The Pros and Cons of Natural Gas Heaters vs Heat Pumps: What Is the Best Option for Your Home?

Are you confused about choosing a heating system for your pool? Quite honestly, both natural gas heaters and heat pumps are reliable and valuable choices but when it comes to your pool, which one is best suited for it? While natural gas heating systems are reliable and efficient, heat pumps are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Don’t worry! In this article, I will go into detail about both types of heating systems and help you make the right choice for your pool.

Exploring the Benefits Of a Natural Gas Heater

A natural gas heater is a much more efficient way to heat your swimming pool for shorter periods of time. It can easily heat your swimming pool as well as your spa in just a few minutes.

Moreover, it is excellent for relatively colder climates that get below 45 degrees Fahrenheit because it doesn’t rely on any external air for its function.

Natural gas heaters primarily run on gas so you will need gas lines installed for its functionality. The size and length of your gas lines will determine the appropriate size of the heater that would be ideal for your swimming pool. 

The time duration for which you will have to run your heater will essentially depend upon whether you are heating just your pool or also your spa. The running time also depends upon your heating requirements the pool and the initial temperature of the pool.

Natural gas heaters come in LowNox models, which make the heater more efficient.  If gas is expensive in your neighborhood, or you have a solar panel installed, you may want to budge towards getting a heat pump instead since it will be more cost and energy-efficient for you in the long run.

The Advantages Of Installing a Heat Pump In Your Home

Swimming pool heat pumps are efficient and environmentally friendly.  Heat pumps tend to have a lower annual cost of operation when compared to gas heaters.  They also seem to have a longer life span. 

Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the outside air, and then utilizing a compressor to amplify the heat. It then allows the water to pass through the pump.

As the water passes through the amplified heat, it gets warm. Each time, the water passes through the pump, it gets warmer by 3 to 5 degrees. The cold air that the pump extracts from the initial cold water are ejected out of the top of the unit.

If you live in a region that gets below-freezing temperatures, then a heat pump is not suitable for you since it mainly functions on extracting heat from the atmospheric air. However, if you plan to use your swimming pool only in the summer when the temperature gets up to 45 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, then you can certainly opt for this heating system.

Heat pumps are compact but they are not as efficient as gas heating systems. Thus, for them to be functional, they need to be left on to maintain the water’s temperature.

Moreover, heat pumps are ideal for people who have lower electricity costs or solar panels installed in their homes since they would be applied to provide a constant electric supply for the functionality of the heat pump.

Comparing the Pros and Cons Of Natural Gas Heaters vs Heat Pumps:

The natural gas system and heat pumps are both highly efficient heating systems. The natural gas system is inexpensive, operates mainly on gas, and is highly compact and energy efficient.

While heat pumps on the other hand are much more environmentally friendly, have low maintenance and heating costs, and are easily combinable with other heating systems.

Natural Gas Heating System:



Compact and energy-efficient

Expensive installation

Reliable and inexpensive

Emission of harmful gases such as CO2

Provides instant heat and precise temperature control

Requires higher maintenance

Heat Pumps:



Environmentally friendly

High electric bills

Sustainable in long-term

Power outages can be harmful to the device

Flexible, controllable and relatively quieter

Difficult to install and not suitable for every house


Which is Better for Your Home: Natural Gas Heaters or Heat Pumps?

In all honesty, natural gas heaters are the ideal choice of heating systems for a house. This is mainly due to the fact that they allow the recirculation of hot air through the entire ductal system of the house and keep it warm and cozy.

Natural gas heaters are also preferable to heat pumps for houses because they are much more energy efficient and can reduce your heating bills by up to 70%. Moreover, they are very safe and easy to operate.

Heater Sizing

All heaters, including gas heaters and heat pumps, utilize British Thermal Units (BTUs) to determine the “size of the heater”.  It mainly refers to the heating output.

In a nutshell, how quickly will your heater heat the water? The higher the BTU of your heater, the better and quicker it will be at heating your swimming pool. If you are looking for a heater, you should opt for the largest BTU your swimming pool can accommodate.

That way, you can run the heater for less time and be energy efficient whether it's gas or electricity.

Prices on Heaters

Heaters are not cheap. They are highly compact and energy-efficient and thus have higher costs in the market.

At your local swimming pool supply store, a natural gas heater costs around $4,000. However, heat pumps have a higher price range from $3,000 up to $15,000.

If you have decided to get a heat pump for yourself, then I would recommend that you go with one that is branded and highly efficient to serve your pool-heating needs. Surprisingly, this doesn’t mean you have to spend crazy amounts of money.

You can get a Nationally known ComforTemp amazing-quality heat pump for about half of what your local swimming pool supply store would sell a branded heat pump for.

hese heaters are efficient, energy-saving, and fast acting! My favorite part is the self-diagnosing feature that keeps your machine running smoothly as long as possible.

Check out these high-quality heat pumps here and choose the right heater for you!