Best Propane Pool Heaters – Reviews & Buying Guide

A swimming pool in the backyard is a super place to cool off when the summer heat rises. Unlike a few years ago, today with the proliferation of the above ground swimming pool, many homes are equipped with this amenity. The simple reason for many homes to come with its own swimming pool, whether it is an in-ground or above ground pool is its affordability. Whilst an in-ground pool could be more expensive an investment than an above ground and is still preferred by some, it is the above ground pool that has grown in popularity. The quick set up of the prefabricated above ground pool has been given the thumbs up by many. It is above ground pools that we see around wherever we may look in the United States which has grown in popularity.

Why do you need to heat your pool?

Whatever the type of swimming pool that you may have when the summer temperatures drop and winter sets in the pool may be a “persona non grata” unless you are a seal or polar bear who would not bother with the cold water. But on the contrary many of us would still like to extend our stay in the water for a couple of months more and look at the options to heat up the water. On the very least we could do so for a couple of months and still have fun and frolic if we are willing to spend a few dollars by heating up the pool. A heated pool has many hydrotherapeutic benefits and even during summer a warm pool would provide an avenue to rejuvenate and revitalize those tired muscles in our bodies.

It is universally accepted that prolonged exposure to warm water our muscles could benefit immensely. It has been a perennial practice even during the years gone before the advent of gas or electricity to use traditional methods of heating up a pool of water and immersing oneself in it. This practice has been medically proven to benefit those with various aches and pains and with regular warm water immersion to have cured them from this very common ailment suffered by many.

Types of swimming pool heaters

We have many options to do so with some costing more than the others in the initial investment whilst some may be expensive than others in operation. The latter issue would primarily be due to the fluctuating prices of natural gas, propane gas and electricity. On the contrary the utilizing of solar power as we know is free to us if we are in an American state that has good sunshine even if the ambient temperature drops. If this option is absent then we would either have to be satisfied with natural gas, propane gas or electricity. The cost of these three amenities would be beyond our control and would need to depend on what is supplied to us by the relevant authorities.

  • Solar pool heaters

Solar pool heaters use clean and green energy which would not leave carbon footprints like the other energies we generate using either fossil fuels or nuclear. Solar power is free to harness and convert to heat energy to heat up the pool but we would need the good old Mr. Sun to help us in the endeavor. If we live in a state with limited sunshine during the year solar power conversion may not be a very good option. Another issue with solar power conversion into heat energy would take a longer time to heat up a swimming pool than either gas or electricity. If you need to heat up the water quickly and enjoy a good warm dip and a swim the solar pool heater may not be a good option.

Another more pertinent issue with solar pool heaters are the initial cost of the required solar panels and other components. These could be very expensive and the initial investment for an average sized residential pool could cost about US $ 7,000/= or more. It is this initial investment which has been a detriment to home pool owners from changing over to this option though its operating costs are nil and maintenance negligible. As long as the initial cost investment is high solar pool heaters would be beyond the reach of the average home pool owner. If this cost is reduced solar pool heaters would be the most practical, convenient and best option subject to having good warm sunshine all year through.

  • Electric Pool heaters

Electric pool heaters are a good option if you would want your backyard pool heated up quickly. The only issue would be the cost of this ever increasing amenity. Electricity generation is increasing in cost and with the demand on it also rising tremendously there is no hope of its prices dropping in the near future. On the contrary it is very likely that the rise of the cost of electricity would increase unabated during at least the next decade. This is mainly due to the demand for it and the cost of generating it becoming an increasing challenge, not only in the United States but globally too.

In electric pool heaters too there are two options, one being the electric heat pumps and the other being an electric resistance heater. The former draws heat from either the ambient air or the water in the pool and transfers that heat to the pool water. On the contrary the electric resistance heater generates heat by electric currents and transfers it onto the pool water. Though both use electricity the principles of heat generation differs and along with the cost factor would also be at a variance. Comparing the two electric heat pumps is cheaper to operate rather than electric resistance heaters, mainly because the former draws the required heat from the air or water in comparison to the latter which would need to generate it. Initial costs of an electric heat pump could be around US $ 5,000/= whilst that of an electric resistant heater could be between US $ 1,000/= and US $ 2,000/=.

  • Gas Pool heaters?

Gas pool heaters are another option to ensure we have a warm and inviting pool when we get home after a hard day at work. It is sure to soothe those aching muscles and bring back the vigor we had in the morning which would have been revitalized the previous evening by warming our tired muscles up. Regular exposure to good warm and soothing water heated up by gas is inviting provided gas is relatively cheaper than electricity.

In gas too we have two options one being natural gas and the other being propane gas. Natural gas would be the best option between the two because it is cheaper but it has an issue with availability. Propane gas is freely available in many US states but the same cannot be said about natural gas. The initial cost of either a natural or propane gas pool heater would be in the range of US $ 1,000/= and US $ 2,000/=. The free availability of propane gas has and the comparatively affordable cost of operation has made propane swimming pool heaters more popular among home pool owners.

What is the Best Type of Heater for a Swimming Pool?

Taking into consideration every aspect from initial costs, operating costs, maintenance, availability of solar power, electricity, natural and propane gas it could be envisaged that the best propane pool heaters would be your best choice to heat up your swimming pool. If we are to studiously peruse propane pool heater reviews and weigh all the pros and the cons it could be safely assumed that a propane pool heater would be your best choice in the present context.

Natural vs. Propane Gas Pool Heaters

If we are to compare between natural and propane gas pool heaters the former is the cheapest amenity available today but it may not be available across all states of the United States. The availability of natural gas is scarce hence investing in a natural gas pool heater could leave you stranded with the fuel the operate it. On the contrary propane gas is freely available and in the context a propane pool heater would be the most prudent choice.

Which is the best Pool Heater?

The vote for the best pool heater under the present circumstances should go to the propane pool heater. The free availability of propane gas in the United States and its comparatively affordable cost the above ground propane pool heater would be the best. The propane pool heater would match and marry well with an in-ground swimming too. The initial cost of installing a propane pool heater is also quite affordable if you are to compare it with other pool heaters available. Investing on the best propane pool heater would be a prudent choice. You could years of trouble free service if you select a reputed brand of propane pool heater which would be tried and tested whilst being compatible to.  

Natural or Propane gas pool heater?

Natural gas is the cheapest amenity and available source of energy but its availability is an issue due to various inter-related issues in its production, supply and demand. If natural gas is made available freely at the present prices or less it would be the best option not only as a pool heater but for other requirements of energy too. But at the moment there are no positives on the horizon that it would be a reality in the near future. Hence it would be safer to opt for a propane pool heater and rather be safe than be sorry later.

How to Select a Proper Pool Heater for Your Pool?

Once you have read through all the literature available including this one about the choices that you have in choosing the best pool heater. The buck should stop with the propane pool heater due to its many advantages in availability, cost of operation, maintenance, service and longevity. The best propane pool heater that you would select should have all the ingredients to ensure you are bestowed with trouble free operation whenever you want your swimming pool heated up. The initial cost should be affordable along with the relevant installation including the operational and maintenance costs. Overall the bottom line in choosing any product of our choice whether it is a propane pool heater or any other for our household it is the wallet which we need to first consider.

According to the United States Department of Energy the average cost of heating a 100,000 BTU propane pool heater would need one cubic gallon of propane gas per hour. If your swimming pool requires a 400,000 BTU propane pool heater it would consume four cubic gallons of propane gas per hour. Propane gas is presently selling around US $ 2.50 per gallon which would hence cost US $ 10/= to operate your 400,000 BTU propane pool heater for one hour. Based on these statistics it would be prudent to calculate the capacity of the best propane pool heater that you would need for your pool.

Depending on the type of pool that you have the gallons of water in your pool needs to be calculated. For example if your pool is rectangular measure the average depth. This would be the depth at the deepest end plus the depth at the shallow end divided by two. Then measure the length and the breadth of the pool. Multiply the length x breadth x average depth which would give the total cubic capacity of water in the swimming pool. All lengths and depths should be measured in feet. Multiply this sum x 7.5 gallons of water in one cubic foot of water which would give you the total quantity of gallons in the pool.

According to the total cubic feet capacity of water in the pool you could buy the comparative propane pool heater. Reading through propane pool heater reviews and also taking into consideration the state in the US that you may live selecting the perfect propane above ground pool heater would be advisable.

Some inputs could be received from the reputed manufacturers of the pool heater propane so that you would have a better idea of which brand and what capacity of above ground pool heater propane that would match your pool. It is imperative that you install the most compatible propane pool heater and not one that is either under or over capacity to the needs of your pool. An under capacity would give you perennial problems whilst an over capacity propane pool heater would be a drain on your wallet.