Swimming provides an all-body workout and therefore is a great way to stay fit and in shape.
Having your own pool means you can swim at any time you fancy – even in the fall or winter season. Most people have to give their swimming sessions a break in chilly, cold weather conditions because of obvious reasons.
But if you have a pool heater in place, there’s no stopping you. An excellent pool heater makes your pool time a lot more favorable when the air temperature isn’t.
If you love swimming and want to extend your swimming sessions throughout the year, you should invest in a promising pool heater. Today, you can find a wide variety of pool heaters on the market, boasting state-of-the-art technology and impressive features.
With so many options on hand, it can be a bit confusing to decide which is the best pool heater. No worries, though. If you find yourself on the edge of indecisiveness, we believe our guide will help you draw the right conclusion.
Here we have rounded up on the best above ground pool heaters for every budget, so whether you’re an economical buyer or an extravagant one, you’ll find something to your liking.
Best Above Ground Pool Heater – Reviews & Buying guide for 2020
Best Overall: Sun2Solar Blue Rectangle Solar Cover
- Type: solar heater
- Mounting Type: blanket cover
- Size: 12 x 24 foot
- Warranty: Yes
The Sun2Solar Blue Rectangular Solar Cover is a perfect option for rectangular above ground pools. It features an eye-catching blue blanket with a film of thousands of small bubbles. These thick functional bubbles help retain pool heat on chilly days and nights.
According to Sun2Solar Blue, the solar heater can reduce water evaporation by 95% and pool heat warmth by 15%. The perfect heat insulation allows you to jump into warmth with ease and comfort in the cold, teeth-biting weather.
The solar cover is an ideal heating solution. It doesn’t rely on electricity or fossil fuels. All it needs is solar energy to work, which, in turn, reduces the overall heating cost.
To enjoy the best free heat, you simply have to place the bubble-side of the cover facing toward your pool water. This allows your solar blanket to absorb UV rays and preserve heat within the pool for a long time.
So, enjoying a relaxing swim during the sweater weather is no feat as long as you have this top-class heater for above ground pools.
While the solar pool blanket comes with a warranty, unfortunately, it’s too limited to anyone’s liking. The limited warranty is only enough to cover linear seam separation. Also, some users have had issues with the bubbles falling off after a couple of uses.
This results in the contamination of the pool. If you keep on using the cover even after it’s gotten damaged, you may risk littering your pool with tiny pieces of plastic.
Your pool could be of any size and shape, right?
The Sun2Solar Blue Heat-Retention Cover is flexible which means it can be molded into any form. Whether you have a small or big pool, square or rectangular, the solar blanket will fit into any size and shape in an instant.
Owing to the cover’s resin material, your pool has a greater chance of maintaining clean water. The solid, durable cover prevents dirt and debris from entering the swimming pool. During extreme heat conditions, the cover also prevents water loss and evaporation.
What’s more, the cover can be found in many models. Its heavier versions are fit for areas that get strong winds and rainfall.
Without any shadow of a doubt, the Sun2Solar Blue Cover is the best above ground pool heater out there.
It makes use of free heat from natural light and absorbs and retains it so you can enjoy swimming in the offseason as well. This one gives all the great features of a pool heater at a minimal cost. Thereby, it’s worth it.
Runner up: Blue Wave NS115 8-mil Solar Blanket
- Type: solar heater
- Mounting Type: Blanket cover
- Size: 21 feet
- Warranty: Yes
The Blue Wave NS115 Solar Blanket comes with a large heat-retaining blue blanket with thermal cells on top of it. These insulating cells help conserve heat so you can enjoy swimming in cooler days without shivering and teeth grinding.
Besides maximum heating properties, the solar blanket offers an extended shelf life. Manufactured from thick, durable material, the NS115 solar cover is built to last for years.
The transparent blue blanket has the ability to seize up the maximum amount of UV rays while maintaining its quality all the while. The blanket is capable to thrive under the fieriest sunlight.
The company’s catalog describes the solar blanket to offer prevention of water and chemical prevention by 95%. This shows that the 8-mil blanket can keep up with the pool quality and balance and can assist with the regular pool maintenance.
Designed from the highest-quality UV-proof polymers, the cover is large yet lightweight, allowing you to spread it on your pool without anyone’s help. It is most compatible with round above ground pools. You can also easily fold and unfold it without any hassle.
One of the major drawbacks of the Blue Wave NS115 Solar Blanket is that it may rip apart easily if it’s mishandled.
You can’t be careless with this one as it is quite thin and delicate. While spreading it on top of your pool water, make sure it lies on perfectly or else it tends to sink easily, especially if it gets water on top of it.
Designed especially for circular above ground pools, the Blue Wave Solar Blanket is quite useful in heat retention and prevention.
Additionally, the pool heater comes with another impressive quality of raising water temperature by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit – thanks to its innovative thermal technology.
This is huge considering that the pool heater does it all using natural sunlight. It doesn’t depend on electricity, proving to be a cost-effective option for economical buyers.
The thermal cover is made in the United States and comes with three years of warranty. In case, the solar blanket deteriorates due to harmful chemicals or UV radiation, you can easily get it repaired or get a new one for free.
From the price point, the above ground pool heater doesn’t disappoint at all. It’s marketed at a fairly reasonable price and can endure the toughest of the season – strong wind, heavy rainfall, etc. No matter the air temperature, the solar cover can maintain the pool warmth up to mark.
This is a remarkable above ground pool heater as it offers an optimum heating option. It elevates the pool temperature as well as retains water balance, quality, and heat, of course. It has an attractive pool design and is suitable for round above ground pools.
The pool cover is highly resistant to UV and toxic corrosion. And the best aspect is that it’s easy on the wallet. Considering all these factors, we don’t see why you shouldn’t invest in this high-quality above ground pool heater.
Alternative: Fafco Swimming Pool Solar Heating System
- Type: solar heating system
- Mounting Type: mount on the ground
- Size: 20 feet long and 2 feet wide
- Warranty: Yes
The Fafco Solar Cub Heating System is an eco-friendly solar panel designed to circulate warm water through the pump and into the pool. It’s easy to use and has a highly functioning mechanism, making it a great investment all year round.
While similar to traditional solar panels, the Solar Cub is one step ahead in terms of its appearance of one big solar collector with a long black rubber mat.
This solar mat is solid and durable and can be placed anywhere around the pool – on the ground, rack, or nearby roof. Apart from an aesthetically-pleasing design, the Fafco Solar Cub heater is durable and long-lasting. It’s fit for everyday use.
If you have a big yard or garden, you can utilize the space by placing the heater anywhere you like. You’re not restricted to utilize the area surrounding the pool. You can choose to put the panels near your lawn fences or walls.
While the Fafco heating system seems perfect, it isn’t quite so. A major issue with the solar heater is that it’s oversized. While the system’s size isn’t a problem for every user, it is to those with limited outdoor space.
The vast 20-foot solar panel can’t easily be lifted up all by yourself. You may need someone’s assistance when handling the pool heater.
The solar-powered heating panels are manufactured by an esteemed company – Fafco – that holds years of experience in the solar business. The company has installed over 120000 solar systems since its origin in 1972.
Over the years, Fafco’s heater systems have drastically improved and appreciated for their efficiency and innovative technology. The best example is none other than the Fafco 20-foot solar system.
It’s durable, innovative, and environmentally-friendly. The pool pump effortlessly does the job of heating the water and maintaining its warmth throughout the cool season.
Made with UV-resistant materials, the green pool heating system resists deterioration down the line. It stays in its top condition regardless of the number of times used. Plus, the solar-generated panel is backed by 10 years of warranty – all the more reason to buy it!
The 20-foot Fafco pool heater is the best eco-friendly option out there. It conserves power by lessening the rotation time of the pump and low nitrogen oxide emissions.
Despite being large, the heater is quick and easy to install – thanks to its connectors. This unit doesn’t fail when it comes to quality, durability, and ease of installation.
Best Tankless Pool Heaters: EcoSmart Pool Electric Tankless Pool Heater
- Type: electric tankless pool heater
- Mounting Type: mount on the ground
- Size: 17 x 14 x 5.5 inches
- Warranty: Yes
The EcoSmart Pool Electric Heater is the best electric tankless water heater for above ground pools. It is truly a smart heater in the sense that it can pool up to 15000 gallons.
Plus, it’s 99% more efficient than any other tankless water heater – thanks to the latest flow sensor technology which helps reduce the likelihood of components burning out.
The SmartPOOL comes with digital thermostat control, allowing you to set the temperature (between 80 degrees and 140 degrees) precisely where you want.
You can increase the temperature for more warmth and lessen it for medium-warm – whatever your personal preference is. This gives you the freedom to enjoy swimming no matter what the air temperature is.
Customers have many great things to say about the tankless heater. However, there have been a few conflicting reviews as well.
According to a few customers, the electric pool heater can heat the pool to the degree desired but it takes up a lot of power, resulting in high electricity bills.
Another thing to watch out for is the fact that the electric, tankless heater cannot be installed outdoors. It’s not weatherproof at all, so if kept in the open space, it may get wet and rust away.
Many don’t know this the EcoSmart pool heater doesn’t require venting, so there are no extra charges that go into the installation of the system.
EcoSmart also offers a lifetime warranty on its electric tankless pool heaters. You can get in touch with the customer support by filling an online form on the company’s website or simply by calling them on weekdays.
EcoSmart also provides resources such as product manuals, installation videos, etc., on its support page.
The EcoSmart is one of its kind. It stands out from typical heat pumps and gas pool heaters. It is inexpensive and can easily be purchased online or from a physical store.
The EcoSmart pool heater is an excellent choice if you’re interested in getting an electric and tankless heating unit for your above ground pool. Keep in mind that the product’s initial bargain is relatively cheap, but that’s not it.
The tankless heater functions through electricity and takes up a lot of power, so be prepared to pay exorbitant energy costs every month.
Runner Up: Hayward H200FDN Universal H-Series Pool Heater
- Type: pool and spa heater
- Mounting Type: placed on the ground or anywhere concrete
- Size: 200,000 BTU
- Warranty: Yes
The Hayward H200FDN is a top-of-the-line in H-series of Hayward gas heaters. It’s best known for its highly efficient 200,000 BTU which is engineered to heat a pool up to 600 sq. ft.
The pool heater is super compact and can fit any pool pad. Owing to its simple design and appearance, the gas heater is easy to look after. It has a smooth clean look and is supremely low maintenance.
The gas heater’s quality and longevity are unmatchable Many modern gas-powered pool heaters use standard copper heat exchangers.
However, this is not the case with the Hayward gas heater. It’s manufactured from the modern cupronickel heat exchanger which prevents the unit’s internals from getting corroded within a few months of use.
Even if you use this heater in a pool with salty water, it will remain intact for years to come. In this sense, the gas heater is quite reliable and durable.
As compared to other models, this one is quite loud and make slight noises. It is powerful at the same. Additionally, the system is not weather-resistant. It needs to be kept covered or indoors at all times.
The Hayward pool and spa heater features an energy-efficient hydraulic design and is capable to heat up water super quickly. It is simple yet modish.
The installation is also quite straightforward and hardly takes a couple of minutes. The smart LED display in the control panel instantly detects if something goes wrong within the system and flashes warning signs.
Apart from epic performance, this little but mighty gas heater will save a lot of your money. The heater is known to lessen pump circulation and helps save a lot of money on energy bills.
There is no better gas heater for the above ground pool than the Hayward H200FDN. It’s highly efficient and functional and helps save tons of money on monthly utility bills.
Pool Heater FAQs
What Is the Best Type of Heater for a Pool?
Water pool heaters come in many types. The best one is which perfectly aligns with your needs. However, a few great choices in regards to pool heaters are gas heaters, electric-resistant heaters, solar heaters, and heat pumps.
If you want to save money in the long-term, solar heaters are the best option as they do not entail any extra energy cost.
How Can I Heat my Pool Cheaply?
There are several cheapest ways to heat your swimming pool. The number one way is to use a solar cover/panel.
It’s only a one-time investment and involves zero excess charges related to generating power, electricity, etc. A better alternative to solar covers is solar sun rings. You can also go for a liquid solar pool cover.
Another way to keep your pool warm as well as clean is by using a windproof pool enclosure. This not only resists strong winds but acts against heavy rainfall or sandstorms.
What Size Pool Heater Do I Need for My Pool?
The best way to determine the size of the pool heater is by dividing your pool’s surface area by 3. This will give you the nominal BTU size ideal for your pool.
For instance, the surface of your pool measures up to 15 x 40. After dividing by 3, you get 200. This means the minimum size heater recommended for your 15 x 40 pool is 200,000 BTUs.
What Is a Comfortable Pool Temperature?
The experts at the United States Water Fitness Association state that ideal water temperature for young children and older adults ranges from 84 – 94 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the other hand, a comfortable pool temperature for adults is from 85 – 89 degrees Fahrenheit.
A quality above ground pool heater can make swimming possible at any time of the year. Whether it’s a breezy autumn day, cool spring night, or frosty wintertime, you can enjoy swimming with optimum ease and comfort.
To ensure you get the best experience from a pool heater, do not compromise on the quality of the pool heater and purchase the one that fulfills all your needs.
And if at any point, you’re unable to make the decision, scroll up to this page and pick “the one” from our best above ground pool heater review!