7 Best Pool Heaters: 2023 Swimming Pool Heating Option Reviews (2024)

Looking for the best swimming pool heaters?

Our team is here to help!

We have reviewed our 7 favorites and provided a helpful FAQ guide as well.

Swimming in a pool year-round isn’t feasible unless you live in a region that sees warm weather all of the time, thus one of the reasons swimming pool heaters and solar swimming pool covers are so popular. When it comes to keeping your pool usable and comfortable to swim in year-round, you want to make sure you have one of the best pool heaters on the market.

Also, depending on where you live, you know that when Mother Nature decides to bring in the cold weather, it definitely benefits to have one of the best swimming pool heaters so you can still take a dip anytime you want. To give several options, we gave our reviews of the seven top-selling swimming pool heaters.

We considered ease-of-use, good longevity, and high-quality performance as well as other features when creating and reviewing our top 7 favorite pool heaters and heating options.

Why Do You Need One Of The Top Swimming Pool Heaters?

There are multiple benefits to investing in one of the top swimming pool heaters on the market for your swimming pool, let’s break them down.

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Regional Seasonality

To reiterate, location plays an important factor in why you need to buy a new swimming pool heater. It doesn’t remain Summer all the time for everyone. So, if you live somewhere where temperatures are going to drop, but you still want to extend swim season, a pool heater will keep your pool water from feeling the effects of the outside weather.

Personal Comfort

A pool heater isn’t only beneficial when the weather temperature drops. In fact, there are many people that use their heaters during summertime. Warm water, in general, is comfortable and relaxing to swim in, while cool or cold water can lock up joints. Moreover, if you warm up a pool to a steady temperature, you can ease away some muscle tension and simply feel content. Children and elderly individuals can surely appreciate warmer water.

Swimming at Night

In many places, outside temperatures can plummet by nightfall even if it is summertime. This can, in turn, cause the water temperature in the pool to steadily decline. That’s where a pool heater comes in. With the water remaining at a consistent heated level, you can enjoy a nightly swim.

7. SunQuest Solar Swimming Pool Heater

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The SunQuest Solar Pool Heater can be used for both in-ground and above-ground swimming pools. Generally, it can be installed easily and anyone can do it, but if you’re not used to the process, it’ll benefit you more to have someone knowledgeable install it. Moreover, it’s capable of heating a pool up to 10 degrees, and to make it easier to use, it’s already compatible with any pool pump.

Pros

Easy to maintain

Can withstand various weather conditions

Heats fast

Cons

Might leak

Trouble keeping panels flat

Can heat up too much

6. Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm

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This pool heater from Sta-Rite features a lightweight, unobtrusive design that makes it ideal for retrofit installation for indoor or outdoor pools. It is user-friendly as well and there is a LED temperature readout that has dual thermostat controls. There’s also a top-mounted control panel with indicator lights and a digital display for troubleshooting options and so that you are always aware of how the system is functioning.

Cons

Repairs can get costly

May develop rust

High potential of heat exchange breaking down

5. SmartPool SunHeater Solar Heating System for Inground Pool

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Another product that can be seen as one of the top pool heaters is the SmartPool SunHeater. It makes use of a direct flow system, and it is best used for heating up in-ground pools. This polypropylene heat collector can raise temperatures anywhere between 6-10 degrees. You can get up to 80 square feet of solar panels with this system. However, it does require an installation kit that is not generally sold with the product.

Pros

Fast heat-up

Minimal cool-down at night

Easy to handle

Cons

Installation can be difficult

Quality control problems

Can leak in spite of being winterized

4. Raypak Natural Gas Heater

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The Raypak Natural Gas Pool Heater is a 336,000 BTU unit. It is designed with users in mind as it features straightforward controls and a digital display to keep you informed about specifications such as when the pool has reached the set temperature. This even has self-diagnosing capabilities in the event of problems. Concerning the materials, it uses PolyTurf coating, all copper-fin-tube heat exchanger, polymer heads, and a stainless steel tube sheet.

Pros

Durable outer casing

Simple setup

Non-corrosive and rust-resistant

Cons

Some issues with the sensor board

May not work well in high humidity

Temperature display can become unreadable

3. Pentair Stainless Steel MasterTemp

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The Pentair Stainless Steel MasterTemp heater is another product that many see as the best pool heater. As it is certified for its low NOx emissions, this pool heater is rated high for its energy efficiency. It’s even easy to switch between heat and air circulation by simply flipping a switch as desired. For safety purposes, whenever there is service required it has a manual gas shut-off.

Pros

Accurate digital thermostat

Rapid heat-up

Compact design

Cons

Loud ignition

Igniter has the potential to break down

Plastic housing can crack

2. FibroPool Swimming Pool Heater

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The best pool heater for smaller pools is this product from FibroPool. To allow customization of the level of comfort, there is both heating and cooling modes that are simple to use. The unit is light in weight and is generally easy to install. Though it is one of the more expensive options, it tends to be worth it as it has good durability and high-quality performance value.

Pros

Quiet operation

Turns off when pool pump shuts off

Takes up little space

Cons

May take time heating up when first installed

Included pipe adapters aren’t common everywhere

Minimal instructions

1. Hayward Universal H-Series

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The Hayward Universal H-Series Pool Heater is designed more to be installed by a professional or someone who is at least familiar with the process. To help it perform well, it uses a forced draft combustion system. In other words, the air is constantly moved through the combustion chamber at an exact flow rate to ensure the outside weather variables don’t affect the pool heating process. Energy is saved with the hydraulic performance, and it meets low NOx emission standards.

Pros

Small and lightweight

Steady heat-up process

Easy to winterize

Cons

Sensitive controls

A tad noisy

Some difficulty installing

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Take a look at some of the All About Pools team’s answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get related to swimming pool heaters. If you have any additional questions, please reach out to us!

Are Pool Heaters Worth It?

Short answer, it depends on where you live and how long you want your pool to be in use during a calendar year. Check out all the options for how swimming pools are heated here.

Quality swimming pool heaters have the potential to be an incredibly worthwhile investment if a family wants to utilize its new pool year-round, or even just well into the school year starting in the fall. However, if your family only plans to use your pool in the hot days of summer, or if you live somewhere where the temperature is warm the vast majority of the year, a pool heating system is not as necessary.

How Do Swimming Pool Heaters Work?

How pool heaters work is firstly your swimming pool pump will circulate the pool water, the water drawn from the pool then passes through a filter, and then through the heat pump’s heater. Then liquid refrigerant within the evaporator coil absorbs the heat from the outside air and becomes a gas. The warm gas in the coil then passes through the compressor. The compressor increases the heat, creating a very hot gas that then passes through the condenser. The condenser transfers the heat from the hot gas to the cooler swimming pool water circulating through the heater. The now heated water then returns back into the pool. The hot gas, as it flows through the condenser coil, returns to liquid form and back to the evaporator, where the whole pool heating process begins again.

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Who Installs Pool Heaters?

We personally recommend you hire a pool heater installation service that is local to your area. Although it may be possible to install a pool heateron your own, it is recommended to hire a professional, especially for a gas or electricheater. Feel free to watch the short video below to see if you are capable of installing your swimming pool heating system on your own.

Why Does My Pool Heater Keep Shutting Off?

There are a few possible reasons for this, but the most common is a dirty filter. A dirty pool filter can cause low pressure and as a result, cause the pool heater’s pressure switch to turn off automatically. A dirty swimming pool filter can also prevent a pool heater from starting correctly and it can also cause your heater to shut off before warming the water fully. Some other possibilities are your heater motor not receiving the proper voltage, pool heater impeller malfunctions, and faulty switches.

What Size of Swimming Pool Heater Do I Need?

In order to calculate the size of swimming pool heater you need to effectively heat your pool, our team suggests that you first calculate your pool’s surface area, which is the Pool Length x the Pool Width. We then recommend you divide the surface area number by 3 and then multiple it by 1000 to discover the amount of heater BTUs needed.

For example, if you have a 20 x 30-foot swimming pool, your pool has a 600 sq ft surface area. 600 divided by 3 is 200 and then 200 x 1000 = A minimum 200,000 BTUs heater recommendation.

How Long Does It Take To Heat A Pool Without A Heater?

It normally takes somewhere between 8 and 12 hours to fully cycle all of the water in your swimming pool, so factoring that in you can expect an overall temperature rise of 5 to 15 degree F after several days of sunny weather. Since we cannot control the weather of course, we usually do not recommend waiting for the sun to heat your pool. If you don’t have a pool heater, we recommend looking into getting one that fits in your budget.

How Much Is A Reliable Swimming Pool Heater?

Although we were able to find some swimming pool heaters around the $2000 range, the top quality ones were between $3000-$4000. Our team’s #1 pick that we reviewed is on the lower end of that range. If you are a frequent user of your pool, we believe this is definitely a worthwhile investment that should provide comfortable swimming water for many years to come.

Enjoy Your New Pool Heater

We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to choose the best swimming pool heater for your home or property.

Finding a top-rated pool heater can benefit you in a number of ways from extending the swimming season to offering a more comfortable experience for children, pets, elderly individuals, etc. In the end, our team’s #1 pick from the pool heating systems we tested was the Hayward Universal H-Series, which proved to be effective and reliable for us.

If you have tried any of the swimming pool heating systems we reviewed, feel free to share your opinions with us in the comment section below!

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Nick White

Hello, I am a writer and marketing specialist in Kansas City, MO. My love for swimming pools started as a child when I would visit my aunt & uncle’s inground swimming pool on a frequent basis over the summer. Since then I have taught swimming lessons at a Boy Scout Camp, participated in the full setup, installation and maintenance of my father’s inground swimming pool, as well as enjoyed constantly researching everything there is to know about swimming pools for 5+ years. I enjoy all water related sports, being part of the online swimming pool community and always learning new things!

7 Best Pool Heaters: 2023 Swimming Pool Heating Option Reviews (2024)
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