How Much Do Pool Chillers Cost?

Written by Michael Dean
December 27, 2023

swimming pool next to a thermometer

Pool chillers are useful for keeping the water cool during the hot summer months. They work as air conditioners for your swimming pool. Depending on your location, you may consider getting a pool chiller to cool down on those summer days. But how much do pool chillers cost?

In this article, I will analyze the cost of pool chillers, including how much they cost on average, factors that affect pool chiller cost, how much it costs to run one, and more.


Main Takeaways

  • On average, a standalone pool chiller will cost between $2,500 and $3,500, but heater-chiller combo units will cost double that.
  • Factors that affect pool chiller cost include type, pool size, other pool characteristics, brand and model, and installation.
  • Running a pool chiller costs around $30 to $300 a month.
  • Other pool cooling methods include shade, fountains, waterfalls, misting systems, and pool covers.

How Much Is a Pool Chiller?

A pool chiller can vary widely in price. But generally, a pool chiller will cost an average of $2,500 to $3,500. However, heater-chiller combo units are super popular with pool owners who want more control over their pool’s water temperature. These combo units obviously have a higher price tag: around $6,000 to $6,500 at least!

However, it’s worth noting that your pool chiller can cost less or more, depending on a variety of factors, including type (as you can see above), capacity, installation and labor costs, the size of your pool, and more. Let’s take a closer look at all of these influencing factors.

Factors That Affect Pool Chiller Cost

Ultimately, the cost of a pool chiller costs depends on varying factors.

Type

Of course, as mentioned already, one of the biggest factors that affect pool chiller cost is the type of pool chiller you get. Namely, it matters whether you get a standalone pool chiller unit or a pool heater chiller combo unit. Generally, a standalone unit will cost between $2,500 and $3,500, whereas a combo unit will cost double that at $6,00 to $6,500.

Pool Size

Another major factor affecting the pool chiller cost is the size of your pool. Specifically, what’s important is the volume of the pool. For larger pools, you will require a larger pool chiller with higher BTU, which naturally translates to higher costs.

Other Pool Characteristics

Other pool characteristics, besides the size of the pool, can affect the pool chiller cost. For example, a shallow pool with black tiling and high exposure to direct sunlight would require a stronger chiller than a deeper pool surrounded by a lot of shade.

Brand and Model

The manufacturing brand is another critical factor in the cost of a pool chiller. Reputable, established brands are generally pricier than lesser-known, newer brands. The model and the features offered also determine the cost of the unit. For instance, brands like Hayward and Glacier can demand higher prices for their pool chiller units.

Installation

Finally, the installation costs, such as any costs for labor, plumbing, and electrical work, all contribute to the final pool chiller cost. Of course, if you decide to DIY install the pool chiller, this will cost the least amount of money. On the other hand, if you hire a professional, labor costs will depend on your location. However, most pool owners will shell out around $500 to $2,000 on labor.

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Pool Chiller?

Here’s the good news: Pool chillers are much more energy-efficient than pool heaters. The average monthly cost to run a pool chiller ranges from $30 to $300 per month, as pool chillers cost anywhere between less than a dollar to ten dollars to run.

Of course, the running cost highly depends on the type of pool chiller you have, the size of your pool, how energy-efficient it is, and how long you use it. Other factors that affect running costs include your desired pool temperature, local electricity rates, and exposure to sunlight. Pool chillers that are hooked up to solar energy will cost even less to run.

Other Pool Cooling Methods

If you’re interested in alternative pool cooling methods, here’s a breakdown of some popular options and how much they cost.

Shade

You can opt to install awnings or some kind of shade over your pool to reduce the amount of exposure to the sun. These are relatively easy to install and budget-friendly, with most options costing less than $1,000. The downside is that it might not be very effective during very hot periods, and the coverage area might be limited.

You can even opt for natural shade, such as the use of trees and landscaping.

Water Features

Another option to cool down your pool in the summer is decorative water features, such as fountains and waterfalls. Depending on their programming, they can create plumes of water to arc through the air, turning your pool pleasingly cool and fresh. They’re also aesthetically pleasing and can improve overall water circulation. The downside is they can be somewhat expensive, with costs ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on the design you go for.

Misting Systems

Misting systems are another alternative for you to consider. As you may be able to infer from their name, misting systems or aerators work by spraying fine mist droplets around the pool area, which cools down the surrounding area. These systems can cost $350 to $4,000 and are relatively easy to install. But on the downside, you might find them ineffective in humid environments and high in water usage.

Pool Covers

A very simple and low-budget solution is getting a pool cover, which will protect the water from heat and evaporation during the day. While it may not work actively to cool down the water, it saves you energy and is cost-effective, with many options available below $500. Plus, it has the added advantage of shielding your pool from falling debris.

Are Pool Chillers Worth It?

Pool chillers are not generally the most common investment for your pool, so the question is: Are pool chillers worth it?

As with most things, it really depends. If you’re based in a warm, southern region, a pool chiller may be more than worth it and can really add to the enjoyment of your pool. On the other hand, if you are located in an area with short summers, a pool chiller may be a poor investment, especially since pool chillers are definitely not the cheapest thing to buy for your pool!

Pools in states like Texas and Florida can really benefit from a pool chiller, as you can enjoy a consistently cool and refreshing pool temperature even when the temperature soars above 100 degrees Fahrenheit! Cooler water temperatures also restrict unwanted algae growth, saving you money on pool chemicals in the long run.

So, as you can see, ultimately, you have to evaluate your local climate and budget before you decide to go ahead and invest in a pool chiller unit. If you think you’ll be able to use it enough to justify the cost, then definitely consider buying it. But if you have a tight budget and/or you live in a milder climate, alternative solutions might be more suitable. After all, a pool chiller may be the most effective way to cool down your pool in the summer, but it certainly isn’t the only way!

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Pool Chillers: Keep Your Summers Cool

If a pool is too warm, it can be a real bummer for swimmers. After all, if you want to cool off, the last thing you want to do is sit in a pool reminiscent of a hot tub! For this very reason, pool chillers are an excellent solution for pool owners in areas that experience severe heat waves and extreme temperatures. 

Any further questions about pool chillers or other pool equipment that I can help you out with? Get in touch!

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