Although you probably enjoy using your pool year-around in southern Florida, it still needs a pool heater to help maintain an optimal temperature of 84 degrees. When you feel more comfortable in your pool, you’ll enjoy being in it more frequently. However, deciding between a gas and an electric heater can seem daunting since they’re both beneficial.
Understanding the Difference Between gas and Electric Pool Heaters
Gas heaters are powered by a propane tank that’s buried on your property. You won’t even need any additional infrastructure if your home already uses gas for cooking or heating. The nice thing about gas is it’ll heat your poo quickly. Typically, it’ll only take about one hour for your pool to reach 84 degrees while it’ll take much longer with electricity. However, electric heaters require one-third the amount of power to maintain a consistent water temperature. So, while you’ll lose about a degree an hour with a gas heater, you’ll lose one degree every three hours with an electric heater. This means that an electric heater is three times more efficient.
Comparing Operating Costs
Gas heaters initially cost less money – about 30% less. However, the real financial factor comes when you look at how much your pool heater costs you to operate each month, every year. Since it costs about $4 per gallon of propane, you could spend $250 – $600 to fill your tank, depending on its size. You may need to refill it once or twice a month when it’s cooler outside. This means you’d be spending at least $500 per month to warm the average 15-by-30-feet pool for several months of the year.
On the other hand, it’ll cost you much less money to use an electric heater. In fact, to heat the average 15-by-30-feet pool it’ll only cost $80 – $120 per month. So, while you initially pay more to have an electric heater installed, you’ll receive a return on investment within your first year of using it.
Taking Care of Your Heater
Another important consideration when you’re buying a new pool heater is how much you’ll pay to maintain it. Typically, electric heaters are more reliable because gas heaters must include various safety switches and circuits. Since they have more parts, there’s a greater likelihood that these parts could malfunction. Electric heaters are advantageous here because they’re simpler and thus maintenance is much easier.
Regardless of what type of a heater your pool has, you must service it before turning it on for the season in the fall. This is especially important in Florida where temperatures are so humid – something that’s touch on outdoor mechanicals.
Making Your Decision
Whether a gas or electric pool heater is right for your pool depends on what you need. However, electric is the more popular option simply because it costs less, is more efficient, and is easier to maintain. If you still need some help determining what will work for you give us a call at Pool Screens R Us. We’re here to help you!
Picture Credit: matoue