Best Pool Heaters: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction to Pool Heaters

Pool heaters are essential for enhancing the swimming experience, especially during cooler months. They come in various types, each suited to different needs and preferences. This article delves into the world of pool heaters, exploring how they can transform your swimming pool into a comfortable and enjoyable environment.

What are Pool Heaters?

Pool heaters are devices designed to regulate the temperature of pool water. Whether it's extending the swim season in cooler climates or maintaining a consistent temperature, heaters are vital for comfort and year-round enjoyment in swimming pools.

What You Will Find in This Article

This article provides an overview of different types of swimming pool heaters, including solar pool heaters, gas pool heaters, and pool heat pumps. It discusses their functionalities, suitability for various conditions, and essential considerations like installation costs, energy efficiency, and maintenance requirements. This guide aims to help you choose the right heater for your pool, ensuring a warm and pleasant swimming experience. 

Best Pool Heaters - Table Of Contents

NumberName (Link)Main FeaturesRatingPricing
1DOEL 20000 BTU Swimming Pool Heat PumpIn-ground/Above-Ground Pools, 5.56 kW, Titanium Heat Exchanger, 110V 60Hz4.1$1,065
2IIS 220V 240V 18KW Premium Quality Water Heater Thermostat220V 240V, 18KW, Water Heater Thermostat, Suitable for Swimming Pool, SPA, Bath3.7$550
3AYCHLG 85000Btu/Hr Pool Heater ThermostatUp to 20000 Gallons, SPA Pools/Bathtubs, In-Ground and Above Ground, Needs Electrician GFCI4.0$1,199
415000 Btu/hr Pool HeaterAuto-Defrosting, Up to 5000 gallons, Titanium Heat Exchanger, Fit 15/18/24 Foot Pool, 110V Plug4.0$639
5ECOPOOLTECH-Swimming Pool Heat PumpFor Above Ground Pools, up to 5000 gallons, 14000BTU/hr, Titanium Heat Exchanger3.8$729
6EcoSmart SMART POOL 27 Electric Tankless Pool Heater27kW, 240 Volt, 112.5 Amps, Self Modulating Technology3.2$780

Best Pool Heaters - In-Depth Reviews

Best Pool Heater: 

Introducing the DOEL 20000 BTU Swimming Pool Heat Pump, a top-tier choice among the best pool heaters, particularly for small above-ground pools and inground pools. This electric pool heater boasts a 5.56 kW capacity with a titanium heat exchanger, ensuring efficient heat transfer. Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars, it's priced at a reasonable $1,065.00, offering a 9% savings from its typical price of $1,165.00.Main Features:

  • Suitable for pools up to 6600 gallons (above ground) and 4226 gallons (inground).
  • Easy installation with a 2-inch/50mm water hose connection.
  • Enhanced efficiency with a flat-tube titanium heat exchanger.
  • Quiet operation due to an efficient rotary compressor and low-noise fan.
  • Durable and rust-resistant galvanized steel body.


  • High heat exchanging efficiency.
  • Aesthetically pleasing design.
  • Premium security features including child lock and advanced protection systems.
  • Easy to understand digital LED display for temperature settings.


  • Limited to smaller pool sizes.
  • Requires a standard USA plug; international users may need to contact for clarification.

Conclusion: The DOEL 20000 BTU Pool Heat Pump emerges as a cost-effective, energy-efficient solution for pool heating. Its balance of advanced features, ease of installation, and robust security measures makes it a compelling choice for pool owners, particularly those with smaller pools seeking efficient heating. Its unique design and quiet operation add to the appeal, offering value for money and a comfortable swimming experience.Introducing the IIS 220V 240V 18KW Premium Quality Water Heater Thermostat, a versatile and efficient solution for heating your swimming pool or spa bath. Priced at an affordable $550.99, this portable pool heater is designed to create a more comfortable swimming environment.Main Features:

  • Specifically designed for hot tubs and jacuzzis.
  • Voltage: 240V, Power: 18KW.
  • Automatic heating to maintain the preset temperature.
  • Suitable for small pools (less than 15CBM) and hot tubs.


  • Constant temperature control for a consistent swimming experience.
  • Energy-efficient design, reducing overall heating costs.
  • Easy to install and maintain.


  • Limited in heating capacity to smaller pools and spas.
  • The energy efficiency rating and tech support have received lower customer ratings.

Conclusion: The IIS Water Heater Thermostat stands out for its affordability and specialized features for small pool owners. While it excels in maintaining a comfortable water temperature and ease of installation, potential buyers should consider its suitability for their specific pool size and needs. This heater represents a cost-effective choice for those looking to extend their swim season without significant investment.The AYCHLG 85000Btu/Hr Pool Heater Thermostat, priced at $1,199.99, is a robust solution for heating swimming pools, SPA pools, bathtubs, and both in-ground and above-ground pools. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars, it's a versatile heater suitable for various pool types.Main Features:

  • 85,000 BTU/hr, ideal for pools up to 20,000 gallons.
  • Engineered for coastal climates with a temperature range of 71.6°F-122°F.
  • Automatic heating mechanism.
  • Engineered and serviced by Coasts.


  • Suitable for a wide range of pool sizes.
  • Efficient heating for comfortable water temperature.
  • Automatic heating ensures consistent temperature maintenance.


  • Professional installation required.
  • Some users may find tech support lacking.

Conclusion: The AYCHLG Pool Heater Thermostat is a solid choice for those looking to maintain comfortable temperatures in larger pools. Its efficiency and versatility make it a valuable investment for extending the swimming season, though it requires professional installation and support.The 15000 Btu/hr Pool Heater is a versatile choice for pool owners looking to heat small to medium-sized pools and hot tubs. With its competitive price of $639.99, it's an appealing option for those seeking an efficient, electric pool heater.Main Features:

  • Auto-defrosting metal plate enhances efficiency.
  • Titanium heat exchanger ensures superior heat transfer.
  • Suitable for pools up to 5000 gallons, fitting pools as large as 15/18/24 feet.
  • Easy installation with a standard 110V plug – no professional installation required.


  • Energy-efficient design minimizes heating costs.
  • Ideal for various pool types, including above-ground and inground pools.
  • User-friendly installation process.


  • May not be suitable for larger pools over 5000 gallons.
  • Requires owner vigilance for maintenance, such as monitoring for error codes or frosting issues.

Conclusion: The 15000 Btu/hr Pool Heater strikes a balance between cost-effectiveness and efficient heating, making it an excellent choice for those looking to extend their swim season. It's particularly well-suited for pool owners who prioritize energy efficiency and ease of installation. With its robust features and solid performance, this heater is a valuable investment for enhancing the swimming experience in smaller pools.The ECOPOOLTECH Swimming Pool Heat Pump, priced at $729.00, is a cost-effective solution for heating above-ground pools. With a 3.8 out of 5-star rating, it's designed for pools up to 5000 gallons.Main Features:

  • 14000BTU/hr capacity with a titanium heat exchanger.
  • Energy-efficient technology, reaching a COP of 5.6.
  • Ideal for above-ground pools.
  • Easy installation with plug-and-play setup.


  • High energy efficiency, reducing operational costs.
  • User-friendly installation.
  • Suitable for a range of climates.


  • Limited to smaller pool sizes.
  • Customer support ratings are moderate.

Conclusion: The ECOPOOLTECH Pool Heat Pump is an excellent choice for above-ground pool owners looking for an energy-efficient, easy-to-install heating solution. With its advanced technology and cost-effectiveness, it's ideal for extending the swim season in small to medium-sized pools.The EcoSmart SMART POOL 27 Electric Tankless Pool Heater, with a rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars, offers a contemporary solution for pool heating. Priced at $780.56, this model provides 22% savings from its list price of $999.00.Main Features:

  • 27kW power with 240 Volt and 112.5 Amps.
  • Self-modulating technology for efficient energy use.
  • Digital temperature setting in 1-degree increments.
  • Compatible with EcoSmart remote control.


  • Compact design suitable for new or existing pools.
  • Option to use as a booster in combination with a heat pump.


  • Lower ratings in energy efficiency and tech support.

Conclusion: The EcoSmart SMART POOL 27 is ideal for those seeking a modern, digital-controlled pool heating solution. It offers a balance of functionality and convenience, though considerations should be made regarding its energy efficiency and customer support ratings.Types of Pool Heaters

Solar Pool Heaters

Solar pool heaters are a sustainable choice, leveraging solar energy to heat your pool. They are cost-efficient in sunny climates, reducing heating costs with solar heating systems. These systems involve solar panels that absorb sunlight and transfer heat to the pool water. Ideal for environmentally conscious pool owners, solar heaters require an upfront investment but offer lower long-term operational costs.

Gas Pool Heaters

Gas pool heaters, including natural gas and propane gas models, are known for their rapid heating capability. They're versatile, suitable for pools of varying sizes, and excellent for quick temperature adjustments. These heaters are perfect for regions with fluctuating weather, ensuring a warm pool in almost any condition. However, they might have higher ongoing fuel costs and maintenance needs compared to other heater types.

Electric Pool Heaters

Electric pool heaters, especially pool heat pumps, provide efficient and consistent heating for smaller pools and spas. They maintain precise temperature control and are generally more energy-efficient than natural gas pool heaters. These heaters are a good fit for moderate climates and offer lower operational costs, though their heating capacity may be less effective in colder regions.

How Pool Heaters Work

Understanding how different types of swimming pool heaters work can help you make an informed decision about which system suits your needs.

How Solar Pool Heaters Work

Solar pool heaters use solar collectors to absorb and transfer heat from the sun to the pool water. This process is highly efficient in sunny climates, reducing electricity or gas usage. Each Solar heating system is beneficial for extending the swim season without significantly increasing utility costs.

Benefits of Going Solar

Opting for a solar pool heating system is environmentally friendly and cost-effective in the long run. Solar heaters harness renewable energy, leading to low operational costs and minimal emissions.

How Gas Pool Heaters Work

Gas pool heaters, using either natural gas or propane, heat pool water quickly by burning fuel. They're effective for rapid heating and are suitable for larger pools or spas. Gas heaters are versatile, offering high performance regardless of the weather.

Benefits of Going Gas

Gas heaters provide quick and powerful heating, making them ideal for short-notice use. They're effective in various climates and are a good choice for those needing to heat large pools or who prefer fast warm-up times.

How Electric Pool Heaters Work

Electric pool heaters, including heat pumps, work by transferring heat from the air or electricity directly to the pool water. They are efficient, especially in moderate climates, and maintain a consistent pool temperature.

Benefits of Going Electric

Electric heaters are typically more energy-efficient than gas heaters, offering consistent heating at a lower operational cost. They are a great choice for smaller pools or for those looking for an environmentally friendlier option compared to gas heaters.

Why Buy a Pool Heater?

Investing in a pool heater, be it a solar pool heating system, a natural gas pool heater, or a heat pump, offers numerous benefits. These systems allow for an extended swimming season, maintaining ideal pool temperatures and enhancing comfort. With advancements in technology, options like solar pool heating systems and efficient heat pumps have become more accessible, offering an excellent balance of performance and value.

Swim During the Whole Year

A swimming pool heater enables year-round swimming, especially crucial in cooler climates. A machine like solar heating system and natural gas pool heaters keep the water at a comfortable temperature, regardless of the season.

Swim for Longer Sessions

Heated pools provide the luxury of longer swimming sessions. By maintaining a consistent and warm pool temperature, heaters ensure that you can enjoy your pool for extended periods without discomfort.

Improved Pool Value

Installing a swimming pool heater can increase the value of your swimming pool. It makes the pool more attractive to potential buyers, who often see a heated pool as a desirable feature.

Health and Wellness

Heated pools offer therapeutic benefits. Warm water is ideal for relaxation and can aid in relieving muscle tension and pain, making it perfect for those who use their pool for wellness purposes.Buyer Guide - Most Important Features to ConsiderWhen purchasing a pool heater, several key features demand careful consideration to ensure you select the right system for your pool's needs. This guide highlights these critical aspects.

Pool Volume

The volume of your pool significantly influences the type of heater required. Larger pools may benefit more from powerful gas heaters or heat pumps, whereas smaller pools might be efficiently served by a solar heating system. Understanding your pool's volume helps in selecting a heater with the appropriate heating capacity.

BTU Output

The BTU (British Thermal Unit) output of a pool heater determines its heating capacity. Higher BTU ratings are essential for larger pools or for those wanting quicker temperature increases. BTU output directly impacts the efficiency and speed of heating your swimming pool.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is crucial, especially for those concerned about long-term operational costs. Solar pool heaters and certain heat pumps offer excellent energy efficiency, reducing utility costs while maintaining ideal pool temperatures.

Installation and Maintenance

Consider the ease of installation and maintenance requirements of the pool heater. Solar heaters might need specific positioning for optimal sun exposure, while gas heaters often require professional installation. Regular maintenance is vital for the longevity and efficiency of the heater.These factors, combined with your specific needs such as swimming season length, pool surface area, and local climate conditions, will guide you to the best pool heater choice.

Maintenance and Installation

Proper maintenance and installation are crucial for the longevity and efficiency of your pool heater. Whether you have a solar pool heating system, a gas pool heater, or a pool heat pump, understanding the specifics of installation and upkeep can help you maximize the heater's performance and extend the swimming season comfortably.

Installing Your Pool Heater

Installing a pool heater involves several steps, including selecting the right location and ensuring proper electrical or gas connections. For solar pool heating systems, the positioning of solar collectors is critical, while gas pool heaters require adherence to local codes for safe operation. Always consider the utility costs and the specific requirements of your system, whether it's a heat pump or a natural gas pool heater.

Regular Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance, such as checking filters and monitoring system performance, is essential. For solar heating systems, maintaining the collectors and ensuring optimal exposure to the sun is vital. Natural gas and electric heaters may require periodic checks of connections and controls. Maintenance affects not just the heating performance but also the overall maintenance costs and energy efficiency of the system.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Common issues with pool heaters can range from inadequate heating to system malfunctions. Problems with solar heaters might involve the collectors or the circulation system. For natural gas heaters, issues could relate to the burners or ignition system. Electric heat pumps might face challenges with voltage or efficiency.

Professional Services and Support

Professional services are often needed for installation, especially for complex systems like in-ground solar heating or natural gas heaters. Regular servicing ensures your system operates efficiently and adheres to warranty requirements. Brands like Pentair and Hayward offer specialized support for their products.

Upgrading or Replacing Your Heater

Over time, upgrading or replacing your pool heater might become necessary, especially to take advantage of newer, more efficient technologies. Assessing factors such as the size of your swimming pool, current heating demands, and advancements in heater technology will guide your decision.


Navigating the world of pool heaters involves considering numerous factors. From solar heaters to natural gas heaters, each type offers unique benefits. The choice ultimately depends on various factors like pool volume, BTU output, cost, energy efficiency, and climatic conditions. Investing in the right pool heater ensures a comfortable swimming experience, extending the swim season and maximizing enjoyment.


How Much is a Pool Heater?

The cost of a pool heater varies widely based on type and size. Solar heaters might have higher upfront costs but lower operating costs, while natural gas and electric heaters can range significantly in price.

How Much Does a Pool Heater Cost?

Pool heater costs can range from a few hundred dollars for basic models to several thousand for advanced systems. Installation and operating costs also contribute to the overall expense.

What Size Pool Heater Do I Need?

The size of the pool heater depends on your pool's surface area, volume, desired temperature rise, and local weather conditions. Larger heating pools or those in cooler climates generally require heaters with higher BTU outputs.

How to Turn On Pool Heater?

Turning on a pool heater typically involves setting the desired temperature on the digital display or control panel and activating the heater through its switch or remote control.

How to Heat a Pool Without a Heater?

Heating a pool without a heater can be done using solar covers or blankets, which trap heat, or by using black hose solar heaters.

How Does a Pool Heater Work?

Pool heaters work by transferring heat to the pool water. This can be achieved through burning natural gas, using electricity to power heat pumps, or by absorbing solar energy.

How to Heat Up a Pool Fast Without a Heater?

To heat up a pool quickly without a heater, use solar blankets, maximize sun exposure by removing any shade, or add hot water if feasible.

How to Install Pool Heater?

Installing a pool heater involves connecting it to the pool's plumbing and power supply, adhering to local codes and manufacturer's instructions. Professional installation is often recommended.

How to Make a Pool Heater?

DIY pool heaters can be made using black piping or hoses to create a solar heating panel. The water circulates through the heated pipes, warming up before returning to the pool.

How Many BTU for Pool Heater?

The BTU requirement for a pool heater depends on the pool's size and the temperature rise needed. Generally, larger public pools require heaters with higher BTU ratings.

How to Turn On Hayward Pool Heater?

To turn on a Hayward pool heater, set the ideal temperature on the control panel and switch it on. Ensure that the pool pump water is being circulated the heated water.

How Big of a Pool Heater Do I Need?

The size of the pool heater is determined by calculating the pool surface area, the temperature rise needed, and considering the average air temperature.

How Much Propane Does a Pool Heater Use?

The amount of propane a heater uses depends on its size and efficiency. Larger heaters or frequent use can increase propane consumption.

How Does a Solar Pool Heater Work?

A solar pool heater works by circulating pool water through solar panels or collectors, where it is heated by the sun before returning to the pool.

How Much to Install a Pool Heater?

Installation costs for pool heaters can vary greatly based on the heater type and the complexity of the installation process.

What is the Best Pool Heater for In ground Pools?

The best heaters for in ground pools depends on factors like pool size, climate, and budget. Gas heaters are often preferred for their rapid heating, while heat pumps are chosen for efficiency.

How Long Does a Pool Heater Last?

The lifespan of a pool heater typically ranges from 5 to 15 years, depending on the type, maintenance, and usage.

How Much is a Solar Heater for a Pool?

Solar heaters for pools can vary in price, usually ranging from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, excluding installation costs.

How to Make a Solar Pool Heater?

A solar pool heater can be made using black tubing or panels to create a solar collector system. The pool water circulates through this system, getting heated by the sun.

How Much Does a Solar Pool Heater Cost?

The cost of a solar pool heater varies depending on the system's size and complexity, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Pool Heater?

Installation costs for a pool heater depend on the heater type, complexity of installation, and regional labor rates. It can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.