Advantages And Disadvantages Of Pool Heaters

Winter can be one of the main reasons why people choose not to install a swimming pool. After all, why buy one when you can only use it for two and a half seasons? Nobody enjoys getting into a cold swimming pool for the first time. Imagine it during the coldest season of the year. There are a few ways to continue using your pool during winter, and here at Barrier Reef Pools NZ, we’ve got you covered. Pool heaters are a sure fire way to make sure that your pool stays in use, year round. Swimming in warm water sounds a lot better than in its icy counterpart, doesn’t it?

Looking for pool tips and tricks to take your fibreglass pool to the next level? Check out our blog for everything you need to know!

Benefits Of Using A Pool Heater

Continued Usage: In the colder months, it can be difficult to motivate yourself or other members of the family to continue using the pool. With pool maintenance taking a decent sized chunk out of your bill, it can often make you question installing a swimming pool in the first place. A pool heater takes that out of the equation, allowing year round usage. You can keep the pool cold in the warmer months and warm in the cooler months.

Recreational: Through using a pool heater, you and the family can still have a splashing good time. Without the added displeasure of freezing cold temperatures, you can still have fun playing pool games and float on a bed of warm water.

Fitness: Without a pool heater, especially in cooler temperatures, the pool has difficulty regulating the temperature. This can add pointless stress onto your body, potentially causing health problems. For the more serious swimmers out there, having a pool that has a regulated temperature means that you can continue your training year round, without worrying about the aforementioned issues.

There are different types of pool heaters. Solar, Electric, and Gas. Each of these has their pros and cons, as well as various price tags in accordance to their assemblies.


Solar Heating works by utilising the sun to power up the heater for free, repeating the process of filtering the pool water through using the solar panels.

This method of heating means that for it to work at its most efficiently, you would need to be positioned in a place where it is often sunny. This is because the sun must hit the solar panels in order for them to transfer that heat into the pool water through a unique filtration system.

Even if the house isn’t in the best area for the sun to reach the pool, the solar panels could still be positioned to maximise where the sun does shine over.


Free energy from the sun

Environmentally friendly

Low running costs


Needs the sun to heat up the pool

Weather dependent

Sometimes shade affected


Electric Heating works through pumping the pool water through a heating tank and pumping it back out at a higher temperature. Because the water is constantly being rotated through the different hot and cold channels, the pool remains warm.

Electric heaters are commonly known for being more eco-friendly and more efficient, however unlike the gas heating, it doesn’t heat up as quickly due to the heat being available at that exact moment, compared to electric heaters where it needs time to heat up.


Reusing energy from atmosphere

Very eco-friendly


Not very economical to run

Slow to heat up entire pool


Gas Heating is a relatively cheaper expense, in comparison to the previous two heating options. This method also heats up a lot faster than the previous two options, eliminating the long wait time for the pool to warm. This method uses natural gas or propane as fuel.

In colder temperatures, choosing this option may be a better investment. Though the carbon emissions for gas is relatively high, it is more efficient to heat up your pool.


Heats up pool very quickly

No shortage of natural gases

Cheap to purchase and install


Not as energy efficient compared to the other heating options

Very durable but tend to wear out faster than other heating choices


Another way to keep your pool warm in the winter season is to invest in a solar cover. Solar covers are placed over the pool and as the sun heats the water through the cover, the heat becomes trapped underneath, warming the water.

Solar pool covers are a lot cheaper than the other heating options as all it needs is to be in a location where the sun shines regularly. However, this is not a primary factor in why choosing solar covers is a positive thing.

Aside from heating up the pool, it can also save you money on your electricity bill. As the sun is not yet owned by any major corporations, it remains a free expense. 


You save water as there is less water evaporation due to the cover stretching out the entirety of the pool

Fewer chemicals used

Eco friendly as the pool heater will be used less (or not at all)


Initial costs may outweigh the usefulness in comparison to a pool heater

The solar cover does not last forever and will have to be replaced in order for it to retain its effectiveness.

Heat Pump

Heat pumps are another great option for a pool heating system. They are energy efficient (perhaps more so than the electric heating option) and have fairly low running costs in comparison to the previous options. 

Think of them as a fridge that works in reverse. Instead of pumping cold air into a closed space, they suck in warm air from the surrounding atmosphere and filter it out to the pool through the use of a piping system.

They are easy to install, as opposed to the other heating options. The only cons of this are its expensive price and how the heating isn’t as fast as the gas heaters.


Very energy efficient to use

Environmentally friendly

Low installation costs


Initial purchase price is costly

Not as fast as gas heaters

Final Thoughts

Each pool is different and it really depends on the size of the pool and the location of the pool and house. All factors that contribute to choosing the best possible choice for a pool heater. See our full pool range here!

Your budget will also be a factor in choosing a pool heater, and its important to note that choosing a low priced heating system may contribute to the overall quality. In this case, it may be better to choose quality over a low cost heating system.

The bottom line is that heating your pool is a great option, so you can use your pool year round. There are many positives to investing in a pool heater, and through some extensive research into those options, it can be a worthwhile investment.

Barrier Reef Pools New Zealand is all about bringing your dream fibreglass pool to life. While we don’t sell pool heaters, we are experienced in the pool industry and would love to help you find a suitable pool heater with our partners. Give us a call today so our friendly team can help out!