How Much Does A Gas Pool Heater Cost?

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For some swimmers and/or climates, heating the swimming pool is critical. One way to achieve this heat is through gas pool heaters. So, you might be wondering how much this type of heater costs with installation. In this post, we gather up-to-date information from around the web to thoroughly answer your question.

Gas pool heaters vary in cost from about $1,500 to $6,000. Further, you can expect between $500 and $1,500 in installation costs. Generally, the two prices change based on the following:

Gas pool heater cost:

  • Size
  • Brand
  • Type
  • Extra features
  • Retailer

Installation cost:

  • Local prices
  • Stage of construction
  • Pool location
  • Heater location
  • Existing infrastructure

Keep reading the rest of this post for details on how gas pool heaters shift in appliance and installation cost based on the above bullet points. This guide will provide all you need to not be surprised when you head shopping or ask for installation quotes. To conclude, we'll answer a few related questions. Without further ado, let's get into it!

Two pool heaters at the back of the house, How Much Does A Gas Pool Heater Cost?

How much does a gas pool heater cost?

As indicated above, gas pool heaters vary widely in price. Below, we'll further discuss the factors that influence the cost of a gas pool heater. However, the only surefire way to determine heater cost is to visit a local pool retail establishment or browse online shopping options.

Size

Like most heating and cooling appliances, gas pool heaters are measured based on their BTU per hour input. As a general rule, larger BTU pool heaters also are more expensive.

Click here for a 406,000 BTU natural gas pool heater from Amazon.

Let us consider Raypack, a popular brand of pool heaters. Their natural gas pool heater with 266,000 BTUs runs somewhere in the ballpark of $2,500 before installation. Compare that to their 406,000 BTU natural gas version which runs closer to $3,400.

Take note, it is important and economical to purchase a pool heater that is appropriately sized for your pool and pool use. Opinions vary, but sizing your heater is based on a combination of the total gallons of your pool, the surface area, the desired temperature, and the local climate.

Brand

In addition to size, the brand also impacts the total cost of a gas pool heater. Not all brands sell their product at the same price. Hayward, Raypack, and Pentair are some of the most respected pool heater brands.

Discount shopping for an expensive appliance such as a pool heater comes with the risk of a product that may be defective or very short lived. Therefore, while it may be more costly, it is advisable to stick with well-established pool heater brands.

Type

The moniker of "gas" pool heater covers two different fuels—natural gas and propane gas. While these two fuels are very similar in terms of effective water heating, they come with a large difference in cost.

Click here for a 406,000 BTU propane pool heater from Amazon.

Generally, propane pool heaters are much cheaper than equivalently sized natural gas pool heaters. Take the example of the Raypack 406,000 BTU natural gas pool heater from above. The natural gas version retails for around $3,400 while an equivalently sized propane version is only about $2,700.

Extra Features

As with almost any product, it is more costly to buy a pool heater with additional features. Possible features include cupro-nickel tubing, polymer or resin headers, different heat exchangers, different control panels and interfaces, and included thermostats.

Click here for a high-end gas heater from Amazon.

Generally speaking, paying for the extra features will actually save you money in the long run. This saving stems from a reduction in maintenance costs and a reduction in the amount of energy required to heat your pool.

That being said, it is wise to carefully consider which extra features are important and which ones are added just to pad the retailer's pockets.

Retailer

Pool heaters are relatively specialized products that are not sold at a lot of locations. Therefore, it is wise to shop around different brick-and-mortar retail establishments and to compare that to online prices. Even within Amazon, the same model of pool heater is sold for several different prices.

As with all purchases, it is sometimes worth the extra money to buy from an in-person location. The retail representatives will help ensure that you get the right product for your needs. Further, it is much easier to make returns in person.

How much does it cost to install a gas pool heater?

Cost estimate

As mentioned above, the cost of installing a gas pool heater varies between about $500 and $1,500 based on local prices, your pool location, the heater location, and the existing infrastructure. We discuss each of these issues in the following sections.

While it would be cheaper to install these heaters yourself, the US Department of Energy recommends that you hire a professional to make the install. This is especially critical when working with dangerous jobs like electricity and gas lines.

Local Prices

First and foremost, local prices influence the cost of installing a gas pool heater. If you live in an expensive city, you can expect the cost of labor and parts to be higher than in a cheaper, more rural location.

To ensure that the contractor is offering you a fair price, be sure to request bids from more than one company before handing any money over.

Stage of Construction

As with most things, it is cheaper to install a pool heater during construction than as a remodel. Therefore, if you are still building your pool and/or home, consider installing the heater now to save money in the long run.

Pool Location

Generally, the closer your pool is to the street, the easier it will be for the worker to make the installs and to bring all the necessary parts and utilities to the pool heater location.

Beautiful day to be spent poolside in the back of your luxury home

Further, it is easier and cheaper to add pool heaters to outside pools than inside pools. Generally, this is because it is easier to run the pipes and wire required outside in the open than it is inside where the finished look is more important.

Heater Location

Sources indicate that it takes several times longer to install in-ground pool heaters than above-ground versions. Namely, the in-ground versions require digging and building support structures while above-ground versions are generally installed on already existing buildings or fences.

In-ground heaters are generally considered more attractive and desirable when compared to above-ground installs.

Existing Infrastructure

Finally, the existing home infrastructure can significantly influence the price of the heater installation. Mostly, if you already have natural gas and propane infrastructure, the installation is much cheaper.

500 Gallon above ground propane tank

On the other hand, if these fuels have to be brought to or installed near your pool, expect a significantly higher bill for the installation. In fact, if you do not already have one of these fuels at your home, consider using electricity to heat your pool instead.

Is a gas pool heater cheaper than an electric one?

One old and one new pool heaters at the back of a house

No, gas pool heaters are generally more expensive than their electric counterparts. Electric heating systems are almost always cheaper to buy up front than gas. That being said, there are still advantages to gas heaters such as quicker heating and better heating in cold environments.

How long does it take to heat a pool with a gas heater?

Several factors influence how long it takes a gas heater to heat your pool. This includes covers, outside temperature, gallons, surface area, and size of the heater. However, if you are heating your pool from scratch, you can expect the heater installation to take about half a day.

Is a gas pool heater worth it?

Gas pool heaters are only worth it in certain situations. Initially, having a natural gas or propane hookup is critical to making gas pool heat a worthwhile purchase.

Also, gas heaters are better at heating a pool only occasionally while electric is better at keeping a pool heated continuously. Thus, a gas heater may be the better decision if you only rarely use your pool.

In Closing

In this post, we answered the question of how much a gas pool heater costs. We considered the several different aspects that influence the cost of this appliance. In addition, we considered what impacts the cost of installing a gas pool heater. To conclude, we answered several related questions. Good luck!

To learn more about pool heaters, take a look at these guides:

What Size Propane Tank Do I Need For My Pool Heater?

How Long Do Pool Heaters Last?

5 Electric Pool Heaters For Inground Pools

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