10 Best Above Ground Pool Heaters

Pools October 14, 2020
10 Best Above Ground Pool Heater
Tyler

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10 Best Above Ground Pool Heaters

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10 Best Above Ground Pool Heater

Cooler weather does not mean you have to shut down your above ground pool. With an above ground pool heater, your swimming season can be extended by weeks and even months. gas heaters, electric heat pumps, solar covers, and solar heaters can all help increase the amount of time you spend in your pool.

The main function of an above ground pool heater is to raise the temperature of the water to a level that it is comfortable for the swimmer as well as maintain a steady water temperature. While most pool heaters have the same purpose, their energy source puts them in different categories such as gas, solar and electric heat pumps.

If you are looking for the best above ground pool heaters, you are in the right place. In this article we have listed the best above ground pool heaters as well as their features and purpose.

How We Researched the 10 Best Above Ground Pool Heaters

  • We spent several days researching the best above ground pool heater
  • We considered over 20 above ground pool heaters and fine tuned it down to the 10 reviewed in this article
  • We did this by reading hundreds of reviews, watching videos and comparing the features of each above ground pool heater

Why You Should Trust Us

For this review, we interviewed certified pool maintenance technicians as well as pool builders across the country. We also talked to pool parts suppliers, and spent several days in pool retail stores researching pool heaters and their features.

For many years, I myself have purchased and owned in ground and above ground pools. I currently own an in ground pool and maintain it myself.

Best Above Ground Pool Heater Comparison Chart

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Gas powered heater
  • Enviromentally friendly
  • Energy efficient
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  • Solar powered
  • Polypropylene material
  • Cost effective
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  • Solar powered
  • Durable resin material
  • Prevents evaporation
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  • Solar powered
  • Enviromentally friendly
  • Space saving
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  • Electric powered
  • Digital control panel
  • Weather resistant
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The 10 Best Above Ground Pool Heaters

#1 Hayward Universal H-Series Pool and Spa Heater

Product Specifications:

  • Power:  Gas
  • Gallons: 40,000
  • Temperature: 90 degrees max
  • Warranty: 3 year against manufacturing defects
  • Price Range: High

The Hayward Universal H-Series heaters offer a reliable, hydraulically efficient solutions for heating your above ground pool. These units are environmentally friendly with their low NOx emissions. This unit also comes with a patented polymer header and bypass valve design for hydraulic efficiency.

The Hayward Universal H-Series gas heater hydraulic design reduces circulation pump run time to provide energy savings of up to 18% when compared to less efficient competitors. This unit comes with an easy to read L.E.D. Control Panel with digital temperature readout, diagnostics and electronic ‘lock-out’ of temperature set-point.

#2 SmartPool S240U Universal Sun Heater

Product Specifications:

  • Power:  Solar
  • Gallons: 30,000
  • Temperature: 10 degrees
  • Warranty: 1 year limited warranty
  • Price Range: Mid

A Sun Heater solar heating system is a cost effective way to warm up your pool. This allows you to capture free heat from the sun’s rays to raise your water temperature 6-10 degrees F. 

This solar system is made from polypropylene heat collector, and features two threaded-elbow adapters. Also included are four end caps, four stainless steel hose clamps, one roll of Teflon tape, one rubber connector hose, and includes bonus Solar Pill.

#3 Clear Solar Heating Blanket

Product Specifications:

  • Power:  Solar
  • Gallons: Custom
  • Temperature:  5 to 10 degrees
  • Warranty: 1 year limited warranty
  • Price Range: Low

Sun2Solar solar covers take advantage of the free heat produced by the sun while more optimally retaining heat within your above ground pool. This cover is made from durable resin materials and can help prevent 95 % of your pool water from evaporating. This cover can be cut to fit any pool size with just a sharp pair of scissors.

This pool cover transmit UV rays into free heat for your swimming pool with thousands of small air bubbles built into the blanket. The clear color allows the sun’s UV rays to penetrate deeper into your swimming pool for warmer water temperatures.This cover will also stop any unwanted dirt and debris from entering your pool.

#4 Goplus Solar Dome Swimming Pool Heater 

Product Specifications:

  • Power:  Solar
  • Gallons: 4,000
  • Temperature: 4 degrees
  • Warranty: 90 days
  • Price Range: Low

GoPlus solar dome swimming pool heater is designed to heat pool in a green and saving energy way and environmentally friendly. It can add weeks to your swimming season while you swim in a warmer pool during the season. A protective cover is included to protect the coil dome when not in use.

Solar energy is magnified like the green house effect through the clear lens of the heater and captured by black coiled hoses that carry pool water. The solar heated pool water is circulated back to your pool by your own pump and filter system.The space saving unit is aesthetically pleasing when compared to solar panels. This unit connects to 1.5 inch hoses.

#5 FibroPool Above Ground Swimming Pool Heat Pump

Product Specifications:

  • Power:  Electric
  • Gallons: 7,500
  • Temperature: 88 degrees max
  • Warranty: 10 year limited warranty
  • Price Range: High

FibroPool heat pumps have an output of 20,000 btu’s. This unit is best to heat above-ground pools up to an 18′ round or a 12′ X 24′ oval, and in-ground pools up to 7,500 gallons. The installation takes less than 30 minutes with 1 1/2” compression fittings. The all-metal, enamel coated case will withstand the elements, while assimilating with your existing pool equipment.

It utilizes a high-pressure scroll compressor and a titanium heat exchanger, meaning for every dollar of electricity, this unit will output an equivalent 4.81x of heat. It runs conveniently on a standard 3 prong, 120 volt plug. The control panel has an easy set digital display for quick adjustments from the unit, which can be extended with an optional extension cable for optimal convenience.

Other Above Ground Pool Heaters We Reviewed

#6 XtremepowerUS Solar Panel Heating System

Product Specifications:

  • Power:  Solar
  • Gallons: 10,000
  • Temperature: 6 to 10 degrees
  • Warranty: 90 day warranty
  • Price Range: Low

XtremepowerUS Panels produce no greenhouse gases, and need very little to no maintenance. This system is designed to be used on both above-ground or in-ground pools. Each kit is made of  2 by 20 foot panels. Each panel is made of lightweight, flexible, durable black polypropylene. The panel tube construction creates a larger surface area which optimizes heat transfer from the sun to your pool

Your pools pump and filter system circulates pool water through the solar panels when it is heated and then the water is returned to your pool. The quantity of solar panels needed will depend on your pool size and the location.

#7 Raypak Digital Natural Gas Pool Heater

Product Specifications:

  • Power:  Gas
  • Gallons: 40,000
  • Temperature: 100 degrees +
  • Warranty: 1 year against manufacturing defects
  • Price Range: High

The Raypak digital natural gas heater provides ease of use with its simple controls, wind resistance, fuel efficiency, and a built to last cabinet. The microprocessor-controlled thermostat can be set to your needs. The digital display will inform you when the water is being heated and also when your target temperature has been reached. Both the cabinet and the internals are non-corrosive and rust resistant while the copper finned tubes allow for maximum heat transfer. The unit features self-diagnostic controls that let you troubleshoot and determine any heater faults

The Raypak Digital heaters use a robust spark-to-pilot ignition system and its wind resistant design protects the unit from snow, sleet, wind, and falling debris.This unit also monitors for a low-voltage electrical supply to ensure the heater is wired properly during installation and will even let you know if the voltage has dropped too low to function properly. This 266,000 BTU unit operates on 120/240 volts.

#8 EcoSmart SMART POOL Tankless Pool Heater

Product Specifications:

  • Power:  Electric
  • Gallons: 11,000
  • Temperature: 96 degrees max
  • Warranty: 2 year warranty from date of registration
  • Price Range: High

Eco Smart Pool Heaters operate by utilizing the latest flow sensor technology instead of the traditional pressure switch activation to reduce the risk of burned elements, which increases its reliability and longevity. The Smart POOL series comes with digital thermostat control so you can set the temperature exactly where you want it.

Ecosmart Pool Heaters are compact and easy to install for a new or existing pool and can be used as an alternative to or booster to heat pump.

#9 SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater

Product Specifications:

  • Power:  Solar
  • Gallons: 8,000
  • Temperature: 5 degrees every 4 days
  • Warranty: 90 days
  • Price Range: Low

SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater has been designed for above-ground and most in ground pools. It increases the pool temperature by 5 degrees in 4 days (for an 8,000-gallon pool). It is designed with high-quality materials that will hold up against frequent exposure to the sun and outdoor elements. It has been engineered with a unique curved shape that maximizes heat collection. The treaded ports have been added for versatile plumbing options.

This solar heater is compatible with Intex, Bestways, and most above and in ground pools. The adjustable and fold-able legs allow the heater to be set for maximum exposure to the sun, along with a clear cover that locks in heat. It’s designed to extend your pool season by gradually increasing the water temperature by a few degrees.

#10 Blue Wave Solar Blanket

Product Specifications:

  • Power: Solar
  • Gallons: 330
  • Temperature: 15 degrees
  • Warranty: 3 year against manufacturing defects
  • Price Range: Low

The Blue Wave Solar Blanket has insulating thermal cells that trap heat and retain warmth even on cool cloudy days. It is created with UV-protected polymer, and is resistant to the deterioration caused by chemicals and UV radiation. This high-quality 8-mil solar blanket uses passive heating to raise your swimming pool’s temperature by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

This solar blanket fits along the pools edges and floats in place. It can also reduce evaporation of your pools water by 95%.

What to Consider When Buying an Above Ground Pool Heater

Pool Size – It is important that you know the size of your pool or how many gallons of water it holds before choosing a pool heater. Size and shape of the pool will also dictate the ideal type and power of your heater. Of course larger pools will need a more powerful heater while smaller will need less. Also larger pools can be hard to heat using solar heaters but using several maybe effective.

Power Supply – Does your home have gas or electric to run your pool heater? Also how close to the pool area are these sources? If you already have pool side power this can help with your decision. If not you may have to run it from the homes power supply box. If neither option works for you then you can consider a solar powered pool heater.

Control Panel – Digital control panels are the most efficient way to control and monitor your waters temperature. Some heat systems do not have a temperature monitor, meaning you will need to purchase an external thermometer to keep track of water temperature and adjust the unit manually.

Cost – Buying a pool heater will cost you anywhere from $100 to $3000 depending on your preference, but there will be a monthly bill for use. Solar will cost nothing, but a gas heater might cost you up to $500 every month and electric could be more.

Installation – Before choosing a pool heater, consider if it will need to be professionally installed or if you can install it yourself. If it needs to be professionally installed, this is an added expense initially. Some types of pool heaters are easy to install while others will need the help of an electrician.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I heat an above ground pool without a heater?

Solar Heaters for above-ground pools can achieve the same kind of heating power as other heater types, but without causing harm to the pool. Above-ground pools can be easily and safely heated using a combination of a Solar Heater and a Solar Cover, keeping your costs down and your pool warmer longer.

Can you put a heater on an above ground pool?

Yes, an electric or gas pool heater is an automatic pool heating system. You only need to connect it to your pool and switch it on. Keep in mind, the size and shape of your pool will effect how powerful of a unit you will need. When it comes to gas heaters, you always want to oversize the unit.

Do solar heaters work for above ground pools?

Many solar pool heaters with traditional panel collectors are designed to work for both above ground pools. However, while the best solar pool heater can heat both, some models simply are not designed to heat up large size above ground pools. Adding more solar panels can help raise the temperature.

How much do above ground pool heaters cost?

The average cost is about 5,000 watts or 5 kilowatts per hour per 100,000 BTU's for a heat pump. For a typical 100,000 BTU heat pump, that's 5 kilowatts per hour. The national average for Electricity runs $.13 cents per kilowatt hour.

Tyler

Tyler is a DIY-er who enjoys working with his hands and building things. His background is mixed with home improvement and all things food related. He is here to share his experience of quality outdoor products, while leaving out the hype.
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