Pros and Cons of a Gas Pool Heater

A gas pool heater is a popular choice among pool owners and is one you will probably consider if you are in the market for a new pool heater. However, before you rush out and purchase a gas pool heating system, you should take the time to check out both the good and bad points of these types of heaters. Therefore, here is some information on the pros of cons of gas pool heaters that you can use to make a more informed buying decision.

Pros of Gas Pool Heaters

Gas pool heaters are extremely efficient at warming a pool quickly. The high heat created by burning natural gas in a furnace creates high heat levels that quickly bring the water in a swimming pool to the desired temperature. This helps to reduce the amount of time that the heater is actually running.

Because gas pool heaters are so efficient and don't have to run as much, they usually experience fewer problems with wear and tear than do electric pool heaters or even electric heat pumps. Therefore, there are usually far fewer problems that will require the need for an expensive heater repair.

When gas and oil prices are relatively low, gas pool heaters can also be a lot less expensive to operate than electric pool heat pumps. This is because the gas heater is used less frequently than an electric heater or heat pump to heat the pool. While you may need to turn on an electric heater or heat pump a couple of hours before entering the swimming pool, the gas heater can usually be turned on within 30 minutes of using the pool. This can result in considerable energy bill savings.

Cons of Gas Pool Heaters

Although gas pool heaters are extremely efficient, and do heat the pool very quickly, they are also somewhat expensive. Installing a gas heater for your swimming pool will require that you run iron or metal pipe below the surface of the ground in order to provide a natural gas source for the furnace of the heater. Also, installation and purchase cost for these types of heaters can be expensive as well. In some cases, the cost is prohibitive when a natural gas source or pipe is not close to the swimming pool area.

Because gas and oil prices often fluctuate, gas pool heaters can - at times - be more expensive to operate than electric pool heaters or heat pumps. This is particularly true in colder winter months when heating oil and natural gas prices are usually at their highest. During these months, the price to heat your swimming pool with a gas heater can increase by as much as 30 or 40 percent.

Although gas heaters usually don't require a lot of repairs, occasional fixes for gas heaters can be very expensive. If the furnace or gas piping needs to be replaced, the repair bill can often run into the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Also, repairs to gas heaters are usually not recommended for DIYers.