Best Pool Heaters in 2018: Top Electric, Gas & Solar Heaters Compared

Summer is here, and if you are buying a new pool or want to renovate your current one, you would like to look into purchasing a good pool heater. Pool heaters allow the water in your pool to heat up, so that when you get in the pool, you are never cold.

Nobody enjoys stepping into a pool filled with cold water, because that makes it harder to get used to. Warmer water is more tolerable to the human body.

There are many different qualities to a pool heater. Pool heaters are capable of heating pools in varied sizes, and some are better at this than others. Some come with temperature control, heat-collecting technologies, and other features to make them very helpful and easy to use. Many of the pool heaters in this review can also heat spas, jacuzzis and hot tubs.

Which is the best pool heater in 2018? We have ten heaters that we have reviewed from popular brands like Raypak, Hayward and Pentair. We will take a look at each pool heater thoroughly and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. We will then determine the one pool heater that you should buy the most.

Without further ado, here are the pool heaters that we will look at.

Best Pool Heater - Comparisons 

10 Best Pool Heater - Reviews 

1. Hayward H200FDN Universal H-Series

Hayward creates a whole series of pool heaters that is called the “H-Series”. The Hayward H200FDN in particular is this serviceable product that is made up of a finn plate, polymer header, and cupro-nickel heat exchanger. This heater in particular has a 200,000 BTU output. This pool heater can heat up spas in addition to medium-sized pools.

The H200FDN comes with an unique airflow system that makes it possible to heat up a pool regardless of abnormal weather conditions. No matter if you feel like taking a dip during a cold evening, this heater will provide you with warm pool water.

Its heat exchangers are formed into a “V” shape to remove condensation and promotes heat effectively. These exchangers are responsibly for optimal performance and fast rates of heating. Furthermore, the finn plating allows for high durability and will hold up against salt-based chemicals and abnormal water patterns.

It also has a small LED screen which displays the temperature of the pool, and it can also run diagnostic tests.

This heater also produces very low NOx emissions for adequate air quality so that the water in your pool is as healthy as it can be. The pool needs air, so of course it has to be clean air.

The one downside to this heater is that it is not weather resistant. It will experience problems such as lack of efficiency and effectiveness if it has to weather harsh storms and snowfall. We advise you to place it somewhere where it will get plenty of shelter.

What we liked

  • Can heat water with any weather condition.
  • Is an eco-friendly model.
  • Has custom temperature controls.
  • Can run diagnostic tests.

What we didn't like

  • Will succumb to weather conditions.

2. Hayward H100ID1 H-Series Spa Heater

This pool heater from Hayward is an economic model that is most ideal for small to medium sized above-ground pools as well as bath spas.

The main feature of this heater is it’s induced draft technology. This draft technology, making it a capable pool heater in any kind of weather. Don’t expect any dips in quality or performance if it is a little cold outside. Just like the H200FDN, it can get your pool heated quickly.

The H100ID1 comes with a one-piece copper heat exchanger. This is constructed by a singular piece of copper for simple and effective performance as well as maintenance.

The H100ID1 also comes with an electronic ignition system. This allows the pool heater to operate with simplicity and no hassle is required in order to help get your pool up and running. 

While Hayward is a nationwide leader is pool heaters, this one in particular is not designed to last very long. If you maintain it properly, then it can last a lot longer than we would expect it to, but more expensive models will tend to hold up on their own much better.

What we liked

  • Assembles and disassembles very easily.
  • Can heat water with any weather condition.

What we didn't like

  • Is not built to last long.

3. Pentair 460730 MasterTemp Pool Heater

This pool heater contains 200,000 BTU, which means heating the pool or spa water is fast and zippy. Included inside this pool heater is a pre-mixed system that mixes gas with air, which is how heat is created as fast as it does with the Pentair MasterTemp.

The Pentair Mastertemp is an easy pool heater to operate with digital controls. This allows you to do what you need it to do quickly and easily with no complicated button layout.

This pool heater has a cupro-nickel exchanger that is resilient against high flow, low pH, and overuse. It is also certified for low NOx emissions so that you know that clean air will always enter your swimming pool or spa.

The MasterTemp has a rust-proof exterior made of composite that will hold up well against any and all elements of nature that you can throw at it.

This pool heater also can detect many problems that it might encounter with a few indicators that will light up. And this is a very good idea, so that you can exactly know what the problem is, so that you can figure out a solution much faster.

The main problem with this pool heater is that any indicators where you may detect problems are all found on the back side. If you want an easy way of getting clear indications that you may be facing problems with your heater, you would have to either reach to the back of the heater from time to time, place the heater on its side, or have it installed out in the open, which is not very ideal when wet pool patrons are walking around.

What we liked

  • Is an eco-friendly model.
  • Has custom temperature controls.
  • Is very durable.
  • Can detect multiple problems with itself.

What we didn't like

  • Indicators are poorly located.

4. Hayward HP21404T HeatPro Titanium

The Hayward HP21404T is a popular choice of pool heater. It has a 140,000 BTU output that is not as quick to heat a pool like a 200,000 output model, but it is still fairly decent. It has a nice design, and these colors will not fade over time. It looks like a strong, powerful heater

The shell of this pool heater is indeed strong and durable. Its body will never rust or get weaker over time, and this is always a plus for machines that get exposed to years of sunlight and water.

This pool heater features a titanium heat exchanger, and this makes your heater highly resistant to chemicals and salt water. This is much better than copper heat exchangers like other pool heaters in this review. This titanium exchanger can also attracts and collects heat much faster.

The “ultra gold” evaporator fin that comes with this pool heater makes for a very strong and durable machine overall, and will not short circuit even in the rainiest or windiest of conditions.

The HP21404T also features a polyethylene screen, which protects the machine’s coil and ensures that the pool heater is always running at an optimal level.

Furthermore, this is a relatively quiet heater that will not buzz or hum loudly as it works. If you want to relax in your pool, you won’t need to hear a faint humming noise all the time. This is a pool heater that is also very easy to set up, and you can get it running in just about two hours.

What we liked

  • Is not a very noisy heater.
  • Assembles and disassembles very easily.
  • Is very durable.

What we didn't like

  • N/A

5. FibroPool FH055 In Ground Pool Heater

The FibroPool FH055 is most ideal for pools that are 21 feet in diameter or 15 x 30. This is not a pool heater build for very big pools. It has a 50,000 BTU heat pump. Right off the bat, you should know that this will take quite a while to get your pool heated. We recommend that this would be good for small spas.

You can install this heat pump, however in less than 30 minutes, so long as you use 1 ½-inch compression fittings. Installing this heater will not be a weekend project by any means. It also disconnects as easy as it installs, but that isn’t to say that it will disconnect on its own. It is rather very stable.

FibroPool touts the FH055 as one of the most energy efficient pool heaters that you can buy. By having this run, you are expected to pay 25 cents more on your heating bill. In comparison, other pool heaters in this review will cost a few dollars or more to run. 

This is possible thanks to its full titanium heat exchanger and Copeland high-pressure differential contressor.

You can also make quick and easy adjustments with a digital control panel on its front.

What we liked

  • Assembles and disassembles very easily.
  • Can save you money on utility bills.

What we didn't like

  • Only has a 55,000 BTU heat output.

6. Jandy Pro Series JXi 400K BTU

The Jandy JXi has a nice, modern design to it. This is quite a beast of a pool and spa heater. This heater has a 400,000 BTU output, which will heat large, public swimming pools quite well. No matter the weather conditions, you will have your pool ready to be used in mere minutes.

The JXi uses natural gas and passes the environmental standards for emissions of low NOx, which means that this heater will preserve the environment. Not only will it save the green, but it will save money, too, thanks to its copper fin heat conductor that doesn’t expend that much heat or power.

The digital screen can be brightened so that you can always see and navigate through menus fairly easily, even when it’s very bright or dark outside. If you have both a pool and spa, you can use this pool heater to switch to heat one to the other without making adjustments first.

Installation is easy to do as well, thanks to its 180-degree rotatable top. That’s right, its top area can rotate to better adapt to any sort of configuration at home. You often happen to buy units with poorly placed ports that make setting up more convoluted than it has any right to be. Thankfully, the JXi is not one of those units.

What we liked

  • Has a 400,000 BTU heat output.
  • Can switch settings from pools to spas.
  • Rotatable top makes installing easier.
  • Is an eco-friendly model.
  • Can save you money on utility bills.

What we didn't like

  • N/A

7. FibroPool FH 020 Swimming Pool Heater

This next pool heater from Fibropool is not a beautiful model by any means, but it is energy efficient. At 20,000 BTU, it is only capable of heating small pools and spas. It is only capable of heating pools as big as 18 inches in diameter.

Compared to the other FibroPool pool heater, this model has less BTU heat output, but it can also save you significantly more money on your utility bill. By running this pool heater, you should expect to spent only 18 to 22 cents every hours.

This is a very quiet model, so you can expect this heater to not disturb your peace by any means. If you are relaxing in a hot tub, you should only expect to hear it if it were sitting at an arm’s length from where you are sitting.

The FH 020 is a very easy pool heater to assemble. Outside of what we have gone over, however, it doesn’t do much else. There aren’t any unique features, and it only does its job of heating pool water with not a lot of advantages.

What we liked

  • Is not a very noisy heater.
  • Assembles and disassembles very easily.
  • Can save you money on utility bills.

What we didn't like

  • Only has a 20,000 BTU heat output.

8. Raypak 336,000 BTU Digital Electronic Heater

Raypak-336000-BTU-Digital-Electronic-Heater

Raypak has a box-like pool heater, but it comes with many useful features. It is a natural gas heater that has a 336,000 BTU heat output, suitable for large pools and spas. You are sure to enjoy your pool with the help of this heater no matter the time of year.

The digital screen on its front is easy to use, and you can manually set the pool temperature so that when you turn it on, it will always heat water to that temperature.

This is a sturdy heater that has a non-corrosive cabinet that is coated with polyester. Its wind-resistant design makes it so that the gentlest of breezes don’t cause any problems for your pool heater.

The nickel fin heat exchanger collects heat and doesn’t allow any more to be exhausted, which means that you are sure to save money on power every time that you need to turn it on.

Furthermore, this pool heater has many self-diagnostic tools, allow itself to fix a number of problems that it could experience. It can also detect things such as low voltage in case that you need to check its wiring out. 

What we liked

  • Has a 336,000 BTU heat output.
  • Has custom temperature controls.
  • Is very durable.
  • Can save you money on utility bills.
  • Can run diagnostic tests.
  • Can detect multiple problems with itself.
  • Can heat water with any weather condition.

What we didn't like

  • N/A

9. Lochinvar Energyrite 400,000 BTU Pool Heater

Lochinvar-Energyrite-400000-BTU-Pool-Heater

This is a powerhouse of a pool heater, as it comes with 400,000 BTU heat output that can heat large pools. You can use this heater in either indoor or outdoor environments.

We are definitely not a fan of this design. The first thing that we see is a printer, especially one that is 20 or 30 years old. We are guessing that Lochinvar bought molds from an old printer company to use to create shells for their pool heaters. The body is very durable and rust-proof, nonetheless.

Its digital screen is easy to read, lights up, and you can easily set the temperature of how hot you want your pool water. This ensures that your water won’t always be frying you like an egg in a frying pan. Set it to the temperature you prefer in order to swim and relax with enjoyment.

This pool heater features low NOx emission in order to satisfy air quality guidelines. This lets you know that only clean air will enter your pool, and you can enjoy a healthy swimming environment.

What we liked

  • Has a 400,000 BTU heat output.
  • Has custom temperature controls.
  • Is very durable.
  • Can be used indoors as well as outdoors.

What we didn't like

  • Looks like a printer.

10. Premium Quality Water Heater Pool

This final pool heater is not really a machine, but rather a device. It is not a heavy unit that you need a lot of space for, but a small unit that you can affix to the wall or siding of your home. This is the only positive aspect of this product, unfortunately. 

It will tell you on the packaging and instructions that this is only for spas hot tubs or jacuzzis, so it does not have the capabilities of heating any kind of pool. The good news is that it does have protection from overheating, so it will not get any hotter than 100 degrees, even if it happens to be brutally hot outside.

We were misled by the “temperature control” dial at first. But the “Hot” and “Cold” settings are rather fixed to 100 and 44 degrees, respectively. It won’t heat any water unless you turn it all the way to either of these settings. We were disappointed by finding this out later.

It will heat at only two temperatures: 44 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. For many people, 100 degrees is very hot, and even if it is only for spas, it would have been great if there was a way to adjust this temperature to make the water cooler.

Outside from what we have just described, this pool heater does not do all that much. It is only for use with spas, and this is not something to buy for a pool, by any means.

What we liked

  • Is very small and lightweight.

What we didn't like

  • Can only be used with spas.
  • Temperature can’t be adjusted.

If you have some extra time, you can see this video. How pool heaters work explained by - Luxury Pools and Living Ohio

Final Verdict: 

In a unanimous decision, our best pick out of each of these pool and spa heaters is the Raypak 336,000 BTU Digital Electronic Ignition Propane Pool Heater

This is a pool heater that is well worth the money, and there are no flaws with this product to be found. It has a durable body, it does its job incredibly well, and it comes with several benefits for you and the environment. If you are looking to use your pool everyday, of if you own a public pool that the community uses, there is a lot that Raypak’s heater offers with nothing at all to sacrifice. While the Jandi JXi is also a wonderful pool heater, the RayPak is simply too good for pool owners to pass up.

If you own a smaller pool, we also recommend the Hayward HP21404T, which has a great, versatile design that does a phenomenal job at heating smaller pools. If you have a larger pool, or simply just want the best out of your next pool heater, the Raypak will clearly not disappoint.

Sean J. Stone
 

Sean has been a woodworking enthusiast for 8 years, and in that time has written huge resources on woodworking and tools.

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