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A Comprehensive Guide to Pool Heating Options

Pool Heating – What Type of Heater is Best?


Australian's are fortunate to have some of the best weather in the world, so pool heating isn't something we look at as a necessity. However, as technology advances and it becomes more cost-effective, more and more homeowners are investing in heating solutions so they can make use of their swimming pool during the cooler periods.

For every 1kW of energy that is consumed by the Eco Inverter Astral Heat Pump, it will gather up to 13kW of heat from the surrounding atmosphere...

Pool Heating Options

There are several questions you should ask yourself before you consider what pool heating option will be ideal for your individual requirements – 

  1. How large is my pool?
  2. How often and when do I want to use the pool during cooler periods?
  3. Where is the pool positioned? In other words, does it receive afternoon sun?
  4. What is my budget for both the initial purchase plus ongoing energy and maintenance?
  5. Would I like to manage the temperature and schedule via my smart phone or tablet?

So let’s start with the most cost-effective options and work our way up…

Pool Blankets

Long gone are the days when pool blankets were time consuming and cumbersome to put on and take off your pool. These days, they can be controlled with electronic rollers that allow you to roll the cover on and off the pool in as few as 30 seconds. They are also constructed using more modern materials which offer greater levels of heat retention and lower levels of evaporation.

But can they really keep your pool warm enough to use all year round? The answer is no… Good quality pool blankets will reduce heat loss by as much as 95% although they won’t heat your swimming pool. They can however be very effective when paired with a gas, electric or solar pool heater, plus they do significantly reduce evaporation during the warmer months which allows to you to reduce water consumption and bills. 

Solar Pool Heaters

Solar pool heating systems are the perfect option if you’re looking for a low cost and energy efficient option to extend your swimming season by a few months each year. With zero operating costs and emissions, they won’t wear a hole in your pocket or the ozone layer. Other advantages include – 

  • Easy maintenance
  • Durable
  • Safe
  • Whisper quiet operation

Electric Pool Heaters / Heat Pumps

Electric pool heaters, or heat pumps, operate in a similar fashion to household refrigerators or A/C systems. Unlike their gas counterparts they draw heat from the surrounding atmosphere, which means they don’t operate as well in cold conditions.

Most good quality electric pool heaters will still draw heat from the atmosphere in weather as low as 7°C and with low levels of sunlight, however they will become more expensive to operate. Electric heaters are therefore ideal for warmer locations and/or homeowners that are not looking to use their swimming pool all year round.

If used in the correct conditions, electric pool heaters are considered to be more energy efficient and eco friendly than gas options, particularly when paired with a solar RV system. Gas systems will use more electricity and produce harmful CO² emissions (greenhouses gases).

Heat pumps are also typically more durable and long lasting than both gas and solar pool heating systems, with high quality electric heaters having a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years.

Gas Pool Heaters

Because gas heaters are not reliant on the surrounding atmosphere, they’re considered the ideal option for colder climates and those who are wanting to heat their swimming pool all year round. They will heat up more quickly and produce higher temperatures than both gas and solar heaters. 

The operating costs will very much be dictated by how and when they are used. Although they are more expensive to operate on an hourly basis, they will not need to be run for as long as a solar or electric heater. The life expectancy of a leading gas heater is typically 10 to 15 years depending on usage. 

Pool Heating Perth
A couple controlling their AstralPool heater using their tablet.

AstralPool Heat Pumps

After much consideration, I elected to go with an electric heat pump from AstralPool for my home swimming pool. We live in warm climate and where not necessarily looking to use our pool for 12 months of the year.

AstralPool has a reputation for producing the best quality pool heaters and equipment available on the market. With over 40 years of history, most of their pool products are designed and manufactured in Australia to the highest standard.

They manufacture an impressive range of both gas and electric pool heaters that can be controlled using an app on your smart phone or tablet.


Pool Heating Companies

Within Perth and Western Australia, I use and recommend Scott from Pool & Spa Heaters Perth. Scott is an official partner of AstralPool and a member of the Swimming Pool & Spas Association with over 20 years of experience. He offers professional repairs, servicing, supply and installation of a huge range of pool heaters including but not limited to AstralPool, Hurlcon, Viron, Zodiac and more.



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