Winter temperatures in Southern California never really approach freezing point, and it’s not uncommon for warm spells to encourage people to swim in the ocean or their swimming pools. A professional pool installer in Orange County can help you decide what type of pool water heater will best suit your needs.

Getting the right pool heaters are the way to go for homeowners who want to extend their swimming season by a few months.

Winter Pool Installation in Orange County

You have a few choices when it comes to heating pools. You can use a gas heater, an electric pool heater, or even a solar pool heater. Determining which is better can be a controversial and divisive subject. Now, your decision must come down to a few important factors, including the pool size, your preferred temperature, and how often you use your pool in winter.

When it comes to weighing the pros and cons of gas, electric, and solar heaters, there can be one pool professional who won’t recommend gas and won’t think that it should even be included in the comparison.

On the other hand, a different pool service provider believes that gas heaters are comparable to electric heaters and actually beat electric heaters in some situations.

Weighing the Options: Electric Vs. Gas Pool Heaters

There are several areas in which electric and gas swimming pool heaters operate in much the same way, but there are also some differences too, as you’ll see below.

Electric Heat Pumps

Heat pumps have developed over the years to the point where they now use cutting-edge technology to draw warmth from the air, compress it, and transfer the heat into the swimming pool.

They don’t need to generate heat because the heat is right there. In theory, this enables electric heaters to provide stable heat for long periods of time—like a year.

Compared to other pool warming systems, electric heating pumps are easy to install and easy to operate. It’s possible to sync your advanced unit to your smartphone via an application. You can use the app to control any aspect of the system—including when to start it up and what temperature you want.

Given that an electric pool heater represents a significant financial investment, you want to know how long it will last and how easy it is to repair. These are easier to maintain than gas heaters, and they’re also simpler to repair—and replacement parts for electric heaters are cheaper than gas parts.

It’s worth noting that electric pool heaters are more durable than their gas counterparts.

Gas Heat Pumps

Gas heaters are more commonly used because they cost less than electric heaters. Furthermore, while gas heaters have relatively high installation costs, they heat swimming pool water more quickly than electric pumps, so they are more efficient in the long run because you just need to run them when you want to take a dip.

However, gas heat pumps are more expensive to install than electric heaters. If you don’t have a natural gas pipeline on your property, you need to either buy and install one or a propane tank—either way, you’re looking at total installation costs of $3,000 to $4,000. It breaks down into $1,500 to $2,500 to buy the heater and $500 to $1,500 for installation. Electric pumps, on the other hand, cost up to $3,500 and $1,000 for installation.

Gas is ahead of electricity when it comes to running costs. Obviously, this depends on fluctuating prices, but currently, the average price per gallon is $2.50. It works out to a maximum running price of around $13 per hour. Depending on the source, running costs for natural gas heaters are in the region of $200 to $400 per month.

Considering the range of costs coming from several different sources, the monthly running costs for electric pool heaters are anywhere between  $100 to $600.

Considerations when Choosing a Gas or Electric Heat Pump

How much energy does it take to heat up a pool? To determine this, you need to know that the pool heat pump’s power is measured in British thermal units (BTUs). One BTU is the energy taken to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. 

For example, a 20,000-gallon gas-heated pool uses 166,000 BTUs to generate a few extra degrees over the course of a few hours. The average cost of a 200,000 BTU gas pool heater is $1,700 to $2,000—the bottom line here is that gas heaters can warm water quickly. 

Electric gas heaters are much slower at warming water because their BTUs are lower. For example, the average cost of a 92,000 BTU electric heater is $1,000. To get your money’s worth out of a unit, it’s recommended that you use the pumps in small indoor pools.

Furthermore, you want a heater that can raise the water temperature almost to the bath water level and decrease the water temperature until it takes your breath away when you dive in. High temperatures are great for people with joint conditions who need hotter water to keep them limber. The heat is also good for general chronic pain, as it helps ease muscles. 

Don’t forget that some bacteria thrive in warm water, so you might need to up your maintenance schedule.

Swim All Year Round with Professional Pool Installations in Orange County

If you want to swim virtually all year round, then you’re in the market for either an electric or gas pool heater. The decision between the two is more complex than you might think, with a range of factors and pros and cons to consider.

Discussing your options with a trusted pool installation in Orange County will ensure that you’ll choose the right pool heater for your needs. To request a quote, you may fill out our online form or contact us at 714-235-3294 at Calimingo Pools today!