We are heading down to my hometown of San Antonio for the winter holidays. My wife and love the weather there and the amazing sites. Lots to do in good ole SA. San Antonio is well known for its modern amenities and attractions such as shopping, dining and an exciting nightlife, but let’s not forget that San Antonio, Texas is home to many interesting historical sites as well. If you are down that way and looking for something to do, here are some great sites. You can also check out the San Antonio Daily Sun for great stuff in SA as well! Continue reading
We recently had an inquiry about above ground pool heaters in the Florida area, specifically Delray Beach. We’ve had several inquiries over the past few months for some residents who had just moved to the area from the northern United States and they wanted to make sure they would be able to use their pools even when the temperatures dropped down into the 50s. So we made sure they understood the different types of above ground pool heaters we offered.
Based on their expectations and the amount of heating that would be required, we recommended our above ground solar pool heater. With all of the sunlight that Florida gets and the fact that the temperatures only dip into the 50s during the months of December, January and February, a solar above ground pool heater would fit their needs perfectly. It obviously wasn’t the lowest cost option for them, but they really were insistent that solar be a high priority. Many of our customers are willing to pay a little extra money to make sure they are being environmentally conscious citizens and really for their long term needs, once the solar pool heater is paid off over a few years, they will enjoy getting their pool heated to the temperature they like without any costs at all.
We really didn’t need to explain any of this to this particular customer, they were already prepared to pay the extra cost in order to have an environmentally clean pool heater solution. When we asked them how they found us, we were happy to find out they were talking to one of their neighbors who knows the owner of Delray Beach Oriental Rug Cleaning Pros. Steve over there has been a customer of ours for years. If you are ever in need of oriental rug cleaning in the Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Boca Del Mar, or Deerfield Beach, give them a call. They are a great company and we like to reciprocate with referrals.
When one hears of an “above ground pool”, the image that most likely springs to mind is that of an inflatable, Wal-Mart variety one. Yet above ground pools can be well-made and provide a cheap alternative to the below-ground status symbol kind.
Heating an above ground pool isn’t all that difficult, considering all you have to do is plug the heater to one of its sides. While these heaters are generally affordable and safe, trying to pick one can leave you scratching your head without knowing what to look for. Above ground heaters are categorized into electric, gas or solar ones. Each of the three types has its pros and cons, and you should carefully study them all before making a decision.
It’s not just about the heaters themselves, but also the layout of your home’s surrounding area: for example, have you experienced flooding from your above ground pool or a nearby pipe, and had to have water extraction performed in your yard? Somewhat paradoxically, water can ruin a pool heater, so if flooding has been an issue, perhaps you’ll want a heater that’s not as vulnerable to water exposure. Taking note of these little things can save you a great deal of money later on.
Electric above ground pool heater
Let’s start off with the simplest of the bunch. As is the case with most appliances, an electric heater will generally be more reliable than others – can’t beat a plug-n-play system. These heaters are also called ‘electric resistance heaters’ based on how they operate – through a resistor unit that will first use electric current to power itself and then convert the energy to heat the water inside the pool.
Electric heaters will probably be the first choice of many due to relatively low prices and ease of use. Sure, the installation is a bit complicated, but it’s all smooth sailing (or swimming) from there on, right? Well, yes and no. An electric heater can turn out to be a lot more expensive than the other two types, making it a subpar choice for larger pools and even some medium-sized ones.
Solar above ground pool heater
Even ‘greener’ than electric heaters, these use nothing but solar power to provide warmth to your pool. They probably sound better than they really are, though – despite numerous advances, solar technology is still in its infancy, and it shows whenever someone tries to use solar energy as a main source of power. Right now, these panels are best utilized as auxiliary power sources.
A solar pool heater doesn’t really come with any monthly costs and won’t be prone to breaking down, but it also won’t deliver as much juice – no sun will mean the pool is off-limits for you and your family.
Gas above ground pool heater
As always, gas tends to be a messy option, despite creating good results. Gas heaters have an efficiency that is comparable to electrical ones, but make many feel uncomfortable – they pollute the environment and tend to bring explosive thoughts to people.
They are cheap to install for the most part, but otherwise rely on an expensive resource whose price is subject to further hikes; they can also break down in just a couple of years.
Gas is sort of the middle choice when it comes to above ground pool heaters: electricity is the standard yet expensive option, while solar energy is a bit ‘out there’ but free once you get things going. Gas heating does offer a compromise, but it’s not always the best one.
Some people prefer minimizing their exposure to gas, and rightly so. They find it a dangerous resource, and using it too much and too often can make them feel paranoid about things blowing up. The majority of gas heaters are perfectly safe, but if you feel one might make you uncomfortable during your time of leisure, don’t be afraid to go for another option.
Heating your above ground pool with gas used to be the top choice, but as technology progressed and electrical appliances became better and more efficient, gas heating has fallen out of favor.
The pros and cons of the old-fashioned method
Part of why gas used to be so popular for heating pools was the quickness: the fire from the gas quickly heats up a bunch of coils that will, in turn, heat up any water that passes through. You don’t need to wait, nor are you forced to depend on outside factors.
Indeed, the latter is another thing that allowed gas pool heaters to survive into present day. Solar panels and even some types of electrical heat pumps depend on the sun or the air temperature (respectively) for heating, forcing people to use another power source during cloudy or cold weather. With gas heaters, as with resistor-based electric ones, you’ll be able to heat your pool regardless of the weather outside – warm water will be available night and day, provided you have enough gas to go around.
Now might be a good time to list some bad sides. While gas pool heaters might be the cheapest to set up – sometimes costing under $2,000 – they’re not that cheap to run. Gas prices are on the rise, and they were never that cheap to begin with. Your monthly cost of running a gas pool heater might end up being as high as running a more efficient electrical one, although you’ll generally be able to bring it to down to about half of that.
There’s also the issue of breakdowns: gas heaters have been known to falter way before their time. Since gas is not something you want to mess with, even if you’ve got a knack for repairs, your heater will tend to be out of commission until you can have someone certified take a look.
The issue of environmental pollution is a divisive one: some couldn’t care less as it doesn’t affect them directly or immediately and are therefore happy to pollute away. Others are so bothered by it that they refuse to do anything that assaults the environment, even if it inconveniences them. Considering some people get electric cars to protect the environment, getting a polluting pool heater might seem crazy, so think about what’s important to you.
Polluting or not, there’s no denying gas pool heaters get the job done and do it quickly, so they’ll always be a worthwhile option to those for whom efficiency comes first and saving money comes right after.
In theory, solar energy of any kind sounds pretty spectacular. The sun gives us life and all, so why not use it to power our appliances as well? There’s quite a few of its warm rays to go around, making solar power a ‘free choice’.
Despite this, people still stick to using expensive (and sometimes dangerous) electricity and even gas for power. Seems puzzling? In truth, solar energy still has a long way to go. Perhaps in a decade, or two, or three, we’ll have free renewable energy everywhere thanks to the sun.
As it stands now, however, solar power is kind of a lackluster energy source. It’s not just that it’s expensive to set up; even your 8-year-old nephew probably knows solar panels aren’t all that effective when the sun isn’t up. There’s a good chance you’ve mostly seen these panels on the houses of affluent individuals who’d like to ‘try this new thing out’ while still having good old-fashioned electricity to fall back on when the clouds gather.
Are solar heaters for your above ground pool even worth considering, then? Like everything, they’re not without their drawbacks, but you might want to give them a shot once you’ve become more familiarized with the workings…
A power source from (too far into?) the future
If you already have solar panels on your property, heating your above ground pool suddenly becomes a much more attractive option. If not, however, you’ll need to go through the troublesome and costly installation first. But before we get to that, you should ask yourself an obvious question: do I like the look of these panels on my home or around it?
Plenty of people find these things have a way of ruining the layout and aesthetic appeal of their home’s exterior. If you think of these panels as nothing but big, ugly Back to the Future props, you’ll probably have better luck with other means of heating your pool.
The aforementioned installation is often what puts people off the most. Aside from being odd-looking when finished, it’s also a very expensive process – having these panels installed for the first time can cost you anywhere between $5,100-10,000, and that’s just to heat your pool. Even when considering that the energy is free from there on, it’s still too much for many people.
Then when the panels are installed, there’s another issue to tackle: efficiency. You’ll want to think simple here: how sunny are things around where you live? If you’re in a London-esque cloudy environment with little sun coming through, solar panels won’t end up being all that efficient. There’s also the issue of nighttime swimming – to heat your water during the night, you’ll need to have another type of heating, which will probably make you think something along the lines of: “What’s the point of getting solar panels in the first place, then?”
When you add to this the fact that the heating process is fairly slow, you’ll quickly realize that these things are not for everyone. Still, friendliness to the environment and a decades-long lifespan managed to make solar panels worth getting for certain home owners despite the obvious cons.
So, you’d like to use your above ground pool year-round? You’ll have to find some way of heating it, then. Out of the three types of pool heaters, electric above ground pool heaters might be the best and most reliable choice, despite having some drawbacks of their own.
Electric Above Ground Pool Heaters – Price, efficiency, repairs
Sadly, Tesla’s dreams of free electricity are still a long way off. Power is still so expensive, in fact, that even in this day and age many people still adopt a routine of lowering their electricity bills – turning off the lights, unplugging their computer when not in use, not heating water unless necessary and so on.
It should come as no surprise, then, that an electric above ground heater can turn out to be an expensive option. The price in the store can be deceptively low and make the whole thing seem like a bargain compared to other options. It’s only when the first bill arrives that you realize things aren’t as rosy, and that you should have maybe went for a few dips in the bathtub instead.
Similarly, an electric heater’s mode of operation can seem simple and make you think that the thing is straightforward: the resistor charges up electricity and then releases it, heating water in the process. Easy, huh? While they might indeed be easy to handle on a day-to-day basis, the installation process is anything but. The fact that you’ll need professionals to do it is just the start – the money for things like circuit breakers and other parts that make your electric heater functional is coming straight out of your own pocket. Also, barring the possibility of you being a grand tinkerer, you’ll need to call repairmen in the case of any malfunction, making your heater unusable in the meantime and creating yet another expense.
A high electricity bill, a difficult and expensive installation and an inability to repair the thing yourself – what are the good sides? Despite all these ‘issues’, electric heaters are still the most dependable of the bunch. As long as your home has power, you’ll be able to heat your pool day and night without much hassle, and during any season as well – if you like winter dips in hot water, this type of heater is probably your best bet.
Keep in mind that the heater’s consumption depends on the size of your pool, making electric heaters the best choice for smaller above ground pools and less-than-ideal for larger sizes.
There’s another type of electric heater that operates differently than a resistance-based one: heat pump. These aren’t nearly as expensive as their resistor-using counterparts on a monthly basis although their price tag tends to be higher. As a bonus, they also live longer.
However, if you’re getting an air-source pump, it will get its heat from the air around the pool, so keep in mind that you’re dependent on the air temperature in order to get things going. Water-source pumps are almost universally a better choice.
There’s also something to be said about the heating time – both air and water-source pumps take quite a bit more to fully heat the pool than other types of heaters, so think about whether this could be an issue for you.
Welcome to our newly updated Above Ground Pool Heaters website! Thank you for stopping by… We are currently working on posting our products to our new website. We hope that you enjoy our product offering.
Please let us know if you have any product suggestions and we will review and add them soon!