The Complete Swimming Pool Heating Guide

Regardless of where you live in the UK, a pool heater is an incredibly important component of any swimming pool. Without a swimming pool heater, you won't be able to enjoy warmer water in the pool - and therefore, you might find swimming a bit of an unpleasant experience! Usually, the heater is installed after the pump and filter system are in place—the pump pushes the water through the filter and then on to the heater before returning the water to the pool. Below, you can see some of the main types of pool heaters available:

What is the best pool heater?

Which one is right for you, how much they cost to run and their pros and cons.

Pool Electric Heater

Electric Heaters

Electric pool heaters work by an electrical current being applied to the element which generates heat, water then flows over the heating element and heats the water which is then transferred back into the pool. Electric pool heaters are suitable for both in-ground and above ground pools, indoor and out. Smaller above ground pools usually use electric heaters as they do not require a large heat source. An electric pool heaters efficiency level will remain reasonably constant as they are not affected by air temperatures, unlike an air source heat pump. Electric pool heaters cost from £134 to around £7,180.00. View the electric pool heaters we have available.

Gas Heatersbest pool heaters

The running costs for gas heaters will depend on the cost of your gas supply, they offer one massive advantage in comparison to other pool heat sources, they provide almost instant heat. The combustion of the gas creates instant heat which will, therefore, start to heat your pool quickly which is an excellent choice for people who do not use their pool regularly. As they rely on gas to provide heat they are not affected. It is suggested that the COP of gas heaters is quite poor therefore the prices in our table are basic estimates based on an average UK gas price but could be higher depending on the gas heater chosen and they are considered the least eco-friendly pool heating option. They work in a comparable way to electric heaters, the water passes over the combustion chamber where the heat is produced, the heat is transferred to the water and it is then passed back into the pool. Gas pool heaters cost between £2214 to £3947. Take a look at some of our selection of gas pool heaters

Oil Heaters

Oil heaters are like gas heaters as they burn the oil which produces heat which is then transferred to the water either directly or via a heat exchanger. An oil pool heater is worth considering if your household heating is also run off oil, however, in recent months the prices of oil have risen as it is not a renewable energy source. Some clients have chosen to implement an oil heater alongside an electric heater which they run during off-peak hours to maintain temperature levels, similarly to a gas heater an oil heater will produce almost instant heat which makes. They are fairly economical to run however this depends on the cost of your oil so it is worth stocking up when prices are low (usually the summer). One drawback which is the same as a gas heater is it needs to be installed by a professional and service work may be costly. Oil pool heaters cost between £3399 to £5249. View the range.

Best heating solution for a pool

Swimming Pool Heat Pumps

Heat pumps work by moving the water into the heat pump via the filtration system, the heat pump takes air from the outside. Then the refrigerant in the evaporator coil takes heat from the air and turns it into gas, the gas goes through the compressor which raises the temperature of the gas, this hot gas then goes through the condenser and transfers the heat into the water which then goes back into the pool. Heat Pumps have a great COP which means you get more for your money, for example, a COP of 3 means for every £1 you spend you get £3 worth of energy, making them an excellent solution for saving money and being eco-friendly. Due to the fan element, they can sometimes be noisy but recent technological advances have been working to tackle this and some heat pumps are now incredibly quiet. One disadvantage is a heat pump COP and heating ability is affected by the outside air temperature, during the summer months it works very well, and most heat pumps now operate down to -5oc, but the cop will always be higher than other pool heating options. A heat pump will usually cost more than an electric heater, but an electric heater will cost more to run, so the question is? Can you afford the initial outlay to save money and be more eco-friendly in the long run? Typically heat pumps are used for outside pools but can also be used inside. For more information contact one of our expert advisers. Heat Pump pool heaters cost from around £590 to £7000. Take a look at some of our swimming pool heat pumps. 

In an ideal world, the heat you put into your pool would stay there, unfortunately, this is not the case. With an insulated cover, you can reduce heat loss but with an outside pool, you will find your pool loses quite a bit of heat. Your heater will have a thermostat which will keep your pool at a constant temperature, they usually start running after they detect around a 1-degree change.

Average Running Costs of Pool Heaters:

Below we have detailed some energy consumption examples based on pool size running from May to mid-September.

pool heating energy consumption guide

These figures are based on a 1-degree loss per day and will vary depending on the type of pool. Below we have calculated the costs based on current energy prices. These do not include daily standing charges, this is to show you a price comparison between heat sources and costs. The COP measures how much heat is generated for each kW of electricity input. For example, a COP of 2 means that that 2kw of heat has been generated for every 1kw of electricity input. COP will change depending on outside air temperatures, therefore, the costs below are calculated assuming a constant COP of 3. But as you can see it is still cheaper to run a heat pump than an electric heater, but a gas heater is the next best solution. However, one thing to bear in mind is the rise of gas and oil prices over the next few years.

KW Required Per Season Electric @ 17p per kW Gas @ 6p per kW Oil @ 7p per kW Heat Pump @ c.o.p of 3
1200 £204 £72 £84 £68
2500 £425 £150 £175 £141
4000 £680 £240 £280 £266
6000 £1020 £360 £420 £340
10000 £1700 £600 £700 £566
15000 £2250 £900 £1050 £750

Below is an example of energy usage by Bosta who manufactures the Hydro Pro Heat Pumps.

Type Size COP A27/W27 Heating Capacity (A27/W27) Power Usage (Kwh)
Heat Pump 10kw 13 10 1.5 kwh
Electric 10kw 1 10 10 kwh

A = Air W= Water

You can see in the final column that it only costs approximately 1.5kwh of electricity per hour to run a heat pump but you can get 10kw worth of and just heat whereas an electric heater requires you to pay for 10kw of electricity per hour to generate the same amount of heat. Electricity costs approximately £0.15 p/h, therefore, you are paying £1.50 p/h for an electric heater and just £0.22p for a heat pump.


Get In Touch With Blue Cube Direct For Pool Heating

For more information about swimming pool heating costs, recommendations on a suitable heating solution for your pool, or for just a chat - get in touch with the Blue Cube Direct team!