In reality it’s a very hard question to answer since each season, and each pool owner, will vary tremendously. That being said, from years of feedback we can say that the average pool in an average season used by an average pool owner will on average be somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 - $700 in natural gas and about 3.5X for propane. (Based on 17.7NG and 62PRO rates in Jan 2015)
The cost to heat your inground swimming pool will depend directly on two factors:
- What is the outside temperature
- How warm are we keeping the pool.
The main factor will be air temperature outside. The greater the difference between how warm it is outside and the temperature we are trying to keep in the pool, the greater the difficulty and the more we’ll need to burn fuel to get to our goal. For example, if we are trying to maintain 88⁰F and it’s only 70⁰F outside, that 18⁰F will be a heck of a lot harder to attain that trying to get the water temperature to 82⁰F if it’s 78⁰F outside.
Ways to Operate a Pool Heater for Savings
More recently it has become standard practice to put fairly large heaters (rated by their BtU’s) on smaller pools and thus ensuring that we have a heater capable of putting the most amount of heat in the shortest amount of time. This allows us to use the heater more ‘on demand’ than trying to maintain a certain water temperature at all time.
If we are able to heat the pool by 1.5⁰F or 2⁰F an hour, then in most cases we can reach our desired temperature in only a few hours and turn the heater off. After all, there is no point in having the heater running and pumping heat into the pool if the weather outside is bad and nobody will be using the pool.
In years past this wasn’t so easy since heaters would often only be able to raise the temperature of an inground swimming pool by a small fraction of a degree an hour. If it took you a couple of days to get the right temperature, it made more sense to leave the heater on all the time and maintain your temperature.
Swimming Pool Cost Series
For more information, have a look at all related posts about swimming pool costs: