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Swimming Pool Heater Installation Cost

Swimming Pool Heater Installation Cost

National average
(300,000 BTU gas pool heater installed in a new pool with a surface area of 648 sq.ft.)
Low: $1,250

(50,000 BTU electric resistance pool heater in a 280 sq.ft pool, with all hookups already set up)

High: $8,000

(installation of solar swimming pool heater, with solar panels, valves, and piping for the water)

Cost to install a swimming pool heater varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from swimming pool builders in your city.

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Swimming Pool Heater Installation Cost

National average
(300,000 BTU gas pool heater installed in a new pool with a surface area of 648 sq.ft.)
Low: $1,250

(50,000 BTU electric resistance pool heater in a 280 sq.ft pool, with all hookups already set up)

High: $8,000

(installation of solar swimming pool heater, with solar panels, valves, and piping for the water)

Cost to install a swimming pool heater varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from swimming pool builders in your city.

The average cost to install a swimming pool heater is $4,500​.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Swimming Pool Heater?

A swimming pool is a wonderful addition to any backyard, providing many hours of fun and relaxation. Installing a swimming pool heater will enhance the pool experience, making it more comfortable and pleasant to splash, play, and exercise. A swimming pool heater can also extend the swimming pool season for the whole family, getting more use out of your investment.

There are many options when it comes to swimming pool heaters, and the choice will be based on the size of your pool, the type of pool, the type of fuel desired, and the climate you live in. The cost will also depend on these factors. The cost to install a swimming pool heater ranges between $3,450 and $5,450, with the average homeowner spending around $4,500 for a 300,000 BTU gas pool heater installed in a new pool with a surface area of 648 sq.ft.

Pool Heater Costs

Pool Heater Installation Costs
National Average Cost$4,500
Average Range$3,450-$5,450
Minimum Cost$1,250
Maximum Cost$8,000

Pool Heater Cost by Type

There are different types of swimming pool heaters. The most common swimming pool heaters are electric resistance, gas, heat pump 1, and solar. Most swimming pool heaters are suited to all types of pools but in some instances certain heaters are preferable.

The unit used to measure an electric or gas pool heater size is a BTU. This stands for British Thermal Unit, which is the standard unit in the industry to measure heat capacity. One pound of water can be heated 1°F with 1 BTU. The amount of BTU’s needed will depend on the type of heater, for instance a heat pump will need fewer BTU’s than a gas heater.

Pool Heater Cost Chart

Pool Heater Cost Chart

Type of Pool HeaterCost
Electric Resistance$1,250-$5,500
Heat Pump$2,250-$7,000

Electric Pool Heater Installation Cost

An electric resistance pool heater is a good choice when the temperature is over 55 degrees or if the pool is small. This heater will need its own electrical circuit to provide enough power for the heating element to heat the water as it is pumped through the system and returned to the pool. It will take several hours to heat the pool, only raising the temperature by a few degrees each hour. The unit should last between five and ten years with proper maintenance. These heaters are inexpensive, do not pollute the air, and are not dependent on the outside temperature. However, the electric bill can get high because it uses a lot of electricity. Expect to pay between $800 and $4,500 for an electric resistance pool heater and between $450 and $1,000 for installation, making the total between $1,250 and $5,500.

Heater sizePool surface areaCost with Installation
50,000-99,000 BTU280 to 400 sq.ft.$1,250-$5,800
100,000-149,000 BTU400 to 650 sq.ft.$1,450-$5,000
150,000-199,000 BTU650 to 800 sq.ft.$1,650-$5,500

Gas Pool Heater Installation Cost

Gas pool heaters have been the most popular type of pool heater and run on either natural gas or propane. Either use a propane 2 tank or your natural gas line to operate the heater. Natural gas pool heater cost to run per month will be about half as much as propane. Although propane pool heater cost to run per month is expensive, it is a good option for properties without a natural gas line. These units are fairly inexpensive, heat water faster than any other heater, and use a thermostat 3. The downside to these heaters is the expensive cost of operation. Gas pool heaters should last at least five years. Expect a gas pool heater to cost between $900 and $4,500. Installation will cost between $450 and $1,500, making the total gas pool heater installation cost between $1,350 and $6,000.

Heater sizePool surface areaCost with Installation
100,000-150,000 BTU312 sq.ft.$1,350-$4,000
150,000-200,000 BTU392 sq.ft.$1,950-$4,599
200,000-250,000 BTU512 sq.ft.$2,200-$4,750
250,000-300,000 BTU648 sq.ft.$2,350-$5,000
300,000-400,000 BTU800 sq.ft.$2,450-$5,500

Pool Heat Pump Installation Cost

A pool heat pump also uses electricity, but it is much more efficient and costs less to run. It will need its own dedicated circuit. It is more efficient because it extracts the heat from the air. A heat pump will heat the water slower than gas and costs more upfront. Pool heat pumps should last more than 10 years. Expect to pay between $1,800 and $6,000 for the unit and $450 and $1,000 for installation. This makes the total between $2,250 and $7,000.

Heater sizePool surface areaCost with Installation
70,000-85,000 BTU280 to 400 sq.ft.$2,250-$5,000
110,000-117,000 BTU400 to 650 sq.ft.$3,450-$6,000
137,000-141,000 BTU650 to 800 sq.ft.$4,250-$7,000

Solar Pool Heater Installation Cost

Although the units themselves cost a little more, solar pool heaters are the most cost efficient since there is little to no cost to run them. However, they can only be used in areas with plenty of direct sun. These units can last as many as 15 to 20 years, but the rate at which the water is heated is slow. Solar panels can also be unattractive and the solar pool heater installation cost is high. Solar pool heaters require little maintenance and are easy on the environment. The larger the pool, the more solar panels needed. Panels generally come in 4x10 sizes or 4x20 sizes. Expect to pay between $2,500 and $9,000 for a solar heating system and installation will cost between $600 and $2,000. This makes the total for the system and installation cost between $3,100 and $11,000.

Number of 4x10 Solar PanelsPool Surface AreaCost with Installation
6512 sq.ft.$3,100-$7,000
7648 sq.ft.$4,100-$9,000
8800 sq.ft.$5,100-$11,000

Pool Heating System Cost by Type of Pool

Most pool heating systems can be used on any type of pool. However, there are instances where certain types of heaters are recommended for different types of pools in certain environments. Do your research and speak with a professional before deciding on the right heater for your needs.

Pool Heating System Cost Chart

Pool Heating System Cost Chart

Type of PoolPool Heating System Cost
Above Ground$1,250-$2,400
Salt Water$1,350-$9,500
In Ground$1,350-$11,000

Above Ground Pool Heater Cost

Gas and solar are the most popular choices for an above ground pool. Since above ground pools are usually a bit smaller, the price tag should be lower. Plus, an above ground pool in a warm climate may only need a solar blanket 4 or solar ring to provide heat. The average above ground pool owner should expect to pay between $1,250 and $2,400 to heat their above ground pool.

Plunge Pool Heater Cost

A plunge pool is basically just a small version of a swimming pool, usually installed in the ground. Because of its small size, any heating method should work and the choice should be made based on your needs and climate. The average plunge pool owner should expect to pay between $1,250 and $3,000 for a plunge pool heater.

Salt Water Pool Heater Cost

Any type of the above mentioned heaters will work in a saltwater pool. Gas is the most popular method because it heats the water quickly and offers fuel efficiency. That being said, the average customer should expect to pay between $1,350 and $9,500 for a heater for their saltwater pool.

In Ground Pool Heater Cost

Depending on the size, climate, and your situation, any type of heater may be the best choice for an in ground pool. Average customers should expect the in ground pool heater cost to be between $1,350 and $11,000.

Natural Pool Heater Cost

Natural pools are made to hold heat from the sun and can often reach comfortable temperatures in warm climates without a heater. Covering the pool, using dark liners, and using floating solar panels can also do the trick. Heat pumps 1 are also a great choice for natural pools. Average customers should expect to pay between $2,250 and $7,000 for a natural pool heater.

Labor Cost to Install a Swimming Pool Heater

It is a good idea to hire a professional to install a swimming pool heater. Improper installation is one of the biggest reasons that a heater will fail prematurely. Plus, many warranties will become void if a heater is installed improperly. Installation will involve placing a gas line, routing electricity or installing solar panels, venting, and plumbing work. The process can take only one day or several days depending on the particular situation. Depending on the complexity of the system and the location of the pool, installation should cost between $500 and $2,000. Most professionals charge by the project. If additional supplies for plumbing and wiring are needed, expect to add between $50 and $100 to the installation total. Removal of an old heater may be included in the installation price. If not, expect to pay an extra $30 to $50 for removal and disposal.

Cost to Run a Pool Heater

After the pool heater is installed, unless it is solar, it will take fuel for the heater to run. Keep the cost of fuel in mind when making the decision on which heater to install. The cost will vary depending on local rates, how often the pool is used, if a pool cover is used, and how warm the climate is.

Here is a comparison chart with the type of heater and estimated monthly and annual costs. For the purposes of this chart, it will be assumed that the pool is used for six months out of the year. Keep in mind that costs will vary based on local utility rates, the amount of energy the heater uses, and how many degrees the water needs to be heated.

Swimming Pool Heater Costs

Swimming Pool Heater Costs

Type of HeaterMonthly CostAnnual Cost
Electric Heat Pump$50-$150$300-$900
Natural Gas$300-$500$1,800-$3,000
Electric Resistance$400-$600$2,400-$3,600

Cost to Run Solar Pool Heater

It costs nothing to run a solar pool heater. Just keep in mind that the heater needs the sun to run. For this reason, many pool owners consider using a solar pool heater in combination with another heating system, such as a heat pump 1. It is a bigger investment up front for a solar pool heater, but requires no monthly operating cost.

Cost to Run Electric Pool Heater

The average cost for electricity in the United States is 13.31 cents per kWh. An electric heat pump will use about 5 kilowatts per 100,000 BTU’s per hour. Therefore, it should cost about 66.5 cents per hour to run an electric heat pump. Expect the monthly cost to be between $50 and $150.

Electric resistance pool heaters will cost several times that of an electric heat pump. Expect the monthly cost to be between $400 and $600 per month.

Cost to Run Gas Pool Heater

A natural gas pool heater is likely to use about 1 therm per hour for a 100,000 BTU unit. If using a 400,000 BTU unit, it will be 4 therms per hour. Natural gas usually costs between $0.80 and $1.10 per therm. If using propane 2 to heat the pool, it will cost about double that of natural gas. Expect the monthly cost to be between $300 and $500 for natural gas and $600 and $1,000 for propane.

Pool Heater Replacement Cost

Pool heater replacement cost is not much different than the cost for initial installation. In some cases, you may save about $100 to $300 for having preexisting gas, electrical, and plumbing systems already in place. There could also be a charge for removing the old heater. A professional can usually help you decide when it is time to replace the pool heater. There will come a point when the price of a repair will not be worth the amount of life the heater has left.

Pool Heater Repair Cost

If you find that your pool heater is not heating adequately, there is rust or corrosion on the system, the controls are not working properly, or the heater is making strange noises, it is time to have it looked at. In some cases, a simple repair can get everything in working order and in other cases, it may be best to replace the heater. Expect to pay between $175 and $750 for a repair. If this can extend the life of the heater, it may be worth it instead of paying for replacement.

Pool Heater Maintenance

Keep the area around your pool heater free from leaves and twigs. Also watch for the presence of rodents and check the manual that came with your pool heater for other tips. It is also important to maintain proper pool chemistry so that the heater performs at its best and to properly winterize the system when turning it off for the season. Have the unit inspected each year before turning it on for the season. This will help extend the life of the pool heater. During this inspection, the professional can let you know of any repairs needed and when it is time to replace the heater. The average cost for an inspection is about $150.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Pool Cover Cost

A pool cover is a great tool to cut costs. Not only will it keep the water warmer when not in use, it will also keep out debris that could clog up a heater. The cost of a pool cover will depend on many factors, including the size, material, and whether it is a safety cover to prevent falls into the pool. Covers range in price from $25 to $2,000. Expect the automatic pool cover cost to range from $8,000 to $20,000.

Solar Blanket Cost

A solar blanket 4 will trap the sun’s heat and use it to heat your pool. They can be used on their own in a hot climate or in combination with another heating system. Expect the solar blanket cost to range from $35 to $500.

Pool Enclosure Cost

A pool enclosure will allow more months of swimming pool enjoyment. An enclosure will keep out dirt and debris and also keep the water much warmer. There are both permanent and retractable options. The average price for a pool enclosure 5 installation us $22,125. However, these can start with a simple nylon dome and go up to a customized structure.

Solar Pool Ring

Solar pool rings float on the surface of the pool and convert sunlight to heat. You can place multiple solar pool rings on the surface and these cost between $45 and $70 per solar pool ring.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Permits and licenses. Permits may be needed in your area if water lines, gas lines, or electric lines are being modified to install the pool heater. Also ask for verification that the professional you are hiring is a licensed pool heater installer.
  • DIY. Only attempt this project as DIY if you have an extensive background in plumbing and/or electrical. It is best to let a professional handle this project to ensure proper installation and that the warranty of the heater does not become void.
  • Climate. A warm area with plenty of sunshine will be better suited to a solar pool heating system than a cold area without much sun. Colder areas will need a gas or electric pool heater.
  • Having hookups or installing new hookups. If the plumbing and wiring is all set up and does not need to be replaced or repaired, this will decrease the installation cost for a new swimming pool heater.


  • How much does it cost to put a heater in a pool?

The cost can vary widely and depends on the size of the pool, type of pool, and climate the pool is located in. Expect to pay between $1,800 and $8,000 for swimming pool heater installation.

  • Are pool heaters worth it?

Swimming pool heaters may be expensive, but why have a pool if it is too cold to use? A swimming pool heater will make it more comfortable to be in the pool and also extend the season of use.

  • What size heater do I need for my pool?

This will depend on the type of heater you choose and the size of your pool. For instance, a swimming pool with a surface area of 300 sq.ft. would need an electric resistance heater ranging in size from 50,000 to 99,000 BTU or a gas heater ranging in size from 100,000 to 150,000 BTU. A pool with a surface area of 800 sq.ft. would need an electric resistance heater ranging in size from 150,000 BTU to 199,000 BTU or a gas heater ranging in size from 300,000 BTU to 400,000 BTU.

  • What is the best way to heat a swimming pool?

The most popular method of heating a swimming pool is by using a natural gas heater. This is because it raises the water temperature fastest.

  • How much does it cost to heat a pool with electricity?

An electric heat pump 1 will cost between $50 and $150 per month. An electric resistance pool heater will cost between $400 and $600 per month

  • Can I add a heater to my in ground pool?

Yes, gas, electric, and solar heaters can all work in an in ground pool.

  • Are electric pool heaters good?

Yes, electric pool heaters work well, especially for small pools. Electric heat pumps are more efficient than electric resistance swimming pool heaters.

  • How fast will a pool heater heat a pool?

This depends on the type of heater. A gas heater can generally get a pool from 45 degrees to 80 degrees in about 12 to 18 hours.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Heat pump: A device used to heat or cool the air in a home by moving hot and cold air to where it is needed. The unit pulls hot air from inside the home in the summer and directs it outdoors, leaving the inside air cool, and pulls heat from outdoors in the winter and directs it into the home, thereby warming it
glossary term picture Propane 2 Propane: A hydrocarbon gas used as a common fuel source
glossary term picture Thermostat 3 Thermostat: A device that senses and regulates temperature by turning heating and cooling devices on and off
glossary term picture Solar Blanket 4 Solar blanket: Protective outdoor pool cover used to trap the sun's heat, thereby helping to keep pool water warm
glossary term picture Pool Enclosure 5 Pool enclosure: Artificial barrier that completely encircles a pool, protecting it from dirt, dust, insects, leaves, and other debris and also serving as a safety feature preventing those outside of it from falling in and possibly drowning

Cost to install a swimming pool heater varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Pool Heat Pump Next to a Pool Filter

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