Pool Heater dilemma - need reviews/advice please!
Our pool is around 20 years old and we believe the heater was original (we bought the house 2 years ago). It is a Teledyne LAARS Oil fired heater. It worked the first summer we used it and then the next summer we had to get someone to service it and it worked fine for awhile. Last fall the heater overheated itself and literally melted a hole through the top and stopped working. It was close it our normal closing time anyway so we closed it up to be dealt with in the winter. We have not had anyone out to service it yet but feel it is totalled at this point.
So we are now stuck with ~300gallons of oil in our buried tank and have found one option for oil pool heaters online (Thermotron) but have learned that no one knows how to service them anymore. We would like to move off of Oil due to its high cost if we could, but are unsure of the costs associated with digging up our buried oil tank to replace with a gas tank, plus installing the new heater. Heat pumps are appealing in that they keep the temperature up all the time and cost less to run, but we are in NoVa so I'm not sure if they would really extend our season. We also have an attached spa so I'm reading in other posts that the heat pumps are not good options for heating them up quickly any night other than a hot summer one. I have read some posts on here about people using a heat pump for their pool and a secondary gas one for the spa to get it heated quickly which sounds like the best of both worlds. What is the cost associated with doing this? (knowing we'd have to get a gas tank as well). Any general advice of oil vs gas vs electric? Thanks in advance!