Understanding Different Types of Pool Heaters: Exploring Gas, Electric, and Solar Options

swimming pool

swimming pool

Heating a swimming pool extends the swimming season and enhances comfort. There are primarily three types of pool heaters: gas, electric, and solar. Each type has its unique features, advantages, and drawbacks. In this article, we’ll explore these options to help you determine the best fit for your pool heating needs.

Gas Pool Heaters

How They Work: Gas pool heaters use either natural gas or propane. They heat the water rapidly by burning fuel in a combustion chamber, transferring the heat to the pool water circulating through the heater.


  • Speed: Gas heaters warm the pool quickly, making them ideal for pools that aren’t used regularly.
  • Temperature Control: They offer precise temperature control and can maintain warmth even in colder climates.
  • Efficiency for Short Use: Excellent for heating pools for short periods.


  • Operating Cost: The cost of natural gas or propane can be high, making them expensive to operate continuously.
  • Environmental Impact: Burning fossil fuels contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Maintenance: Requires regular maintenance to ensure efficient operation.

Electric Pool Heaters


  • Electric Resistance Heaters: These heaters use electric currents to create heat, which is then transferred to the pool water.
  • Heat Pumps: They extract heat from the surrounding air, amplify it, and transfer it to the pool water.


  • Consistent Heating: Especially heat pumps, which are efficient in maintaining a consistent water temperature.
  • Lower Operating Costs: Electric heaters, particularly heat pumps, have lower operating costs compared to gas heaters.
  • Environmentally Friendly: No direct emissions, making them more environmentally friendly.


  • Initial Cost: Higher initial investment, especially for heat pumps.
  • Slower Heating: Electric heaters typically heat the pool more slowly than gas heaters.
  • Climate Dependent: Heat pumps are less effective in colder climates.

Solar Pool Heaters

How They Work: Solar pool heaters use solar panels to capture heat from the sun, which is then used to warm the pool water. This heated water is circulated back into the pool.


  • Energy Efficiency: Utilizes renewable solar energy, making it the most environmentally friendly option.
  • Low Operating Costs: Once installed, the operational costs are significantly lower as they rely on the sun, a free energy source.
  • Longevity: Solar heaters often have a longer lifespan than gas and electric heaters.


  • Dependent on Weather: Their efficiency is heavily dependent on sunny conditions.
  • Slow Heating: They heat the pool more slowly than gas and electric heaters.
  • Space Requirement: Requires sufficient space for solar panels, often on rooftops.

Choosing the right pool heater depends on various factors, including climate, pool usage, budget, and environmental considerations. Gas heaters are ideal for rapid heating and colder climates, electric heaters offer consistent heating with lower operating costs, and solar heaters are the most eco-friendly and cost-efficient in the long run. Carefully consider these factors to select the best heating option for your pool.

For Canadian Friends

For pool owners in Canada, where the climate can be significantly colder, choosing the right pool heater is even more crucial. The shorter swimming seasons and colder temperatures necessitate a heating solution that is both efficient and effective. Gas heaters, with their rapid heating capability, are often preferred in these regions, especially for those who don’t use their pools daily but want quick heating for occasional use. Electric heat pumps, while slower, can maintain a comfortable temperature efficiently and are suitable for those looking for an eco-friendly option. Solar heaters, though the most environmentally friendly, may be less practical in areas with limited sun exposure, particularly during the long Canadian winters.

Buying a Pool Heater in Canada

If you’re looking for a comprehensive range of pool heaters in Canada, Toronto Pool Supplies is a great place to start. They offer a wide selection of gas, electric, and propane pool heaters  for sale to suit different needs and budgets. For those interested in gas heaters, their collection is extensive and includes options like natural gas and propane heaters, which you can explore in detail here and here. Their knowledgeable staff can help you determine the best option for your specific pool, climate, and usage patterns. Whether you are looking for eco-friendliness, efficiency, or speed in heating your pool, Toronto Pool Supplies has a solution tailored to Canadian climates and needs.