Here's the heater situation -
Pool has an old Raypak heater, control panel is broken and there is a huge pile of rust inside from who knows what. The previous owners hadn't used the heater in about 8 years, so we are looking to replace it. Our options are propane or heat pump. I can get a replacement Raypak that's a direct fit for the old one from $1500 - $2000 that I can install myself. The quotes I've gotten for heat pumps are between $4000-5000 plus $500+ for electrical. Propane is currently about $1.90 / gallon. My thinking is that even if I spend $500 a season on propane I could get 6-7 years before breaking even on the cost of a heat pump / electric and by that time the heat pump may have crapped out anyway.
So my main question isn't on running cost comparison but what is more convenient in the midwest. We have an auto cover that does a decent job of keeping the heat in overnight, but obviously not as good as a solar cover. We don't need the water super warm, as we were swimming last September and early October in 70 degree water on the hot days. Would like to keep it around 80 degrees when possible. What do you guys like or dislike about your HP or propane heaters in midwest area? My main concern is for warming up the water for a bit in the early and late season. Do you find the noise of heat pumps annoying or do you eventually get used to it? I'm leaning towards propane, but if I end up burning through two 500 gallons tanks a season that will be a little pricier than I anticipated.
Thanks for any advice.