Five Alternative Ways To Heat Your Pool

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Pool heaters are a nice way to enjoy the pool without having to worry if the temperature is just right. For most areas of the country, heating is necessary to take advantage of your pool for more than two months out of the year. The standard pool heaters available in the past have been costly and used a lot of energy. This made owning one a bit of a luxury. Now there are different options available on the market that provide alternatives to the standard pool heater. Here are five energy efficient heating options that give the homeowner alternative options to conventional pool heating.

1. Heat Pump

Pool heat pumps are extremely energy efficient because they use the air located around them instead of heating gas. These devices extract outside air and pump it into a compressor that then increases the temperature of the air. This heated air is then pumped into the pool. The reason why this pump is so energy efficient is because it uses electricity to run the device as opposed to propane. Homeowners report that when they change from a propane heater to a heat pump, they save money after the first year of use. The pump is very easy to run as well as easy to install, and it can be operated when the outside temperature is as cold as 45 degrees F.

2. Solar Heater

Solar pool heaters are a great option for energy efficiency because they cost almost nothing to run. The major expense of the heater is the initial price of installation and how much the unit actually is. The price can shock some consumers and that's why they often choose another device, but the price of the heater needs to be looked at over the lifetime of the device. In other words, the price that you pay for solar pool heater will often be the only time you spend money, as opposed to others that cost money to run. The reason for this is that they use no monetary power to heat, saving the homeowner the cost of use. The heater is not only beneficial towards your wallet, but is also environmentally friendly.

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3. Solar Blanket

A solar blanket can serve different functions for your pool, one of those being to conserve energy. This cover is usually blue and looks similar to bubble wrap. The blanket captures sunlight and then reflects the energy into the water. It can heighten the temperature of the water by 10 to 15 degrees. Think of the cover as a magnifying glass for your pool. Another benefit is that it prevents the water evaporation that most pools without a cover experience. The blanket also provides a shield against leaves and other debris that may fall into your pool. This means that on top of the pool being heated, it will also stay clean, cutting down on time spent fishing out leaves and branches. Compared to the other heating options on the market, a solar blanket is extremely cost efficient.

4. Solar Sun Rings

Solar sun rings have many of the similar benefits as a solar blanket does. The difference is that they are not an entire sheet, but instead are 60" in diameter rings. Solar rings do offer protection against water evaporation as well as debris. They also heat the pool around 10 degrees higher than the regular water temperature. The amount of rings that are needed for your pool depends on the size of it. What also makes them different from a solar blanket is the reduced maintenance needed. Blankets can take time to remove and cover without a proper reel system, and even with this system, covers can be labor intensive. Rings are easy to cover and remove because they're small and light weight. They also do not require any system to keep them in place, making them easy to store.

5. Energy Efficient Gas Heaters

The pressure that homeowners have on cutting costs along with being responsible energy users have them looking for alternative ways to heat their pool, but gas options are still available depending on the type of user you are. Energy efficient propane and gas heaters are available, but they have to make sense for where you live and how often you use the pool. Gas heaters are extremely efficient in that they heat a pool quickly. If the intention is only to use your pool a few times a year, then a gas heater is much more efficient than other heaters because it will take less time to use and you do not have to continuously leave it on.

Use this breakdown of energy smart pool heating options to make the best decision for your pool. Cut costs, reduce your energy consumption, and help create a greener planet by switching your old propane pool heater with a modern electric, solar or gas powered option.

Last Updated: July 27, 2011
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About Cooper Chavez Cooper Chavez is a contributing writer for where he draws from his extensive home improvement background. He is studying Communications at California State University, Northridge, and has taken an interest in do-it-yourself home and garden projects. He has spent many weekends installing appliances, renovating spaces, and landscaping gardens. allows Cooper to share his passion for home renovation with readers. Cooper grew up in Southern California with a love for every sport he could get his hands on. He tries to get outside every day and go for a lengthy run on roads or trails, and can often be found at the beach or the mountains on the weekends. Even though he's lived in a warm climate his entire life, one of Cooper's favorite seasons is the winter because of his love for skiing.    

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