Pool Heaters: Three options for Your Pool

Pool heaters let you extend the use of your pool all year long so you can capitalize on the wellness and fitness benefits of your backyard oasis. Though winter in Southern California can be pretty mild, that water still gets cold. We install heaters on just about every pool we design and build. If you don’t currently have a pool heater, here’s a quick overview of the three kinds available and how they work. Be sure to consult your pool builder about which one may be best for you and your pool.


If your home is already heated using natural gas, this may be an option for you. You’ll want to invest in a Low Nox heater that produces reduced emissions and complies with emissions standards set by the California South Coast Quality Air Management Commission for 2001. The heater itself costs between $1500 and $3500 depending on the size of your pool. Gas bills range between $300-$600 a month and depend on how hot you wish to keep your water as well as the average temperature outside. Unfortunately, many gas heaters only last about 5 years and they are not eco-friendly, though they heat your water very quickly.


Solar pool heaters are particularly suited to areas like San Diego were the weather stays relatively warm. They are eco-friendly and inexpensive to operate since the heating source (the sun) is free. Installation can be more costly than other options, but the energy savings makes solar worthwhile. However, you will need a pool pump that is capable of pushing the water through the solar collectors. Also, solar heaters are slow to warm your pool water and only work if the sun is shining.


Pool heat pumps are a good alternative to solar. They are also eco-friendly and inexpensive to run. And while the initial cost is high—pool heat pumps run about $2000-$4000—they have an average lifespan of 20 years. One draw back is that it can take a while to heat your pool so you’ll want to plan ahead.

If you are interested in extending your pool season, talk to your pool company about adding a heater. The experts can help you decide on the right option for your area.

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