We currently have a non-working gas heater that didn't work when we bought the place last summer, the model of the non-working heater is a MiniMax N7 400,000 BTU unit, 80% efficiency. So for buying a new heater, is the best option cost efficiency wise to just buy a new gas heater?
Since we've never used it we don't have any historic costs to go by, but after looking at info about heating costs we were slightly shocked to hear that average annual costs are $2376 in Los Angeles (without cover @ 80 degrees) but that according to an article on ehow annual costs for heat pumps average $1210 in Los Angeles, but are those numbers really based on the high electricity costs in LA where even tier 1 starts at 13c/kWh and already at tier 3 it's up to 29c and tier 5 36c? Just by running the pump 3hrs/day we easily get up to tier 3 levels, so I'm not so sure about the cost efficiency of adding a pool heater that runs on electricity?!
We're not ready to go solar right now, since a pool solar heater seems to take up the better part of your roof, and then we could just as well do solar for the entire house first instead... and that's not something we have time to delve into right now...
Any other options? What does everyone here recommend, especially people in the socal area with similar climate, gas & electricity costs?