How to Heat an Above-Ground Pool?

21 minutes read

Heating an above-ground pool is essential if you want to extend your swimming season, especially during cooler weather. There are a few different ways to heat an above-ground pool, and the method you choose may depend on factors like your budget and the climate in your area.

  1. Solar Covers: Using a solar cover is one of the most economical methods of heating an above-ground pool. These covers are made from a special material that traps the sun's heat and transfers it to the pool water. Solar covers can raise the water temperature by a few degrees, but they work best when used consistently and in combination with other heating methods.
  2. Solar Rings or Sun Squares: Similar to solar covers, solar rings and sun squares are floating devices that harness the sun's heat to warm the pool water. These devices are placed directly on the water surface and can raise the temperature by a few degrees.
  3. Solar Panels: Installing solar panels is a more substantial investment, but it provides a reliable source of heating for your pool. Solar panels harness the sun's energy and convert it into heat, which is then transferred to the pool water. The panels are typically mounted on the roof or the ground near the pool, and the water is circulated through them to be heated before returning to the pool.
  4. Heat Pumps: Heat pumps are another popular choice for heating above-ground pools. They operate by using electricity to extract heat from the surrounding air and transfer it to the pool water. Heat pumps are energy-efficient and can maintain the desired water temperature regardless of the weather conditions. However, they can be more expensive to purchase compared to other heating methods.
  5. Gas Heaters: Gas heaters offer a quick and efficient way to warm up your above-ground pool. These heaters run on natural gas or propane and can heat the water to the desired temperature within a short period. However, operating costs may be higher compared to other heating options, and gas heaters require a proper gas line installation.
  6. Electric Resistance Heaters: Electric resistance heaters are relatively simple to install and use. They work by passing an electric current through a heating element, which then warms up the water as it flows through the heater. While electric resistance heaters can effectively heat above-ground pools, they tend to have higher operating costs compared to other methods.


When selecting a heating method for your above-ground pool, consider factors such as cost, climate, and personal preferences. Combination approaches, such as using solar covers or rings in conjunction with a heat pump, can also help optimize pool water temperature and energy efficiency.

Best Above-Ground Pools of 2023

1
Bestway: Steel Pro MAX 15' X 48" Above Ground Pool Set - 4231 Gallon, Outdoor Family Pool, Corrosion & Puncture Resistant, Includes Filter, Pump, Ladder & Cover

Rating is 5 out of 5

Bestway: Steel Pro MAX 15' X 48" Above Ground Pool Set - 4231 Gallon, Outdoor Family Pool, Corrosion & Puncture Resistant, Includes Filter, Pump, Ladder & Cover

  • All ages will enjoy swimming and splashing all summer long in this 15-foot by 48-inch round above-ground pool; Includes a model 58388E 1,000-gallon filter pump, a ladder, and a pool cover
  • Built with a steel frame that is held together with FrameLink System to provide remarkable strength and connection
  • DuraPlus enhance 3-play PVC liner with an elegant design that provides a support band for additional stability to the pool wall for ultimate durability
  • Simple assembly and take-down process for off-season storage; No tools are required to connect the hose to the flow control valve to efficiently drain the pool water
2
INTEX 26355EH Ultra XTR Deluxe Rectangular Above Ground Swimming Pool Set: 18ft x 9ft x 52in – Includes 1500 GPH Sand Filter Pump – SuperTough Puncture & Rust Resistant – Easy to Assemble

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

INTEX 26355EH Ultra XTR Deluxe Rectangular Above Ground Swimming Pool Set: 18ft x 9ft x 52in – Includes 1500 GPH Sand Filter Pump – SuperTough Puncture & Rust Resistant – Easy to Assemble

  • EXPERIENCE THE ULTRA DIFFERENCE – Uniquely designed frame combines high quality galvanized steel with precision engineered locking system, enhancing the overall quality, durability and stability of the pools; 2 year warranty included for peace of mind.Age grade: 6+.Age Grading: 6+
  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE – Ready for water in just 60 minutes; Ultra XTR pools are designed with an Easy Lock System, making it easy to assemble; frame components simply snap together with no locking pins or additional tools needed
  • RUST RESISTANT – Encapsulated with inner and outer powder coating ensures the ultimate resistance to rust; the T-Joints are engineered for high strength and infused with UV inhibitor to ensure weather resistance and long service life
  • SUPER-TOUGH – Made with puncture-resistant 3-Ply PVC material, this pool is built to resist the wear and tear of summer fun; in case of any damage, a patch is included for easy fixes
  • KRYSTAL CLEAR SAND FILTRATION – The included Krystal Clear Sand Filter pump (#26643EG) provides excellent water filtration as the 6-function control valve allows the pool owner to: filter, backwash and rinse, recirculate, drain and close the system
  • REMOVABLE LADDER – The Ultra XTR pool includes a removable ladder that has a coated steel frame to prevent rust; Hi-impact steps for ease of getting in and out of the pool; included pool cover to keep debris out and ground cloth for added protection
3
Bestway Power Steel 24' x 12' x 52" Rectangular Metal Frame Above Ground Swimming Pool Set with 1500 GPH Sand Filter Pump, Ladder, and Pool Cover

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Bestway Power Steel 24' x 12' x 52" Rectangular Metal Frame Above Ground Swimming Pool Set with 1500 GPH Sand Filter Pump, Ladder, and Pool Cover

  • All ages will enjoy swimming in the 24-foot by 12-foot by 52-inch above-ground pool set, including a model 58498E 1,500 GPH sand filter pump, a ChemConnect dispenser, a ladder, and a pool cover
  • Steel frame construction increases durability and is held together with Seal and Lock System to provide remarkable strength and connection
  • TriTech enhanced 3-ply PVC liner provides a reliable support band for additional stability to the pool wall for all summer fun
  • Simple assembly and take-down process for off-season storage with no tools required to connect the hose to the flow control valve to efficiently drain the pool water
  • Disclaimer: Please review your HOA rules and restrictions before purchasing the product; Not all housing agencies permit private above-ground pools
4
Bestway Power Steel 18' x 9' x 48" Oval Metal Frame Above Ground Outdoor Swimming Pool Set with 1500 GPH Filter Pump, Ladder, and Pool Cover

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Bestway Power Steel 18' x 9' x 48" Oval Metal Frame Above Ground Outdoor Swimming Pool Set with 1500 GPH Filter Pump, Ladder, and Pool Cover

  • All ages will enjoy swimming all summer long in the 18-foot by 9-foot by 48-inch above-ground pool; Includes a model 58390E 1,500 GPH filter pump, a ladder, and a convenient secure pool cover
  • Built with a steel frame that is held together with Seal and Lock System to provide remarkable strength and connection
  • TriTech enhanced 3-ply PVC liner provides a support band for additional stability to the pool wall for ultimate durability
  • Simple assembly and take-down process for off-season storage; No tools are required to connect the hose to the flow control valve to efficiently drain the pool water
5
Funsicle 16ft x 48in Round Oasis Above Ground Pool, with SkimmerPlus Filter Pump & Ladder

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Funsicle 16ft x 48in Round Oasis Above Ground Pool, with SkimmerPlus Filter Pump & Ladder

  • LUXURY POOL EXPERIENCE: Ideal for up to 8 people – Perfect for families, socializing & swimming
  • SIMPLE SETUP: SmartConnect poles with convenient snap-in design
  • MADE TO LAST: Ultra-strong oval metal frame with anti-corrosive matte finish & durable non-phthalates liner
  • 2-IN-1 SKIMMER PUMP & ESSENTIAL ACCESSORIES: Comes with SFX1500 SkimmerPlus Filter Pump (with GFCI) & type C filter cartridge. Includes deluxe maintenance kit, pool cover, ground cloth & repair patch
  • CLIMB IN & OUT: SureStep Ladder included for easy pool access
6
Funsicle 14ft x 48in Round Oasis Designer Above Ground Pool, Dark Double Rattan with SkimmerPlus Filter Pump & Ladder

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Funsicle 14ft x 48in Round Oasis Designer Above Ground Pool, Dark Double Rattan with SkimmerPlus Filter Pump & Ladder

  • STYLISH LUXURY POOL: Perfect for families, socializing & swimming, with space for 6 to 7 people
  • SIMPLE SETUP: SmartConnect poles with convenient snap-in design
  • MADE TO LAST: Ultra-strong oval metal frame with anti-corrosive matte finish & durable non-phthalates liner
  • 2-IN-1 SKIMMER PUMP & ESSENTIAL ACCESSORIES: Comes with SFX1000 SkimmerPlus Filter Pump (with GFCI) & type C filter cartridge. Includes deluxe maintenance kit, pool cover, ground cloth & repair patch
  • CLIMB IN & OUT: SureStep Ladder included for easy pool access
7
Bestway Hydrium 15 Feet by 48 Inches Steel Wall Above Ground Swimming Pool Set with Accessories, Sand Filter Pump & Chemical Dispenser, Gray

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

Bestway Hydrium 15 Feet by 48 Inches Steel Wall Above Ground Swimming Pool Set with Accessories, Sand Filter Pump & Chemical Dispenser, Gray

  • Family-sized 15-foot by 48-inch round pool provides a place for kids and adults to enjoy summer fun
  • Ultra-durable galvanized steel wall, top platform, and supports provide superior rust and corrosion resistance
  • Embossed, textured woodgrain pattern on outer wall with realistic Prismatic Stone printing on the inner liner; Ultra-Violet coating protects liner from discoloration and cracking
  • Can stay assembled all year long without damage for seasonal convenience; Easy, 3-tool DIY setup; Screwdriver, wrench, and knife needed for assembly
  • Includes pool, sand filter, skimmer, ladder, ground cloth, pool cover, ChemConnect chemical dispenser
8
Funsicle 22ft x 52in Round Oasis Designer Above Ground Pool, Dark Double Rattan with SkimmerPlus Filter Pump & Ladder

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

Funsicle 22ft x 52in Round Oasis Designer Above Ground Pool, Dark Double Rattan with SkimmerPlus Filter Pump & Ladder

  • STYLISH LUXURY POOL: Perfect for families, socializing & swimming, with space for up to 11 people
  • SIMPLE SETUP: SmartConnect poles with convenient snap-in design
  • MADE TO LAST: Ultra-strong oval metal frame with anti-corrosive matte finish & durable non-phthalates liner
  • 2-IN-1 SKIMMER PUMP & ESSENTIAL ACCESSORIES: Comes with SFX1500 SkimmerPlus Filter Pump (with GFCI) & type C filter cartridge. Includes deluxe maintenance kit, pool cover, ground cloth & repair patch
  • CLIMB IN & OUT: SureStep Ladder included for easy pool access
9
INTEX 26339EH Ultra XTR Deluxe Above Ground Swimming Pool Set: 24ft x 52in – Includes 2800 GPH Cartridge Sand Filter Pump – SuperTough Puncture Resistant – Rust Resistant – Easy to Assemble

Rating is 4.2 out of 5

INTEX 26339EH Ultra XTR Deluxe Above Ground Swimming Pool Set: 24ft x 52in – Includes 2800 GPH Cartridge Sand Filter Pump – SuperTough Puncture Resistant – Rust Resistant – Easy to Assemble

  • EXPERIENCE THE ULTRA DIFFERENCE – Uniquely designed frame combines high quality galvanized steel with precision engineered locking system, enhancing the overall quality, durability and stability of the pools; 2 year warranty included for peace of mind
  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE – Ready for water in just 60 minutes; Ultra XTR pools are designed with an Easy Lock System, making it easy to assemble; frame components simply snap together with no locking pins or additional tools needed
  • RUST RESISTANT – Encapsulated with inner and outer powder coating ensures the ultimate resistance to rust; the T-Joints are engineered for high strength and infused with UV inhibitor to ensure weather resistance and long service life
  • SUPER-TOUGH – Made with puncture-resistant 3-Ply PVC material, this pool is built to resist the wear and tear of summer fun; in case of any damage, a patch is included for easy fixes
  • KRYSTAL CLEAR SAND FILTRATION – The included Krystal Clear Sand Filter pump (#26647EG) provides excellent water filtration as the 6-function control valve allows the pool owner to: filter, backwash and rinse, recirculate, drain and close the system
  • REMOVABLE LADDER – The Ultra XTR pool includes a removable ladder that has a coated steel frame to prevent rust; Hi-impact steps for ease of getting in and out of the pool; included pool cover to keep debris out and ground cloth for added protection


How to heat an above-ground pool without electricity?

Heating an above-ground pool without electricity can be a bit challenging, but here are a few options you can consider:

  1. Solar Covers: Invest in a solar cover specifically designed for above-ground pools. These covers absorb sunlight during the day and retain the heat, raising the temperature of the pool water. They act as natural solar heaters and can help increase the water temperature by a few degrees.
  2. Solar Heaters: Solar heating systems for pools are another effective option. They utilize solar panels to capture sunlight and heat the pool water as it circulates through the system. Although this method requires an initial investment, it can provide consistent heating throughout the swimming season.
  3. Black Hose Method: This is a simple and inexpensive method where you connect a black garden hose to a pool pump. Coil the hose in a sunny area and make sure the entire length of the hose is exposed to sunlight. The dark color of the hose absorbs the heat from the sun, transferring it to the pool water as it passes through. It may take a while to heat up the pool, but it can help raise the temperature.
  4. Heat Exchanger: If you have a wood-burning stove or another heat source at your disposal, you can use a heat exchanger. This system involves building a small fire and circulating the heated water from the heat source through the exchanger, which transfers the heat to the pool water as it flows through. It requires some plumbing knowledge and may only be suitable for certain setups.
  5. Use a Pool Blanket or Tarp: On cooler nights or during periods of no use, cover your pool with a pool blanket or tarp. This cover can help retain some of the heat accumulated during the day and prevent heat loss during colder evenings.


Remember that these methods may not provide as much consistent heat as electric-powered heaters, and the effectiveness will depend on various factors such as climate, sunlight availability, and pool size.


How to heat an above-ground pool with a pool blanket or cover?

Heating an above-ground pool with a pool blanket or cover is a relatively simple process. Here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Ensure you have a pool blanket or cover specifically designed to retain heat. Look for a solar pool cover, which is designed to absorb sunlight and transfer heat to your pool.
  2. Measure your pool's dimensions and purchase a pool blanket or cover that fits your pool size.
  3. Thoroughly clean your pool by skimming debris, brushing the walls and floor, and vacuuming if necessary. A clean pool will heat up more efficiently.
  4. Remove any pool accessories or toys from the water surface to maximize heat absorption.
  5. Trim the pool blanket or cover to match the size and shape of your pool. Ensure it covers the entire pool surface, including the sides.
  6. Place the pool blanket or cover on the water surface, making sure it is evenly spread out and free from wrinkles. You can also use a pool cover reel to help with the installation and removal process.
  7. Use a pool cover pump to remove any standing water that accumulates on the cover. This prevents the weight of the water from pushing the cover into the pool and hindering its heating efficiency.
  8. During daylight hours, keep the pool cover on to trap the heat from the sun. The cover acts as a barrier, preventing heat loss through evaporation and convection.
  9. If possible, position your pool in an area that receives maximum sunlight exposure during the day. This will enhance the heating effect of the pool cover.
  10. When using the pool, ensure the cover is removed completely and stored in a safe place to prevent any accidents.


By following these steps and properly utilizing a pool blanket or cover, you can significantly increase the water temperature in your above-ground pool.


How to heat an above-ground pool with a hot tub heater?

Heating an above-ground pool with a hot tub heater is possible, but there are a few things you need to consider and steps to follow. Here is a general guide on how to do it:

  1. Determine the heater size: Determine the size and capacity of the hot tub heater you have or plan to purchase. Make sure it can handle the volume of water in your pool. As a general guideline, you should aim for a heater that can heat the pool's water at a rate of 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit per hour.
  2. Calculate the pool volume: Measure or find out the dimensions of your above-ground pool to calculate its volume. You can use online calculators or formulas to determine the total gallons of water.
  3. Install the hot tub heater: Install the hot tub heater according to the manufacturer's instructions. Ensure it is connected properly to a power source and to the pool's plumbing system.
  4. Proper positioning: Position the hot tub heater in a location where it can efficiently heat the pool water. This might involve strategic placement to optimize heat distribution.
  5. Pool water circulation: Make sure the pool water is properly circulating to allow for even heating. If your pool has a pump and filter system, turn them on and ensure they are functioning correctly. If not, consider a separate system to circulate the water while the heater is operating.
  6. Adjust the temperature: Set the desired temperature on the hot tub heater according to your preferences. Take into account the ambient temperature, desired swimming temperature, and the time it will take to heat up the pool.
  7. Monitor and maintain: Regularly monitor the pool water temperature and make adjustments to the heater as needed. Additionally, ensure the heater is properly maintained by cleaning and inspecting it regularly.
  8. Cover the pool: Cover your above-ground pool with a solar cover or pool blanket when not in use. This prevents heat loss and helps retain the heat generated by the hot tub heater.


Remember, heating an above-ground pool is a gradual process, so be patient. It may take some time to achieve the desired temperature, especially if the ambient temperature is significantly lower than the desired swimming temperature.

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