Buying a Propane Pool Heater? Read This First.

June 27, 2023 – ,

Propane pool heaters can be a life-changing investment for an avid swimmer — or anyone who likes to swim without freezing. A pool heater extends the swimming season into the spring and fall. Even when the weather begins to heat up, a heater allows you to go for an early morning or late night dip before the sun is up and heating the water.

While you want to keep up with maintenance and hire a trained HVAC technician to install your pool heater and conduct any propane pool heater repair, the first step in the process is selecting your unit. As you get started, prepare to ask yourself the following questions.

1. What’s Your Bottom Line?
Start by determining your budget. Bob Vila estimates the average pool heater to cost an average of $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the unit and heating capabilities (often, propane units are more affordable to purchase up-front than electric or solar alternatives).

Setting a budget can help you navigate what size, quality, and brand of propane tank heater you want to purchase from a company like Paraco. Keep in mind installation costs, utility line permits, and the ongoing cost of running the unit, as well.

If you don’t own a propane tank, now is the perfect time to install one and set up a service plan. Once you’ve calculated the costs, it’s time to narrow down your options.

2. What Kind and Size of Pool Do You Have?
If you’re purchasing an above-ground pool propane heater, you want a stronger unit than an inground pool heater for propane. This is because an above-ground pool loses heat rapidly from the sides and top.

Your pool size also matters. The volume of water you’re warming will dictate the size of the unit to buy. This is always measured in BTUs (British thermal units). Pool heaters vary in power, ranging from less than 100,000 BTUs to nearly half a million BTUs. Consider the size of your pool to calculate the power in BTUs of the heater your pool requires.

3. Where do you live and what’s the climate?
The location where you live is a crucial factor when it comes to selecting a propane pool heater for your home. It significantly influences your decision due to various climate and environmental considerations. Here’s why:
Seasonal Variations: If you reside in an area that experiences distinct seasons with cold winters and hot summers, choosing a propane pool heater that can handle temperature fluctuations effectively is essential. You’ll want a heater that can quickly heat your pool during colder months and provide sufficient warmth. This ensures you can enjoy your pool comfortably throughout the year, extending the swimming season beyond the traditional summer months.

Consider your location’s climate, energy costs, available resources, and local regulations when deciding on a propane pool heater. By considering these factors, you can make an informed choice that meets your specific needs and ensures optimal performance and efficiency for your pool heating requirements.

Additional Factors to Remember
As you set your budget, consider your pool size and research regulations in your region. Keep these additional elements in mind, too:

  • If you have a spa, make sure the unit you purchase has a dual thermostat.
  • Investing in a unit with a copper-nickel heat exchanger can dramatically increase the longevity of your system.
  • Ensure any automation functions are compatible with your current pool and home setups.

Buying a propane pool heater is exciting. But it’s also something you should do with care. Use the questions above to set the stage in advance to ensure you select the best pool heater to meet your swimming needs for the foreseeable future.


  1. Rob on April 18, 2024 at 2:29 pm

    Do you install pool heaters? Both the gas and water lines? Can I buy heater from you? Or do I get it on my own and you install? I currently have an account with you

    • Ines on April 19, 2024 at 11:13 am

      Hi Rob! Please reach out to us at 800-647-4427. Our team is here to assist you with these or any other questions you may have.

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