Lawn & Garden

How Much Does It Cost to Heat a Pool?

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1 March, 2024 • Updated 20 days ago
When you think of summer, you no doubt think of cooling off in a nice cold swimming pool, but what if your pool could be an essential for every season? Have you ever thought of what happens in winter? Here we will tell you How Much Does It Cost to Heat a Pool and how to estimate your perfect budget.

A swimming pool heater offers countless benefits and makes pool ownership much more worth your while. But unfortunately, all of this comes at a cost – usually quite a hefty one.

If you want to know how much does it cost to heat a pool and the costs associated with different pool heating methods, you’ve come to the right place. Below you will find a comprehensive list of all the information you could need to decide which pool heater best suits your family’s needs and budget.

Pool Heating Costs 

Gas pool heaters cost between $4-$8 to run per hour and should be able to heat your pool to a comfortable temperature within 14 hours. Electric pool pumps require 24-72 hours of runtime to heat a pool and cost $3-$5 hourly. Solar pool heaters take between 3 to 5 days to heat a pool and cost $0,23-$0,45 per hour.  

Electric Pool Heaters

  • Readily available energy source
  • Portable models available
  • Installation could be costly
  • Certain models have high energy consumption
  • Heating may take a while
  • Not eco-friendly


Upfront costs$2000 – $7000
Operation costs$3 – $5 per hour

Starting off, we have the most common type of swimming pool heater and likely the option you’ve put the most thought into. An electric pool heater is often the first choice as it uses what is the most readily available energy source to most people – electricity.

There is no general way of referring to electric an pool heater, as they come in all shapes and sizes, each one functioning very differently.

Certain pool heaters require a qualified electrician for installation and serve as stationary devices after this point. These heaters are ideal for any pool size and are ready for use at the drop of a hat.

Though the initial installation may be costly and take a while, this is worth it for many pool owners who don’t want any setup before taking a relaxing dip.

Alternatively, you can also invest in a portable pool heater that promises easy setup, lower electricity bills and effortless storage. This may be the way to go for individuals who know they aren’t likely to use their pool heater very often and aren’t willing to spend the big bucks on upfront costs.

While these heaters certainly have their place in the pool heating world, they aren’t made for everyone. You are restricted to only warming smaller pools with these heaters and the temperature increase may be very gradual.

Typically, the speed at which a portable and stationary electric heater warms your pool water will depend on the weather at that time, so it may be good to turn your pool heater on well before you plan to swim.

The operation costs of this type of swimming pool heater vary quite drastically, but ultimately you will pay for the cost of running your electric heat pumps as well as the heating costs through your electricity bill.

If you want to minimize your electricity usage a tad, we would suggest using an insulated pool cover after heating your pool water to minimize heat loss.

Solar Pool Heaters

  • Eco-friendly
  • Low operation costs
  • Little to no upkeep necessary
  • Dependent on sunny weather
  • Expensive products
  • Costly, lengthy installation process


Upfront costs$4000 – $9000
Operation costs$0,23 – $0,45 per hour

The main draw of this type of pool heater is the incredibly low operation costs. As the sun is a free energy source, you need only worry about the cost of your heat pump, which is typically much kinder to your wallet than other kinds of pool heaters.

Solar pool heaters also appeal to individuals who are trying to minimize their carbon footprint, as the sun is a clean energy source with no resulting greenhouse gasses.

A solar pool heater, of course, also comes with its downsides, mainly the jarring upfront costs. The heaters themselves are quite pricey and when combined with the labor costs for several days of installation, this is sure to be a hefty investment.

These costs are heavily related to the size of your pool, the installation company you choose and the heater model you pick out.

Many have found solar pool heaters to be worth their while due to their comparatively long life spans of 12 years and up, their low maintenance requirements, and their budget-friendly operation costs.

Unfortunately, all these wonderful features do come at the cost of not always having adequate heating available, as your pool heater will require sunny weather to run to the best of its abilities.

We recommend always covering your pool with an insulated pool cover after a long, sunny day to ensure that the water temperature stays comfortable until the next day.

Propane and Natural Gas Pool Heaters

  • Easy temperature control
  • Works in any weather
  • Heats up water quickly
  • Not eco-friendly
  • Costly operation


Upfront costs$2000 – $4000
Operation costsAround $6 per hour

Gas pool heaters such as the ones fueled by propane or natural gas are typically chosen because they allow for the most temperature control. These heaters can be used come rain or shine and they also heat up pools considerably faster than other methods.

Propane tends to be the more expensive of the two energy sources, but it has a higher energy output compared to natural gas. This does not mean that it functions better as a source of heat, but simply that you need less of it to obtain similar results.

Setup for these methods are fairly simple, as your water simply runs through heated copper coils and returns to your pool considerably cozier, but the operation costs are widely regarded as the highest of all the options.

Propane is also not as eco-friendly as solar power and certain energy-conscious electric heaters, as it emits CO2 when burned.

If your main concern is keeping your pool at a comfortable temperature no matter the time of year, a gas pool heater is definitely for you. Gas pool heaters are also just about the only right choice for areas that are cold all year round.


There are many options available to pool owners hoping to make swimming a year-round event, with each option having its own individual advantages and disadvantages.

If you want something with an easily accessible energy source, electric heaters are the way to go.

On the other hand, if low operation costs and environmentally friendly functioning are must haves for you, you’ll benefit greatly from a solar pool heater.

Lastly, if you want complete temperature control without the weather affecting your pool outcomes, a gas pool heater is perfect for you.

We trust that the article above has given you some insight into the best pool heating methods on the market today and which may be the right fit for your swimming pool.

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