Having a pool can be an excellent home feature. Nothing is better than bringing your friends over for a pool party! But if your pool heater is broken, a leisurely swim can become a cold awakening, even in our famous Southern California climate. If your heater has failed, you’ll need to know what size pool heater you need for a replacement.
BTU stands for British thermal unit. BTUs measure how much energy it takes to heat one pound of water by a single degree.
Gas pool heaters are the most powerful heating units available. Solar heat panels have the lowest BTU output.
California has efficiency and emissions standards for pool heaters outlined in Title 20, which regulates the types of pumps sold in the state. When you schedule your pool heater replacement, make sure the heater you get complies with all applicable standards and regulations.
What’s the Size of Your Pool?
The size of your pool will impact the size of the pool heater you need. Given the same amount of time to heat the pool, a larger pool will see less of a temperature change than a smaller pool using the same heater. Larger pools will typically need larger heaters.
To measure your pool’s size, calculate its volume: multiply the length, width, and depth of the pool. For less regular pools, an average of those measurements will do to give you a rough estimate.
How Warm Do You Want Your Pool?
How warm you want your pool to be will also impact which heater you need. The warmer you want your pool, the more power it’s going to use, but a larger heater will warm a pool more quickly.
Making Your Calculations
Multiply your volume in gallons by 8.3 pounds per gallon to determine how many pounds of water need to be heated. Then multiply that result by the number of degrees you want to increase the pool temperature. That will give you how many BTUs your heater needs to produce.
Be sure to perform the same calculation while factoring in the difference between the coldest ambient temperature during which you might be using your pool and the temperature you want it to be. Few pool owners in the Conejo Valley use their pools year-round, and winter temperatures regularly drop below 50 degrees.
If you want to use your pool when it’s 50 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and you intend for your pool to be 85 degrees Fahrenheit (which is not as warm as it sounds), you’ll need to multiply your “pounds of water” calculation by 35 (85 – 50). To determine how many BTUs per hour your pool heater needs to produce, divide the result by 24. That rating will help you select a pool heater capable of giving you an enjoyable swimming experience.
If you want to enjoy a nice warm swim in your pool, you need to have a pool heater powerful enough to do the job. If you need a pool heater repair or installation, call us at (805) 497-3365. You’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the job is done right the first time.