This time of year, a heated pool might sound like a pretty appealing amenity to have. Here in the moderate climate of Maryland, a pool heater can significantly extend your swimming season each year. Before you invest in a heater, however, you’ll need to decide which type is best suited for your needs. Generally speaking, pool heaters fall into three distinct categories.
Historically, gas heaters have been the most common type of pool heaters. They typically generate heat by burning either natural gas or propane. This will heat your pool more quickly than other types of heaters. The initial cost of installation is relatively low, but they can be expensive to maintain depending on the gas prices in your area. Their lifespan also tends to be relatively short, but they remain a popular option due to the low cost of purchase and installation.
In recent years, high-efficiency heat pumps have become the new norm in many heated pools. The purchase price is higher than that of gas heaters, but they are far more energy efficient which can save you money in the long run. They also don’t generate harmful exhaust emissions like gas heaters which might be appealing to environmentally conscious homeowners. They heat water more slowly, but they also last much longer than gas heaters (between 10 and 20 years).
Here we have a modern, very energy-efficient option with a steep startup cost. The great thing about solar heaters is that they cost nothing on your monthly energy bill. They also have long lifespans, comparable to those of heat pumps. Of course they are dependent on the sun, so some homeowners choose to have a second system for auxiliary heat at night as well. If you’re not too keen on the idea of having an array of solar panels on your roof or lawn, then this option is probably not for you. If, on the other hand, you can cover the initial cost of installation, solar heaters can offer free, environmentally heat for many years.
A large part of the decision will likely come down to determining what you’re willing to pay up front, versus what you’re willing to pay in the long term. Want to learn more about the options available for heating your pool? Feel free to contact us today for a consultation.