I have been in the pool business for over 30 years and homeowners are always asking me about swimming pool heat systems. People don't like cold water! So I hope this helps you.
Generally. There are 3 ways of heating your pool in Central Indiana. Each heating method has its own Pro’s & Con’s and cost. The 3 heaters are gas, heat pump and solar. After reviewing the following information, we hope that making this very important choice will become much clearer on what will best suit your needs and your budget.
Gas Heaters. The most popular type of pool heating system is a Gas Heater (Natural or Propane). Because they have been around the longest and they are the most economic to purchase, they are on approximately 60% of swimming pools with heaters in Central Indiana. The initial cost of a heater & gas hook-up will run from about $ 2,300.00 to $4,000.00. The cost varies depending on volume of water and distance to run the gas line hook up.
Gas heaters work by forcing pool water through copper tubing that is heated up by an open flame. They are rather inefficient when it comes to how much heat is transferred to the pool water compared to losing it to the outside air. They are improving the efficiency on a yearly basis and hopefully may catch up to the Electric Heat Pumps at some point in the future.
The operating costs for gas heaters are difficult to estimate since there are many factors that play into how much it cost on a monthly basis to keep your pool heated. But as a rule of thumb you should expect the energy cost to run between $250 - $650 a month, mainly depending on the outdoor temperatures and whether or not you have an automatic pool cover installed over your pool.
Electric Heat Pumps. The second most popular pool heating system in Central Indiana is the Electric Heat Pump. I would say about 35% of swimming pools with heaters in Central Indiana are equipped with a Heat Pump. The initial cost of a Heat Pump will run from about $ 3,500.00 to $ 6,000.00. The cost varies on the volume of water and electric hook-up required. They work very similar to how a Heat Pump on your home works. It will extract heat from the outside air and as the pool water travels through the internal coils, it heats up your pool water.
Heat Pumps are much more energy efficient than Gas Heaters. You can expect your monthly energy costs to range from $ 75.00 to $200.00 (depending on the same factors as a Gas Heater, listed above). As you can see, the additional initial purchase cost compared to a Gas Heater can be recouped rather quickly with this huge monthly energy savings. Plus Heat Pumps are much safer for our environment than Gas Heaters.
Solar Powered Heater. The third and final type of pool heating system in Central Indiana is the Solar Powered Heater unit. I know that you are thinking solar sounds screwy but these heaters are out there and getting more popular every year. Currently I would estimate only about 2% of swimming pools with heaters in Central Indiana have this type of system. In some areas of the country they are more popular than Heat Pumps but unfortunately they have many limitations in Central Indiana. Obviously they need lots of sunshine to work as best as possible. Unfortunately that is not always abundant in Central Indiana. Another issue is the initial cost to install a high quality unit that “actually works”. A high quality unit can run upwards of $ 8,000 to $10,000.00 installed.
And here are some other limitations. You also have to have a location large enough to put all of the required Solar Panels, and preferably they should face to the south/southwest. Most homeowners do not prefer their entire roof being covered with Solar Panels or the roof may not face the needed direction for ultimate performance. They are inconvenient, bulky and sometimes just plain unsightly to look at. Also, none of the bigger pool equipment manufacturers sells a solar system. When it comes to operating costs, however, that’s where NOTHING else compares…at least until the government figures a way to charge us, the Sun’s energy is still completely FREE!!
Most Pool Installers in Indiana Utilize Automatic Pool Covers. To save substantially on your heating, you should always install an Automatic Pool Cover. This will keep your energy costs as low as they can possibly be with whichever heating system you choose.
I hope this information has been helpful in explaining pool heating choices in Central Indiana!