Swimming in a cold pool is for the birds, warm pools are for snowbirds

Hello Snowbirds !  Do you hail from a winter wonderland, and want to swim in your Phoenix, AZ pool year round ?  Do you have a vacation rental property which needs to be heated for your tenants ? We can help analyze your pool, and your heating goals while providing you with the most cost effective heating solution.

Here is a handy List of the (3) primary Pool heating options available.


  • Roof Mounted Solar Panels.


This type of heating method is NOT to be confused with Photo-voltaic panels which produce electricity. Solar pool heating panels are hard plumbed to your pool equipment plumbing to circulate your pool water through roof mounted panels.  These panels absorb heat energy from the sun thereby heating the water running through the panels back to your pool.


-After initial install, the only energy required is from the main pool pump in order to run water through the panels.  The heat energy is FREE energy from the sun.


– Must run your pump during PEAK ENERGY times in order to run your pool water through the panels during the warmest part of the day.

-Solar panels tend to develop multiple leaks over time, thereby creating a water leak on top of your roof.

-Solar panels are limited in their ability to heat water beyond the outside ambient air temperature.  In colder winter months, they are inefficient and may not allow your desired water temperature to be reached.

-House roofline must be such that there ample space for panels, and must have correct orientation for full sun exposure.




A heat pump looks identical to a Large residential Air Conditioning unit, but instead of heating or cooling the air in your house, it heats or cools your pool water.  That’s right ! You heard that correctly. A Swimming Pool “Heat Pump” can be purchased as a stand alone Heat Pump (for heating purposes only ), but also a Heat Pump / Chiller Combo to Heat and Cool your pool water.  The water temperature can reach 95 degrees in many play pools in Phoenix, so a heat pump unit with the chilling option to cool your pool water may be right for you. However, for the vast majority of pool owners, a heat pump unit is desired in order to heat the water.


-Less ongoing operating costs compared with a gas heater.

-Will transfer heat from the air to your pool with ambient air temperatures as low as 35-40 degrees.


-A heat pump requires a dedicated 50 amp electrical circuit .  An electrical circuit this large is not usually present at most pool equipment sets.  Therefore, most existing pools require the installation of a new 50 amp circuit.

-Heat pumps are large and have a large footprint.

-Heat pumps are for maintenance heating.  In other words, they will not obtain a quick heat rise in a body of water on short notice.  Must plan ahead, and heat the water well in advance of pool usage.

-Must keep the pool covered in colder months to retain the heat gained in the pool water.

-Larger upfront cost for Heat Pump units, and associated electrical installation compared to gas pool heaters.

-Fewer qualified service companies to perform repairs to these units.  




Modern gas pool heaters such as the Jandy JXI model heater have a very small footprint, have an 83% thermal efficiency and are versatile in that they can be used for maintenance heating or on demand heating per user preference. They come in Propane and Natural gas models.  They are easily serviceable with many qualified companies such as Sharp Pool Creations available for repairs and maintenance.


Lower initial cost compared to a Heat Pump unit.

Small footprint of newer heaters can easily fit into tight or small equipment areas.

-Can heat your pool or spa on demand and with short notice effectively in a short amount of time.

-Proprietary Jandy JXI model heater Versaflo feature saves energy from the pool pump by bypassing water flow through pool heater when the heater is turned off. The Versaflo feature also decreases wear on the heaters heat exchanger.   JXI heaters purchased with the Versaflo feature come with a 5 year heat exchanger warranty !!. No other manufacturers warranty comes close.


Must install a natural gas line or install propane tanks if none are present.

-If propane powered, must monitor and fill tanks as necessary.

-Gas cost can add up quickly.

-For maintenance heating purposes, it is recommended to keep the pool covered to retain heat energy.


About The Author

Matt Sharp


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Cave Creek, AZ 85331