Outer Banks Pools & Spas
Outer Banks Pools & Spas
Service, Sales & Repairs Since 2000!

Pool Heater Benefits

January 15, 2021 2:59 PM

Is installing a pool heater the right decision for you?

...That depends.  The first thing to understand is that having a pool heater can extend your pool season for an average of one month in the spring (opening early April), and an average of one month in the fall (closing late October). 

Whether you own a rental home, or wanting to extend the season at your private home, the costs are the same, while the benefits vary. For the private homeowner, the benefit is simple, you might be swimming on Easter Sunday, or Halloween. 

If you're considering investing in a pool heater for your rental home, there are a few things you should ask yourself:
  1. Do I want to extend my rental season? 
    Heated pools attract spring and fall vacationers.
  2. Do I want to use my pool during the shoulder months when I take my home off the rental market? 
    Pools are often too cold when homeowners are here enjoying their homes outside of peak rental weeks. 
  3. Is this a good year to make an improvement? 
    Some years are better than others, and if you weren't hit with other unexpected home maintenance costs, now might be a good time.

If you answered YES to any or all of the above questions, you may want to keep reading.

There are two types of heaters, gas and electric.  They differ widely in cost, ability, and reliability.   Most new homes have Electric Heat Pumps installed, and old gas heaters are often replaced with electric ones.  I almost always recommend installing an electric heater, but there are some cases in which a gas heater is best.  Here are a few of the pros and cons. 
Electric Heat Pump (HVAC):


      • lower operating cost/energy efficient 
      • more reliable in the harsh salt air environment
      • easier repairs.  HVAC is common
      • new units have a defrost function that will cool the pool water. 


      • higher initial cost 
      • takes longer to heat pool water
      • will not work in cold weather (50F and below) or heavy winds.
Gas Heater (plumbed into line to your stove/fireplace):


      • lower initial cost
      • heats water quickly
      • will operate in lower outside temperatures and regardless of wind


      • more components make it more vulnerable to the environment.
      • much higher operation cost.  Gas is expensive.
      • because gas heaters are getting less common, repair technicians are becoming harder to find.  This can result in longer wait time for repairs.
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