If you want to extend your swim season, or not confine your dips to hot sunny days, there’s no better option than adding a propane-powered pool heater to your at-home swimming hole. But how do you choose a propane pool heater that’s right for you?
3 pool heater factors to consider
Size – Just like any other appliance, a pool heater should be sized to do the job it is expected to do without being too large or too small. Propane pool heaters are rated by their Btu output, with sizes ranging from 75,000 Btu to 450,000 Btu. The heating load of your pool determines how large a pool heater you will need.
Calculating heating load can be challenging, since factors that influence it range from the surface area of the pool to the amount of sun and wind exposure your pool will get. However, you can get a rough idea of the size of heater you’ll need by following these instructions:
Choose a temperature you would like your pool water to be.
Subtract that average temperature from your desired pool temperature to determine the rise in temperature your heater will need to accomplish.
Calculate the surface area of your pool in square feet.
Use this following formula to determine the Btu per hour output requirement of the heater*: Pool Area x Temperature Rise x 12
Efficiency – The second factor to consider when choosing a propane pool heater is efficiency, which measures how much energy an appliance consumes vs. how much energy is actually applied to the job it is trying to do (in this case heat a pool). For example, a heater with an 80 percent efficiency rating uses $80 of every $100 spent on propane gas to heat water – the rest is lost in transfer. Today’s propane pool heaters can have efficiencies well into the 90s, with costs rising as efficiency improves.
Installation and upkeep costs – Proper installation and maintenance of your propane pool heater will help it run as efficiently as possible. As with any home comfort service, you get what you pay for when installing a pool heater – be sure to choose a reputable contractor with expert technicians if you want to get the most pool-heating bang for your buck. With proper installation and maintenance, your propane pool heaters last at least five years, helping extend your swimming season by a month or more in each one.