Whether you decide that you want a more eco-friendly way to heat up your swimming pool or you want a way to reduce your pool costs every month, solar pool heaters are a solid choice.
Adding this type of heater to your pool doesn’t have to be overly complicated, and it can give you a huge range of benefits.
Is Solar Pool Heating Worth It?
We believe that solar pool heating is worth it because it’s a way to significantly reduce your pool heating costs. They’re cost-competitive with heat and gas pump pool heating systems, and they offer very low annual operating costs. In fact, using a solar pool heating system is the most cost-effective choice you have available to keep your pool comfortable in many climates.
If you’re on the fence about solar pool heaters and you’re not sure if this is a good choice for you, you’re in luck.
We’ll outline how these heaters work, the different types, how much the system costs, benefits, and much more below to give you a clear picture of this setup.
How Solar Pool Heaters Work
Even though solar energy can sound very complicated, these types of heaters only need a few components to run, including a solar collector, sunshine, pool pump, pool filter, and a flow control valve.
If you already have a pool that you use, you most likely have a pool pump and filter, and this means that all you’ll have to have is a solar heating kit and an adequately sunny spot.
In order for this system to work well, the solar panels will require southwestern sun exposure for five to six hours every day. Most areas of the United States get enough sunshine for this to work well.
However, if you do live in a location where this much sun every day would be a challenge, you can utilize your solar energy by investing in larger solar panels so they can capture more of the infrequent light.
You currently can choose from three different types of solar collectors for your swimming pool, and they include unglazed solar panels, glazed solar panels, and polypropylene veined mats.
The glazed option is the most expensive out of the three, but you can use them all year-round. They feature an aluminum plate with strong copper tubing with an iron-tempered glass covering them.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have unglazed solar panels that feature heavy-duty plastic or rubber panels that feature UV-inhibitor protection.
These are much less expensive than the glazed models, but the most affordable and common choice most people take is the polypropylene veined mats. The mats or panels on this system will absorb energy from the sunlight and turn it into heat.
It’s important to note that each solar collector has a slightly different look to them, but they all lend heat to the pool in the same ways.
As your filtration system and pool pump run water through the solar collector, they transfer the heat to the water before pushing it back into your pool.
The systems also come with manual or automatic flow control valves and sensors that work to allow you to divert the water through your solar collectors when they’re warm or bypass them when your water gets to an acceptable temperature.
How Much Solar Pool Heating Costs
Many people wonder how much this system will cost, and they’re disappointed to see a large range between $2,500 and $9,000. This is such a large range, and the prices can swing wildly depending on the type of panels you want, the size of your pool, installation costs, and your available sun exposure.
It’s important to note that this system will cost you more upfront to buy and install, but the energy savings will very quickly make up for this cost.
You should know that even though solar-powered heat is technically free, you will still have to pay for any electrical costs that you incur with running your pool’s filtration and pump systems.
Benefits of Installing a Solar Pool Heater
When it comes to installing this type of system in your pool, you get several different benefits associated with it.
The first and most obvious benefit is that the whole system is very eco-friendly because solar energy is one of the cleanest forms of energy currently available because it doesn’t require you to use natural resources or produce harmful emissions. So, installing this system can significantly decrease your overall carbon footprint and your energy bills.
1. Minimal Disturbances
Even though you’ll most likely call in a professional team to take on the installation, it’s a bonus that most systems only take a few hours from start to finish.
You won’t have to sit around for a week at home and watch the company install the system for you, and you can enjoy your heated pool quicker.
Unlike having a gas heater, this one doesn’t require in-ground electricity, plumbing, or gas, so your landscape won’t get disturbed.
They’ll secure your piping and solar panels to your roof and to the exterior of your home using leak-proof anchors.
Solar energy has been popular over the past 30 years for providing warm running water and electricity to commercial and residential spaces, as well as heating pools.
There are no fans or motors on this system that you have to worry about breaking down, and it doesn’t have any heat exchangers that can corrode. Each system uses materials that are weatherproof, durable, and long-lasting.
3. Low to No Maintenance Required
Because this entire system is so reliable, your maintenance needs will usually drop or be non-existent.
Gas heaters will normally run fine for a few years after you install them before starting to have problems that require constant maintenance or repair.
However, when you have a solar heating system, it’ll never rust, short-circuit, or get blocked from dust particles.
The biggest thing that can happen to this system is that it’ll leak from one of the pipes, and this is simple and fast to fix.
4. Savings Opportunities
Solar is one of the most inexpensive options you have available on the current market when it comes to heating your pool. You won’t have to pay to run a heat pump with it because energy from the sun is free.
Most of the time, your system can get hooked directly into a pre-existing pump, so you don’t have to buy a special one.
The cost for the entire system and the installation process will usually pay for itself within three to four years of the initial install date.
5. Allows You to Enjoy the Pool All Year-Round
Another obvious reason why you’d want to heat your pool is so that you can enjoy it in the off-season.
Generally speaking, this heating system can bring your water temperature up by 15-degrees over the outdoor air in a few days.
In a sunny space, you can use this heater with a solar pool cover to bring the temperature up even more.
The solar system will heat the pool during the day, and putting a solar cover on at night will help to trap the heat in to make it warm whenever you want to use it.
We firmly believe that a solar heating system on your pool is absolutely worth it due to the huge range of benefits it entitles you to.
We’ve outlined a few and touched on the available systems, and you can use this information to decide if it’s the right choice for your pool.