What are the best heat pump pool heaters? Which heat pump pool heaters work almost as well as natural gas and electric heat pumps but at a lower overall cost?
4 Best Pool Heaters
1. Hayward HeatPro Titanium 140,000 BTU AHRI Residential Pool Heat Pump, Model HP21404T
It costs more than the first Hayward heat pump because it has a whopping 140,000 BTU capacity. This rating means it will heat up your pool much faster than the model HP50TA heat pump; you don’t have to run it overnight to make the pool usable in the morning in May or June, and you won’t have to run it for six hours to be able to swim in the spring. Like the other Hayward heat pump for swimming pools, it has injection molded body panels that resist denting if you run into them and won’t rust.
This model has a corrosion resistant evaporator fin that prevents it from rusting in hot, humid environments. If you live in Savannah, Georgia, Houston, Texas or another area known for its humid summers, this is the heat pump you need since most will have trouble working in your climate and won’t last long if they do run. The model HP21404T heat pump has a plastic screen to protect the evaporator coil from the same corrosive effects of salty air or high humidity which also improves its efficiency.
The titanium heat exchanger is safe to use with salt water pools or fresh water pools. The only limitation this unit may create is size related – it may be too big to fit in some backyards.
If you don’t have a qualified HVAC technician install the pool heat pump, Hayward can refuse to honor the warranty. And if you buy this heat pump online instead of through a dealer, Hayward may say it doesn’t have to honor the labor portion of the warranty because it wasn’t sold through them though they’ll usually honor the parts under warranty.
2. Pentair UltraTemp 90 High Performance Pool Heat Pump Model 460930
It has a middle-market control panel and LCD display. You can program it at the control panel to maintain a temperature profile, though it cannot cool pool water like some other heat pumps. Its internal diagnostics are better than the other pool heat pumps on this list, giving you error messages that are clear to the average homeowner. This pool pump also offers the best warranty on this list. You get a ten year warranty on the compressor and lifetime warranty on the heat exchanger. The warranty on labor will depend on where you buy it and whether or not you have it installed by an HVAC professional.
It has a titanium heat exchanger similar to the Hayward heat pumps for swimming pools. The pool heat pump has an automatic defrost feature for preventing freezing, making this the best pool heat pump for climates where it gets to below 50°F at night while there may still be water in the heat pump. The Copeland scroll pump is ultra-quiet. It is more efficient than a number of its rivals.
3. Raypak 013331 133000 BTU Titanium Digital Heat Pump, Model R8350TIE
One of the benefits of this heat pump is that it works with almost any remote control system. Whether you use it to replace an existing heat pump and you want to keep the remote or you want to install a new heat pump and use the remote control of your choice, this is the heat pump for you.
Another benefit of the Raypack is the four port base four configuration. It can fit almost any plumbing arrangement no matter how you install it, so it may work where other pool heat pumps would require massive re-plumbing.
All of these issues make the Raypack the ideal choice for replacing a failing existing pool heat pump or installing one where others won’t fit without massive work by a contractor.
It has average energy efficiency for a pool heat pump. It has an internal bypass if you want to disconnect the heat pump without much effort.
The Copeland scroll compressor makes this the quietest pool heat pump on this list.
The heat pump has above average resistance to corrosion since it uses marine grade nickel in the heat exchanger.
Above Ground Pool Heat Pump
4. Hayward Residential Pool Heat Pump Titanium with 50,000 BTU AHRI, Model HP50TA
One of the biggest points in favor of this pool heat pump is its price. And given its high efficiency, you aren’t choosing between paying half as much for the heat pump and twice as much to run it. Another benefit of this model is that its titanium core isn’t ruined by salt, so this heat pump works as well with salt water pools as fresh water pools.
It can be used with a chlorine generator if you have one with the salt water pool, but it needs to be located between the filter and the chlorine generator.
This pool heat pump has a profiled fan blade and compressor cover to keep the sound to a minimum. You won’t have to choose between being able to heat up the pool and being able to hear the music on the sound system.
The pool heat pump has basic plastic exterior panels to protect the heat pump inside.
As with all heat pumps, it is more efficient as the air temperature rises. It will warm a pool two to three degrees Fahrenheit if it is 80°F outside but may take a day or two to warm the water if it is 60°F outside. It does a good job of maintaining the pool temperature overnight.
One of the problems with this model is that it is hard to get Hayward to service it if it fails shortly after purchase, though your local pool store may be happy to do so if you don’t care about the work being done under warranty. Hayward for example won’t honor the labor part of their warranties in places where they don’t sell their products.
This model has intermittent reports of refrigerant leaks through the joints; you will know this is the issue if you get a LP or low pressure error due to the refrigerant leak within a week or two of buying it.