to heat up coils and transfer that heat onto the pool water passing over it.

Using any of the above methods you could increase the temperature of the water in the above ground pool substantially and enjoy more days of fun than you would otherwise be lucky to have.