Pool heaters are heaters that are specifically designed to warm your swimming pool. There are several kinds of pool heaters, which in turn use several different methods of creating and dispersing heat across your swimming pool. Here are the three most common types of pool heaters used
Gas Pool Heaters
Gas heaters usually work by burning natural gas or propane, and occasionally kerosene. Such kinds of heaters would need to be flued, but are often extremely efficient in providing heat to your overall pool. They are known to be relatively inexpensive to buy, though their running costs are higher than other pool heaters. They basically work by drawing water in and running it through heated coils, the now hot water being expelled back into the pool. An advantage of using gas heaters is the option of choosing and maintaining the exact temperature you wish your pool to be at, which is something either not as attainable or entirely impossible with other heaters.
It should be noted that installing gas heaters requires some specialized knowledge, and it is recommended that you use a professional to do the job. Regular checkups by a professional are also recommended in order to maximize the efficiency of your gas heater.
Overall, gas heaters are an excellent way to quickly heat your pool and maintain the exact temperature you desire your pool to be at. However, it should be noted that gas heaters are most efficient when providing heat for a short period of time, and hence are best when used with pools that are occasionally used.
Heat pumps work by using electricity to capture heat and transfer it into the swimming pool water, as they do not generate their own heat. It works by sucking in outside air, the heat from which is extracted by an evaporator coil and magnified by a compressor. The compressor then transfers the heat to the pool water circulating in the heater.
This type of heater is very environmentally friendly, as it does use any fuels that would create waste gases harmful for the environment. They are also quite inexpensive to maintain, costing no more than around a hundred dollars per month. However, it should be noted that they are more expensive than gas heaters to purchase. Heating pumps also take a while to get your pool to the desired temperature, and, since the heating elements absorb heat from outside air, how warm your water gets tends to depend on the outside air temperature. They do possess a lifespan that can be over twice as long as the lifespan of a gas heater, which, along with the low operating cost, somewhat offset the relative inefficiency of the overall system.
Solar Pool Heater
Solar heaters absorb heat via solar panels and transfer this heat directly from the solar panels into the water that is circulating within the heating system. Solar powered heaters are extremely environmentally friendly, and cost next to nothing to operate. The only running costs that can be incurred are maintenance costs.
However, solar heaters are extremely expensive, more expensive than both heat pumps and gas heaters. They are also quite prominent, and can spoil the look of your pool. A natural drawback to using a solar heater is the dependence on the sun. This means that you cannot heat your pool at night, and the heaters will work less efficiently in cloud weather. They are also less efficient at heating the pool quickly than gas heaters, though they are on par with heating pumps.
It should be noted that the high purchasing cost is somewhat justified by the extremely long lifespan of the heater. Solar Heaters have life spans four times as long as gas heaters and twice as long as heating pumps. This, along with the low operating cost, make it a great long term heating solution for your swimming pool.