The Top Gas Pool Heaters and Electric Heat Pumps of 2023: Our Expert Recommendations

Kevin Pflug

If you’re one of the countless pool owners looking for the best way to keep your pool water toasty, search no further! We’ve installed many different pool heaters over the years and have repaired or maintained all types of brands and models.

Our experience has resulted in this article, where we’ll share our top picks based on the products’ features, performance, and overall value.

Whether you have an inground or above ground pool, our recommendations have you covered.

So, let’s read on and take a look at the most proficient pool heaters available today.

A Brief Overview: How to Choose the Perfect Pool Heater for Your Needs

Are you struggling to choose the best pool heater for your needs?

We get it – the market is saturated with different types and brands, making it difficult to know where to begin.

But don’t worry. We’ve got your back!

Let’s start by looking at the two main types of pool heaters available:

  • Gas pool heaters: These use natural gas or propane to heat the water quickly, but they can be costly to run… they’re best for people that want hot water on-demand (let’s say you mostly use your pool on the weekend for parties as an example).
  • Electric heat pumps: These are energy-efficient and have a lower operating cost than gas heaters, but they may not be the right choice depending on how you want to use your pool, as they can take longer to heat up the pool. These are a great option if you use your pool frequently and want to keep the temperature warm throughout the season.

Also, when choosing a pool heater, remember to think about the size of your pool, how you want to use your pool, and your budget.

Please feel free to take a look at our Ultimate Guide to choosing the right pool heater, which goes into much greater detail about how to know which heater is best for you.

With these factors in mind, you’ll be able to choose the perfect pool heater for your needs with ease.

Gas Pool Heaters: Unmatched Power and Efficiency for Your Pool

Gas pool heaters are a great choice for those who want to heat their pool quickly and efficiently.

They work by burning natural gas or propane to heat up the water as it passes through the heater.

Let’s take a look at our top recommended gas pool heaters:

Best Gas Pool Heater for Inground Pools: The Hayward Dual Fuel Pool Heater

This little 400K BTU powerhouse boasts Universal HC Series dual-fuel technology, making installing or upgrading almost any existing heater on your pad a breeze.

Plus, its compact design with the smallest footprint in the industry makes installation a snap, even in tight spaces.

And, with Hayward’s exclusive plumbing adapters, we can drop it in without cutting many pipes.

Say goodbye to the hassle and hello to the ultimate pool heating experience!

Key Features:

  • Streamlined design: The heater boasts the smallest industry footprint, and its light build allows easy installation in any setting.
  • Easy-to-remove mixing orifice: This feature allows you to conveniently convert between propane and natural gas.
  • Cupro nickel heat exchanger: Offers a protective layer against water damage and other forms of natural wear.
  • Innovative Butterfly bypass: This patented component allows flow rates of up to 125 gallons per minute without additional accessories.
  • Exclusive plumbing connections: The pool heater is designed with custom adapters that facilitate seamless drop-in replacements with zero pipe cutting required.
  • Zero wall allowance: The heater’s compact design makes it a perfect fit for smaller spaces.
  • Quick-access reversible top: By utilizing a single fastener, this feature makes it possible to access the gas shutoff, voltage selection, and other components while allowing for easy plumbing swaps from either side of the heater.
  • Eco-friendly Low NOx emissions: Besides delivering exceptional heating performance, this pool heater meets clean air quality standards.

Best Gas Pool Heater for Above Ground Pools: The Hayward H-Series Natural Gas Heater

Prepare to experience your pool and spa like never before with the Hayward H-Series Natural Gas Heater, specifically designed for above ground pools and spas.

This dependable and powerful heater features industry-leading hydraulic performance and a powerful 135,000 BTU rating, allowing you to quickly and efficiently heat your above ground pool or spa to your desired temperature.

The user-friendly electronic panel is also designed with simplicity in mind, making it effortless to operate and freeing up more time for you to relax in the water.

Additionally, the cupro nickel heat exchanger provides exceptional durability and protection against corrosion and premature failure, ensuring top-quality heating performance season after season.

Key Features:

  • Durable yet lightweight: Durable cupro nickel heat exchanger for exceptional protection against corrosion and premature failure, ensuring premium heating performance season after season.
  • Fast and easy operation: Industry-leading hydraulic performance with faster speed-to-heat capability. Contains a user-friendly electronic panel for easy operation
  • Environmentally friendly design: “Totally managed” water flow reduces pump run time for energy and cost savings. Low NOx emissions meet air quality standards in all low-NOx areas.

Top-Performing Heat Pumps: Our Expert Recommendations for Efficient Pool Heating

Say goodbye to expensive and environmentally harmful traditional pool heaters!

Pool heat pumps are the way to go to keep your pool warm and cozy all season long.

With their energy-efficient design, these pumps transfer heat from the air to the water, so you can enjoy a comfortable swim without breaking the bank.

Plus, they’re much better for the planet than their fuel-burning counterparts.

Let’s take a look at our top recommended electric heat pump pool heaters:

Best Electric Heat Pump for Inground Pools: The Hayward HeatPro 140K BTU Heat Pump

Hayward HeatPro 140K BTU Heat Pump Expert Line

Indulge in a warm and comfortable swim with the Hayward HeatPro heat pumps

This top-performing and efficient pump operates silently and economically to maintain your preferred water temperature all season long.

The HeatPro comes equipped with an Ultra Gold evaporator fin that is resistant to corrosion, which is unparalleled in the industry.

This makes the heater incredibly robust, even in the harshest coastal environments.

Additionally, the HeatPro’s sleek and compact design enables easy installation and servicing, making them suitable for any pool, old or new.

Key Features:

  • Extreme corrosion resistance: With the industry’s only Ultra Gold corrosion-resistant evaporator fin, HeatPro heat pumps offer unparalleled durability, even in harsh coastal environments.
  • Designed for peace and quiet: HeatPro heat pumps’ profiled fan blades and heavy-duty scroll compressors ensure efficient airflow with minimal noise, instantly relaxing any backyard environment.
  • Efficient from the inside out: A titanium counter-flow heat exchanger ensures maximum heat transfer and helps reduce energy costs by up to 70%—and with powerful corrosion resistance, HeatPro heat pumps will keep saving you money for seasons to come.


Best Electric Heat Pump for Large Above Ground Pools: The Hayward HeatPro 110K BTU Heat Pump

We recommend this heat pump for larger above ground pools, such as 24 or 27’ round.

It has the same features as the 140K BTU HeatPro Heat Pump, with fewer BTUs since it does not need as much power to heat up above ground pools.

Best Electric Heat Pump for Smaller Above Ground Pools: The Hayward HeatPro 70K BTU Low Ambient Heat Pump

The Hayward HeatPro 70K BTU Low Ambient Heat Pump is ideal for controlling temperatures in smaller pools, up to about 13,000 gallons (21’ Round or smaller).

It offers lower energy requirements than natural gas and propane heaters, and with its powerful heating capabilities, it maintains the perfect water temperature even in harsh conditions.

This allows for an earlier start to the swim season in the spring and a longer one in the fall.

And best of all, it’s an economical option that won’t break the bank.

Key Features:

  • Digital control panel: Displays temperature and allows for simple control of settings
  • Advanced heat pump technology: Uses less energy than natural gas and propane heaters
  • Efficient rotary compressor and low-noise fan: Guarantees extremely quiet operation
  • Durable titanium heat exchanger: Provides exceptional corrosion protection


Final Thoughts

So, there you have it.

We stand by Hayward Pool Heaters, as we have worked closely with the company for more than a decade, and we know just how good their quality control and customer care are.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions, and don’t forget to take a look at our Ultimate Guide for choosing a pool heater (which has a more in-depth look at the pros and cons of the different types of heaters).

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Kevin Pflug
Kevin joined Romanelli & Son Pool Service in 2021 and hasn't looked back since! He enjoys eating his wife's delicious homemade meals and bowling with his family.

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