Best Pool Heater Reviews for 2018

Depending on where you live, when the summer ends, so does your swimming season. In southern states that might not be the case, but northerners generally see their swimming season end in August. If you’re looking to prolong the swim season for your backyard pool or just want to warm it up year-round, you’ll need a pool heater to do so.

If you’ve never purchased a pool heater, the process can be pretty confusing. First, you have to choose what type of pool heater is the best option for you pool and then there are additional sizing factors to take into consideration. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the different options available. That’s why we created this pool heater buying guide to help you select the best option for your pool.

1) Hayward HP50TA Pool Heater   

Pool Heater stands as one of the best options for in-ground pools as well as a perfect alternative to low-quality heat pumps that come with above ground spas perhaps you are planning an upgrade anytime soon. The heater is compact, light in weight, economical in power consumption, and highly efficient when it comes to warming up and maintaining an ideal pool temperature.

The exterior of the heat pump is built with durable injection molded materials that are resistant to UV rays as well as harsh weather conditions, and this means you’ll have nothing to worry about leaving the pump outside. The fan of the heater has a good architecture to ensure it generates minimal noise, as it is designed in a special way to prevent airflow and to also reduce electricity consumption.

Within Hayward HP50TA Pool Heater is a titanium heat exchanger which is resistant to all forms of bad elements that can be present in any water chemistry. The heat pump works on a 30amp and 220volt electricity supply and it is capable of warming up to 13,000 gallons of pool water in a short time. For maximum efficiency of the heat pump, there is an electronic temperature control designed to keep the temperature around 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Overall, Hayward HP50TA Pool Heater is an economical and reliable heat pump with an easy installation and a quiet operation. If you own an above ground spa or pool and need an affordable as well as an efficient electric heat pump, you should buy this!

Top Features

  • A vinyl-coated protective steel screen for the evaporator coil as well as a durable UV and rust-resistant body panels that will not deteriorate
  • Hayward HP50TA Pool Heater features a unique counter-flow Titanium Heat Exchanger
  • It comes with an Ultra Gold evaporator fin that maintains a high resistance to corrosion
  • There is an acoustic compressor cover and the pump is equipped with a profiled fan blade all to ensure a quiet operation
  • There is a digital control panel for a smart operation as well as an LED digital display that reads out the temperature and assists for quick diagnostic identification
  • Hayward HP50TA Pool Heater consumes less energy compared to gas heat pumps and it can lower your operating cost by 80 percent
  • The heater is easy to install and operate which makes it ideal for existing system upgrades as well as new pools
  • The heater will work perfectly well with salt water and fresh water pools without any damage to the unit
  • With the digital LED control panel, you will be able to heat up the pool to the desired temperature day in day out with little or no supervision
  • The heat pump is very durable and highly efficient at its price
  • It may be a bit difficult to reach the company engineers for servicing and repairs based on the warranty

2) Hayward H400FDN Universal H-Series 400,000 BTU Pool and Spa Heater   

HAYWARD H400FDN is a top-quality universal and gas-fired heater specially designed to heat up very large pools effortlessly and in the shortest possible time. With this quiet and energy-efficient heater, you can have large pools and spa already warmed up by 30 degrees Celsius within an hour, unlike low-quality heaters that will take a whole day.

Starting up the HAYWARD H400FDN is a breeze as it adopts a reliable hot-surface Silicon Nitride Ignition System and this is initiated with the touch of a button. To maintain a faster water heating, the flow velocity through all the pipes are the same. There is also an LED control panel that gives a digital readout of the current temperature and the heater is designed to run self-diagnostic tests.

The heater is built to be eco-friendly and it meets air quality standards with its very low Nitrogen Oxide emission. The copper-nickel heat exchanger built into the heater also makes it ideal for saltwater pool systems. The heater’s exterior is built with a durable and rustproof material which means you won’t have to worry about leaving it outside.

Conclusively, the Hayward H400FDN universal heater is very reliable, highly efficient, and so easy to operate while the self-diagnostic capabilities built into it also makes it maintenance-free. If you need an affordable high-performance and energy-efficient pool heater specially designed for large pools, this is a very good option.

Top Features

    • The combustion chambers are insulated and it adopts a forced draft system that maintains a precise flow rate of air to eliminate poor heating performance.
    • The heater offers multiple connection options for gas, water, and electricity with both 110v and 220v electric hook up
    • The heater features 2 two-inches and a half-inch CPVC union connection which are compatible with new plumbing systems
    • Within Hayward’s H400FDN heater are top-quality copper-nickel heat exchanger and stainless steel burners that work well with any water chemistry
    • The HAYWARD H400FDN Heater features an energy-efficient hydraulic pump design
  • The heater has a low emission rate of Nitrogen Oxide to meet the standards for clean air quality in states like California and Texas
  • The single header “V” baffle design of the heat exchanger will ensure a fast heating and prevent condensation
  • The heater is compatible with and can be installed on both pre-installed and new pool equipment stands
  • With its very responsive buttons and an LED control panel, it becomes easy to monitor and operate the heater
  • The HAYWARD H400FDN is chemical corrosion and saltwater resistant
  • There may be a higher cost of operation as the heater requires a constant source of fuel

3) Pentair 460736 Mastertemp high performance eco friendly pool heater  

Pentair 460736 is a safe and highly efficient heating solution for large as well as medium size pools and spas. It is an efficient gas-fired heater with digital LED controls and rotating digital display for a smooth and easy operation. MasterTemp is light-weight and smaller in size compared to other high-performance heaters in its league and will fit in the tightest of spaces.

The exterior of the heater is very tough, composite, and rust-proof so the heater is going to be safe from heat and weather elements wherever you position it. The heater features a powerful air and gas mixture and has several safety measures in place as well. This includes the water pressure switch, high limit switch, stack flue sensor, and a manual gas shut-off.

For ignition, all you need is the press of a button on MasterTemp, while operation and monitoring can become a snap with the indicator lights. Unlike low-end heaters that take at least a day to heat up a pool, the Pentair 460736 MasterTemp High Performance Eco-Friendly Pool Heater, at its rating and power, is capable of heating very large pools conveniently and in the shortest possible time.

Being a gas-fired heater, MasterTemp is certified as Eco-friendly which makes it an ideal one for people who live in states with low Nitrogen Oxide emission standards like California or Texas. The heater is also very quiet during operation and will not disturb your swimming and poolside fun. Part of the safety measures of the heater is the Stack flue sensor which shuts off the unit for some time to prevent overheating and damage to it.

In conclusion, Pentair 460736 MasterTemp High Performance Eco-Friendly Pool Heater is reliable, convenient to use, efficient, eco-friendly, and will let you get the most out of your leisure with little or no monitoring. If you need a digital, light-weight and high-performance gas-fired pool heater at a reasonable price, you should buy this.

Top Features

  • Pentair 460736 MasterTemp High Performance Eco-Friendly Pool Heater features a manual gas shutoff and will inform you when it requires servicing
  • The digital display of the heater can rotate to conform to its orientation so won’t matter whichever way you choose to position the unit
  • With the cupro-nickel exchanger built into MasterTemp, it will be able to stand up to the harshest of applications including heavy use, low pH, and high flow
  • The heater is Eco-friendly and it is certified for Low “Nitrogen Oxide Emission” which means less carbon footprint
  • It is very easy to operate and it is built with self-diagnostic capabilities to make it maintenance free
  • The exterior of the heater is built with rustproof materials and the unit maintains a durable construction
  • Being one of the most-efficient heaters in the market, it is capable of heating up medium size and large pools in a very short time
  • The heater is built with safety measures in place which includes a high-limit switch, a stack flue sensor, and water pressure switch
  • Being a 400 propane gas pool heater, it may require a large flow of natural gas to function


5) Hayward H150FDP Universal H-Series 150,000 BTU Pool and Spa Heater  

The Hayward  H150FDP pool heater is a top-of-the-line heater, designed for compactness, longevity, and ease-of-access. With a digital LED control panel that is easy to use and read, and that automatically adjusts the pool’s temperature once set, a sleek, modern exterior design for either right-or-left side water, electric, and gas connections and a 220v or 110v hookup, this modern heater can be used or adapted for any pool, new or old.

In addition to which, the Hayward H-series pool heater ensures a low NOx emission in accordance with air quality standard requirements. With a cupro-nickel heat exchanger created to give you the best durability in a pool heater, the Hayward H-series heater can withstand aggressive use even in salt-based or highly chemicalized pools. By utilizing a hydraulic header and bypass valve design, as well as a forced draft combustion system, this heater ensures that your pool temperature is always regulated to the degree you have chosen, regardless of the weather conditions, with a minimum amount of energy usage.

Top Features

  • Ease-of-access design for installation or repairs
  • A digital LED control panel; making adjustments to the heater’s settings simple to read, reach and adjust
  • A cupro-nickel heat exchanger, designed to increase the durability and length-of-life for the heater
  • 220v or 110v hook-up; no need to worry whether you have the right power hook-up or not
  • A forced draft combustion system which ensures that your water temperature is always regulated
  • A hydraulic header and bypass design that aids in protecting the heater from erosion in pools where there is high usage
  • Right or left-sided connections for water, electric, and gas connectors; making for easy install or adjustments to the heater
  • The hydraulic performance of this heater allows for the energy efficient production of heat while lowering the circulation time, allowing for a heat increase of 2 degrees per hour in a 10,000-gallon pool.
  • With the use of the cupro-nickel Finn plate and corrosive-resistant burners, the heater is assured of being able to withstand considerable use, with a long-life usage.
  • Extremely energy efficient; some have said up to 20% more efficient than other models
  • With a self-diagnostic system, paired with the digital LED control panel, the upkeep of this pool heater is minimal-to-none
  • The physical appearance of the heater could, perhaps, use a bit of an update.
  • The control panel lacks an exterior cover leaving it exposed to the elements.


6) EcoSmart SmartPool 18 Electric Tankless Pool Heater

EcoSmart Smartpool is a modern and efficient digital heating solution for above ground pools and spas. It is a very compact and awesome unit with digital controls and automatic functions. Interestingly, you will be able to operate the unit from an Ecosmart Remote Control. The pool heater is easy to operate and can be installed close to the point of use for a much faster heating than the conventional ones. It is also designed to activate automatically at a flow rate of .25 gpm.

To increase reliability and functionality, the electric pool heater utilizes the latest flow sensor technology rather than the traditional pressure switch activation. Another impressive feature of Smart Pool is that it helps to modulate energy consumption and lets you specify the minimum flow rate that must be reached before the heater will be activated. This self-modulating feature can help you save up to 60% on your electricity bill as energy will only be consumed on demand and in a short period of time.

EcoSmart Smartpool is built by a reputable company that leads in the production of water heating technologies and has over 50 years of experience. Smart Pool electric heater is also ETL certified which means it is compliant with North American safety standards. If you need an electric water heater for your pool or spa, the tankless types are always ready to give you warm water on demand and you should buy this!

Top Features

  • The heat pump of Eco SmartPool can be operated from an eco-smart remote controller
  • The heater makes use of a Digital thermostat control that lets you program the unit to warm your pool to a set temperature
  • Smart Pool utilizes the latest flow sensor technology in place of the conventional pressure switch activation
  • The heater has a digital display and LED lights in front of it to give you visual feedback on the set water heating temperature as well as the current temperature
  • The heater has a modern look and a compact design to save you valuable storage space.
  • Eco Smart has an easy and straightforward installation for both new and existing pools
  • You can never run out of hot water in your spa or pool with EcoSmart SmartPool
  • The Smart Pool heater can be used to boost existing heat pumps in pools or spas, and it can as well be used as an alternative
  • The enclosure of the heater is not sunlight or water-proof and may not be suitable for outdoor use.

7) Raypak 11Kw Electric Spa Heater 001640

The Raypak 11Kw Electric Spa Heater is ideal for use in either salt or chlorine pools and can heat a 900-gallon pool by five degrees per hour. The connection ports are easily reached and connected allowing for stress-free set-up and use. By using both copper and bronze for the water piping the heater is corrosion-resistant and maintains a longer life expectancy than other models of heaters. With a pressure switch that shuts the heater off automatically, if there is no water moving through it, and a temperature control limit that prevents overheating, this heater is ideal for use in your spa to help with all of those aches, pains, and stress relief that is so needed in day-to-day life.

Customer reviews and feedback on the Raypak 11Kw Electric Spa heater are mostly positive, aside from the occasional individual having difficulty handling the weight of the heater or finding that a part is missing from the manufacturer, nine-out-of-ten customer reviews have indicated that they would recommend this model of spa heater, and would purchase it again themselves.

Top Features

  • Easy-to-read control panel with a simple on/off switch and a temperature control dial
  • Copper/bronze corrosion-resistant water-flow housing
  • A compact design allowing for an easy install that doesn’t take up much space
  • Heavy duty Incoloy heating elements that ensure a longer usage time than other water heating elements
  • A high heating capability for pools/spas up to 900 gallons in size
  • With its compact size, this heater does not require much space once installed
  • Its easy-to-read features and dials make it simple to set up, read, and maintain; no need for a three-inch-thick manual to manage this heater
  • The heating capacity is steady and the heater itself has a long life expectancy
  • By using copper and bronze for the piping versus aluminum the heater is much more corrosion-resistant than other models
  • No need to worry about overheating or the heater running itself out thanks to the pressure control switch and temperature control limit; so, if you forget the heater running as you run late for work there is no need to worry that you will come home to a disaster or a dead heater
  • Not the most energy efficient model of heaters so, your power bill may go up a bit
  • This model is also more expensive than some other models on the market

10)  Jandy Pro Series JXi 400K B

The Jandy Pro Series Jxi 400K B pool and spa heater is a compact, low NOx emission heater (28% less than competing models),  with a thermal energy efficiency rating of 83%, and a digitally controlled interface which makes it easy to adjust temperature settings and read complete diagnostic reports. With a 2-foot x 2-foot design, this small but efficient heater is easily adjusted to fit wherever you need it without taking up any premium space. The design is retrofitted for any hook-up, so no adjustments to plumbing are necessary.  If you are looking for a heater that is long-lasting, energy efficient, and allows for space conservation then this is the model for you.

Some customers have voiced the worry that the heater, being of a small size and design, won’t be able to heat the pool or spa to the degree they would like; this is not a concern. Customer reviews have been four-out-of-five on the heating and space efficiency for the Jandy Pro Series Jxi and responses from the manufacturers on any issues has been prompt and helpful. On the overall, you can’t go wrong with this model of heater.

Top Features

  • The Jandy Pro features sensors that are corrosion-resistant allowing you peace of mind
  • The exterior of the heater is built to last, withstanding unpredictable weather conditions
  • The control interface, with digital read-out, is user-friendly and easy to use
  • With an 83% thermal energy efficiency rating this model uses less energy while maintaining your pool or spa’s temperature
  • A 2 x 2 compact, lightweight, design allows for maximum flexibility in set-up location
  • A 180 degree rotatable top makes connecting the heater simple without the need to install rotating headers
  • Copper fin heat exchanger tubes are inbuilt to ensure that your heater maintains a steady temperature, ensuring that its life expectancy is prolonged
  • A single, stainless steel burner maintains the heater’s temperature and is corrosion-resistant
  • With a 28% smaller NOx emission footprint than other models ensures that this model passes all DOE energy efficiency requirements
  • Its small, rugged, 2 x 2 design allows for flexible installation
  • With retro-fitted connectors that allow for easy replacement of Max-E-Therm heaters and Mastertemp heaters, there is no need to struggle with additional plumbing or connecting needs
  • A digital print-out screen makes it easy for you to read the temperature and diagnostics
  • Its hardy design ensures that the heater withstands unpredictable weather conditions with the electrical panel covered and protected from the elements
  • Due to its low NOx emissions, this design passes all DOE energy requirements
  • There is no need to install rotating headers as there is an inbuilt 180 degree rotatable top
  • The heater may require a professional to install it to ensure that it remains under warranty

Types of Pool Heaters

Pool heaters can be a great addition to your family pool. Not only does it lengthen the number of months you can use your pool, it also warms it up during peak swimming months. Purchasing a pool heater is a no brainer, but first you have to understand the different options out there on the market. Here are the four main types of pool heaters that you can purchase:

Gas Heaters

Pool heaters are available for both natural gas and propane. Natural gas pool heaters can generally be connected to an existing residential natural gas meter, whereas propane has heaters will need to be run from a storage tank. Keep in mind that propane storage tanks will need to be refilled regularly. These types of pool heaters are not always the most efficient, but they are usually cheaper than other types. They are also able to heat pools consistently and quickly, no matter the outdoor air temperature.

Electric Resistance Heaters

Electric resistance pool heaters generate heat through electric currents to warm the temperature of your pool. These can typically be purchased for under $2,000, which is still slightly more expensive than natural gas heaters. One of the benefits of electric resistance heaters is that they aren’t dependent on the air temperature to operate, but they will require circuit breakers. This means you might need to hire an electrician to wire the large amperage breakers to safely operate the pool heater.

Heat Pumps

There are two different types of heat pumps used to heat your pool: air-source and water-source. There’s no need to get into the nitty gritty details, just know that these heat pumps are very energy efficient. These types of pool heaters are also cheaper to operate due to this efficiency. The two drawbacks with heat pumps is that they are more expensive to purchase, typically costing upwards of $2,000, and they can take longer to heat up a pool. However, both air-source and water-source heat pumps are built to last with a lifespan of 20 years.

Solar Heaters

Solar panels are the most expensive pool heaters to operate, but they don’t have monthly operating expenses because they utilize the power of the sun to warm the water. These types of pool heaters are built to last and extremely energy efficient, but they do heat pool water very slowly.

What do you need to consider before buying a pool heater?

Now that you know all about the types of pool heaters, it’s time to take a look at the additional factors that need to be considered. Before purchasing a pool heater, you need to look at features like price, durability, maintenance and sizing. Only by taking into consideration all of these different factors can you select the best pool heater for your pool.


Cost is one of the most important factors to look at when you are selecting a pool heater. You need to choose a pool heater that is within your budget. However, you also need to look into operating costs. Aside from solar panels, other types of pool heaters will require additional energy to operate and you’ll see this on your utility bills.


Price is something to keep in mind, but you also want to look at the durability of your choice. Heat pumps and solar panels are more expensive, but they can last up to 20 years. This means less replacement costs and increased durability.

Size of Heater

You need to consider the size of your pool when selecting a pool heater. Electronic resistance heaters are not good for larger pools, whereas the other options are. Once you choose the type of heater that you want for your pool, you’ll need to have it sized. There are a variety of methods than can be used to calculate the size of a pool heater, but a call to your local pool store will help narrow it down.


When choosing a pool heater, ease of installation is another option to consider. Electric resistance and gas heaters will likely require bringing in a contractor to wire breakers or run additional gas pipe. Solar panels that double as a cover on your pool can be extremely easy and inexpensive to install.

Manufacturer Warranty

Most pool heater manufacturers offer a standard 90 day warranty with their products. That being said, it’s always nice if you can find one with an extended warranty.


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