Gas vs Heat Pump vs Solar pool & spa Heating

Solar vs Gas vs Heat Pumps for pool and spa heating. Comparison. Which is best? Gas is fastest.

Solar Pool Heating

Pros:  Relatively low-maintenance when new. Often comes with the cost of a pool.

Cons: Solar companies don't give true outputs of heating capacity. When they leak, can cause damage to guttering or more. Birds can damage it. Output cannot be controlled. 

Very efficient mild heating. Comes with many benefits, until it leaks! Spas are too small to heat with solar matting. 

Gas Pool & Spa Heating

Common Outputs of Gas Heating:

The smallest is around 19kw and can go up to 125kW

Gas is absolutely the fastest way to heat a pool or spa. If you're only heating occasionally, it is by far the best way to heat. It is also twice as cheap to maintain heat over an Electric element. (like what is found in portable spas & swim spas).

For Speed of Heating, or for Occasional Use, or for Pure Convenience, Gas Pool & Spa Heating is definitely the king! 

Pros: FASTEST way to heat a pool or spa, by far. Heats regardless of ambient air temperature. Heat a pool or spa only when you need it.

Cons: Can be expensive to heat a pool year-round.  

Pool & Spa Heat Pumps

Common Outputs of Heat Pump Heating: 

6kW to 57kW (heat pumps are far more expensize to buy for the equivalent output of a gas heater)

This is becoming crazy popular, but not nearly as fast as gas heating. The biggest heat pump you can afford, and fit, is the best choice. So much bad advice on these is rampant in the industry. Incorrect sizing, and installation is the biggest concern for heat pumps. There has also been a major influx of shoddy quality heat pumps being sold online.  

Heat pumps must be sized and installed correctly, otherwise you are burning the savings you may have otherwise gained over other heating methods. We assess every job with a list of questions, and possibly an on-site visit, to ensure your expectations are exceeded.  

Pros: Efficiency can be good. Smallish footprint. Absorbs ambient heat. No gas lines need to be run. (electricity might need to be upgraded). Low maintenance.

Cons: Must be sized and installed correctly.  Pool shops often don't truly understand how they work. Output changes with ambient air temperature. Heat pumps may need to be run for long periods to heat.

Electric Pool & Spa Elements

Common Outputs of Electric Heating:

3-6kW of heating.

Electric element heating is most commonly found on spas, swimspas and small bodies of water. It is the slowest, and most expensive way to heat a body of water. It typically costs well over twice as much to heat over gas. We often install hybrid heating to almost any brand of spa or swimspa, where a gas heater, or heat pump is retro-fitted to the existing spa.

Pros: Very small footprint. Generally can operate for many years. Come built in to spa controllers. Generally very reliable.

Cons: Expensive to run. Requires a lot of electricity. Very slow to heat.