Gas Consumption of Pool Heaters: The Cost of Comfort

Looking to purchase a pool heater? Want to know the cost of comfort? Use this guide to learn more about the gas consumption of pool heaters.

Are you considering buying a pool heater but hesitating due to soaring energy costs? If so, it can be challenging to determine how much gas a pool heater is likely to consume.

Heating pools equipped with modern pool heaters can cost homeowners a lot of utility bills. Gas pool heaters are the most effective type and come in various models and sizes. However, understanding which model or size would be best for you requires some knowledge of the specific needs of your pool and your expected usage needs.

Though gas consumption from pool heaters will vary widely depending on many factors such as climate, size of your pool, and what you set the temperature to, gaining some insight into potential gas consumption is essential before investing in one. This article will provide an overview of how much gas a typical pool heater uses and what you can do to increase your heat pump efficiency.

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How Much Propane Do Pool Heaters Typically Use?

If you’re new to using a propane pool heater, it’s essential to understand its usage limit. These appliances have a high capacity and can consume around four gallons of propane per hour. Each gallon can run a pool heater with 100,000 BTUs per hour, so 4 gallons can operate a 400,000 BTU pool heater per hour.

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, a measure of the energy required to raise water temperature by one degree Fahrenheit. Most pools hold around 21,000 gallons of water, which weighs about 8.34 pounds per gallon. This means that it takes about 175,000 Btu to raise the pool water temperature by one degree. Using a pool heater with 400,000 BTU for one hour will result in a maximum temperature increase of 1.82 degrees. In other words, the pool heater will use four gallons of propane to raise the temperature by 1.82 degrees.

Fixing Pool Heaters

How Much Does Propane Cost?

So how much gas does a pool heater run on, exactly? You should pay about $2.50 per gallon for your propane gas. Keeping the pool at a comfortable temperature for a month will need 100 dollars’ worth of gas. However, there is a lot more involved in determining the total price. The size of the tank is another factor that will affect the final cost.

The heater has to be 10 feet away from the propane tank, whether you choose two tanks, each holding 100 gallons or one tank holding 250 gallons. The basic installation of this tank will cost you 350 to 500 dollars. In addition, you need to pay the rental cost annually. The total price you’ll spend is about $2,000 for the propane tank and its installation.

You could also get one of those ground tanks. But this will cost a little more. Still, it will be worth it once the pool starts getting warmer. The average price for a ground tank is between $3,500 and $5,500. But before you install the tank, you should know what it can and can’t do. Make sure it is about 10 feet away from your property line. Use the same rule for anything that could catch fire. 

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How to Make Your Pool Heater More Efficient?

Guaranteeing that your pool heater keeps running optimally is fundamental for protecting a pleasant and appealing pool. You can take numerous steps to ensure that your pool heater is performing at its peak, starting with consistent upkeep and cleaning and ensuring it’s the appropriate size for your pool. By pursuing these strategies, you can reduce energy expenses and elongate the life of your pool heater.

1. Use a Solar Pool Cover

Retaining heat in your pool can improve the efficiency of your heat pump. One way to do this is by using a solar pool cover/blanket when the pool is not in use. The cover acts as a barrier between the pool water and the air, capturing solar energy and raising the water temperature, reducing heat loss and helping to lower heating costs.

Related: Best Solar Pool Covers, Overview of Solar Pool Cover Reel

2. Combine Your Heat Pump With a Solar Pool Heater for Optimal Results

Combining different heating methods can improve the efficiency of your pool heating system. A solar pool heater and heat pump can be used together to maximize efficiency, a solar heater during sunny days and a heat pump on cloudy or colder days. This can also save on energy costs.

3. Ensure Consistent Pool Upkeep

To maximize your heat pump’s performance, you must maintain clean filters and a clean basket. You should clean the filter for optimal water circulation in your pool every other week.

Cleaning the pump basket and skimmer basket once a week is also recommended.

Keeping your pool’s equipment clean and in good working order will allow water to flow more freely through the system, which in turn will help the pool heat up faster. The more efficiently heat is distributed throughout the pool, the smoother the water’s flow.

4. Adjust the Pool Water’s Temperature

Adjusting your pool’s temperature based on usage can save on heating costs. Set the temperature to 26-28°C for active swimming, lower to 25°C when on standby, and 0.6°C when not in use. This can save 10-30% on monthly heating costs.

5. When You Switch off Your Pool Heater, Run Your Pump Lowly

Heat loss occurs when turning off the pool heater. To prevent this, run the heat pump to keep the water circulating and the temperature consistent. This can save energy and costs and run during non-peak hours at night when it’s cheaper to operate.

Pool Heater FAQs

This section will provide answers to some frequently asked questions about propane pool heaters. 

  1. How much propane do pool heaters consume?

A propane pool heater with a 21,000-gallon capacity produces 400,000 BTU per hour. Meaning it can burn four gallons of fuel each hour.

  1. What’s the lifespan of your propane heater?

The average lifespan of a propane pool heater is nine years. However, this might change based on how you take care of your heater. Of course, maintaining the unit properly can help prolong its longevity.

  1. Which type of heater costs more, propane or natural gas?

Propane gas may be slightly more expensive than natural gas, but it is an excellent choice for pool heating. A propane pool heater is highly efficient, making the additional cost worth it. It is also worth exploring why your electric pool heater may not work.

Author’s Note

Overall, the quantity of gas a pool heater uses can differ with different factors, the heat you want to retain, and the sort of pool heater you have. Yet, as a broad rule, a propane pool heater can consume about four liters of propane each hour. This can operate a pool heater of 100,000 BTU per hour.

By comprehending your pool heater’s usage limit, you can make it more proficient, such as using a solar pool cover and combining diverse heating solutions to debase energy utilization and costs. Moreover, you can regulate the pool’s temperature depending on how it is used and run the heat pump during non-peak periods at night to save on energy costs.

Overall, with good management, you can spare on vitality expenses and enjoy your warm swimming haven throughout the year.

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