The Best Electric Pool Heaters In 2021

If you haven’t already gotten an electric pool heater or heat pump for your backyard swimming pool, now’s the time! By ensuring the swimming pool water stays at a comfortable temperature, these convenient devices allow you to enjoy your pool for longer throughout the year. And who doesn’t want more water fights, morning swims, and pool parties?

To help you extend the swimming season even longer, we’ve rounded up the best electric pool heaters of 2021. Plus, to ensure you find the right heating solution for your home swimming pool, we’re answering some FAQs you’ll want to know before buying. 

What to Know Before Buying an Electric Pool Heater or heater pump

What is an electric pool heater? 

Electric pool heaters, also commonly referred to as pool heat pumps are an effective way to keep your pool warm during cold weather. Because of their convenience and ease of use, they’re more popular than gas pool heaters. 

How does a pool heat pump work? 

Electric pool heaters circulate water through a heated tank, sending a continuous stream of freshly-warmed water throughout your pool. There are two types of electric heat pumps: air-source and water-source. 

Water-Source Pool Heat pumps

Water-source pool heaters also called geothermal heat pumps, transfer heat from an external water source to your swimming pool. When this water enters the heater, it passes over coils filled with Freon, which becomes hot Freon gas in an internal compressor. As the coils heats, the water temperature rises as well, transferring the heat from the coils to your pool water. 

Air-Source Pool Heat Pumps

Air-source electric pool heaters do not generate heat themselves. Instead, they use electricity to capture the warmth from the air and pass the heat into your pool water. They work similarly to water-source heaters in that they rely on liquid refrigerants stored within coils. Because they require a steady stream of electricity, you’ll want to be sure you choose an eco-friendly, energy-efficient model. 

What size pool heater do I need for my swimming pool? 

For your electric heater to be effective, you’ll need to ensure it’s the correct size. Pumps with too little heating power will have to overwork to heat your pool, driving up your energy bill and shortening the device’s lifespan in the process— especially during colder months. A pump with too much power is an unfortunate waste of money. 

Electric pool heaters are typically measured in BTU or British Thermal Units. More BTUs means more power, heating your pool faster and more efficiently. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need 4 BTUs per gallon during normal summer conditions, 5 BTUs per gallon during fall and spring, and 6 BTUs per gallon in temperatures less than 60 degrees F. 

Should I leave my pool heater on all the time or turn it off at night?

While leaving your pool heater on overnight won’t cause any damage to your pool or the heater, it will drive up your energy bill and shorten the heater’s lifespan. To reduce the strain on your pump, use a pool cover when heating your pool overnight and to help retain heat when not in use. If you don’t have a pool cover, heating overnight will cost a fortune. If you’re looking for a pool heater you can use continuously, it’s best to stick to a solar-powered unit. 

How much does it cost to heat a pool with an electric heater? 

Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question. Every pool and pool heater is different, resulting in a wide range of operating costs. The operating costs of using an electric pool heater varies depending on a number of factors, including: 

  • Your desired water temperature
  • The climate and weather conditions of where you live
  • If your pool is covered or uncovered
  • The size and location of your pool 
  • The energy capacity of your heat pump
  • The current cost of electricity in your area

According to Home Advisor, it costs an average of $120- $200 per month to run an electric heater, adding up to $700- $2,400 per year. For comparison, a gas heater costs between $200- $400 monthly and $1,400- $4,800 annually. 

Is an electric pool heater worth it? 

Yes! Regardless of where you live, a properly installed and maintained electric pool heater will help extend the swimming season from late spring until mid-fall. If you live in an area that doesn’t experience extremely cold temperatures in the winter, an electric pool heater could extend your swimming season for the entire year! 

The Best Electric Pool Heaters and Heat Pumps Available Online in 2021 

Raypak E3T Digital Pool and Spa Heater

Best Overall 

The E3T Digital Pool and Spa Heater from Raypak is reliable, easy-to-use, and efficient. Its durable titanium heating element and stainless steel body extend the life of the heater, even when used in extreme pool water conditions such as saltwater or chlorinated pools. In addition to this 18,800 BTU model, it’s also available in 37,500 BTU, 61,400 BTU, and 92,100 BTU models to heat various pool sizes. 

The E3T Pool Heater is equipped with the latest technology in pool heating. It features a user-friendly digital control center that allows you to read and set your desired temperature, GPM flow and handle diagnostics thanks to an intuitive alert system. The heat pump operates relatively quietly thanks to solid-state controls that reduce noise almost entirely. Plus, the compact design is easy to install. 

Highlights:

Solid state controls to eliminate noise

For both pool and spa

User-friendly digital control center

Alert system

FibroPool FH120 Above-Ground Swimming Pool Heat Pump

Best for Year-Round Use 

FibroPool’s high-powered FH120 electric heat pump is ideal for heating above-ground pools for year-round use in coastal climates. It can be used in outdoor temperatures as low as 40 degrees F, helping you enjoy the swimming season for months longer than before. With a heating capacity of 20,000 BTU, it can heat an 18-foot round pool, a 12-foot x 24-foot oval pool or an in-ground pool up to 7,500 gallons.

It features a slim profile (measuring just 16 inches wide x 36 inches tall x 24 inches deep) with an enamel-coated steel chassis built to withstand the elements. The digital control panel provides quick access to temperature control and shut-off. The parts hook right onto your existing pool equipment, so installation takes less than 30 minutes. 

The best part is, the FH120 Pool Heat Pump is incredibly energy-efficient. According to FibroPool, it operates for around sixteen cents per hour! Plus, it doesn’t have the damaging environmental effects of traditional gas pool heaters. 

Highlights:

Suitable for pools up to 7500 gallons in coastal climates

Slim profile, weather-proof case

Powered by clean electricity

Energy-efficient

ZMM 240V 11KW Electric Pool Water Heater For Above Ground Inground Pool Hot Tub

Best for Small Pools and Spas

If you aren’t prepared to shell out a small fortune on an expensive electric pool heater for your small backyard pool, you’ll love this affordable option from ZMM. Its thermostat features temperature-sensing technology that accurately monitors the temperature status of your pool water and adjusts accordingly to maintain a consistent water temperature. As a result, you can enjoy a comfortable swimming environment in any weather. 

ZMM’s Electric Pool Water Heater Pump is designed with durable stainless steel and electric heating tubes from Duan Baker Company. These materials offer good corrosion resistance in chlorine pools. Plus, it offers multiple safety features to protect it from overheating, short-circuiting, or changing water flow. 

Highlights:

Multiple protections, safety and reliability

Designed specifically for the hot tub or small pool

Adopted flow temperature sensor technology.

No mechanical switching sensor

The machine is easy to maintain, easy to replace the original electrical components, fewer external lines, low installation costs.

Hayward Heatpro Electric Pool Heater Pump

Worth the Splurge

For the past 80 years, Hayward has remained one of the most trusted names in home pool equipment. Thanks to high-quality materials and durable design, their high-quality Heatpro Heat Pump will last for many years to come. The 110,000 BTU heater efficiently maintains your desired water temperature while making very little noise. Its acoustic compressor cover minimizes operation noise, keeping your backyard nice and quiet while you enjoy a peaceful swim. 

The reliable heater is ideal for coastal environments. It features injection-molded, UV-resistant body panels and Ultra-Gold corrosion-resistant evaporator fins that can withstand salty or chlorine water without deteriorating. The titanium heater coils are designed for maximum durability and efficiency, resulting in even heat distribution and longer product life. While it is a bit of a splurge, it’s certainly a worthwhile one if you love to swim! 

Highlights:

Ultra Gold corrosion-resistant

Heavy-duty scroll compressors 

Titanium counter-flow heat exchanger 

Injection-molded UV-resistant body panels

Puri Tech Quiet Technology Swimming Pool Heat Pump

Quietest Design 

The sound of a noisy pool pump is one of the quickest ways to ruin a peaceful swim. With this Quiet Technology Swimming Pool Heat Pump from Puri Tech, you can enjoy a quiet swim in comfortably warm water any time you like. It's QZ Quiet Technology ensures near-silent operation. Plus, its Savings Optimizer setting saves up to $2,000 per year, extends the pump’s lifetime, and ensures noiseless operation at all times. The 112,000 BTU unit can be used in pools up to 28,000 gallons. 

Puri Tech’s electric pool heater isn’t just quiet; it’s durable, efficient, and reliable too. It’s constructed from durable weatherproof materials like high-grade copper, titanium tubing, and enhanced aluminum fins. You can rest easy knowing it’s been through Puri Tech’s 64-point safety and quality-control inspection, ensuring the digital temperature control and heating coils are operating correctly.

Highlights:

An inside compressor and optimizer that saves you money!

Durable weatherproof cabinet made for long-lasting use.

Savings Optimizer saves up to 2,000 dollars a year.

QZ Quiet Technology for quiet operation

Lockout security

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