it make sense for me to heat my pool considering the high
price of fuel?
If you want to enjoy comfortable swimming
at your own convenience, then yes. One of the reasons for
owning a pool is being able to swim at your leisure. This
means avoiding the hassle of not having to pack up the car
and go to the beach. As for the cost, that is your decision.
What guidelines should be followed in heating our pool?
The need to conserve energy and
to minimize fuel consumption the best you can. You
are the best judge with respect to the kind of enjoyment you
derive from your pool. Use of your pool for recreation,
exercise, therapy or just general enjoyment will
require heating it. Your pool won’t contribute to your
health or pleasure unless it’s warm enough to swim in
comfortably. So, it is a give and take situation.
Here are some pointers on saving energy and cutting
How warm should I keep my pool?
That depends entirely on you, of course. As a general rule,
a temperature of
78 degrees F is comfortable enough and coincides with good
Obviously, a heated pool means more swimming. How much more?
You can stretch your pool season by twice in most areas and
even longer in other areas by having a heated pool.
If we don't heat our pool, how much swimming season can we
That depends mostly on your climate, and partially on whether
you use a pool cover. Without a pool cover you’ll probably
have a season of only one or two months in most areas and
three months or a little more with a cover. Pools that are
not covered can lose 4 degrees F to 5 degrees F overnight
in most parts of the country. With a cover, you
can reduce that heat loss by 50% or more. So without a heater
you should be able to use your pool in the afternoons and
early evenings in the warmest part of the season.
What are the health benefits of heating my pool?
and physical therapists regard swimming as one of the most
beneficial of cardiovascular
exercises. It is an exercise that nearly everyone can do safely.
Even those who suffer from
arthritis, joint, and
diseases often find swimming an easy and fun form of exercise.
Obviously, by heating your pool, you make it possible to engage
more often in swimming exercise because you extend the hours
the season your pool may be used.
What are the costs involved in heating a pool?
There is the initial cost of the heater and its hook-up or
installation charge. Second, there is the monthly fuel cost.
The cost varies
depending on the type
of heating system you purchase for your pool. Lastly,
there is the matter of annual or semi-annual maintenance and
service of the unit.
Remember, costs can be kept to a minimum doing a few simple
things. Install an efficient, properly sized heater.
Use a good
cover. Finally, keep your filter clean and your
heating and filtering system well maintained.
What types of heaters are available to us?
There are several on the market today. They range from gas-fired,
oil-fired, electric, and even elaborate solar heating systems.
The most widely used type is the direct fired natural gas
heater because of its low cost, reliability, ease of operation
and the wide availability of natural gas. Oil-fired pool heaters
are a good choice in areas where natural gas is unavailable
but home heating oil is. Electric heaters
are generally much less efficient and more costly to operate
than natural gas heaters, unless the electricity is hydroelectrically
Solar heating can be defined in two ways. First, there is "passive" solar
heating. By that I mean, the familiar pool cover that absorbs
transmits some of the sun’s energy to pool water. Used
alone, the passive heating technique merely serves to help
keep pool temperatures at existing levels by retaining
natural solar heat and preventing its loss. It cannot add
heat to build up water temperature beyond what the sun supplies.
Active solar uses traditional pool motors to move water from
the pool through a system of solar collector panels for
heating by the sun. This increases the amount of solar heat
to the pool.
What is the initial cost of a gas-fired heater?
Natural and propane gas-fired heaters cost
the same. Prices depend on heater size, which in turn depends
on the size of your pool.
A good rule of thumb is approximately 10% of the total pool
cost. For this small added
you get considerably more use from your pool.
What is the initial cost of an oil-fired heater?
It runs somewhat more than the cost of a natural or propane
gas-fired heater. An oil-fired heater is ideal in areas where
home heating oils are commonly used and natural gas is not
What about installation charges?
With natural gas-fired heaters, installation consists of
gas and water connections. For models with electronic control,
connection to the filter pump circuit is required. Using propane
gas requires a storage tank. An oil-fired heaters, needs
the services of a trained oil appliance technician and a storage
tank. If your home already is heated by either oil or propane,
the installation probably can be tied into your regular fuel
Generally speaking, which method of pool heating is the
Overall, a combination of a good pool cover and a fuel-fired
heater is less expensive than an active
or active solar system and fuel-fired heater combination.
The only real exception would be where
you live in an area where your electricity is generated
by water power (hydroelectrically).
What size pool heater will we need?
Heaters are sized mainly on the basis of the pool surface
area and the difference between the pool and air temperatures.
Another factor which may determine the size of the heater
need is the way you intend to use your pool. There
are two common pool heating practices. Either "constant" temperature
maintenance or "intermittent" heating.
To heat a pool quickly after periods of intermittent shutdown,
a larger gas-fired heater is needed. In colder climates,
a larger than standard size heater is recommended for "constant" heating.
Maintaining pool temperature requires the same amount of fuel
regardless of the heater size. For intermittent heating, a
larger heater actually saves fuel because it brings the pool
to temperature more quickly.
What are the differences between constant and intermittent
Constant heating your pool
temperature means it is ready
for use at all times. You set your thermostat at
you want and forget it. This is very convenient, but more
costly as more fuel is used to maintain temperature in the
With intermittent heating, you heat your pool only for those
periods when you expect to be using it. For example, if you
only use your pool on weekends, you would heat up the water
for weekend use only and shut off your heater during the week.
How do we conserve energy yet still fully enjoy our pool?
There are several things you can do to aid in conserving
energy for your pool. First, keep your thermostat at the lowest
comfortable setting and mark
swim only on weekends, and you don't use a cover, keep your
heater on a standby setting of 70 degrees. With a cover, you
can leave the thermostat at your normal setting. Third, if
vacationing for a couple of weeks, turn
the heater off completely, including any pilot light. Finally,
shelter your pool from prevailing winds. Use hedges,
other means of landscaping,
or decorative fencing as
windbreaks even though the pool is covered.
Is a pool heater safe?
It is as safe as any major heating appliance in your home.
For example, Teledyne Laars heaters are equipped with automatic
pilots or ignition safeguards, pressure regulators, water
pressure relief valves and other safety features. Shut-off
controls are automatic. Electric shock hazard is avoided by
construction and installation of the heater in accordance
with strict electrical standards and codes.
Are all gas-fired heaters built alike?
Absolutely not !! Some are built like an ordinary tank-type
hot water heater, or with heating coils inside the water tank.
Teledyne Laars gas-fired heaters were the first ever built
specifically for pools. They utilize the direct-fire
method for greater efficiency. Patented stainless steel burners
heat finned copper tubes from which the pool water absorbs
heat as it flows through them.
Are all oil-fired heaters the same?
No. Teledyne Laars oil-fired heaters are trim and compact.
About half the size of many other oil-fired heaters. The
most important difference is the
heat exchanger uses stainless steel finned tubes to resist
sulfur corrosion. The result is efficient heat transfer with
only minimal annual cleaning.
What features should we look for in a pool heater?
You should be concerned with economy of operation, reliability
and durability. Conservation of energy and fuel economy should
be extremely important. By eliminating wasteful heating, a
heater can pay for itself in very little time.
Any special problems if we own a salt-water
Yes. Salt water is highly corrosive, and a heater must be
equipped with a special heat exchanger and other features
to handle it.
Will my pool heater require much maintenance?
Usually, one maintenance
inspection a year is sufficient to keep your heater working
efficiently. Maintenance is largely a preventative measure
used to safeguard your heater’s working condition.
How long should a heater last?
productive life of 10 to 12 years is not uncommon. Heater
results from some outside cause, provided
it has been properly maintained.
Could we add a heater after our pool is built?
Yes. Although a heater can be added at any
time, it is more beneficial for it to be included from the
means greater convenience for you and less installation cost.
When you include a heater in the beginning,
approximately 10% of your pool investment.
If the heater is not installed
when the pool is built, provisions should be made for a heater
stub-out in the return water line, and space or a concrete
pad should be provided for future installation.