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.