Enjoy your Pool No Matter What the Outside Temperature Is (originally published on June 14, 2013)
We wish we could control the weather and make every day a perfect pool day! Although we don’t have that kind of superpower, we can help make your pool comfortable for relaxing and swimming no matter what the temperature outside.

Many customers have been coming in this season looking for more information about ways to heat their pools for maximum enjoyment. In this post, we’ll be highlighting three options we carry here at Pettis Pools & Patio.

Solar Heaters
One option is to use a solar heater. We carry the SMARTPOOL Solar Heater that is an ideal, do-it-yourself solar pool heater designed specifically for aboveground pools. Now aboveground pool owners can enjoy warmer water and extended swim seasons the same way inground owners do. The unit is compact, moveable and maintenance-free. It raises the temperature of your pool by up to 10°F or more. The water simply flows through tubes via your existing pool pump where it is heated by the sun and returned to your pool.
You can find sizing information by clicking here.

Gas Heaters
A natural gas or propane heater provides a quick heat source and has been the standard swimming pool heating option for many years—the classic, if you will. We offer the Jandy Legacy by Zodiac which has a 60-year heritage as a leading heater provider. It is built to last and has many technologically advanced, user-friendly features such as digital control of pool and spa set points, self-diagnostics and simplified back-lit menu display for ease of operation.
Typical costs for a gas heater include: the heater itself, installation of a gas line, (please call for pricing) electric for the digital display and electronic ignition models, and delivery and installation. A season’s operational cost can vary, depending on the amount of use. The other factor that determines the operational cost is how you use the heater. Most people with a gas heater play the “on-off” game meaning they turn it on only when they want to swim. This will cut down on the operational costs but will also result in waiting time to swim and the pool perhaps not being ready when you want it to be.

There are some issues to be aware of with this type of heat source. First of all, the water flows thru a copper core that can deteriorate due to high levels of chlorine and low pH. A gas heater can become extremely hot while it is operating, and—similar to a furnace in your home—service calls can be required for items such as cleaning the burners or a pilot light that is out.

A sampling of our Gas heater pricing is below:
125,000 BTU, manages up to a 450 sq.ft. pool     Please call for pricing
175,000 BTU, manages up to a 600 sq. ft. pool    Please call for pricing
Larger size gas heaters are available too.

Note: The surface area indicates the area of a pool that the heater can accommodate. For faster heating and quicker reclaim, it is best to go to the next size up when sizing a heater. Both natural gas and propane are available.

Heat Pumps
A heat pump is a more energy-efficient option if you are looking for a great way to keep your pool consistently warm. The operational costs are a fraction of a gas heater with a payback that is typically 2 ½ seasons. In this type of heater water flows thru a Titanium core that is impervious the chemical corrosion. It is also what is known as a slow heat source: you set the heat pump with a thermostat to the desired temperature and leave it. This is by far the most effective method of heating pool water and it is why the pool is always ready for you to jump in and swim! A heat pump uses nature’s “free heat” from the air to heat your pool water. Electricity is only needed to transfer the heat, not create it.

Also, it does not require a gas line so you save on that expense. This type of heater has a longer life expectancy with fewer service calls than the ways to heat. You save as much as 80% in operating costs compared to other heating methods and it is easy to operate, just program in the desired temperature. These units are also very quiet. Note: All heat pumps do require a 220-volt hookup by a licensed electrician.

We carry the AquaCal line of heat pumps which have a cost range (please call for pricing) depending on your pool size and the features you want. One of our most popular models is the TropiCal Heat Pump. It is an economy heat pump designed to fit any budget. The heater is perfect for aboveground pools and small in-ground pools; this model can handle up to an 18’ x 36’ inground pool.  It also has a microprocessor-controlled automatic defrost to allow operation into the mid to lower 40s.

General Set-up and Costs to Consider
Pricing typically includes delivery, setup & standard plumbing of heaters. Many people also choose to put their heaters or heat pumps on a concrete pad and that would be an additional cost. 
Stop in and talk with our pool experts to determine the right system for your pool and your budget. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have!