Pool Heat Pumps vs Gas Heaters

Pool Heat Pumps vs Gas Heaters


Pool heat pumps vs gas heaters — which is best for you? This post answers all the essential questions


Maybe you’re someone who’s shopping around and trying to choose the best pool heater for them. Or, perhaps you’re eager to learn about what truly separates pool heat pumps from gas heaters. No matter where you stand, this post is all about explaining the major differences between the two pool heater types, from functionality to cost.

Pool Heat Pumps vs Gas Heaters: How are they different?

pool heat pumps vs gas heaters gas pool heater cost pool heat pump cost pool heat pump sizing

Pool heat pumps are all about the long game, whereas as gas heaters are sprinters.  As a matter of fact, that’s one of the core differences that sets the two apart: speed.

While pool heat pumps utilize natural heat and high- pressure refrigerant to heat up water, gas heaters rely on combustion.


How pool heat pumps produce heat


With a small amount of electricity, pool heat pumps harvest natural heat using a fan to pull in warm air over an evaporator coil (the starting point of the high-pressure refrigerant system).

[Learn more about: How Air-Source Pool Heat Pumps Work]


How gas heaters produce heat

Gas heaters burn gas in a combustion chamber to produce heat.

[Learn more about: How Gas Pool Heaters Work]


Natural heat vs Combustion

pool heat pumps vs gas heaters energy efficient pool heater gas pool heater cost pool heat pump costThis is where pool heat pumps shine — since they use natural air as a heat source, their pull on electricity is quite generous. From a numbers standpoint, pool heat pumps like the Oasis Platinum offer a Coefficient of Performance of 6.0, meaning that for every kilowatt of energy consumed, approximately six are produced.

On the other hand, gas heaters present a lower (estimated) average COP of around 0.80. This means that gas heaters consume far more energy (fuel) than they produce (heat) per dollar. Hence, why gas heaters are naturally more expensive to use.

Speed is one factor that comes at a cost in the world of pool heaters.




Pool Heat Pumps vs Gas Heaters: Monthly Pool Heating Costs

Note: These cost estimates are based on heating an average-sized backyard swimming pool.

Gas Pool Heater Cost : $300 – $500 per month

Expensive huh? That’s because gas heaters are best for spa setups, and small pools.

Pool Heat Pump Cost: $50 – $150 per month

Low heating costs are a product of the natural energy efficiency of pool heat pumps.



Pool Heat Pumps vs Gas Heaters

Pool Heat PumpsGas Heaters
  •  Environmentally friendly (0 harmful C02 emissions | Uses R410A refrigerant)
  • Highly energy efficient
  • Low installation and operation cost
  •  Performance limited by external
  • Slower initial heating time (typically 24-72 hours)
  • Requires dedicated electrical breaker
  • Fast heating
  • Performance unaffected by external temperature or weather
  • Quick initial heating time
  •  Requires installation of dedicated gas line
  • High operation cost (gas is expensive)
  • More ideal for smaller set-ups or as a backup

Which is better for heating a pool, pool heat pumps or gas heaters?

It’s pretty easy to see what sets these two pool heaters apart. While pool heat pumps focus on energy efficiency and cost effectiveness, gas heaters put speed and performance at the forefront.

Will both pool heaters effectively heat your pool? Absolutely, you just need to decide which pool heating solution is better for your situation. Consider everything, from your monthly pool heating budget and location, to the size of your pool and how often you use it.

For a more in-depth and detailed look at all the pool heater types (including solar and electric), check out our pool heater cost and efficiency comparison article.


Which type of pool heater has worked best for you?