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A pool heater provides the perfect way to start the swimming season earlier or extend it a bit longer. In both spring and fall, outdoor temperatures are not ideal when the desire to swim has arisen. Therefore, a swimming pool heater is very important, because it heats the water to the optimal pool temperature and provides a pleasant bathing experience.

There are very many different models of pool heaters available both on the Internet and in stores. Thus, the choice of the right model is not so easy, because there are quite a few purchase criteria and points that should be considered before buying. 

Our goal is to make the purchase decision easier and to take the agony of choice off our readers’ shoulders, so that no wrong purchase is made and the right product is chosen!

  • The pool heater warms up the water in the garden pool to a comfortable water temperature. If the decision is made to heat the water by solar energy, a lot of time is saved and the process is environmentally friendly!
  • Pool heaters are currently distinguished between three different heating methods: heat exchanger, heat pump and solar heating!
  • The electric-powered heat pumps consume a lot of energy, but heat very efficiently. On the other hand, the solar-powered heaters are much cheaper!

The Best Pool Heaters

AngebotBestseller No. 1
ECOPOOLTECH-Swimming Pool Heat Pump-Swimming Pool Heater-for Above Ground Pools, up to 5000gallons,...
  • [A Better Way to Extend Your Swim Season]: Nothing...
  • [Superb Energy Saver]: The pool heater EU50 is a heat...
  • [Ideal Choice for Above Ground Pools]: The Pool heat...
  • [Easy to Install]:The heat pump pool heater EU50...
Bestseller No. 2
Hayward W3HP21004T HeatPro 95,000 BTU Pool Heat Pump for In-Ground Pools
  • BEST FOR: In-ground pools that are used regularly and...
  • ECONOMICAL HEATING: Using the surrounding air to heat...
  • UNPARALLELED DURABILITY: Ultra Gold corrosion-resistant...
  • CORROSION RESISTANT: Titanium heat exchanger ensures...
AngebotBestseller No. 3
DOEL 11800 BTU Mini Swimming Pool Heat Pump for Above-Ground Pools, 3.45 kW Electric Pool Heater...
  • Mini Heat Pump: This electric pool heater is suitable...
  • Working Requirements: 110V, 60 HZ for USA electricity....
  • Energy saving: The heat pump has an energy efficiency...
  • High Efficiency: Allowing fast and easy hookup without...
Bestseller No. 4
VEVOR Electric Pool Heater 11KW 240V Swimming Pool Electric Heater Water Bath Heater Electric...
  • Superior Heater: Power: 11KW, Input Voltage: AC 240V...
  • Adjustable Temperature: It is convenient for you to...
  • Intelligent Self-test: The intelligent self-checking...
  • Ease To Assemble: The pool thermostat is not...
AngebotBestseller No. 5
GAME 72000-BB, Made for Intex & Bestway SolarPRO Curve Solar Above-Ground Pool Heater
  • SOLAR POOL HEATER: The GAME SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool...
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: We’ve designed this...
  • UNIQUE CURVED SHAPE: The GAME solar pool heater has...
  • ADJUSTABLE LEGS: This solar heater is compatible with...
Bestseller No. 6
FibroPool FH120 Above Ground Swimming Pool Heat Pump
  • 120 Volt, 60Hz, 10A draw
  • Built in 8 foot long power cable with standard USA plug
  • Suitable for pools up to 7500 gallons in coastal...
  • Plug into an GFCI protected outlet
Bestseller No. 7
Raypak 266,000 BTU Digital Electronic Ignition Natural Gas Pool Heater
  • Built to withstand various weather conditions, perfect...
  • Intermittent spark ignition pilot safety controls....
  • Space-age material means the heater won't retain...
  • Part Number: 009217 | Model Number: P-R266A-EN-C

Guide: Buying the right pool heater

First and foremost, it is important that the swimming pool heater is positioned correctly. Therefore, special care must be taken to ensure that the pool heater receives sufficient sunlight. The solar-powered pool heater should face south with the solar panel in an angled position.

In this way, the midday sun is perfectly utilized and the energy of the setting sun is also stored.

The heating time of the water when using a solar pool heater

In order for the water to reach a noticeable warmer difference, it should last for two to three days. During this time, the sun should preferably shine daily and be absorbed by the solar pool heater. However, the values may vary, because it always depends on the weather conditions, the amount of water and the size of the pool.

“The thermal conductivity of water is 25 times that of air. Consequently, a person can get hypothermic much faster in water than outside in the cold.”

In addition, it is not possible to make a blanket statement about whether the water is sufficiently warmed after two to three days, because each person feels heat and cold differently. Accordingly, for one person the water may be sufficiently warmed after only two days, and for another person it may take four days for the water to reach the necessary bathing temperature.

The cost of a pool heater

From type to type, the price range for different pool heaters varies from each other. Heat pumps are usually the most expensive and are usually out of the question for the average consumer. In this small overview we show the approximate price ranges for the different pool heaters:

  • Solar pool heater: 70 to 600 euros.
  • Solar foil: 18 to 250 euros.
  • Heat pump: 600 to 3,500 euros.

The different types of pool heaters

  • Solar pool heater
  • Solar mat/foil
  • Heat pump

Solar Pool Heater

The modern solar pool heaters work very efficiently and manage to heat the water properly. The solar heat is absorbed and transferred to the water in the pool. The heater is not located in the water itself, but it is connected by a hose or several hoses.

Thus, no additional electricity is consumed and in the purchase such devices cost much cheaper than expensive heat pumps. In addition, such solar pool heaters are environmentally friendly, as they are powered by pure solar energy.

Unfortunately, with a solar pool heater you are constantly dependent on the sun. When the sun stops shining, there is no heat and thus the water in the pool stays cold. In addition, a solar pool heater requires a large footprint to capture enough solar energy.

The stored heat warms the water, which is transferred to the swimming pool heater through a hose. The second hose ensures that the heated water can return to the pool. In this way, the water gradually warms up in the pool.

If the solar pool heater does not have its own pump, a pump must be purchased in addition. After all, the water must be constantly circulated and kept in motion so that it can be warmed up. With the help of such a pool heater, the pool water can be heated between one and three degrees Celsius.

The solar mat/foil

The principle of a solar mat is relatively simple, because it is simply placed over the surface of the water. The heat is then stored and transferred to the water. The material allows the natural sunlight to be stored more effectively and for a longer period of time.

The solar mat is a less expensive alternative to solar pool heating. Furthermore, the need for cleaning the pool is reduced because the mat is constantly on the water surface, preventing dirt from entering the pool. The shape and size can be customized.

Unfortunately, this type of pool heating is also highly dependent on sunlight. If there is too little sunshine, the water will not be heated. In addition, often only the surface of the water is heated.

The heat pump

Basically, a heat pump works similarly to a solar pool heater. The only difference is that it is powered by electricity instead of solar energy. A big advantage is that this type of heating cannot be influenced by direct solar radiation.

In addition, any temperature can be set and after a certain time this temperature is reached. In addition, there is usually an LCD display, which is considered to control the temperature selection. Furthermore, the heating potential is quite high.

A big disadvantage is the high price of purchase. Not all consumers are willing to pay up to 1,000 euros or more for a heat pump. Subsequently, a heat pump consumes electricity and that also costs money.

The way it works is very similar to a solar heater, because here too the water is pumped out of the pool, passes through a hose to the heater, and then the warm water is returned to the pool. The heat pump works more reliably and efficiently. Therefore, a desired water temperature can be reached more quickly.

FAQ: Swimming pool heater questions answered

We would like to help before buying and provide comprehensive advice to prospective buyers so that they make the right purchase decision. Therefore, we answer the following questions so that nothing stands in the way of buying the right swimming pool heater.

How fast does the water get warm?

This is the most important criterion that should be placed on a pool heater. After all, you want to know how long it will take for the water to get warm enough for swimming. The temperature is measured in degrees Celsius, and it usually takes several hours for the water to reach one degree Celsius more. Here, it is much the same as with the cleanliness of the water.

To achieve the best possible bathing experience, not only the water quality but also the temperature should be right. The optimal bathing temperature is between 25 and 27 degrees Celsius. Most people consider a temperature below 25 degrees Celsius to be cold.

If you decide to use a solar pool heater, the water temperature will be increased by a maximum of five degrees Celsius. With a solar mat, an increase of a maximum of 8 degrees Celsius is achieved. Therefore, both heating methods are suitable only for smaller installation pools and only for use in the summer.

With a heat pump, it can take several days to reach the necessary temperature of 25 to 27 degrees Celsius. However, this method is more practical and can be used in the fall or spring, when it is still so cold outside. With the solar method, the water does not get so warm in the cooler season.

Therefore, you always need to plan for several days to heat the pool water.

What size should the pool heater be?

Solar-powered equipment must be extremely accurate to the size of the pool. The larger the collector, the more heat is stored and transferred to the water. Heat pumps also have specifications for what size pool they are suitable for.

However, things look a little looser for heat pumps, because they can be used for small and medium-sized pools, as well as for large pools. Solar pool heaters or heating mats are only used for smaller pop-up pools or wading pools.

What accessories are needed?

The heat pump and the solar powered alternative both require a power source. In the first case, it is electricity, which comes from the wall socket and must be paid for additionally. In the second case, it is the sun, which is a renewable energy that does not harm the environment.

The solar pool heater is connected to a pump so that the water can be transported to the pump and back to the pool. However, not all solar pool heaters are equipped with an appropriate pump. Therefore, in this case, a pump must be purchased as an accessory.

The electric heat pump, on the other hand, requires only a power source, which must always be nearby. Here, too, there are plenty of accessories, but this is much cheaper and it is mostly, hoses, clamps or various adapters.

What flow rate should the pool heater achieve?

The flow rate determines how powerful the built-in pump is. This indicates how many liters of water can be pumped per hour. This criterion is used to determine how quickly the water in the pool is heated.

Usually, a good flow rate is around 3,000 liters of water per hour.

Where to buy a pool heater?

Nowadays, it is not difficult to find a swimming pool heater. They are offered both in stores and on the Internet. The choice is wide and there is the right product for every buyer.

On the Internet, the selection is much larger and buyers benefit from lower prices than in stores. In addition, buyers benefit from objective customer reviews written by people who have already bought and tested the product. If personal customer service is important, it is advisable to prefer buying from a retailer.

Should or can the swimming pool heater be left running overnight?

In principle, nothing should stand in the way of this, if the pool heater is to be left running overnight. However, here the efficiency is significantly lower, because the outside temperatures drop significantly in both summer and winter. Therefore, it is more advisable to run the pool heater during the day when it is warmer outside.

In addition, the outdoor temperatures should be taken into account, because the pool heater can not be exposed to outdoor temperatures that are too cold and not too hot. Furthermore, the noise level must be respected, because at night it can be too noisy and neighbors may complain about the running pool heater.

Are swimming pool heaters worth it?

Pool heaters are only worthwhile if the pool is used frequently. If the pool is only used for a month in the summer, it is not worth buying, because apart from the purchase price, additional electricity costs are to be expected. In addition, the purchase is worthwhile only if it is a large or medium-sized pool. For smaller pools and pop-up pools, the purchase is not worth it, because it is possible to simply replace the water with warmer water.

If, for example, the pool will also be used in the cold months of the year, a pool heater should definitely be purchased.

How to connect a pool heater?

The pool heater either has its own pump or the device is additionally connected to an external pump. The cold water from the pool is transported to the pool heater and warmed up there. After the water has been warmed up, it is returned to the pool via a second hose.

Often the pool heater is simply attached to the inside wall of the pool by suction cups. If it is a cheap alternative, such as a solar mat, then the water is simply heated by pure solar energy without the need for electricity. No additional pump is needed for this.

For more efficient heating of the water, and in the case of a pool with a large water capacity, it is recommended to connect a heat pump. This is usually located at a distance of no more than three meters from the pool and heats the water through two hoses. One hose carries the water to the pump and the other from the pump back into the pool.

How much should a pool heater cost?

It is difficult to answer this question, because there are many different types of pool heaters. There are also such alternatives as solar mats or heating foils that work with pure solar energy. Although these do not heat the water as effectively as a heat pump, which has an LCD display and can accurately adjust the water temperature.

Most often, the price of a pool heater ranges from 20 euros to 3,500 euros. This stark price difference occurs only because for 20 euros you can get only an inexpensive solar foil. Solar pool heaters cost from about 70 euros. From 600 euros you can buy heat pumps that work efficiently and are perfect for larger pools.

Heat pumps are distinguished between simpler devices with few functions and professional devices. Of course, prices for professional devices start from at least 1,000 euros. Such professional devices are more suitable for large swimming pools and are mostly found in swimming pools.

For household use in the garden for an above-ground pool, a solar pool heater is suitable, which can be bought between 70 and 250 euros. These bring a good price-performance ratio and warm up the pool a little slower, but cheaper, because you save on electricity costs.

When should you use a pool heater?

The pool heater is basically used so that the water in the pool is warmed up. This is very important, for example, if you want to swim in the pool in the garden in autumn or spring. Otherwise, the pool heater is used only when the water is a little too cold.

In addition, the pool heater is used when you want to heat the water, for example, in the hot tub to the 40 degrees Celsius. In this case, a heat pump is absolutely needed, because with the help of a solar pool heater you can not create a water temperature of 40 degrees Celsius.

Thus, pool heaters are used only for heating the water.

What is the right heat pump for my pool and how to use it?

In the best case, a heat pump should achieve the water temperature increase of 1 degree Celsius within a maximum of four hours. The kilowatt figure can be easily calculated by dividing the pool capacity in cubic meters by the four hours. If the pool has a water capacity of 40 cubic meters, the pool heater should have a capacity of 10 kilowatts.

The maximum power call is reached by a heat pump when the outside temperature is 25 degrees Celsius. As the outside temperature drops, so does the efficiency of a pool heater, and as a result it takes much longer for the pool water to warm up. Therefore, an inefficient pool heater will not be able to heat the water to the desired temperature in the spring.

This is why it is so important to choose power wisely before purchasing. It is always advisable to buy a more powerful pool heater when in doubt. This will be able to heat both a small and large pool.

Of course, it is also important that the pool heater is connected properly. This is the only way to ensure efficient water heating. Furthermore, it is important that the pool is covered with a tarpaulin, for example, overnight.

With the cold outside temperatures, even a less powerful pool heater could heat the water if the water was properly covered and does not lose heat. This way you save on electricity costs and the pool heater just works more efficiently overall.


Without a pool heater, there is no swimming fun either in autumn or spring, and sometimes even in summer. The pool heater ensures that the water reaches its mild and pleasant temperature of 25 to 27 degrees Celsius. Before buying, prospective buyers should decide whether they want to save on electricity costs in the long term or whether they want to get a large pool warm quickly.

For larger pools, electric heat pumps are more recommended because they can reach the right bathing temperature faster. Furthermore, the exact temperature can usually be set on the built-in LCD display. However, such devices consume a lot of electricity and can sometimes be unpleasantly noisy.

For smaller pop-up pools or paddling pools, the less expensive alternatives make sense. For example, it is worth buying a solar pool heater if a medium-sized pop-up pool needs to be warmed up a bit in the summer. Here, only small degree increases are possible.

If the pop-up pool is very small, it is worth buying a solar mat or solar foil. This is simply placed on the water surface and warms the water with the help of solar energy. In addition, the mat can lie on the water surface at any time as protection against dirt.

If the above points and purchase criteria are taken into account before buying, almost nothing can go wrong. It is important to pay attention to the size of the pool and the power of the heater before buying. After all, the aim is to prevent expensive heat pump power is not enough to warm up the large pool.

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Larry has been a true water rat since childhood. Pure pleasure turned into a passion. That's why he is the first point of contact for friends and acquaintances when it comes to pool-related problems. He is an integral part of the PoolHandbook editorial team.