The Pond "Heater" Myth

Pond Heater or Deicer?

A deicer keeps a small area around it free from ice.

Often times people will want a "pond heater" when winter arrives. What they really want, however, is a pond deicer. What many people refer to as a pond heater is really not a heater at all.

At Cool Ponds, we have tried to educate our customers to use aerators for most of the winter to keep a hole in the ice. However, we have met with some resistance because some customers think the deicer (or heater) actually heats the entire pond when in fact, it does not. The deicer is simply meant to heat a small area on the surface of the water so that no ice will form around it. Most deicers are thermostatically controlled. They will come on when the water temperature is around 35 degrees and shut off at around 45 degrees.

There are times when it's very cold for an extended period of time and the aerator cannot keep up. For these times we do recommend having a deicer on hand. Simply put the deicer in the pond before cold weather then plug it in once it is needed.

Why not use a deicer all the time, then? The main reason is energy consumption. The deicers at Cool Ponds range from 250 watts to 1500 watts. An aerator uses between 4 to 8 watts. That's a lot less energy used! Plus, the deicer's thermostat is controlled by water temperature. The air temperature fluctuates a lot more than water temperature. It is possible for the air to warm to 50 degrees with the water temperature still in the 40's. The deicer will run when it's not necessary.

Ultimately, it's every pond owner's choice as to what makes them feel best over winter... the deicer or aerator. Just remember, you aren't heating your pond, and that's okay!

Thanks for reading!
Cool Ponds Co-owner


Anonymous said…
I think it depends on the severity of the cold of your area and the type of fish you keep in your pond (if any)! Laura @ Shirley Aquatics
Well, not really. No matter how severe or mild the cold or what type of fish... they are not heaters and are not sold as such. They are sold merely to de-ice. In some circumstances of really small ponds they may heat the entire pond, but that is not at all their purpose.

My point in the article is that they should not ever be treated as heaters. Ponds do not need to be heated. Fish are cold-blooded and able to adapt to cold very well.

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