Cold swimming pools are a thing, even in blazing hot Mérida. 

If you’ve already made the investment needed for a pool, you might want to consider an extra step to make sure it is enjoyable all year round.

Pools are a popular addition to Yucatecan homes, and a water heater allows us to enjoy them regardless of the weather. Photo: Courtesy.

A heater is the best way to control your pool’s temperature. While they are certainly a big expense, they will add that much more value to your home. 

There are different types of water heaters, and they each come with their own challenges and advantages. Here’s a comparison on how they work and how they fare in Yucatán’s weather.

Electric Heaters

Diagram on electric pool heating system. Photo: Courtesy

Electric heat pumps work by pulling heat from the air and transferring it into the water. The air temperature should be at least 55º fahrenheit / 12º celsius for the pump to function effectively, which means Yucatán would have no problem with this type of heater.

They are far less expensive than their gas and solar counterparts, both in upfront cost and installation. However, the overall cost of an electric heater can be much higher, because energy costs here are high.

On the bright side, they are the most reliable heater in the market. Solar heaters depend on bright weather and gas heaters are unstable at extreme temperatures, which makes them an iffy option for Yucatán. And some models allow you to pump both warm and cool water, a valuable feature for those who enjoy cooler temperatures. 

Prices for this type of heater are usually between $5,000 and $20,000 MX, depending on their size and built-quality. Installation fees tend to start at around $50,000 MX.

Solar Pool Heater

These types of heaters use solar panels to heat the water. As they absorb heat and energy from the sun, they transfer that heat into the water through a circulation system. Since we live in sunny Yucatán, these are an attractive option to consider.

Diagram on solar pool heating system. Photo: Courtesy

As with most solar-powered electric systems, relying on the sun means enjoying important savings when it comes to electric bills. Unfortunately, the initial investment and installation fees are rather high.

Another downside is the space needed for the equipment. They usually measure at least half the size of the pool’s surface. They are typically installed on the roof, an important thing to consider if you’re planning future additions to your home.

Prices for this type of heater tend to start at $10,000 MX, but because of the process necessary for their installation, fees are usually around $70,000 MX.

Gas pool heaters

Diagram on gas pool heating system. Photo: Courtesy

A typical gas pool heater burns natural gas or propane in a combustion chamber. This heats copper coils that circulate the pool water, warming it as it returns to the pool. 

Unlike solar or electric heaters, they do not rely on sunlight or air temperature to operate, which makes them more appealing for people living in colder climates.

Their main downside is that they are rather expensive to operate, as they consume fuel to heat the water and electricity to keep it pumping through the system. Of course, you don’t need to run gas heaters all year round, but it will cost more than solar or electric options when you do it.

Another downside is that they are much less environmentally friendly, and have a much shorter lifespan, lasting only around five years.

Prices for this type of heater are usually between $7,000 MX, and the installation fees can run you as much as $30,000 MX.

Where to buy water heaters

  • José Barroso is a national brand specialized in pool-related products. Their selection for water heaters is wide, and they ship to all of México.
    Contact: (999) 611-87-39
  • Hydrotrol is a Yucatecan brand selling all different sorts of water treatments, including pool heating equipment.
    Contact: (999) 941-70-63
  • Anha is another local brand specializing in pool treatments and products. They also offer maintenance services and chemical products.
    Contact: (999) 926-20-91
  • More commonly known home-based stores, such as Boxito and Home Depot, also offer their own selection of brands and products.
    Contact Boxito: (800) 002-69-48
    Contact Home Depot: (999) 942-05-00