Benefits of Heat Pumps for Swimming Pools and What to Look For

Explore the benefits of heat pumps for swimming pools as the most cost-effective solution for your pool. What are the important things to consider when buying a heat pump? Check out popular manufacturers and models.

If you have taken the time and spend thousands of dollars to install a swimming pool, then investing in pool water heating naturally becomes the next step. That way, you can enjoy your swimming pool even during the cold months or have the party going no matter the weather conditions.

Also, water heaters keep your pool from freezing over, preventing damages and extending the lifespan.

what type of electric pool heater to use for heating the swimming pool?photo: pixabay

Now, figuring out which pool heater to install for your swimming pool can be time-consuming, even a problem.

There are lots of types and models out there with different most innovative features.

However, navigating the world of water heaters for swimming pools should not cause you sleepless nights.

This article will guide you through the types, benefits, and features. By the time you're done reading, you should have a good idea about the best pool heater for your needs.

Hayward pool heat pump

Brief overview of heat pumps

Heat pumps represent a modern solution to efficiently control the temperature of swimming pools, utilizing principles of thermodynamics to transfer heat from the air, ground, or water to the pool.

Unlike traditional heating methods that generate heat, heat pumps simply move existing heat, making them more energy-efficient and cost-effective.

This technology has become increasingly popular for both residential and commercial pool owners who seek an eco-friendly, cost-efficient, and reliable way to maintain ideal swimming temperatures.

Benefits of heat pumps for swimming pools

There are different methods of heating your swimming pool, but using a heat pump is one of the best. This has a lot to do with the way heat pumps work.

Because they do not generate heat but moving from one place (with the higher temperature) to another (with the lower temperature), increasing the efficiency and lowering the energy use.

Actually, heat pumps use a small amount of electricity only to run the fan and compressor.

There are several reasons why we prefer heat pumps, and these include the following benefits:

  • High energy efficiency
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Eco-friendly
  • Durability
  • Consistent heating and comfort
  • Initial installation costs versus long-term savings
  • Easy maintenance
  • Potential for government rebates and incentives

High energy efficiency

Basically, heat pumps for swimming pools are cost-effective. This is because the heat pump uses a small amount of electricity to power a fan and compressor and move the heat from the air to a swimming pool. The direct result is less energy use. 

Most heat pumps have a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of 6.0. That means, for every used unit of energy, the heat pump produces 6 units in return. Due to such performance, heat pumps are extremely efficient and affordable.

Several ultra-efficient models are found in the HeatWave SuperQuiet series from AquaCal. They are built for different pool sizes and can provide the maximum output of 35.2 kW and COP of 6.8. And thanks to the variable speed pump, you can maximize the savings.


Actually, heat pumps for swimming pools have a high initial cost.

They cost more than gas or electric type. However, the long-term savings more than make up for this. When we compare operation costs between different water heater types, gas type costs can reach $500, electric $600, while pool heat pumps $100 an average.

Also, it has a low cost of operation and maintenance.


Heat pumps are eco-friendly. They use very little electricity, have no combustion, and do not release CO2 into the atmosphere directly.

One of the coolest things about heat pumps is their compatibility with renewable energy sources like solar power. If your home is powered by renewables, your heat pump can run on this clean energy, further reducing its environmental impact.

Heat pumps last long

Heat pumps are durable. They last longer than the gas type, and the warranty is better. If they are correctly maintained, you can enjoy having hot water in your swimming pool for a long time.

The average lifespan is around 15 years; it can be extended if regularly serviced by a professional technician

Hayward HP21404T Heat Pro Pump, for instance, is one long-lasting model that utilizes the titanium heat exchanger, panels, and parts that are rust and corrosion resistant, making them reliable and safe for installation even in coastal areas.

Besides, the performance is impressive, the efficiency is ultra-high, and it isn't as noisy as some other models. 

Consistent heating and comfort

Heat pumps are the steady hands of pool heating. They're really good at maintaining a consistent water temperature, no matter what the weather's doing. This means no more unexpected chilly dips!

Your pool stays at just the right warmth, ensuring comfortable swims every time.

Initial installation costs versus long-term savings

While the upfront cost of a heat pump is higher than traditional heaters, the long-term savings are where you really win. Their energy efficiency means lower monthly bills, and their durability means fewer replacement costs.

Over time, these savings can add up to cover, and even surpass, the initial investment.

Easy maintenance

Finally, one really great thing about heat pumps is how easy they are to maintain. And if you need help with repairs, contact a pro for quality service.

The above AquaCal model, for example, utilizes a microprocessor control with a digital control panel and rust-proof and impact-resistant cabinet. The quality material ensures enhanced wear and element resistance, while advanced diagnostics provides better control and monitoring.

Potential for government rebates and incentives

To sweeten the deal, some governments offer rebates and incentives for installing energy-efficient appliances like heat pumps. This can significantly reduce the initial cost and make the switch to a heat pump even more attractive from a financial perspective.

It's worth checking out local programs that might help you save even more.

Important things to consider when buying a pool heater

So, we've already talked about how important a water heater is for swimming pools and its benefits. It is certainly convenient to install one. Before we talk about features and different types of water heaters, it is important to know what to look out for.

Therefore, here are a few things to consider before deciding on which heater to use.

Water heater efficiency. It is always better to buy a high-efficiency heater, or you will find yourself spending more on energy bills for many years to come. If looking for a gas type, a good option is the Hayward H400FDN Universal H-Series. This is an energy-efficient and high-performance pool heater that comes with low gas emissions and superior corrosion resistance.

The size of your pool: The size of your pool will impact the type of pool heater you buy. If you have a small pool, there's no point in getting a water heater with lots of BTU or kWs, designed for large pools. You'll end up spending more than you should on energy bills.

If you live in a region with a warm and mild climate, and you need a heater for a small and above-ground swimming pool, solar water heaters are the way to go. A model such as Intex Solar Mat Heater, for example, is a cost-effective solution that is using free solar energy.

Your budget: Let's face it - water heating for pools ranges across different price points. For instance, a good solar-powered water heater for a swimming pool can cost up to $4000. Of course, there are other factors to consider, like size and power. So, it is crucial to have a good idea of how much you can afford before you go looking for one.

The climate: Of course, if you live in colder regions, solar water heaters might not be the best option. In such places, an electric or gas heater is probably a better idea. Or, if you live in the coastal area, a heater with salt and rust-resistant parts is your best option.

Electricity or gas: This is another important consideration – the fuel type. Gas water heaters usually heat the pool very quickly due to their powerful burners. But electric heaters tend to be more energy-efficient, especially heat pumps. However, if natural gas has not been delivered to your home, you should consider an alternative energy source, such as propane or electricity.

Popular models

A guide to buying a heat pump for your swimming pool

When selecting a heat pump pool heater, there are several things to consider.

  • Size
  • Efficiency
  • Heat exchanger
  • Compressor
  • Energy costs
  • Maintenance

Pool heat pump size

Basically, the size of the heat pump is significant. But, you will probably need expert help for this as the size of the unit will depend not only on the pool size but other factors such as the climate and weather.

So, you will need to consider the pool's surface area as well as the average air temperature, wind exposure, humidity, temperature variations, and others. Note that the heating load for an outdoor pool might be more than that of an indoor pool.

So, if you live in a place with lower humidity, colder temperature, and higher wind speed, you'll need a larger heater. Popular sizes go from 75,000 BTU to 140,000 BTU.

The Hayward HP21404T HeatPro Titanium with the power of 140,000 BTU is one of the popular models to look into. It utilizes the titanium heat exchanger, which guarantees increased heat transfer, higher efficiency, and reliability, even in harsh conditions.

Pool heat pump efficiency

Again, it is essential to look into the efficiency of the heat pump. The energy efficiency of a heat pump pool heater is one area where this heating method stands out. An excellent way to gauge the efficiency is through the Coefficient of Performance (or the COP). The higher the number, the higher the efficiency, and more savings for you.

Heat exchanger

Interestingly, the heat exchanger is used to transfer heat from the refrigerant to the pool water. Most heat pumps use heat exchangers made of copper and nickel, as they're inexpensive and efficient.

But there are a few, like the Hayward HP21404T HeatPro Titanium, that uses titanium heat exchangers, which are highly resistant to pool chemicals and corrosion, which will significantly extend its service life.

So, you need to decide whether you want to go with the typical copper or nickel exchanger or a titanium one found in advanced models.

Compressor type

Now, heat pumps for pools use compressors to condense refrigerant into a hot gas. This then goes on to heat the pool. Most heat pumps use the scroll compressor. These are durable, more efficient, and have fewer moving parts. Naturally, there's also the reciprocating compressor, but it is not as durable as the scroll type.

The overall costs

Generally, heat pumps have a higher initial cost than some other types of pool heaters. And some models cost a little higher than the average pool heater. It is always a good idea to consider the overall cost of the heater. This includes installation, operation, repairs, and maintenance. This will help you choose a model that will serve you for a long time to come.

Installation and maintenance

Proper installation and maintenance of your pool heat pump are important. This is because when properly installed and serviced, it can last for 10-15 years or longer without losing on its performance. Therefore, it is advisable to get professional help with this.

Top manufacturers


Finally, no doubt installing a heat pump for your swimming pool water heating needs is a great choice.

Yes, it is expensive and heats the water slowly, but it also brings many benefits to homeowners – it is the ultra-efficient, cost-effective, and eco-friendly solution. Also, when properly maintained, it can last for many years, longer than other types, and even increase the value of your home.