When it comes to your pool, you probably want it as nice as you can afford. Pool heaters can offer you most likely something that works fast and efficiently. We will explore the best heat pump style pool heaters for inground pools on the market. You definitely will want to check these out because they could save you money, up front, and definitely in the long run. Plus, get more time out of the pool season.
What Is the Best Heat Pump Pool Heater For Inground Pools
Comparing the Best Heat Pump Pool Heaters For Inground Pools
1. Best Overall Pick : FibroPool FH 220 Swimming Pool Heater Heat Pump
2. 1st Runner-up: Puri Tech Quiet Heat 141,000BTU Pool Heat Pump
3. 2nd Runner-up: Hayward W3HP21404T Pool Heat Pump
4. Best Around $1800 – XtremepowerUS 53,000 BTU Heat Pump Titanium
5. Best Powerful Type – ComforTemp Swimming Heat Pump
6. Best For Swimming Pool – AquaCal Tropical T55 Heat Pump
How a Heat Pump Pool Heater Works
Pool heat pumps run by attracting warm air and using it to heat the enclosed system gas using electricity. This means that the mechanism doesn’t generate any of its heat. They have a fan that assist the flow of air. The enclosed system gas passes through a compressor and a condenser. Here is where the heat added to the gas is taken out, and the the gas is pumped to repeat the process.
The pool pump will pump the pool water into the filter and then through the heater. Where the water is heated about three to five degrees and then pumped back into the pool. Everything just keeps repeating until it reaches set temperatures. It is like a house heat pump, or a reverse air conditioner so to speak.
Sizing The Pool Heat Pump
Choosing the right size for your pool heat pump is important. Pool heaters measure their power in British Thermal Units (BTUs). One BTU is the unit of measure for heating one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
The conversion on this is 8.33 pounds of water per gallon. So if you know how many gallons your pool has, you are off to a great start. From here you can do the calculations. Most of the time, you will want to be able to heat a pool by 20 degrees over 24 hours. You will have to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions, but overestimating your BTUs is better because you have to account for outside variables such as heat loss through evaporation and ground temps.
Pros and Cons of Pool Heat Pump
- Less cost up front
- Less complex than other pool heaters
- Good for milder climates
- Cheaper to run over time?
- Installation is less complicated
- Environmentally friendly (especially with wind or solar supplier)
- Less popular than gas pool heaters
- Heat rise takes longer
Pool Heat Pump Winterizing
The main thing that you need to do when winterizing your pool heat pump is to drain all of all water out before freezing temperatures arrive. Additionally, make sure that rodents don’t make a nest in it and that no needles can clog it up. You may also want to invest in a pool heater cover to make sure that you shield the pool heat pump from all the elements.
How to Choose a Heat Pump?
When it comes to choosing a heat pump, you will have to consider several factors. For one, you will have to know your budget. Additionally, you will need to determine whether you want a heat pump with or without ducts. Next, you will need to know if you want a dual-fuel pump. If you live in an area that has higher electrical costs, then you should consider dual-fuel. Finally, deciding on the type and style of thermostat you want will be your final choice.
Can a Pool Heat Pump Heater Be Used For Any Pool?
A pool heat pump is like a reverse air conditioner for your pool. If you live in a colder area, it doesn’t make sense to get a pool heat pump. It’s better to get a pool heat pump if you live in a warmer, or milder climates as it relies on attracting warm air from the atmosphere. Additionally, if your pool is complex and has many areas, then you should opt for a gas heater. A pool heat pump works well on average to smaller pools with simple heating needs.
How Do you Determine the Right Size Pool Heat Pump for Your Pool?
When looking for the right size of the pool heat pump for your pool, you will need to look up a chart. There are many charts online and in a manufacturer’s instruction list that state exactly what size you need for your pool. Knowing your measurements for the pool and the amount of gallons that your pool holds is the first step.
To calculate an approximate heater size for an outdoor swimming pool, follow these steps:
- Determine your desired swimming pool temperature.
- Determine the average temperature for the coldest month of pool use.
- Subtract the average temperature for the coldest month from the desired pool temperature. This will give you the temperature rise needed.
- Calculate the pool surface area in square feet.
- Use the following formula to determine the Btu/hour output requirement of the heater:
Pool Area x Temperature Rise x 12
This formula is based on 1º to 1-1/4ºF temperature rise per hour and a 3-1/2 mile per hour average wind at the pool surface. For a 1-1/2ºF rise multiply by 1.5. For a 2ºF rise multiply by 2.0.
Example: a 14ft x 22ft pool, which is (pool area= 308) X 20F Temperature rise X 12 = 110880 BTU
To learn more about what the Department of Energy has on Pool Heater Heat Pumps, check this link to Energy.gov/ pool heat pumps.
What’s Better, a Pool Heat Pump or a Gas Pool Heater?
It’s hard to say offhand which is better, a pool heat pump or a gas pool heater. Those who live in cold climates with a short unpredictable swimming season should get a gas pool heater. Those who don’t need a lot of heating in their areas, such as someone from California or Florida, will want to consider a pool heat pump.
It boils down to your climate as the main factor to whether a pool heat pump will work best for you. The cost of electricity is the second factor, and as it goes, the colder climate it is the more electricity and efficiency of the heat pump goes down. So it is like an exponential decline.
Reviews of the Best Heat Pump Pool Heaters for Inground Pools
1. FibroPool FH 220 Swimming Pool Heater Heat Pump
This pool heater pump works for pools up to 7500 gallons. It is recommended to only buy this for pools in warmer coastal climates. This unit even works for hot tubs. It weighs 78 pounds in total so it is quite hefty.
Be aware that it only heats while the pump is running. You do not need a bypass valve for this make. It should be connected after the filter, but before the salt system. When you first use it, be prepared for it to take a little longer with the initial heating. This pool heater heat pump is also easy to install and customer typically agree with the manufacturer’s claim on installation.
2. Puri Tech Quiet Heat 141,000BTU Pool Heat Pump
The Puri-Tech make is modern looking and blends nicely with most back yards. It has what Puri Tech calls a Saving Optimizer, that can save the average user up to $2000/ year! The compressor tubing is made of commercial grade titanium with enhanced aluminum alloy cooling fins. And this size puts out 141,000 BTUs
Perhaps one of the best features as a result of the optimizer is it runs quieter than other pool heat pump heaters. Good for pools up to 45,000 gallons (dependent on location) and it comes in a stylish cabinet as well. The only reason this guy hasn’t jumped to the #1 spot is because of the new optimizer technology incorporated in the pool heat pump
3. Hayward W3HP21404T Pool Heat Pump
This Hayward model is 140,000 BTUs. It works quietly and is an efficient heater. The fin is corrosion resistant and the heat exchanger is titanium. It is resistant to chemical damage as well as that which can occur from saltwater.
The heat pump weighs 320 pounds in total, so you will have to get several people to lift it. The entirety of this model is built to stand up to corrosion and damage from water chemicals. It will heat a large pool but if you live in windy areas, this might not cover heat loss to evaporation.
4. XtremepowerUS 53,000 BTU Heat Pump Titanium
This is a brand and make that will heat a smaller pool. The fan is built in such a way as to be quieter. The LED control panel is comprehensive and easy to use. The body panels are impervious to rust and other types of damage. You can do all the plumbing on the front which makes this system easy to install. You can easily see what’s going on with all the digital outer face. It weighs 190 pounds so it will be a two or more person job to carry and install it.
5. Pentair 460932 UltraTemp 110 High-Performance Pool Heat Pump
This puts out 108,000 BTU, so it works on larger sized pools. It has a titanium heat exchanger. This material is resistant to corrosion. The anti-freezing feature will prevent the ThermalFlo from freezing. This pump will work at temperatures below the normal heat pump range due to the automatic defrost feature. It does cost more to run it when it is cold, but that cold night won’t freeze it up. It is nice to not have to worry.
It weighs 300 pounds so it will take quite a bit of manpower to install properly. It will work on either a pool or a spa, so this is a definite plus. It is easy to install and will go to heating your pool right away after you install it. This is less waiting time from initial installation than other brands.
6. Puri Tech Quiet Heat 50,000 BTU Digital Heat Pump
The Puri Tech can be used in pools up to 16,000 gallons. The exterior is weatherproof which means that it will resist breaking down from the chemicals in the water. It has QZ Quiet Technology. The control panel is intuitive and easy to use. This pool heater is also built to last you a long time. It’s an energy-efficient system due to the purposeful design and will save you money on energy costs. This means that it is also good for the environment for the environmentally friendly user out there. All in all, you will like this well-designed machine.
7. ComforTemp Swimming Heat Pump
This spherical shaped device has a titanium heat exchanger. This makes it resistant to rust and corrosion. The Comfortemp features self-adjusts to reach an optimal temperature for your swimming pleasure. This also makes it easier to just set-it and forget-it.
It has an LED system that is easy to read temperature and other needed features off of the readout. The pump is very efficient so you can heat your pool for less than most of the competitors. This is probably the best part of the entire device.
8. AquaCal Tropical T55 Heat Pump
Due to the pandemic production delay, the current shipping time is 7- 8 weeks. (see if it changed yet)
New 2021 Model, PoolSync Ready. PoolSync is a WiFi Controller and app that allows you to adjust your heat pump’s setting from the palm of your hand!
It will work well for a saltwater pools also. The heater will heat a pool up to 10,000 gallons based on its 51,000 BTUs. Since it is so new, there is not much on it overall performance overtime. However, the encasing is attractive and it is backed by the AquaCal Tropical brand.