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What’s the Cost to Run a Pool Heater?

Installing a heater extends the swimming season, especially in the colder months and requires an upfront cost, but what’s the cost to run a heater? Having received this question many times we’ve decided to break it down for you below.

Natural Gas:

One of the most popular options is natural gas heaters as they heats your pool very quickly. These are pretty self explanatory and use a plumbed gas line from your home to heat up your pool water as it returns into your pool.

  • Natural Gas burns about 1 therm per 100,000 BTU’s per hour (British Thermal Units).
  • At the time of this article the cost of gas is about 1.10 per therm.
  • That means an average pool heater between 300,000 and 400,000 BTU’s will cost anywhere from $3.30 to $4.40 per hour to heat your pool.

Propane Pool Heaters:

Propane Heaters are very similar to gas in the way they function. They heat your pool very quickly as does natural gas but with the use of propane.

  • Propane uses about 1 gallon every 100,000 BTU’s per hour (British Thermal Units).
  • The cost of propane at the time of this article is about $2.30 per gallon.
  • This means an average pool heater between 300,000 and 400,000 BTU’s will cost anywhere from $6.90 to $9.20 per hour to heat your pool.

Heat Pumps:

Heat Pumps re a great alternative to gas and work by grabbing the existing air around the unit to heat your swimming pool. Because it utilizes the air around the unit, it saves on energy and is more cost effective. The downside is they become ineffective in temps below 50 degrees.

  • Heat Pumps use about 5 kilowatts per 100,000 BTU’s (British thermal units) per hour.
  • At the time of this article the cost of electricity is about $.63 per 5 kilowatts of energy.
  • This means an average heat pump, requiring less BTU’s (around 100,000) will cost $.63 per hour to heat your pool.

Solar Covers:

Solar Covers work by trapping the heat from the sun to heat your pool water. The solar cover then prevents the heated water from evaporating from your pool.

  • Solar Covers can be used over and over again and cut down on heating costs dramatically. Depending on the size of pool, you can pick one up for pretty cheap. Plan on spending anywhere from $50.00 to $300.00 for a solar cover.

Solar Heaters:

Solar heaters are a good alternative to traditional heaters as they use sunlight to heat your pool and require little installation. Solar heaters contain channels that route water back into your pool. The channels trap heat from sunlight, creating hot water as it returns back into your pool.

  • Solar heaters don’t cost anything to run and are easy to install. Depending on the size and location of your pool, plan on spending around $60.00 to $400.00 on a solar heater system.

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