Though summer may be trying to make its presence felt in many parts of the world, it’s still early days here in the US. Cold spells, rainy days and gentle sunlight still reign, marking the March to mid-May Spring season.
If you’ve begun the process of de-winterizing your pool, good for you! Getting your pool summer ready means a lot of hard work, and the entire process can take up the best part of a couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, it’s a smart move to fit your pool out with the right accessories and equipment for comfort, cleaning, maintenance and hygiene.
Do You Really Need A Pool Heater?
If you live in an area that experiences extended winters, a good quality pool heater is certainly a must-have. If your pool doesn’t receive much direct sunlight, it may not get warmed naturally during the day.
For families who want to enjoy their pool all the year round, the best solution would be a pool heater. If you’re passionate about swimming and water-based exercise, rather than visiting a public pool that’s heated, or waiting for invitations from friends and neighbors who have them, why not get your own pool heated too?
Some of us may not have the time during a busy day to enjoy a swim. We may want to use the pool late in the evening or even at night. That’s when the water gets really cold and you don’t want to subject yourself to that sort of a “chilled-out” experience.
Many pool owners are not sure about how often their pool will be used, by whom and when. Investing in a pool heater ensures that no matter what the season or time of day, your pool is ready to go. The heater ensures the correct temperature regulation and keeps the water at a consistent heat throughout, providing the perfect aqua environment.
Apart from these reasons, if you have seniors or persons with disability at home, or if there’s someone recovering from an accident, there’s nothing like a spell of swimming in warm, optimally heated water. Hydrotherapy has several important benefits. It gives relief from muscle aches and pains, relieves arthritis pains, boosts circulation, heart and lung function and relaxes and tones the body, and is a great de-stressor. A swim is an instant mood lifter and a great opportunity to bond with loved ones.
How Do Pool Heaters Work?
There are different types of pool heaters and they may draw their energy from different sources. Based on the average temperatures in your location, and how much the pool is used, you can select the right one. There may be great off season deals and discount pool supply offers online or in your local store. Check these out while you’re doing your research.
Solar: These are very popular right now, especially with the greater awareness of eco-responsibility. Solar panels can be installed on your roof/ground, based on availability of space. The heater is attached to your pool circulation pump. When used in combination with a heat pump, you can enjoy a warm swim year-round. The only cost is that of the initial installation of panels, and it adds value to your property.
Natural Gas: Their biggest advantage is that they can heat the water really fast. They work by burning gas in the combustion chamber, and water is heated by running through the pipes inside. It’s easier to control water temperature with a natural gas heater.
Electric: These are the original pool heaters. They are a tad slower, but great for regular pool users throughout the year. They work with the aid of refrigerant, air coil and heat exchanger features. However, they may require regular maintenance.
You can also use solar mats, EDPM mats, and dome shaped solar heat collectors. Other options include heat pumps, heat exchangers, and even traditional wood stoves.
When you want to retain the heat for a longer time, use a solar cover to keep the water at a comfortable temperature.
How To Choose What Type Of Pool Heater To Get For Your Pool
Now that you have some information about the available options, it’s easier to make a smarter and more useful choice. It’s important to list out your own needs, preferences and budget. Talk to the whole family and get a buy-in, and opinions, from all before you make the final decision.
Pool Size: The size of your pool and the amount of water it holds determine the heater size and capacity. For instance, if the square foot area of your pool is up to 300 sq ft, and it can hold up to 10,000 gallons of water, you require a heating capacity of around 60 kilowatts in electric heaters. Solar heaters are not very specific in terms of kilowatts, but you can measure the square footage and install the required number of panels.
Pricing: Your budget is a significant facet in the decision. While gas heaters are the cheapest option, you may have to check the cost of natural gas or propane that is available commercially in your area. If the costs are high, this may not be the right option for you. Heater pumps are also quite budget-friendly, but again, calculate the running costs and cost of utilities before you buy. Solar heaters are the most expensive in terms of upfront costs and installation. However, their running costs are zero and they require very little maintenance.
Weather conditions: The climate conditions in your location are another big aspect to take into account before you purchase a pool heater. Southern states get a lot of direct sunlight so a solar heater, though initially expensive, could be the right choice for you. States that have extreme temperatures, or very cold winters would require the use of a gas heater. This means you can heat up the water faster and use the pool for a longer time.
Maintenance: While selecting a pool heater, ensure that you get the right support from the retailer/manufacturer. You will need training and tips on how to maintain the appliance, keep it clean and functioning at peak performance. Check the warranties carefully and ensure that all safety precautions are shared with the whole family.
Research all the available options, so that you make an informed choice. Heaters are an investment in not just keeping your pool temperature comfortable, they’re also an important part of how often and how much you can use the pool.
Whatever type of pool heater you choose, it’s important to get advice and assistance from a few experts before you make the final decision. Friends, neighbors and family members can also recommend certain products if they’ve had a good experience with the product and the company.