I was wondering if someone could give me a little guidance on the best way for heating my Endless Pool. The pool is indoor and above ground and is about 3000 gallons. Because my wife has back and nerve injuries, we keep the pool at about 98F. For the same reason, we only have a solar cover for times when the pool is not in use because a non-automatic retractable cover is too heavy for her to open. The pool is heated by a 5.5kw electric heater. The monthly damage is a $600 electric bill (rates are about $11.50/KWh).
We are considering putting in a gas heater (a Versa 55B Natural Gas Heater). Unfortunately, due to space and venting issues, putting in the heater is possible, but is also going to cost quite a bit (I expect around $4,500). But we will still have only the thermal cover so I expect we will just be paying the gas company rather than the electric company (though I expect gas would be at least a little cheaper vs. electric).
Our other option is an automatic retractable cover from Endless Pools and keeping the electric heater. This cover is fabric and completely encloses the pool, so I assume it will do a much better job at retaining heat, necessitating less heating time and better cost savings. That's $5,800 + installation, so I figure about $6,500. That cover is much thicker and I assume will be much better at retaining heat than a poorly fitting thermal cover floating on the surface.
So I was hoping someone here could give me a little advice or thoughts as to which would be a better investment since I probably can't do both right now.