Are Electric Pool Heaters a Good Choice for Homes? Buying Guide and Choosing the Best Models

Swimming is always fun, but it can be disappointing when the pool is too cold or the swimming season is too short. Luckily, electric pool heaters are the perfect solution to extend your swimming season!

They are reliable, fast, and cost-effective compared to other heating devices. With electric pool heaters, you can enjoy your pool all year round. So why not discover what else they have to offer?

(photo: amazon.com)

Gas and propane pool water heaters are popular choices on the market due to their power and reliability. However, they are known to consume a lot of energy and may not be practical in areas without a fuel supply.

Fortunately, electric pool heaters are available as an alternative and more practical solution for certain regions. They are more energy-efficient, reliable, and cost-effective than gas heaters. However, choosing the right product can be overwhelming.

In this article, we will discuss important considerations and tips to help you make the right choice without any hassle. Keep reading to find out more!

Considerations & Tips When Buying an Electric Pool Heater

How Electric Pool Heaters Work

The process of how an electric heater works is relatively straightforward. These heaters rely entirely on electricity to operate, using it to heat up a resistor installed inside each device. The resistor heats up until a certain point, at which water is allowed to flow through the device, passing over the resistor and heating the water. Once the water has been heated, it is pumped back out into the pool, and the resistor begins heating up again.

This process is repeated as long as the device is turned on, or until the thermostat stops calling for heat. Electric heaters can warm up a pool quickly, usually within a few hours. However, this quick and effective process means that electric heaters use a significant amount of electrical current, which can eventually result in high operating costs for the owner. As a result, they are typically used in smaller pools, spas, and hot tubs, where their efficient operation can offset their higher energy usage.

TIP: Some electric heaters use less electricity than others, but they are often slower to heat up the water. These heaters may cost less per month to operate, as long as you are willing to tolerate a slower heating process or have a small pool.

Initial Cost

The initial cost of an electric pool heater may vary depending on the model, device efficiency, electronic features, overall capacity, and size. Typically, a basic and less powerful electric heater costs around $500. For larger heaters with additional features, prices can range from $2,000 to $5,000 or more.

Additionally, installation costs must be factored in. Electric pool heaters require heavy-duty wiring, high amperage circuit connections, and some may even require an additional pump to operate, which could add up to $1,000 or more to the initial device price.

When compared to other heating options, such as solar panels that can cost $3,000 for a simple device without installation or heat pumps that can cost up to $4,000 for standard models, electric heaters are relatively affordable.

TIP: Choose a heater that meets your sizing needs. If you have a small pool or hot tub, there is no need to spend more than $1,000 on a single standard device.

Cost of Operation

Electric pool water heaters are more energy-efficient than gas heaters in the long run but less efficient than heat pumps and solar panels. An electric heater typically has a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of 1.0, meaning it uses one unit of energy to produce one unit of heat. This can result in a high operating cost, with a single electric heater costing up to $600 per month to operate. In comparison, heat pumps have a COP of 5.0, and solar panels have a COP of 10.

For those with small pools or hot tubs, it is recommended to choose a smaller device that uses less electricity. However, if budget allows, a more powerful and expensive model may be a better option in the long run due to its increased efficiency and lower operating costs.

Are Electric Pool Heaters Environmentally-Friendly?

Electric heaters, like heat pumps and solar panels, are eco-friendly because they do not emit any CO2 into the environment. In contrast, a gas heater may produce more CO2 than a small car.

TIP: Make sure that your device complies with the regulations in your area regarding electricity consumption and CO2 emissions. Some states, such as California and Texas, require pool owners to use devices that emit less CO2.

Lifespan

The lifespan of an electric pool heater is not the best, but it is enough to save you from headaches and expenses. Due to their highly efficient performance and uncomplicated heating process, these devices tend to last around 5 to 10 years in the best cases. With proper maintenance and minimal usage, they may last up to 15 years or more.

TIP: The quality of construction and materials used in the device plays a significant role in its lifespan. Opt for models that use copper, bronze, and stainless steel over other metals as these are more durable in the long run.

Advantages of Electric Pool Heaters

  • More affordable than other options – $500 base price
  • It works at any temperature and in any weather
  • It doesn’t contribute to air pollution
  • It can be used at any time of the year
  • Easy to install
  • It requires less maintenance

Disadvantages

  • High operation costs – Up to $600 a month
  • Expensive installation – Up to $1,000 to install
  • Use too much energy
  • Electric pool heaters may take longer to heat up the water compared to gas heaters, especially for larger pools.
  • Compared to other heating systems such as solar panels and heat pumps, electric pool heaters typically have a shorter lifespan of around 5 to 10 years.
  • They depend on electricity, which can be a disadvantage in areas with frequent power outages or unreliable electrical grids.

Benefits of Using an Electric Pool Heater

Works at Any Time

Electric pool heaters work consistently regardless of external weather conditions such as snow, rain, wind, or sun. These heaters do not rely on heat transfer processes from sources other than electricity, making them highly effective in all circumstances. This feature is particularly beneficial for those living in colder climates, especially during fall and winter.

Reliability

An electric pool heater can be highly efficient if it is correctly installed and maintained regularly. These devices are designed with high-quality materials and undergo a safe manufacturing process, making them very reliable. They typically last between 5 to 10 years, although with proper care, they can last even longer. Additionally, electric pool heaters do not require regular maintenance as often as other systems, such as solar panels.

Compact and Well-Designed

Most electric pool heaters are small and compact, so they can fit almost anywhere without any problems. Although they may be a little harder to install, they only need to be appropriately attached to a wall or floor (depending on the model), and that’s it. They won’t take up much space or cause any headaches. Furthermore, they are safe even when in operation.

Best Electric Pool Heaters to Consider

Feel like an electric heater for your pool might be your best choice?

Then we have excellent options for you to think about:

Raypak SpaPak Spa Heater 11kW

Not only is the Raypak SpaPak available both in 5.5 kW and in 11 kW, but it is also one of the smallest and most well-designed options out there. It is also incredibly efficient and comes with outstanding building quality of bronze & copper, making it reliable and durable nonetheless.

Hayward CSPAXI Spa Heater 11kW

The Hayward CSPAXI is a powerful choice for those who have small spas or pools and want excellent heating capacity. This option works at 11 kW and 240 Volts, offering up to 70 GPM without any problems. It is mainly made of stainless steel and copper and comes with an electric heating element with a sensor, a threaded head, and a heating indicator. The Hayward CSPAXI is a convenient and reliable model.

EcoSmart SMART POOL Tankless Heater 27kW

If you are looking for a smart device that not only heats the water but also helps you set up a wide array of options according to your needs, then the Smart Pool Tankless Heater from EcoSmart is what you need. It can be controlled remotely, uses low electricity, and is small and easy to install. It works at 240V and 112.5A, making it practical and powerful.

What’s the best electric pool heater for you?

There are many options and features to consider when buying an electric pool heater, and no matter what you choose, it’s all about what fits your needs and capacity. Remember, however, that electric pool heaters are more expensive in the long run than other options, but they are also faster, more efficient, and highly reliable. Choose the one that best suits you!

So, Are Electric Pool Heaters Good for Homes?

If you are looking for a water heating option for your pool that is both fast and reliable, then electric pool heaters may be the perfect choice for you. These heaters are easy to use and can provide a warmer pool experience no matter the weather.

Whether you choose a brand like Raypak, EcoSmart, or Hayward, you will be able to enjoy a longer swimming season in your pool. With electric pool heaters, you can start swimming earlier in the year than your neighbors or keep swimming into the fall season. Plus, if gas is not available or the cost of a gas heater is too high, electric pool heaters provide an affordable alternative.

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