Electric vs Gas Pool Heating

It seems a pity to buy a pool and then not use it when the weather gets too cold. Heating your pool lets you spend more time in the water regardless of the weather outside. It’s also a great way to coax you outside for more exercise even when it’s not 30 degrees out. (And you have to admit, jumping into a freezing cold pool on a boiling hot day can be quite a shock to the system!).

There are two ways to heat your swimming pool:

The Pros and Cons of Pool Heaters

Electric heaters

Electric pool heating systems have a heating element built into your pool to heat the water, just like a kettle. An electric current warms a coil, which then heats up the water flowing into the pool.



  • Small in size, so perfect if you don’t have room for a heat pump or gas heater
  • Good for extended use
  • More environmentally-friendly than gas heaters
  • Have programmable digital interfaces


  • Take longer to warm the water
  • Pool temperature depends on outside temperature
  • Require higher upfront costs and operating costs
  • Not energy efficient

Gas heaters

gas pool heating system burns natural gas or liquid propane in a combustion chamber. The pool water passes through copper coils in this chamber and heats up. Exhaust from the burning gas is generally let out through a flue.



  • Heat up quickly so you only have to run it when you want to swim
  • Extends the pool season in cooler months regardless of outside temperature
  • Lower upfront costs


  • Shorter life span than electric heaters (about 5 years)
  • Higher maintenance
  • Not environmentally friendly or energy efficient

How do you choose the right option?

More pool owners are choosing to install electric heaters, but that doesn’t mean people are abandoning gas heaters altogether. How you choose to heat your pool should depend on how frequently you use it throughout the year.

Since a gas heater raises the pool water temperature quickly, it’s a useful choice if you only use your pool intermittently – a few days a week or just on the weekends, for example. Then you only have to run the heater when you plan to use the pool, firing it up in the morning so you can enjoy a comfortable afternoon swim.

But if you’re a pool addict and can’t avoid a dip every day, an electric heater’s lower operating costs may better tempt you. You can run the heater constantly to ensure an even flow of warm water without needing to plan every swim in advance.

Like anything, there is no better or worse option here; it’s all relative to the way you use your pool. Take your time to consider your pool’s usage and decide what best fits your needs.

Are you looking for a fast-acting gas heater for the weekends? Or do you want your pool to be at a constant temperature throughout the pool season with an electric heat pump?

Need More Help?

Choosing the right pool heater is a big decision – you need to have one that works optimally and within your budget.

Our experts from the AOL Pool Shop understand everything there is to know about pool heating systems and can help you choose the best pump for your needs. Or if you’re confident about your choice, browse our pool heating system options online today.

If you have a heater already but it’s not working, or your pool isn’t heating properly, feel free to book a quality pool maintenance with our local Adelaide team of welcoming professionals.

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