Propane vs electric to heat spa


Well-known member
Nov 23, 2019
Ok stay with me I'm talking this out to see if I may already know the answer. I live in Orlando Fl. Water added to our pool Jan 15 2020. Pool is 68 degrees weather lately in the 80s. We have no heating source connecting our spa. originally we were certain we wanted propane( had no intention of heating the pool just the Spa) Money is getting tighter with this project. My fear with propane is that it's cost prohibitive to actually use it other then very special occasions...we would leave it empty often rather then spend hundreds of dollars to fill it. With electric the upfront cost is pretty pricey but I feel like we might get more use out of the hot tub if the expense to run it isn't horrible and having the option for heated pool even if we only use it occasionally sweetens my lean toward electric. Does anyone disagree with my thought process.
My hope is we have a hot tub I want to use it and not feel so conservative with my useage


Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
Propane is pretty expensive, from what I hear.

Do you have any natural gas at the house to tap in to?

Have you looked at heat pumps? I will admit I have no idea how hot a heat pump could make a spa..... I like my hot tub HOT, not just warm. But I think you'll have more chances to use the spa if you go with electric heat over propane.

Maddie :flower:


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Try the Pentair Heatpump calculator web tool -

It gives a decent "Worst-case scenario" comparison of heat pump versus gas costs. If you know your propane and electric utility costs very accurately, you can override their default estimates. They also set the efficiency of a gas heater at 84%...that's brand new out of the box running in controlled lab environment numbers. Use 80% as a more realistic value.


Bronze Supporter
Feb 5, 2018
Rogers, AR
The house we bought about 3 years ago already had a pool with a spillover spa. The heat is provided by an electric heat pump and I was skeptical. I can now say I am happy with the heat pump performance and would not consider propane or natural gas. I can't provide an exact comparison as to efficiency but know many that have natural gas and they all complain when they get the bill after using the heater extensively. One thing to consider is convenience; an electric heater is much slower to bring up to temp than gas. My approximately 24,000 gallon pool will take about 8-10 hours to bring up the temp 10-15 degrees (warm season). The spa is about 1,000 gallons and it will warm to 100 degrees in 2-3 hours in the warm season (we do not use it in the winter). Heat times are much quicker for gas heaters.


Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
West Palm Beach/Florida
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
It depends on the size of your spa. We have a fairly small spillover spa attached to our pool. It could fit 4 people, but for just the two of us it is nice and roomy. We use propane to heat the spa and to date have never heated the pool due to cost. We have a 250 gallon underground propane tank. We wait for one of the propane distributors to have a special. Ferrell has one now for 2.29 (we have seen it go as low as $1.89) per gallon until the end of the month. We are going to fill up soon. A fill up costs about $400 and we typically do about 3 per year. We use the spa a LOT. We also have the propane hooked up to two mosquito magnets, the grill, and side burner, and an outdoor fireplace.

The nice thing is our heater will heat the spa to 100 degrees in about 20 minutes. I cant plan long enough ahead to wait 2-3 hours for a heat pump to work.
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