Best Options For Heating A Pool

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Today's pool heating options are more efficient & effective than ever before. And today more than ever, pool owners are looking for ways to reduce their heating costs, emissions & use of fossil fuels. From solar blankets and solar heating systems, to pool heaters and heat pumps, we offer a full line of top-quality pool heating options for inground and above ground pools - all at great prices & with fast FREE shipping.

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Shop our selection today! And if you have any questions, give us a call at 1-800-983-7665 for expert answers & advice.

Solar Blankets

Simply put, a solar blanket captures FREE heating energy from the Sun. Solar blankets are available for inground pools & above ground pools, and can raise your pool water temperature by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as help retain heat from a traditional pool heater or heat pump when the pool is not in use.

A good quality solar blanket is a wise investment for every pool owner. And in some areas of the country, it may be all you need for wonderfully warm pool water - with NO utility costs. Pair your new solar blanket with a solar reel, for easy & convenient operation - even by one person!

Solar Heating Systems

Solar heating systems are available for inground pools, above ground pools and spas, and can raise your water temperature by up to 15 degrees, without costly surges in your utility bill.

A solar system can be used by the vast majority of pool owners in most areas of the country - and ours are sold as easy-to-install Kits, sized to fit your pool. Used in conjunction with a solar blanket, a quality solar heating kit could be all the heat you need!

We stock a variety of time-tested Solar Heating systems, and can help you create a Kit that's perfect for your pool, your situation. Give us a call today at 1-800-983-7665 to learn more about this money-saving eco-friendly choice for pool heating!

Pool Heaters

Pool heaters have been around for years & are the most common form of pool heating equipment on the market - because they offer the fastest method of heating your pool water.

Today's models are typically fueled by natural gas, liquid propane or heating oil, are reasonably priced & more energy-efficient than ever before. We stock a wide variety of the top-brands including Hayward, Jandy, Pentair, Raypak, Lochinvar & more - for both above ground and inground pools.

Heat Pumps

Swimming pool heat pumps offer a new choice in pool water heating.

Pool Heating Systems: Which Should You Choose?

They are perfect for pool owners in areas with low NOx / environmental mandates, as well as those looking for efficiencies that traditional pool heaters simply can't attain. Quiet, easy to operate and state-of-the-art, heat pumps tend to cost more up-front, but with the savings in your utility bill, they can more than pay for themselves in just a few short seasons.

At SPP, we stock a full selection of the best brands, including Hayward, AquaCal and AquaPro. Call today to learn more about this innovation in pool heating!

Solar Sun Rings

A new and innovative product! Each 60" solar sun rings generates 21,000 BTUs of heating energy per day.

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Rings attach to form a blanket that heats AND cools water, and improves pool water clarity, too!

SPP Offers a complete selection of money-conscious heating choices for warmer pool & spa water (and a longer swim season).

Browse the product categories above to help determine which option is best suite to your pool, your geography and your budget.

And if you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to call our Pool Experts at 1-800-983-7665.

Pool Heater FAQ

What They Do, How they Work, Choosing the Right One & Much More!

Pool Heaters are a great way to warm your swimming pool water to your perfect temperature during times when cool days, evenings or nights would normally make your pool too cold to enjoy.

Pool Heaters are a great way to extend your swimming season, and provide heat on demand when you need it most. In fact, no other piece of pool water heating equipment - be it a solar heating application, or even a heat pump - has the ability to heat your pool water as fast a pool heater!

The information presented here will help you select the right size pool heater for your swimming pool, discuss some of the different models available, give an overview of the basic principles involved in heater installation, as well as provide some tips you'll want to remember to avoid common problems common to swimming pool heaters.

If you have any questions once you've reviewed this article, please feel free to give our team of friendly Pool Experts a call at 1-800-983-7665. They'd be happy to answer any questions about our Pool Heaters and offer technical advice.

How Does a Pool Heater Work?

A swimming pool heater works by burning fuel to create heat, which is then passed through a heat exchanger and on to water drawn from your swimming pool. The water, now considerably warmer, is then reintroduced to the swimming pool, raising the overall temperature.

How Do You Size a Swimming Pool Heater?

(or "Why Bigger IS Usually Better")

Swimming pool heaters are rated according to their BTU output (a measurement also known as British Thermal Units).

Heating Options for Inground Pools, Above Ground Pools and Spas

1 BTU is capable of raising the temperature of 1 lb of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Therefore the more BTUs a pool heater produces, the faster it will heat the water in your swimming pool. Because swimming pools come in all shapes and sizes and are located in many different climates, you'll need to calculate the number of BTUs needed to heat your swimming pool according to your specifications in order to select the right pool heater. This can be accomplished once the following variables have been determined:


Surface area - The main job of any pool heater is to heat the pool water at a faster rate than heat is being lost from the surface of the swimming pool. Once the ideal temperature has been reached, your pool heater only needs to run enough to compensate for the heat that escapes from the surface of the water. Therefore, we strongly suggest using a quality Solar Blanket in conjunction with your pool heater (or with any piece of pool water heating equipment for that matter), in order to maximize efficiency.

The more surface area your pool contains through which heat can escape, the more BTUs your pool heater will need to produce to heat your pool water. Calculating the surface area of your swimming pool is relatively easy, and some common calculations are provided here:

  • Round pools: radius (1/2 diameter) x radius x 3.14
  • Rectangular pools: length x width
  • Oval pools: 1/2 length x 1/2 width x 3.14
  • Rectangular pools w/ rounded ends: length x width x 0.8
  • Kidney-shaped pools: length x width x 0.75


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Temperature rise - The temperature rise of your pool water is a calculation of your desired water temperature minus the average ambient air temperature. The desired water temperature is simply the final temperature you'd like your pool water to reach.

The average ambient air temperature is the average daily outdoor air temperature and should be figured on the basis of the coldest month you plan on using your pool. For instance if you live in an area where the average outdoor air temperature in May (the month you would like to start using your pool) is 60 degrees and your desired water temperature is 80 degrees, your temperature rise would be 20 degrees (80 - 60).

With both surface area and temperature rise now calculated, you can refer to the chart below to find just how many BTUs will be necessary for the desired heating effect on your swimming pool:

Pool Heating Guide

Chart is based upon an assumed wind velocity of 3.5 mph.

Totals should be multiplied by a factor of 1.25 or 2.0 for wind speeds of 5 and 10 mph respectively. After finding the required number of BTUs/hr you will need from the above chart, you can compare pool heater models based upon the BTUs they produce. This number can be found by multiplying a pool heater's input (measured in BTUs) by the pool heater's efficiency rating.

An explanation of pool heater efficiency follows here:

3. Heater efficiency - Pool heater efficiency is provided by the manufacturer, and is expressed as a percentage that represents the amount of energy a pool heater transfers to the water for each unit of energy (BTU) used to generate that heat.

The US Department of Energy has mandated that all pool heaters have an efficiency rating of at least 78%. So, as an example, a 300,000 BTU pool heater with an efficiency of 85% would produce 255,000 BTU/hr. Solar Heating Systems for Your Inground Pool

What Size Solar Heating System Do I Need?

Refer to the chart above for the specific components you need (based on the square footage of your swimming pool)

  • Panels connect easily; additional Panels can be added at any time
  • Smaller tubes for maximum heat transfer
  • Systems can be mounted on a roof, rack, or on the ground (determined by factors such as direct sunlight, proper off-season drainage, etc.

    How to Choose the Best Pool Heater


  • Constructed of a lightweight, durable black polyolefin
  • Safe, lightweight and easy to winterize
  • Easy to install, built to last
  • Team with a Solar Blanket for maximum heat retention when the pool's not in use!
  • Includes a 5-Year Limited Warranty

Our solar heating systems come complete with everything you'll need for installation (see complete list below).

They are made from lightweight, durable black polyolefin for years of dependable use, and features state-of-the-art tube construction with smaller tubes for a larger surface area (which optimizes the transfer of the sun's energy to your pool).

How Do They Work?

Your pool's existing pool pump circulates pool water through the Solar Panels where it is heated and then returned to your swimming pool - that's it!

To maximize the efficiency of your new Solar Heating system (and free up more time in the pool), we recommend you automate your Solar Heating System's operation with a new Solar Controller. We also suggest pairing your Solar Heating System with a solar cover (to retain heat when the pool is not in use).

For many customers, the combination of these products provide all the heating energy required, without costly utility bills or high-maintenance heating equipment.

Details on Complete Solar Heating Systems:

  • All Systems Include Solar Panel(s), End Caps, Pipe Adaptors, Mounting Kit, Diverter Valve Kit, Installation Manual
  • Systems are available in 4' x 10' panel size or 4' x 20' panel size
  • 4' x 10' Systems come as two 2' x 10' panels; 4 x 20' Systems come as two 2' x 20' panels
  • 4' x 10' Systems are suitable for vertical or horizontal installation, 4' x 20' Systems are suitable for horizontal installation only
  • For optimum results, the total combined square footage of the Solar Panels should equal at least 50% of your pool's surface area

Details on Add-On Panels:

  • Include Solar Panel, End Caps, Mounting Kit, Rubber Coupling Connector Kit
  • Panels connect easily; additional Panels can be added at any time

Replacing a Solar Heating Panel on your SunGrabber/Fafco Solar Heating System?

Use our handy Solar Pannel Attachment Kit (item S8120, above) to hook up the Universal solar heating panels to your existing Fafco / SunGrabber solar heating system!

2019 : Best Inground Pool Heater for the Money?

The kit comes complete with all the fittings you'll need, including:

  • Hose adapter
  • Two clamps
  • Threaded female/female adapter
  • One 5.5" L x 1.5" D radiator hose
  • Detailed instructions

Things to Remember When Selecting Your Swimming Pool Heater

When selecting your pool heater, always try to select a heater rated somewhat higher than your actual pool surface area and desired temperature rise require.

There is no such thing as "oversizing" a pool heater. The larger the BTU output of the pool heater you buy, the quicker it will heat your pool water. This means less run time on the heater and a longer overall heater life span.

You will always be glad you opted for the larger pool heater.

Different Types Of Swimming Pool Heaters

Swimming pool heaters come in various makes and models. The four main differences in pool heater models have to do with (1) the type of fuel the heater uses (natural gas or liquid propane), (2) the style of ignition your pool heater will employ, (3) the level of emissions the pool heater produces, and (4) the elevation for which the pool heater is rated.

Natural Gas or Liquid Propane - What Will Your Pool Heater Run On?

When selecting your pool heater, you'll need to decide between a natural gas or liquid propane model.

The type of fuel you use will be based on the difference in availability and the price of fuels in your area. The price of the pool heater model you choose should not be affected by the fuel type you decide to use.

The Difference Between Millivolt & Electronic Start Pool Heaters

A millivolt swimming pool heater utilizes a standing pilot light that must constantly stay lit to initiate the pool heating process.

An electronic start pool heater eliminates the need for this pilot light, by electronically initiating the heating process. The drawback to the millivolt model is that you may find yourself having to re-light the pilot light if it goes out.

Best options for heating a pool

This sounds easy enough but anybody who has ever needed to re-light the pilot on a gas stove knows that this process needs to be performed VERY CAREFULLY so as to avoid injury.

Low NOx vs. Normal Emissions Pool Heaters

A "Low NOx" pool heater is a heater designed to release fewer emissions than a regular pool heater.

What Is The Cheapest Way To Heat A Swimming Pool?

Recently, California mandated the use of these pool heaters in certain counties.

Due to their design, low NOx pool heaters are by and large more efficient than traditional pool heaters.

This higher efficiency means a higher heat transfer and faster heating of your swimming pool water.

Pool Heaters Designed for Altitudes 2,000 Feet Above Sea Level

If you live at an altitude 2,000 feet or more above sea level, you will need a special model pool heater designed for that altitude. The difference in the oxygen level in the air necessitates this special model.

Just one more thing to think about before purchasing a swimming pool heater!

Swimming Pool Heater Installation Basics

Swimming pool heaters should always be installed after the filter system and before any chlorinators or chemical injection systems in your swimming pool's plumbing.

This will ensure the heater receives a strong flow rate of clean water, without any highly concentrated and potentially corrosive chemicals. It will probably be necessary to enlist the help of a professional electrician and/or natural gas professional in installing your pool heater. This will not only ensure proper installation but is vitally important so as to avoid injury.

Different heater models will contain varying specifications with regard to clearance and appropriate ventilation.

What Are the Different Methods of Heating a Swimming Pool?

ALL MANUFACTURER SPECS SHOULD BE RIGIDLY ADHERED TO in order to ensure maximum safety and heater efficiency (which will save you money).

Avoiding Problems With Pool Heaters - A Few Reminders

Swimming pool heaters are a wonderful addition to the swimming pool area, due to their ability to warm pool water to an inviting temperature, allowing you to utilize the swimming pool comfortably more than ever before.

Follow these tips to avoid common problems and get the maximum life out of any pool heater you buy:

Size your Pool Heater appropriately. Remember a pool heater can never be too big, but buy a pool heater that isn't big enough and you'll never be satisfied.

Monitor pH closely.

pH is probably the single biggest problem pool owners face with regard to pool heaters and pool equipment in general. A pH level that is too low (acidic) will cause corrosion, and a pH level that is to high (base) will cause mineral deposits that could potentially clog your pool heater's plumbing.

Maintain correct flow rate.

7 Cheap Ways To Heat Your Pool

Backwashing your pool filter system or washing out the cartridge occasionally will ensure that enough water gets to your pool heater for it to function efficiently.

Protect your investment. We recommend use of a pool heater cover to keep the heater protected from the elements.

Allow appropriate clearance around the Pool Heater. This will be specified in your owner's manual.

Make sure your Heater's gas pressure is adjusted appropriately.

This step should be performed upon installation BY A PROFESSIONAL.

We hope you found this information helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to give at 1-800-983-7665. Our team of friendly Pool Experts will be happy to answer any questions about our Pool Heaters, offer technical advice and help you select the model that's just right for your pool, your situation.