The Department of Energy says about gas heaters that: “Depending on your climate and pool use, they may not be the most energy-efficient option when compared to heat pump and solar pool heaters.” Gas pool heaters have been around longer than heat pumps. They are an older technology. Swimming pool heat pumps have been available for about 40 years now. The DOE says about pool heat pumps: “Heat pump pool heaters cost more than gas pool heaters, (to purchase) but they typically have much lower annual operating costs because of their higher efficiencies. With proper maintenance, heat pump pool heaters typically last longer than gas pool heaters. Therefore, you’ll save more money in the long run.” Many old school pool contractors only have experience with gas pool heaters and are not up to speed with the newer heat pumps that run at colder outside air temperatures than older ones. Pool guys are also not licensed to repair swimming pool heat pumps. That is a job for Air Conditioning & heating companies as they are really just big air conditioners. I have many stories of pool owners coming directly to me for advice when they couldn’t get their pool guy to help them choose a heat pump. Then when they have done their own homework and have had it installed for a year or two their pool guy comes around to the heat pump way of thinking. I fault many of the manufacturers for not having more educational events at wholesale distribution businesses to bring useful information to contractors so that they can recommend the most efficient equipment to their customers. I was hired to do just that many years ago in hotel conference rooms. I remember large turnouts of trade people and lots of interest but the manufacturer killed it due to budget concerns and I have not seen other manufacturers step up much since. I love pool guys and most of my friends got their start cleaning pools as teenagers. But they really are in an impossible situation to be expected to keep up on all the new technology while working 6 or 7 days a week in the season. I always welcome phone calls or texts from people in the pool industry if they need advice or help with pool heating equipment. I want them, and my customers to have the most efficient equipment with the lowest heating and maintenance costs so that they keep their pools at a swimmable temperature with pool heat pumps for as long as possible to keep fit and have great family memories from the back yard pool. Gas heaters have their place in the world. If you need one I will send you one in a heartbeat. For most people, it doesn’t make sense. Especially for all you hotel, motel, campground, and theme park people out there that could take the $50,000 a year in savings from using pool heat pumps to give your guests a better swimming experience with more lifeguards and free poolside drinks with all the money you will save.
We are here for you and want to see you swimming in tropical water.