Swimming pools are a great addition to any Sydney backyard, and keeping the water at the ideal temperature is crucial for a comfortable swim. There are various types of pool heaters available on the market, and choosing the right one can be a daunting task. In this post, we discuss the differences between electric, gas, and solar pool heating, along with their advantages, and drawbacks. This will help you make an informed decision when installing a pool heater.

Electric Pool Heaters

Electric pool heat pumps are a popular choice for their ease of use and low upfront cost. A heat pump is a device that uses a small amount of energy to move heat from one location to another. Heat pumps used for heating pools transfer heat from the outdoors into the water. Because they use heat that is already available and just move it from one place to another, they use less electricity.

As the pool water circulates through the filtration system, it is filtered and then passes through the pool heat pump. The heat pump draws in the air from the environment which flows over the evaporator coil. Liquid refrigerant within the evaporator coil absorbs the heat from the environment and becomes gaseous. 

The warm gas in the coil then flows through to the compressor. The compressor increases the heat, creating a very hot gas that then flows through the condenser. The condenser transfers the heat from the hot gas to the cooler pool water that is flowing through the pool heater. The heated water then returns to the pool. 

The hot gas, as it flows through the condenser coil, returns to liquid form and back to the evaporator, where the whole process begins again.

Electric heat pumps are the preferred choice of Clarity Pool Management when your intention is to maintain the pool at your desired temperature for the duration of the swimming season. This is due to their comparatively low ongoing running costs, especially when paired with solar PV panels, and battery backup systems.

Relaxing in a heated pool at night in Sydney

Gas Pool Heaters

Gas pool heaters are a reliable option for those who want to heat their pool quickly. They use natural gas to heat the water and can raise the temperature by several degrees within a few hours. 

These heaters are ideal for spas, and for pools where you only intend on heating the water periodically due to their high associated running costs. They require a gas line connection and can be expensive to operate when heating a large pool regularly. Furthermore if a gas line has not been provisioned at the intended installation location the cost to run new copper pipes can be prohibitive.

Gas pool heaters work by burning the natural gas in the combustion chamber, this generates heat below the heat exchanger which the water passes through on its way back to the pool, if the heater is sized correctly they are able to heat the pool to your desired temperature regardless of the season or climate.

Mastertemp Open Gas Pool Heater

Solar Pool Heaters

Solar pool heaters harness the power of the sun to heat the water. They consist of solar panels installed on the roof or in a sunny area near the pool, an additional pump is needed to circulate water through the panels which heat the water as it passes through on its way back to the pool. In Sydney’s solar pool heating is generally effective from November through until March, however if you have a few overcast days the pool temperature can drop below your set temperature and can lead to longer recovery times. In some cases a heat pump can be just as, if not more cost effective to run than solar heating, with the added security of ensuring your pool temperature doesn’t drop below the set point if we have a few cooler summer days.


When comparing these three types of pool heaters, it is essential to consider factors such as cost, efficiency, and environmental impact. Electric pool heaters take a little longer to heat up the pool initially however you can maintain your pool at a set temperature for the duration of your swimming season at a cost effective price. 

Gas pool heaters are the quickest to heat the water from ambient to your desired temperature, however they are expensive to operate and are only ideal for periodic heating. 

With solar pool heating your swimming season is limited to the summer months outside of which their efficiency drops off, you also need to factor in the cost of operating a second circulation pump when heating the pool using this method. The other consideration when it comes to solar pool heating is the roof space that it consumes can no longer be utilised for solar PV panels, this would limit the amount of electricity you can potentially produce if you are thinking of powering your house with solar energy in the future.

It Depends…

There is alot to consider when deciding on the right heating method for your pool in Sydney. The friendly team at Clarity Pool Management is here to help you select the right pool heater for your pool. Book in a free no obligations site inspection today if you would like to discuss pool heating options with one of our pool heating experts.

Summary of Key Points

  • There are three main types of pool heaters: electric, gas, and solar.
  • Electric pool heaters are cost-effective to run, easy to use, and use heat that is already available.
  • Gas pool heaters are ideal for quickly heating the water but can be expensive to operate and require a gas line connection.
  • Solar pool heaters use the sun’s energy to heat the water but are limited in efficiency outside of the summer months and require a second circulation pump.
  • When choosing a pool heater, factors such as cost, efficiency, and environmental impact should be considered.
  • Clarity Pool Management can help with selecting the right pool heater for your needs.