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How Much Does It Cost To Install A Pool Heater?

Typical Range: $1,639 - $3,839

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Cost to Install or Replace a Pool Heater

Installing or replacing a pool heater costs an average of $2,739 with a typical range between $1,639 and $3,839. Labor alone runs $500 to $1,500 in most cases. Heat pumps and solar heaters hit the high end at $2,500 to $8,500+ with electric and gas types coming in at $1,000 to $6,000. Depending on type, running the heater costs an additional $100 to $600 per month.

A heater lets you enjoy your watery oasis well into the cool months and late into the night. Climate’s your biggest cost factor. For example, it’s going to take a far larger heater burning more fuel in Minneapolis, MN than it would in Phoenix, AZ. Your first step should be to contact a professional who can help you determine the best kind of heater for your local climate and budget.

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National Average
$2,739
Typical Range
$1,639 - $3,839
Low End - High End
$300 - $5,000

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 690 HomeAdvisor members in .

How Much Does a Pool Heater Cost to Install?

Installing a pool heater costs anywhere from $1,000 to $8,500 depending on the fuel source. The type of heater you choose can greatly influence your cost, both up front and over time.

Average total installation costs fall within the following ranges:

Electric resistance heater$1,000-$6,000
Gas heater$1,500-$6,000
Heat pump$2,500-$7,500
Solar panels$2,500-$9,500

Your climate dictates both the fuel you’ll choose and the size of heater. It might make sense for someone in Miami, Phoenix or Los Angeles to install a solar heating system, but less so for northern states like Minnesota or Oregon that get far less sun. Colder air temperatures also mean you’ll need to burn more fuel for longer just to keep the water warm.

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Propane & Gas Pool Heater Installation Cost

Unit PriceLaborTotal
$1,000-$4,500$500-$1,500$1,500-$6,000

Most homeowners choose the gas heater. This common type uses either natural gas or propane. If you have a natural gas line, the heater can hook up to the existing line; if not, you can opt to use a propane tank. Installation involves copper or PVC plumbing, electrical wiring and venting.

Propane costs twice as much to run as gas but has the same energy output. It’s an excellent choice for isolated properties or land without existing lines running to them. They heat water faster than any other type, so it’s the best choice for colder climates found in northern and mountain states.

Advantages

  • Low installation cost
  • Work quickly
  • A thermostat gives you complete control over temperature

Disadvantages

  • Easy to forget to turn these heaters off
  • Expensive monthly cost

Solar Pool Heater Cost to Install

Unit Price

Labor

Total

$2,000-$7,500

$500-$2,000

$2,500-$9,500


A full solar pool heating system might end up costing over $9,000, but simple floating boosters might run as little as $50 and work well in already warm climates like Florida, Arizona and Southern California. A solar heater is considered the most cost-effective method for heating, but it only works well in areas with direct sun.

Advantages

  • Little to no cost to run
  • Last 15-20 years
  • Very low maintenance
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Energy efficient

Disadvantages

  • Won't work if they don't get enough sunlight
  • Not great for northern and mountain states
  • Heats the water slowly
  • Panels can be unattractive
  • Expensive to purchase and install

Pool Heat Pump Installation Cost

Unit Price

Labor

Total

$2,000-$6,500

$500-$1,000

$2,500-$7,500


A heat pump extracts heat from the air, which means it uses less energy than an electric or gas heater. Unlike some gas and solar units, it’ll need a dedicated circuit. Heat pumps may also be able to add a couple weeks to either end of your pool season when temperatures are chillier. Despite the large circuits that run them, they are quite efficient.

Advantages

  • Clean energy that releases no greenhouse gasses
  • Energy efficient and Economical
  • Cost less per month to run

Disadvantages

  • Slower than gas models
  • Higher upfront costs

Electric Resistance Heaters Cost

Unit Price

Labor

Total

$500-$5,000

$500-$1,000

$1,000-$6,000


Electric heaters work well when air temperatures exceed 55 degrees. For colder climates, you’ll want to choose gas or shut the pool down for the season. Because it uses immense amounts of electricity, it’ll need its own electrical circuit, much like a heat pump. This type uses resistance coils to heat the water. Although they take longer to heat up your pool, they remain great choices for small pools and warmer climates.

Advantages

  • Don't emit air pollution
  • Inexpensive to purchase and install
  • Rely less on outside air temperature

Disadvantages

  • Require very large amounts of electricity
  • Expensive to operate

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Pool Heater Installation & Replacement Cost Factors

There is also a variety of outside factors that influence the cost of your heater, including:

  • Above-ground or in-ground
  • Pool size
  • Installing new hookups and running lines
  • Heater BTUs needed

Removing the Old Heater

Expect to pay $25 to $50 to have the old heater removed and dumped. Most pros build this into the cost of installing a new one or they do it free with the installation of a new unit.

Size of Pool

It’ll vary somewhat by climate, but you’ll need about 50,000 BTUs for every 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of water. Double that number for colder climates or those using their pool in the winter. You can also get away with a smaller heater if you’re okay with a longer time to heat it up or you plan on using a cover or solar blanket.

Volume (gallons)Pool Surface Area (square feet)Heather Size (BTUs)
1,000-10,000Up to 300100,000-200,000
10,000-20,000301-500200,001-300,000
20,000-40,000501-800300,001-400,000
40,000-80,000801-1,200400,000+

Existing Hookups

Having existing hookups can knock $500 to $1,500 off the final price. Whether you’re putting gas, propane or electric in, you’ll need the utility lines run along with pipes connecting the heater to the water. Switching from one type to another often requires adding new utilities.

Average Costs to Run a Pool Heater

Because each heater works differently, the cost to run per month varies. Expect these average ranges with the following fuels:

Type of HeaterCost per YearCost Per Month
Propane$2,500-$10,200$200-$850
Electric Resistance$2,100-$7,200$175-$600
Gas$1,400-$4,800$200-$400
Heat Pump$700-$2,400$120-$200
Solar$0-$120$0-$10

These additional factors can also influence your monthly cost:

  • Current cost of gas or electricity
  • Average daily temperatures in your area
  • Your desired water temperature
  • Extreme weather, like heavy rains or high winds
  • Using a pool or solar cover vs. uncovered

Keeping Heating Costs Down With a Pool Cover

Pool covers can reduce your heating costs by 50% to 90%. Keeping it covered at night or during days when it isn't in use helps the water stay warm. Using one of these covers requires no operating cost and can increase the water's temperature by 10 degrees.

You have a few options:

  • Installing a pool cover costs $650 to $2,200.
  • A solar blanket runs $50 to $500. The cover is made of air-filled bubbles that retain the heat from sunlight and transfer it to the water below.
  • Building a pool enclosure costs $5,000 to $14,200. An excellent addition for colder climates. It basically makes your outdoor oasis an indoor one.

Cost to DIY Install a Pool Heater vs. Hiring a Pro

Installing a pool heater yourself saves you anywhere from $300 to $1,000. If you already have the correct hookups, it’s a simple process.

However, installing new gas, water or electrical services to your patio or outdoor living area should be left to the pros. Incorrectly hooking up the services or the heater can lead to a broken heater and possible water damage.

Skip the headache and hire a professional pool heater installer near you today.

FAQs

Can you add a pool heater later?

You can add a pool heater later. But you might pay a little more to install the plumbing if you do it after the initial installation.

How much does a gas pool heater add to your electric bill?

A gas pool heater adds almost nothing to your electric bill since they heat using gas, not electricity. The pump that pushes water to the heater uses electricity and adds an average of $300 per year to your electric bill.

How do I clean my pool heater heat exchanger?

You can clean your heat exchanger by lowering your calcium saturation index in your pool and manually scrubbing it or using a zero-alkalinity acid treatment. However, if you do this process incorrectly, you can damage your heat exchanger, dissolve copper pipes and plaster surfaces, and stain your water and anyone swimming in it. The best way to clean it is to hire a professional.

Can a pool heater freeze?

Yes, a pool heater can freeze. Always winterize when not in use and there’s a possibility it’ll freeze.

How do I winterize my pool heater?

To winterize a pool heater, follow these steps:

  1. Turn the gas and electricity running to it off.
  2. Open the pressure switch. Not all have this, but if yours does, open it.
  3. Open the drain cocks (winterization ports).
  4. Blow air through the heater using a strong shop vac or blower. Pros use specialty tools for this.

If you’re unsure of any of this process, hire a pro. Winterizing a pool costs $150 to $300 on average.

When should I turn my pool heater on?

You should have your pool heater turned on with a timer and thermostat that keeps your pool at a constant temperature.

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How do we get this data?

  1. Homeowners visit HomeAdvisor.com to find a top-rated pro to complete their home improvement project or repair.

  2. Once their projects are completed, the members log in to their accounts and complete a short cost survey.

  3. After compiling and organizing the data, we report it back to you.