Southern California is never all that cold. For goodness gracious, I saw a national weather report and it could be in the 20s. Yikes! Just when you need the pool to be a bit…well, a lot warmer, the pool heater breaks. It is always when you need it the most, right? You realize that your pool heater is as old as Methuselah and realize that it is time that you start investigating the ins and outs of a new pool heater. Don’t jump the gun, if it looks like that sucker needs to be repaired, call your pool service professional ASAP. Heck, to just get the decisive word on your heater’s status, give them a call. They will let you know whether it can be salvaged.
But if you are like me, you want to do some research just in case. Up front, I am sure you realize that the first question needs to be:
What sized pool heater do I need for my pool?
A pool heater can come in any size, from 100 unit, or 100,000 BTUs, all the way up to 400 unit, or 400,000 BTUs. The larger the unit the quicker your pool will heat, plain and simple. Regardless of your pool size, you will need to judge how you and your family use your pool. I mean, some of us are people who rarely use the pool and when we do, we flip on the heater and want it warm fairly quickly. Then, when our fun is done, we flip it off and don’t turn it on. Others of us like to keep our pool moderately warmed throughout the season. If you are a weekend warrior, you will always want to err on the larger size. If you are a slow and steady wins the race kind of heater, you will always tend small. You should also use a pool cover to maximize heat escape no matter what.
Here is a graph a handy dandy down and dirty pool heater guide
Pool Size Pool Heater Size
1000-10,000 gal. 100-200BTU
10-20,000 gal. 200-300BTU
20-40,000 gal. 300-400BTU
40-80,000 gal. 400 BTU
For a solar heater the calculation is a bit easier. You need at minimum, half the solar panels as the surface square footage of your pool.
Now, go forth and seek the pool heater of your needs.