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A man and son shivering in a pool in Mississauga, Ontario

Are Pool Heaters Worth It?

It’s a nice warm day in late May and you just opened your pool. The sun has been shining down on the water all day, so you decide to take a dip.

You get up on the diving board, bounce into the air, prepare to slice through the water, and BRRRRR! The shock of the cold water makes you run back into the house. As you close the door behind you, you hear your next door neighbours having fun in their own pool.

Why are they in their pool while you aren’t enjoying yours? The difference could be a pool heater.

This scenario leaves in-ground, heater-less pool owners asking themselves: “Are pool heaters worth it?”

In a word, the answer is yes! Pool season in Southern Ontario is relatively short. If you completely rely on the sun to heat your pool water, you’re restricting pool time to between the latter part of June through August, especially if you and your family need a water temperature of 80° before you even think of venturing in.

However, pool owners with pool heating systems also have warm water in May, early June, September, and October, as well as during cooler periods in the summer. That’s more than double the use of pools without a heater!

With travel options restricted this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and hotels and resorts revamping their swimming areas to conform to physical distancing guidelines, more people than ever are staying home for summer vacation. Wouldn’t you want to maximize the use of your pool if you’re going to rely on it more for entertainment this year?

For people who want to get the most out of their pools, pool heaters are definitely one of the best ways to keep the summer fun going, even outside of the hotter months.

Are natural gas pool heaters the best kind to use?

There are typically four options of pool heaters to go with, including natural gas pool heaters, solar pool heaters, solar blanket systems, and pool heat pumps.

We recommend going with the natural gas option because they’re easy to work with and maintain, and bring value and performance for your money when compared to the other systems:

  • Natural gas pool heaters are less than half the price of solar pool heaters, and don’t require the extensive home renovations or costly maintenance that solar systems do.
  • Access to pool water is restricted when you use a cumbersome solar blanket, which also promotes algae growth if you keep your pool covered during the daylight hours, stifling water movement.
  • Natural gas pool heaters are much more efficient than pool heat pumps because they generate their own heat, as opposed to pumps which capture ambient heat from the air and transfer it into the pool water (we need more hot months than we have here in Southern Ontario to make this work), and use up noticeably more energy in the process.


What You Need to Know About Gas Pool Heater Replacement and Installation

Pool owners rarely set out to replace their whole heating unit. They usually discover that they need a full pool heater replacement as the result of a service call. If a problem with the heater can’t be fixed, a replacement will likely be the recommended option – especially if you’ve become accustomed to swimming in warmer water!

If your pool professional has recommended you replace your natural gas pool heater, or you currently have no heater and are tired of your teeth chattering every time you go in the water, here are several things to consider before making your purchase:

  • Is your current set-up up to code? If you have a decades-old system, it may have been installed under outdated codes and regulations. While your old system would have been grandfathered in, any new system must adhere to updated guidelines. We can help you determine if anything needs upgrading and guide you on the path to ensuring everything is up to code – just send us pictures of your current pool heating setup to get started.
  • Where is your heater located? Current code prohibits pool heaters from being installed near windows of homes inside residential garages. Depending on where your current heater is located, you may have to find an alternate place to install your new heater. Our team will guide you toward making the best installation possible based on the specs of your new heater, the configuration of your backyard, and your specific pool needs.
  • Is your current heater the correct size? Your previous heater may not have been the right size for your pool, so be sure to ask for our best size recommendations based on the size of your pool, and how many degrees per hour you want your pool water to heat up.
  • Is your venting system up to code? If you keep your heater indoors and are upgrading to a newer, larger, or forced draft unit, you may be required to modify the venting in order to be compliant with local codes. Or, you can install your new heater outside of an enclosed structure to avoid venting restrictions.
  • Will you need an electrical system? Many older heaters don’t rely on electricity to operate. However, newer models with either electronic ignition/forced draft or with an electronic display/control pad will require electricity to function. Be sure to work any necessary electrical upgrades into your budget when considering a new pool heater.
  • Check your natural gas system: If you are considering a larger pool heater, ensure that your existing gas piping and meter can support the size increase. Chances are, your home has had an upgraded furnace or new gas appliances installed since your pool heater was last replaced, so a new pool heater could max out the capabilities of your existing meter. Be sure to contact your gas service provider for assistance and make the necessary upgrades.


Which is the best natural gas pool heater on the market?

At Lakeshore Pools & Hot Tubs, we exclusively carry Hayward pool heaters. Hayward’s energy-efficient, high-performance gas pool heaters provide warm, comfortable pool water quickly, and are made only the finest quality metals that are highly resistant to salt corrosion and water chemistry issues.

Talk to our team today to learn more about how Hayward pool heaters help you enjoy your swimming pool more throughout the swimming season!

Are pool heaters worth it? Find out from the pool experts in Mississauga, Oakville, and the Greater Toronto Area

Thinking of installing or replacing a pool heater? Start enjoying your pool for longer this year by talking to the award-winning team at Lakeshore Pools & Hot Tubs. We’ll provide the best products, service, and advice to get your pool heater up and running as soon as possible.

Visit us at 309 Lakeshore East in Mississauga or call (905) 891-8818 today!

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