Best Above Ground Pool Heaters – Top 5 Picks for 2017

Above ground pools are a fantastic investment for summer fun for many families. If you happen to live in a warmer southern climate, then you get to enjoy your pool time even longer.

So what about those in more temperate climates? Is there a way for others to extend their summer pool time fun? Absolutely!

Pool heaters come in a variety of options today, from powerful natural gas and electric models to energy and cost efficient solar models.

So if you're not quite ready to winterize your above ground pool yet for the winter then take a look at the heaters we review below. 

We have reviewed all available models on Amazon.com and compiled a list of the best rated above ground pool heaters for you:

best above ground pool heater

Top 5 Highest Rated Above Ground Pool Heaters


The Hayward brand is well established in the pool industry, and as such, this heater is the most purchased and reviewed on the list.

Their H150FDN model is another natural gas model as above, but at 150,000 BTU, it is slightly more powerful, equating to more efficient heating of your pool structure.

It is advertised as being able to pass state emissions testing for low emission requirements in some states.

The heater's durable stainless steel structure will ensure longevity and reliability for an outdoor product. 

We found a video review of the Hayward H150FDN here that you will find helpful. 

Pros:

  • ​The Hayward brand alone is a pro, knowing you have proven product reliability and popularity among customers 
  • Standard Cupro nickel heat exchanger for superior value and reliability
  • Hayward Universal design for easy and versatile professional installation
  • Includes a patented polymer header and bypass valve design for top notch hydraulic efficiency and reliability
  • Digital control accuracy saves time and money when getting the pool to the precise temperature.

Cons:

  • This model requires a natural gas line in place for a connection
  • Some customers complained that the heat exchanger went bad after a few years and had to be replaced

Pentair’s 125K BTU Heater is one of the best natural gas above ground pool heaters for the money.

The draw to this model is its more powerful heating capacity versus the electric and solar models on the list.

This model is able to heat above ground pools up to 15,000 gallons (or a 24 foot round or smaller), and comes with a convenient digital display for the central control panel.

The affordable MasterTemp 125 heater gives you the energy savings and most of the advanced features that were previously only available from much larger heaters.

It features a revolutionary premixed gas combustion technology that offers 82% thermal efficiency which is the highest of any heater in its category.

This review of the Pentair Heater on youtube is very informative.  ​

Pros:

  • Very powerful heating capacity for a smaller unit
  •  Engineered for super-quiet operation and won"t intrude on your poolside leisure
  • 1.5-in. plumbing that is ideal for smaller bodies of water up to 15,000 gallons
  • Rotating digital display that provides fast, easy access for programming and monitoring
  • Certified for low-NOx emissions

Cons:

  • This model is powered by natural gas, so it does require a natural gas line for hook-up
  • You should also consider the additional monthly natural gas utility costs you will incur

3 – The SunQuest Solar Pool Heater 

The SunQuest is a complete solar panel heating system that can be used for in-ground and above ground pools. 

The beauty of solar powered heaters is the energy efficiency of cutting your heating bill. No more electric or gas bill spikes for heating your pool, is quite an intriguing option.

The solar powered panels heat the pool water as it’s filtered through the piping and sent back to the pool fully warmed by the sun.

It’s appealing for several reasons; including its compatibility with existing pool pumps and its easy installation procedures that allow anyone to install the system themselves.

SunQuest solar pool heaters feature premium quality, advanced technology, highest rated performance and excellent reliability. 

Pros:

  • ​The panels are Professional Grade quality, equal or better to other systems costing thousands of dollars
  • MAX-FLOW design with 2" OD headers leads to better water circulation and less back pressure on your pump
  • Compatible with your existing pool pump
  • Increases pool water temperature up to 10 degrees
  • Installation of the SunQuest Solar Panel system is a simple do-it-yourself project

Cons:

  • You will need to add additional piping to reach your panels from your pool
  • You will need a significant area to install the large panels
  • Requires a decent amount of sun exposure to properly heat the water, so the location must be chosen carefully

4 – The WaveHeater 2017 Electric Pool Heater

This above ground pool heater has many benefits and unique features. Its waterproof design makes it a customer favorite, along with its electric power connectivity for simplicity of design and ease of use.

The WaveHeater is completely impervious to water, be it rain, splashing or if you just want to clean it off with the hose.

It is designed for Above Ground Pools 8000 gallons or less and is manufactured to be installed in line between the existing pool pump and pool inlet.

Here is a customer's informational video on the Waveheater that you may find helpful. ​

Let's look at some of the pros and cons of this heater. ​

Pros:

  • The waterproof feature is perfect for pool use and for easy cleaning, enabling homeowners to directly spray it down with the garden hose without fear of damage
  • 240 VAC 5500 watt with 18770 BTU'S heating power
  • Flow switch and high temp air vent
  • Safe heavy duty rubber booting
  • WaveHeater warranty: one year from delivery date

Cons:

  • This model only works with an 8,000 gallon pool or smaller, so essentially, an 18 foot round pool or less. If you have a larger pool, this model will not sufficiently heat your pool water

5 – The Solar Bear Falcons Solar Heating System

The Solar Bear heater is advertised as being made in the USA, and is also appealing for its compatibility with existing pool pumps and structures.

Solar Bear technology uses the sun's natural energy in a cost-effective way to warm your water.​ This will save you money on your energy bill's right away and pay for itself in a short time. 

It requires no additional connectivity ports, but does require you to purchase additional tubing to reach from your pool to the solar panels.

Pros:

  • Increases water temperature by 10 degrees
  • Built-in manual bypass to allow homeowners to turn the solar panel on and off
  • Each panel produces 80,000 BTU
  • Includes a Warranty - 10 Year Limited
  • Can be self-installed in as little as 30 minutes and adds value to your pool and home

Cons:

  • While solar panels are attractive for their affordable continuous heat, they are dependent upon placement for maximum sun exposure
  • This particular model is limited to an 8,000 gallon pool (or 18’ round or less) heating capacity

Choosing to add a pool heater to your backyard pool is an excellent way to extend the summer swim-time fun for your family from the earliest warmer spring temperature days to the late fall Indian summer nights.

Weigh your options above and decide if the environmentally friendly solar options or the higher powered electric and natural gas options are the best fit for your family needs and your pool size.

Once you’ve chosen the best route, you’ll be able to stretch your pool season to the max!

We hope our above ground pool heater reviews have been helpful and informative.  

Happy shopping!


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