Heating your pool or spa is becoming a very popular option to get the most time in the water as possible. Solar pool heating is the most common but not the most reliable method, pool heat pumps are becoming a popular choice for new installs, and Gas pool heating is used less frequently, although it is the most effective way to heat the pool all year round.

All these systems have their pros & cons, so in our brief article, we’ll run through the basics of each system so you can consider which may best suit your needs.

Solar Pool Heating

Rooftop pool solar tubes

Solar Pool Heating has traditionally been the most popular form of pool heating in Australia and is one of the most responsible, cheapest ways to heat your pool & energy-efficient pool heating options.

It involves running small, specialised black plastic pipes across your roof to collect solar energy (heat) from the sun and transfer it to the water into your pool.

The heating is commonly referred to as “free” as it’s from the sun, however, the water generally needs an additional pump to push it up onto the roof, which comes from your household power so it’s not really free

The downside and shortcomings of solar pool heating in our great state are that it is just not as reliable because it relies on sunlight which in Victoria is unpredictable particularly when you need to heat your pool the most ie: in spring and autumn. It is also ineffective in winter or in areas where there is limited sunlight. Solar pool heating is however very efficient at transferring heat into the pool when the sun does shine but if you have a few days of cloudy cool weather ahead of when you want to swim, your solar heating generally won’t be able to get your pool to a reasonable temperature leading to disappointment.

Inverter Pool Heat Pumps

Pool Heat Pump Melbourne Special OfferThermal Heat Pumps simply draw energy (heat) from the air and transfer that to your pool water using an electric compressor.

Heat pumps produce more heat than they absorb, “heat pumps can deliver up to 10-15 times as much energy as they consume driving the compressor!

This is referred to as the Coefficient of Performance (COP) which is the ratio of useful heating provided divided by the input power. So a leading-edge residential heat pump can deliver heat at 600% efficiency, compared with a gas heater at 50% to 95% efficiency.”


Heat pumps such as the Astral iHP or iHPt heat pump are an ideal alternative to solar for extending the swimming season a few extra months on either side of summer because they rely on ambient air temperature which is much more predictable than sunlight making it is much easier to maintain a consistent pool temperature throughout the swimming season

Depending on the size of your pool you may be able to extend your season beyond the normal 6-8 month solar swimming season. Heat pumps work better in warmer climates and are generally not as suitable for year-round swimming in the southern states but it is possible to swim all year round in pools less than 60,000L using a heat pump

Despite their name, heat pumps are not actually pumps, they still need water to be pumped through them the same as solar however in most cases it is possible to use the filtration pump to do this at the same time it is filtering which makes the system more energy and cost-efficient.

Contact us today about installing your heat pump and get a free pool cover & roller!

Gas pool heating

Gas pool heating works in a very similar way to boiling a very large pot on a gas-powered stove and emptying the water into your pool. It is highly efficient at producing hot water in a hurry, day or night, summer or winter

For larger pools, it is often the only way to guarantee you can swim whenever you want any time of the year. This is the major advantage of gas pool heating over solar pool heating, which is very much dependent on the external weather and environment. Gas pool heating can be installed anywhere with an accessible gas line or room to plumb one.

The major downsides of gas heating are that it tends to have high running costs if used exclusively. Additionally, the combustion reaction which generates the heat also produces carbon dioxide and releases it into the atmosphere.

Gas heaters are usually coupled with a solar heater or heat pump and a pool cover for a balanced approach to year-round heating.

Gas heating has traditionally been the heater of choice for heating spas as you can generally hop in the spa within an hour or so meaning you can make a last-minute decision to have a spa and not miss out.

However, heat pumps are becoming more common for spa heating, and most new portable spas are supplied with pre-plumbed facilities to allow retrofitting of a heat pump. Heat pumps are generally cheaper to run than the standard electric element in electric spas due to their C.O.P.

Pool covers

Swimming Pool Cover Melbourne

Covers are instrumental in keeping the heat in the pool, whatever type of heating you have. If you don’t have a pool cover, you’re wasting a lot of energy keeping the water at your desired temperature. Warmer water also evaporates faster, causing your water level to drop much faster.

Traditional bubble covers work well for outdoor pools as they not only retain heat but also allow the heat from the sun’s rays into the pool making your heating system much more efficient.

A thermal cover on the other hand retains more heat than a bubble style but does not heat the pool. They are usually only recommended for indoor pools or pools that experience a lot of shade as they do not last as long exposure to the elements and are more expensive than bubble covers.

Either option can save you hundreds of dollars in power and water costs each year.

Get your free pool cover when you purchase and Astral iHP or iHPt heat pump

Contact us today to discuss which system is best to heat your pool so you can start swimming earlier and longer this summer.