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Best Above Ground Pool Heaters in 2022 – Reviewed

Getting into an unheated pool can chill a swimmer to the bone, so it’s a good thing that pool owners can solve that problem simply by getting the best above ground pool heater. And as difficult as it might seem to find a quality model, it’s not all that difficult, if the consumer is willing to keep a few things in mind. We should know because we’ve reviewed some of these models, and we think that we’ve found the ones that will truly impress our readers. So without further ado, we would like to introduce some of the pool heaters that impressed us the most.

Quick Summary of Best Above Ground Pool Heaters

 Editor’s Choice 
Hayward H200FDN Natural Gas Pool & Spa Heater  (review)
 Also Recommended 
Smart Pool S240U Solar Pool Heater  (review)
 Also Consider 
Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System  (review)
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Editor’s Choice: Hayward H200FDN Natural Gas Pool & Spa Heater

One of the best and most economical ways of heating a swimming pool is by using a natural gas spa and pool heater, kind of like this model, the H200FDN. This model is designed to run off of a natural gas line and can produce up to 200,000 BTU of Low NOx heat. Depending on where the pool is located, whether the pool is in the sun, or how often the pool is used, this heater might be the one that above-ground or in-ground pool owners will want to install on their pools. Let’s examine some of the features that make this heater a great choice, shall we?

This model is made with a Cupro nickel heat-exchanger that’s designed for not only improved performance but also improved reliability. It also features a polymer header and bypass valve that’s designed to increase the hydraulic efficiency and reliability as well. And although it does require professional installation, it’s still an easy-to-use heater that will provide the pool owner with nice warm pool waters all year round. And because this model has low NOx emissions, it’s more environmentally responsible than some other types of natural gas pool heaters can be.

It doesn’t matter whether the consumer installs this heater for use with a pool or a spa. Either way, it works very well. Although it might not be an option for everyone, and some people might want to opt for either an electric, propane or solar model. However, for those who do feel like they need a natural gas model, we feel that this is the one that’s going to be one of the best ones available. It’s a great model and we’re sure that our readers who opt for it will get good use out of it.


  • Provides up to 200,000 BTUs of heat.
  • It environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.

  • It requires professional installation.

Also Recommended: Smart Pool S240U Solar Pool Heater

One of the best ways to heat a pool is with solar energy. Every day, the sun rains down a ton of energy on the Earth, but direct sunlight is often not enough to keep most pools warm. That’s why the pool owner has to have a system that takes all of that energy from the sun and uses it effectively to warm up the pool. Fortunately, this system does do the job of collecting and using sunlight for pool warming. This system is an efficient method of raising pool temperatures, and because it uses free energy from the sun to do it, it’s cost-effective as well.

One of the first things we want to talk about is this system’s ease of installation. This system doesn’t require professional installation, and any reasonably handy pool owner can have it set up in no time. This system comes with end caps, elbows, stainless steel hose clamps, rubber connector hoses, and Teflon tape, so the consumer has everything they need to hook it up. And speaking of hooking it up, this system uses the pool’s existing filtration system, so the consumer doesn’t have to purchase additional supplies to have their pool heater up and running.

How does this system work? Well, it uses two 2-foot by 20-foot panels that are made of polypropylene and capture the power of the sun. This system is capable of heating pools rectangular pools 18-feet by 36-feet in size, or round pools up to 31-feet. And another thing we liked about this system is that it’s extremely affordable. Not only does it cost less than many other above ground pool heaters, but because it doesn’t require any electricity or gas to run, the heater continues to save the pool owner money.


  • This pool heater is very affordable.
  • It’s economical and environmentally-friendly.

  • It’s not as robust of a heating system as other pool heaters.

Also Consider: Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System

Another solar pool heater for above ground pools that we have no qualms about recommending is this one from Fafco. This system is called the Solar Bear Economy System and it’s a pool heater that’s designed to heat most standard-size above ground pools. This system comes with 4-foot by 20-foot solar collector, 1.5-inch barb connections, mounting bases and caps, mounting straps, rubber tube plugs, and a valve handle. That’s almost everything a person needs to set it up, although the pool owner will need to buy a 1.5-inch I.D flexible hose and ground spikes if they intend on installing it on the ground next to the pool.

For best results, the manufacturer recommends this unit to be tilted toward the South at an angle of 10-30 degrees and to have unobstructed access to sunlight from 10 in the morning to 4 in the evening. If the system is installed in an area that meets those conditions, then this heater does an amazing job of heating the water. However, if the area doesn’t meet those conditions, then the pool owner might be slightly disappointed by the results produced by this pool because it simply won’t be able to heat the water properly.

One of the things that took away from the value of this pool was the fact that it’s slightly more expensive than other solar systems we’ve reviewed. Not by much, but high enough that consumers might want to think about whether this heater’s pros outweigh it’s increased cost, at least, in their estimation. If it does, then this pool heater is sure to provide the consumer with energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly pool heating for many years to come. We found this system to be a nice solar power heater that does its job well.


  • Works well for most standard-size above-ground pools.
  • It’s energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly.

  • Costs a little more than other solar pool heating systems.

Above Ground Pool Heater

To make sure you can get the most out of your pool and extend the number of days you can use it, an above ground pool heater is a sensible purchase. Among the most energy-efficient when you buy certain types, they represent an easy way to raise the temperature of the water whether the air is still warm or not

Ideal for certain climates, they are only worth purchasing if you know what a quality product is capable of. To help make this decision easier, we have created the following above ground pool heater guide.

What To Look For In An Above Ground Pool Heater


Although above ground pools are often a bit smaller than the in-ground types, you still need the heater to be efficient. A lot will depend on the heating method with some using natural gas which is among the most consistent when it comes to power but it cannot beat solar-powered products for the value.

However, the initial outlay is more expensive with solar power above ground pool heaters but they don’t always generate as much power when the sun is not as prominent.

Using electricity to power an above ground pool heater is probably the most convenient and provides a reliable power source although it can be more expensive.

Heating Capacity

Once you have considered the size of your above ground pool and how much power the heater needs to get the water to a comfortable temperature, the heating capacity comes next.

The good news is that you don’t need as many BTUs as the in-ground versions but you still need to match it to the capacity of your pool. Go for something too powerful and you could waste a lot of money on energy bills, too small and it won’t heat the water enough.

Easy Installation

This is a major consideration as certain installation methods require an expert to do a lot of work. If you need to hook the above ground pool heater up to your mains or a gas pipe then it is often best to seek a professional to help.

Solar heaters are not as difficult to install but one thing to consider is how close to the poverty you have placed the pool.

Control Panel

The easier this is to use, the better. Most products tend to come with simple controls so you can pre-set a timer to heat the pool overnight or switch it to your desired temperature. 

If you can find one that monitors the temperature you can always make sure it is at a comfortable and safe level for swimming. 

Reputable Brand

Although it can be tempting to purchase a bargain, it is not always a sensible idea; When you are talking about attaching an above ground pool heater to the mains or gas supply, you don’t want to be working with low-quality materials or a product that is not known for durability.

This is why we recommend sticking with reputable brands.


As with any product you buy for your pool, you want to be sure you get a warranty. Even if it is only for a year or two, the coverage will give you peace of mind. Because even the most reputable brands are not immune to having the odd faulty product, it is a good way of protecting your purchase.

How Much Does An Above Ground Pool Heater Cost?

This depends on the brand and the power supply. Electrical units can be cheaper initially but are more expensive to run whereas a solar-powered product is more expensive to buy but will cost you a lot less.

Anyone who wants to buy a quality above ground pool heater needs to part with around $700 – $1,500. A lot of the time, the upper end of the scale is not necessary but to buy a product that is known for being durable and provide a reliable power source, $700 is your minimum/

Can You Buy A Heater For An Above Ground Pool?

The short answer is Yes! There are plenty of great options for above ground pools so you aren’t stuck with a handful of low-quality products.

There are almost as many choices as the in-ground versions with natural gas, electric, and solar-powered among the most common. 

Because they are heating smaller pools, they require fewer BTU’s and cost a lot less than the heaters for in-ground pools.

Solar Vs Electric

Although both have their benefits, your budget and size of the pool will influence which is better for you.

A solar power above ground pool heater will cost a lot more but on the plus side, they are cheap to run compared to the electric types. However, they are not so good when the sun isn’t shining throughout the day and since this is when you often need to heat your pool more, electric products are often considered to be a good option.

They give you a consistent and reliable power source which means you can heat the pool whenever you want.

Are Above Ground Pool Heaters Worth It?

If you want to get the most out of your pool, then an above ground pool heater is a must. Not only are they cheaper than the in-ground versions, but they don’t cost as much to run.

In the colder months, before you consider covering the pool up for the foreseeable, invest in a heater. This means that it doesn’t matter how long or short the summer is this year, you can always get guaranteed pool time.

How Else Can I Heat My Pool?

There are other methods for ensuring the heat stays in your pool. The most common is by preaching a quality above ground pool cover. There are different types such as a solar blanket that stops the heat from escaping whilst transferring the heat from the sun to the water. 

These products complement an above ground pool heater well and can mean it doesn’t have to work as hard, saving you money on your bills.



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