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How Much is a Pool Chiller? Budgeting for the Pool Chiller Cost

  • 8 min read

There’s nothing worse than diving into your pool to beat the summer heat…only to feel like you jumped into a hot tub as soon as you plunge in. 

So many regions across the US rely on swimming to escape the summer madness, but those heat waves can quickly raise the temperature of your pool to an uncomfortable level.

That’s why investing in a pool cooler is one of the best things you can do, helping you enjoy swimming once again and restoring your outdoor oasis. But how much is a pool chiller?

It all depends on the specific chiller you’re looking at. The pool chiller cost varies widely based on factors like the technology behind the cooling, the size of your pool, brand/model variations, and of course, costs associated with installation and operation.

That’s why the best way to get an answer to what you can expect to pay is to browse our swimming pool chillers for sale. We have options starting as low as around $1,899! 

Or, get in touch for a personalized recommendation. We’re here to help you start enjoying your pool once again, no matter what Mother Nature sends your way. 

Factors Influencing the Pool Chiller Cost

Just as with the pool heat pump cost, it’s important that you understand the factors influencing the cost pool chiller - not just the upfront investment, but the installation and operational costs, too.

Types of Pool Chillers

The biggest factor influencing how much your pool chiller is going to cost is the technology it’s powered by. The key takeaway is that you get what you pay for - while some styles are more affordable upfront, they may not last as long and will cost more to operate. Here’s an overview:

Evaporative Pool Chillers: $1,000 to $3,000 

They work by blowing air over a water-saturated surface, which cools the air and then transfers that cool air to the pool water. This relies on evaporation, which can lead to water loss.

  • Pros: Generally more energy-efficient and cost-effective for smaller pools or moderate climates.
  • Cons: Effectiveness can decrease in high humidity environments, and regular maintenance is required to keep the cooling pads clean.

Mechanical Pool Chillers: $3,000 to $6,000

These operate similarly to air conditioners, using refrigerants to cool the pool water.

  • Pros: More versatile and effective in humid conditions. Suitable for large residential or commercial pools.
  • Cons: Higher initial cost and potential for higher energy consumption.

Hybrid Pool Chillers: $4,000 and $8,000

These combine both evaporative and mechanical cooling methods, leading to a higher pool chiller cost.

  • Pros: Offers the benefits of both types of chillers, providing efficient cooling in diverse weather conditions.
  • Cons: More complex systems that may require more maintenance.

Size and Capacity

Capacity is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). The higher the BTU rating, the more cooling power the chiller has, which is necessary for larger pools or higher cooling demands. This comes at a cost, though:

  • Small Residential Pools: Smaller chillers for pools up to 15,000 gallons typically range from $1,000 to $3,000.
  • Medium Residential Pools: Expect to pay $2,000 to $4,000 for pools between 15,000 and 30,000 gallons.
  • Large Residential and Commercial Pools: These require more powerful chillers, with costs ranging from $4,000 to $8,000 or more.

Brand and Model

Some brands cost more than others with seemingly identical technology and specifications - but what you’re paying for is the reputation behind the manufacturer. 

For example, an AquaCal chiller is one of the most trusted choices in the industry, so you can rest assured you’re investing in lasting quality. This brand has been creating reliable pool equipment since 1981. Pentair is another great brand.

On the other hand, less well-known brands have to operate on tighter margins to compete with the more popular manufacturers. One example of this is Madimack or Gulfstream. 

We carry both these budget brands here at Outdoor Direct along with AquaCal, so we’ve got you covered no matter your budget. 

Across a brand’s different models, though, you may also find discrepancies in pool chiller costs as a result of features. Models with remote controls, smart home integration, and better build quality will be more expensive. Similarly, Energy Star-rated models have lower operational costs but cost more upfront.

Installation Costs

The cost to install your chiller is also something to consider. If you have plumbing and electrical skills, you might save money by installing the chiller yourself. Costs here can be limited to the equipment and basic tools.

But like we said in our guide on how to install a pool heat pump, this is something that’s best left to professionals. It will cost you anywhere from $500 to $1,500 depending on your installer and the complexity of the job, but you’re paying for peace of mind knowing the job is done right the first time around.

Operational Costs

Now, how much is a pool chiller going to cost to operate? We briefly touched on this earlier, and we also mention it in our guide on the cost to heat a pool per day

More efficient equipment has higher upfront costs with lower operational costs. Look for models with a high Coefficient of Performance (COP) rating to ensure you’re getting good value.

Operational costs depend on the chiller's energy usage, which is typically measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Lower consumption models reduce your monthly energy bills. We have a few models here at Outdoor Direct that cost as little as 75 cents an hour!

You should also budget a bit for maintenance costs. This includes cleaning filters, checking refrigerant levels, and inspecting mechanical parts. Budget around $100 to $300 per year for maintenance.

How Much is a Pool Chiller?

So, how much is a pool chiller going to cost you? As you can see, there are many moving pieces to consider along the way to that final price tag. Here’s a summary of what you can expect:

Factor Low-End Range Mid-Range High-End Range
Evaporative Chillers $1,000 $1,500 $3,000
Mechanical Chillers $3,000 $4,000 $6,000
Hybrid Chillers $4,000 $5,500 $8,000
Installation Costs DIY: $0 Professional: $500–$1,500 Professional: $500–$1,500
Energy Efficiency Low Medium High
Maintenance Costs $100/year $200/year $300/year

That being said, if you’re looking for a more specific pool chiller cost comparison, here are some of our most popular models here at Outdoor Direct:

So, take a look around and start to weigh your options. Again, you can reach out to our customer service team for a personalized recommendation to help you better gauge your expectations. In the meantime, allow us to explain why the cost of pool chillers is well worth it.

Is the Cost of Pool Chillers Worth it?

If you’re not sure you’re willing to invest a few thousand dollars into a better swimming experience, hear us out - because bringing your pool’s temperature down isn’t all a chiller does!It also protects other expensive pool equipment.

Enhanced Swimming Experience

Chances are the swimming pool was a big selling point in you buying your home. Or, perhaps you paid to have a pool installed in your backyard. Either way, what’s the point if you’re not able to actually enjoy it?

The cost of a pool chiller is a small price to pay for experiencing your pool to the fullest, actually getting the refreshment you need on those brutal summer days.

Prolonged Swimming Season

A pool chiller, especially one that’s equipped with pool heating capabilities as well, is a way to extend the swimming season - helping you start earlier in the spring and end later in the fall.

The ability to use your pool for a longer period each year maximizes your investment and provides more opportunities for enjoyment.

Protection for Pool Equipment

High water temperatures can cause wear and tear on your pool equipment, leading to more frequent repairs and replacements. A pool chiller helps regulate the water temperature to reduce the strain on pumps, filters, and other components.

Comparison With Other Cooling Methods

There are cheaper ways to cool your pool than a chiller. One of the most common is dumping a portion of the warm water and refilling it. You’ll be able to bring temperatures down by a few degrees every time you do this, but it’s time-consuming and wasteful.

Or, you could try adding ice to the water - which is again wasteful, given how often you’ll need to do this to maintain optimal temperatures all season long. It melts incredibly quickly in warm water and won’t make as much of a difference as you’d hoped.

Shading devices work too, but you still want to soak up the sun while in the pool - otherwise, what’s the point of being outside? These can be cumbersome, too.

The truth is, there is no better way to cool your pool than investing in a chiller.

Why You Shouldn’t Shop Based on Price Alone

While it might be tempting to choose the cheapest pool chiller available, it’s important to consider the long-term benefits and overall value. Less expensive models may have lower initial costs but can lack the durability, efficiency, and advanced features of higher-end models. 

Investing in a high-quality pool chiller from a reputable brand ensures better performance, lower operational costs, and greater satisfaction in the long run.

The good news? You can enjoy the best of both worlds when buying a pool cooler at Outdoor Direct - reliable performance at the lowest prices online.

Get the Lowest Prices on Pool Chillers Without Compromising Performance!

Here are some tips on getting the best deal and why you should shop with us.

Tips on Getting the Best Deal

  • Compare Prices and Features: Look for customer reviews and ratings to gauge performance and reliability. Pay attention to features such as energy efficiency, noise levels, and maintenance requirements.
  • Check for Seasonal Sales and Promotions: The end of the swimming season or major holidays are often when you can get the best prices. Keep an eye out for these sales to get the best deal on a high-quality pool chiller.
  • Consider Total Cost of Ownership: A lower upfront cost is appealing but it's important to consider the long-term expenses. Look for energy-efficient models that will save you money on electricity bills and require less maintenance over time.
  • Take Advantage of Financing Options: Some retailers offer payment plans so you can spread the cost of the pool chiller over several months. This makes it easier to invest in a higher-quality model without straining your budget.

Take Advantage of Outdoor Direct’s Price Matching Policy!

At Outdoor Direct, we are committed to helping you enjoy the great outdoors to the fullest, whether you’re relaxing on the patio or camping in the woods, or even chilling in your pool during those hot summer days.

That’s why we’ve curated a collection of the top models from the industry’s most trusted brands. We back them up with world-class customer service every step of the way along with the lowest prices available online - guaranteed.

Just like our pool heat pump collection, we offer a price-matching policy across our entire catalog. If you find a better price than what we’re presenting here just let us know!

We take other steps to help you get the best value in this investment like covering the shipping costs (which can be at least a few hundred dollars) along with the sales tax (exclusions apply).

So, whether you’re looking for the best pool heat pump with chilling capabilities or you only want a chiller, take a look at our catalog and find the perfect fit to elevate your outdoor enjoyment today.

Bringing Our Pool Chiller Cost Guide to a Close

So, how much is a pool chiller? We hope this pool chiller cost guide has left you with a clear understanding of what you can expect to pay to bring the temperatures down in your pool.

It all depends on the type, size, brand, and installation approach. You should also budget for ongoing costs to run the chiller, but when you invest in an efficient model like those at Outdoor Direct, the costs are marginal.

While the initial cost of pool chillers may seem steep, the benefits of a prolonged swimming season, equipment protection, and overall comfort make it one of the best investments you can make.

From classic chillers to pool heater chiller combo, AquaCal pool heater, and more, we’ve got all the equipment you need to make the most of your swimming pool year-round. 

So, what are you waiting for? Don’t compromise on performance to get a good deal. Shop with Outdoor Direct today for the best prices and top-quality pool chillers.