Pool Heating Cost Calculator - How Much Does It Cost To Heat A Pool In Australia?

Trying to size the heat pump for your swimming pool but not sure how big it should be? Use this pool heat pump size calculator to quickly work out the right size for your pool!

Note: Heat pump size calculations are very complex and the results depend upon on a number of assumptions. Take care when using this calculator and consider the results a rough estimate only.

Pool Heat Pump Size Calculator

Which months do you heat your pool?

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Pool Heater Per Day?

The cost to run a pool heat pump varies greatly based on the following:

  • Pool volume and surface area
  • Climate
  • Which months you heat the pool
  • Target water temperature
  • Whether you use a pool cover or not
  • Electricity price

It's quite a complex calculation, which is why I've made this pool heating cost calculator. You can use it to work out the estimated costs to heat your pool, based on your unique circumstances.

To give you a rough feel, let's look at an example.

Take a typical pool in Brisbane with a surface area of 36m² that is heated from November to March each year. The owner sets their heater to 26°C and covers their pool when it's not in use. The owner pays 27 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity.

For this pool, January will be the cheapest month, requiring only $310 of electricity, or about $10 per day. November will be the most expensive month, requiring $820 of electricity, or about $27 per day.

The owner could save a lot of money by lowering the temperature setting on their heater, or by not delaying heating their pool until December.

What Is The Cheapest Way To Heat A Pool?

Solar Cover

The cheapest way to heat a pool is to use a solar cover (the type with bubbles). These can be placed over your pool to allow heat from the sun to warm your water, while preventing heat loss from evaporation.

These covers are surprisingly effective and allow you to heat your pool for free (after you pay the upfront cost to buy the cover).

Solar Heater

The next cheapest way is to use a solar heater, which pumps water from your pool into a solar hot water system (like the type used for hot water in your home) and then returns it to the pool. You have to pay for the electricity to run the pump, but no electricity to heat the actual water.

Heat Pump

A heat pump is the next most efficient and cheapest way to heat your pool. They are much more reliable than the last two options, which both require plenty of sunlight.

They are still cheaper than direct gas or electricity heaters, because they use heat pump technology, which takes the heat from the surrounding air and transfers it to the water.

Thanks to this, they achieve efficiences greater than 100% (measured as their COP - Coefficient Of Performance).

Do Pool Heat Pumps Use A Lot Of Electricity?

Pool heat pumps do use quite a lot of electricity. They are often rated at about 10kW and run for quite a few hours each day.

How much electricity they use depends on how cold your climate is, whether your pool is covered or not, plus a few other factors.

However, most pool heat pumps can easily run through $10 per day in electricity - and even more in cold weater!

Should I Run Pool Heater Overnight?

While you might pay less for electricity overnight, it's generally not advised to run your pool heat pump overnight.

Pool heat pumps transfer the heat from the surrounding air to your water. They are much more efficient when the air is warmer, which is during the day.

While you might pay less for electricity overnight, your heat pump will be working much harder (due to a lower coefficient of performance) and therefore burning through more electricity, which negates this benefit.

If you have solar panels, it makes more sense to run the heat pump during the day anyway, so that's our recommendation.

Louis from Pool Advisor


A chemical engineer by trade, Louis is committed to debunking myths in the pool industry by explaining the underlying chemistry and making it accessible to all.