The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Pool Heat Pump

You got it! If you’re thinking of getting a pool heat pump for your home, we have you covered! Here’s our guide to help make the right decision.

You’re pretty invested in your outdoor swimming pool, and there is nothing quite like enjoying a hot sunny day dipped in the crystal clear water. Pool heaters are also more of an investment as they greatly outweigh the benefits of heated water when the chilly season comes. And if you reside in a cold place, you could extend the swimming season a couple of months more. 

With the several pool heaters available in the market, ask yourself what the best pool heater owners use in your area is? In this article, we’ll dive into the basic guide for pool heat pumps.

What Is a Pool Heat Pump?

Heat Pump Beside House

A heat pump is an air conditioning component that transfers heat through a refrigerant at low temperatures. It works like an air conditioner because it requires electricity to operate, except it pulls the heat out of the water. 

The pool pump has two major components; the pool heater and the outdoor unit. The pool heater is placed around the bottom of the pool, while the outdoor unit can be kept anywhere in your yard or garage area.

The device is so efficient that it can heat a pool from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 24 hours. A sign of a good pool heat pump is that it uses a small amount of electricity to heat your pool. You can see this rated in amps on the packaging.

How Does a Pool Heat Pump Work?

You might wonder how heat pumps heat swimming pools? To be able to heat it, the pool pump has to first make hot water.

Once the water gets hot, the pool pump runs it over a heater core, which changes the chemical composition of the pool water. The new chemical composition carries more energy compared to water, with no chemicals added. This is how your pool heats up.

Make Sure It’s the Right Type of Heat Pump

Pool heat pumps are as different as cars. For example, you can find a pool heat pump that heats your pool from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 24 hours. That sounds incredible, doesn’t it? Well, it is! But it will not work if you have a cheap heater or a pool that isn’t big enough to need a pool heating system. 

You want a properly installed and sized heating system that fits your swimming pool. Depending on how warm you want the water temperatures to be, you will have different options for the size of your heater and how many amps your heater can handle.

How to Troubleshoot a Pool Heat Pump

Modern Heat Pump Being Repaired

The most important thing to remember about pool heat pumps is that they’re set and forget. They’re designed to run for one entire season and then shut off. If they don’t do that, then you’ll have several problems: 

If your heat pump is malfunctioning and not heating your water as efficiently as it should, it is not difficult to troubleshoot what’s causing the problem, and in some cases, you can quickly repair it yourself. We’ve written a list of possible causes of a heat pump acting up and how to get them back running again. 

Check if the Evaporator Coil Is Clogged

A heat pump requires air for it to heat water. So first, check to see if there’s a blockage in the evaporator coils. Debris can be the reason there’s not enough airflow coming in to heat the water. 

Not Enough Water Flow

It’s turned on, and it’s running, but the pool isn’t quite as heated as it should be. As a result, you may have poor water flow, which is a typical problem with pool heat pumps.

Check all valves to ensure they are all open, and then inspect the filter to see if it is filthy or possibly clogged. Cleaning the hot tub filter solves this problem. 

Thermostat Failure

Make sure the thermostat is set to the proper temperature. It is important to remember that the temperature should be set higher than the actual temperature of the water.

Test the temperature of the water with a pool thermometer to ensure that the settings are right. It’s possible that you just have a faulty thermostat and need to buy one to get the heat pump back up and running.

“Once the temperatures begin to drop, the heat pump will be unable to provide as much warmth to the water. The unit will not function correctly until the surrounding temperature is roughly 50°F (10°C) or greater. If you go any lower than that, it will not be able to keep the water heated any longer.”

Matt Gioanisci, founder of Swim University

Present of Ice

The truth is the presence of ice on a heating device is a sign that something has gone badly wrong. Fortunately, the problem is straightforward to identify: it is just too cold outdoors for the heat pump to function properly.

When the temperature outside drops around 50°F (10°C), the refrigerant within the device has already reached temperatures close to the freezing point. This might result in the formation of ice, which can block the heat pump and stop it from functioning properly.

Suppose the temperature drops to these levels making your heater unable to function properly. It’s time to switch off the pool heat pump to avoid damage. 

Freon Pressure Error in the Control Panel

Is there a freon pressure error message on your control panel? Then the pressure might be too low or too high.

If the pressure is too low, it is likely that the temperature outdoors is too cold to run the heat pump. This means you’ll have to switch it off and wait for a couple of days for the weather to warm up before turning it back on again.

If the pressure is too high, you likely have a low water flow problem.

Frequently Asked Questions for Pool Heat Pump

Filter Pump Cleaning Swimming Pool

Q: How long does it take for a heat pump to heat a pool?

A: It takes a heat pump around 4 to 5 days to heat the pool, and that depends on the pool size.

Q: How Much Does a Swimming Pool Heat Pump Cost?

A: A dedicated swimming pool heat pump may cause around $1,800, while a more advanced heat pump with management capabilities can cost you about $18,000.” But remember to do your diligence and know what you truly need as costs can increase quickly.

Q: Can pool owners add a pool heater to an existing outdoor pool?

A: Yes pool owners can add a pool heater to an existing outdoor pool. This may be an easy installation if there is enough space near the swimming pool pump and filter and if there is also a reliable electrical supply.

Q: Where can you buy the right pool heater for your pool?

A: Your first contact would be your pool contractor. Alternatively, you may contact the heat pump manufacturers and request a list of approved installers who have prior swimming pool installation expertise.

Q: What is the right size of the pool heat pump?

A: This depends on the pool size, type of swimming pool, and the desired temperature. It is generally good to start with a heat pump that can heat your water up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in about 24 hours.

Q: Where Can I Find A Pool Heater Expert in my area That Can Provide Free Quotes For My Swimming Pool?

A: The best thing to do is to ask for a free quote in your area. This way, you will find out which company offers you the best pool heating system at competitive prices. In addition, your pool manufacturer will give you this information because they will be aware of any companies that offer free quotes for their products.


Making the most of that investment is mostly dependent on you, your swimming pool heater, and also, your pool pump. Pool heaters are generally found in places where the weather is generally cold during winter. They are designed to heat the water in your swimming pool very efficiently.

We provide you with articles that relate to the safety and maintenance of your swimming pool. You can found all our guides by clicking here, and also don’t forget to check out the ones below as well!

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About the author

Brian Anderson

The rather dry pool world out there is in need of some passion to make it shine. With the help of my son Ruben and his wife Maria our mission is to help you create the favorite spot of your house - your pool.

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