Can You Add A Heater To An Existing Swimming Pool?

If you’ve already had a pool installed and the water just never seems warm enough for you, you might be wondering about the potential to modify your pool. After all, it’s possible to resize and reshape a pool, and even change the type of pool — so is it possible to add a heater to one?

It’s definitely possible to add heat to a pool that you’ve already had installed. There are a few options available to you, including solar panels and gas heaters, though the one that will likely work best due to efficiency and cost is a heat pump. You’ll probably want a professional to install it.

Before making any changes to your pool, it’s important to educate yourself on the features available and the process involved, so let’s take a closer look at the ways you can add heat to an existing pool as well as why you might want to do so.

Can You Add Heat to an Existing Pool? 

Outdoor Backyard Garden Swimming Pool Maintenance

If you’ve already had a pool installed and now you’re worried because you didn’t think of adding heat, fear not! It’s actually one of the easier pool additions to make.

Unlike changing the size and shape of a pool or any other huge alteration, this one’s going to take a relatively short amount of time, and you really don’t need to worry too much about it. That’s because the heater–no matter what style you add–is going to connect to the pool by PVC piping or hoses.

So, all of the work is happening on the pipes connecting the pool, filtration equipment, and return lines to the pools’ jets. So, while the pool may need to be partially drained in order to disassembled the piping and make the connection to the heating system, the pool itself doesn’t need any fundamental changes to accept a heater into the configuration.

However, before you go ahead, you should definitely talk to a professional about the different options. There are various heaters available for pools and it’s important to examine the benefits of each one.

What Are the Benefits of Heating Your Pool With a Heater?

The first thing to consider is if the benefits are worth the cost of getting a heater for your pool. To do that, let’s take a look at how you might benefit from a heater:

They Last a Long Time

While a lot of things you might buy for your pool have a short lifespan and might not actually be worth the money in the long run, heaters don’t usually fall under this category.

They can last upwards of thirty years if you take care of them properly, making them a solid investment.

You Can Use Your Pool for More of the Year

When it starts to get colder outside and the water starts to cool down, most people tend to back away from using their pool.

Although you’ll still have to close your pool as usual in the dead of winter, having a pool heater will open much up more of the year to you because you can keep the water pleasantly warm.

You Can Indulge in Night Swimming

Having a heater doesn’t only mean that you can use the pool for more of the year, but also for more of the day. Heating your pool means there’s no cut-off time when things get cold as the sun begins to set.

So, if you’re more of a night owl, you can relax in the pool whenever you like. And be sure to consider some pool lights if you’re using it at night, like these solar pool lights (on Amazon) as just 1 example.

It’ll Encourage the Kids to Swim More

Anyone who has kids knows that they don’t like being uncomfortable, and may refuse to get into the pool when it’s even the slightest bit cold. Swimming is a very crucial skill for children to learn though, as it could save their life later on.

If you keep the pool at a comfortable temperature, they’re much more likely to have a positive experience. 

Spend More Time With Family and Friends

As well as encouraging the kids to swim more, having a nicely heated pool encourages the family to spend time together in general. We’re naturally always busy and sometimes forget to take the time to check in with the ones who love us most. 

A pool is a place people naturally congregate, which helps us stay connected — and having a heated pool is even more reason to invite friends and family over.

If your friends don’t have a pool, they’d especially love to come over and spend some time there. Overall, having the pool available opens up connections that may been missed otherwise.

It Helps You Relax

There’s nothing better at the end of the workday than sliding into your pool and feeling all that stiffness disappear. However, those aches may be here to stay if you slide into cold water. Heating your water ensures you can keep it a great place to let go of your worries and feel the pain melt away.

What Are the Types of Pool Heaters?

Solar water heating

If the benefits have convinced you that you need a pool heater in your home, you need to take a look at the different types to decide which one is best for you. There are a few options out there.

To decide which one you want, you should consider the things you’re aiming for in a heater. Do you have a wide-open budget and just need the best option for keeping your pool warm year-round? Or do you have a limited budget and you’re looking for a cheaper option that’ll still do the job?

Gas Heater

A gas heater is probably the most efficient at heating your pool and the best option if you plan on heating your water all the time. It can raise the temperature quickly — and maintain it.

However, gas heaters can be expensive and tricky to install as you’ll have to run a gas line to the pool. The fuel cost can also be unpredictable.

You can also use gas heaters by running a propane tank, but they need a constant eye kept on them and you’ll have to replace them frequently.

Solar Heater

For those who want to be more eco-friendly and might want to save on running a pool heater, using a solar heater like the SolarPRO Curve Solar Above-Ground Pool Heater (on Amazon) is a great choice. These large panels use the energy from the sun to provide heat for the pool, but they do need quite a large area and must be exposed to the sun a lot of the time to be able to provide enough energy to heat the water. If you have the space, however, it’s one option to consider.

Solar heaters are better for small pools, since they’re not as efficient at raising the heat of the water as other options. They can, however, be placed on the roof, which gives them constant access to sunlight if you don’t have room in the yard.

Electric Heater

It’s also possible to purchase an electric heater for your pool, the same way you would for your shower or bath. However, you should only do this if you have a small pool that you plan on heating infrequently — otherwise, your electric bill is going to take a huge jump.

Heat Pump

A heat pump (on Amazon) is the most popular option as it’s the best of both worlds. Although it’s the most expensive off the bat, it has low running costs and it’s pretty affordable to use year-round.

It’s not as efficient as a gas heater but it may do a better job than a solar heater, especially if you don’t get much sunlight where you are.

How Much Does It Cost to Add a Pool Heater to an Existing Pool?

How much it costs to add a pool heater to an existing pool depends on what kind of heater you want. A heat pump can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 for the initial installation, depending on what one you get and how much the contractors charge for the labor.

Although this cost seems high, it’s a job that you really need professionals for, so don’t attempt to do it yourself unless you have extensive experience with pools.

Solar panels and gas heaters have a much lower initial cost so if budget is an issue, you can look into those. Solar panels, for example, may only cost a few thousand dollars, and you don’t have to worry about the running costs either.

The best way to find out exactly how much the initial installation cost would be is to contact the experts and ask. Most people will be happy to come out and give you a no-obligation quote so you can make the best decision for your property. You can also get different quotes for each kind of heater, if that would influence your decision.

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Pool Heater? 

If the running costs are a real worry for you, you can’t go wrong with a solar panel. If it’s efficiency you’re looking for, and you’ve gone with a heat pump, you’re likely looking at over $1,000 per year.

Remember, this is if you’re running the pool heater year-round. If you’re only running it sometimes, the costs will be significantly lower.

Can You Install a Pool Heater Yourself?

If you have extensive experience with your pool and are willing to get a friend to help and follow all of the required safety precautions then yes, you can install a pool heater yourself. However, if you don’t have experience or anyone to help you, then you should absolutely get professionals to do the job.

If you do decide to install the pool heater on your own and then run into problems, you should stop what you’re doing and get a professional to come in and finish the job, as well as fix any issues that may have resulted.

If there’s any part of you that isn’t comfortable, don’t do it. Pools are huge investments, and the last thing you want is to mess something up and cost yourself more money in the long run.

Overall, adding a pool heater to your pool is a great idea and very doable — people do it all the time! However, you need to make sure you research the different types of heaters and pick the right one for you.

There are many pros and cons to each option, and you should take the time to find an option that suits your budget and needs. Just make sure you consider the running cost as well as the initial installation, since these costs can certainly add up.

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