The other day we were helping a swimming pool owner choose a heating system. He asked us how gas heaters work in order to gain a better understanding of their performance. In this article, we answer his question, and we also provide a few advantages and disadvantages of gas heaters.
A gas heater burns either natural gas or liquid propane inside a combustion chamber. Copper coils, which contain swimming pool water, run through the combustion chamber. As the gas burns, swimming pool water runs through these copper coils, and returns to the swimming pool warm. Exhaust created by burning the gas leaves the chamber through a flue.
Advantages of Gas Swimming Pool Heaters
A gas heater operates independently of air temperature. It will heat your swimming pool more easily in lower temperatures than will a heat pump, which operates less efficiently in lower temperatures. A gas heater also offers the convenience of heating your swimming pool more quickly than a heat pump, which makes it ideal for swimming pool owners who want on-demand heat.
Other advantages of gas heaters include: low purchase costs and quiet operation.
Disadvantages of Gas Swimming Pool Heaters
While gas heaters offer a few valuable advantages, they have quite a few disadvantages. Specifically, a gas heater is the least efficient type of heater, as it has a COP between 0.80 and 0.85. During the last few decades, many consumers were willing to look past this low efficiency because low gas prices made gas heaters very inexpensive to operate. However, the recent increases in gas prices have made gas heaters not only the most inefficient type of heater to operate, but also the most costly to operate.
Other disadvantages of gas heaters include: harmful effects of gas exhaust on the environment, required gas lines (natural gas heaters only), and short lifespan.
So hopefully this gives you a better understanding of how a gas heater works, along with a few of the advantages and disadvantages of using a gas heater. If you would like to know how gas heaters compare to other swimming pool heating systems, you can read this article. Do you have any questions, thoughts, or suggestions? Leave us a comment below. We at AquaCal would love to hear from you!