There’s no better way to extend the pool season than to evaluate your options in pool heaters. But what makes gas different from an electric pool heater (also called a heat pump)? To help you understand the differences, we’ve compiled a quick list of the features of both.

First, Some Background on the Electric Pool Heater

If you’ve ever heard of a heat pump for pool water, it’s a reference to an electric pool heater. They’re powered by electricity and work like an AC unit, but in reverse. Rather than produce heat, these pumps extract it from the outside air and compress it.

The Pros

Use Less Energy Over Longer Periods: Heat pumps are very efficient and convert most of the energy over to heat. This means that you’ll spend quite a bit less time maintaining the same temperature over a long period of time.

Cost Effective: Even though they use electricity and seem to be expensive at first glance, the operating cost of electric heaters is lower.

Long Lifespan: Heat pumps have very few moving parts compared to a gas pool heater and because of their “low and slow” operation, they’ll incur less wear and tear. This translates to a longer lifespan.

Environmentally Friendly: An electric pool heater produces no carbon dioxide, and uses much less energy, making them a greener option to use.

The Cons

Slow Warm-up: Heat pumps take a while to get up to speed. In other words, don’t expect your water to be as warm as you’d like quickly, if you had it turned off for a few days.

Difficult to Maintain Temperature:
The colder the outside temps get, the harder it will be to get your electric heater to maintain your perfect temperature.

High Upfront Costs: Electric heaters require 220 volt service, which may result in higher installation costs due to breaker-panel availability and distance to the pool. Additionally, their initial purchase cost is substantially more than most gas heater options.