Solar Pool Heaters: What Are They and How Do They Work?

October 10, 2022

Solar pool heaters can significantly decrease swimming pool heating costs. They are inexpensive to operate and are competitive with gas and heat pump pool heaters. In warm-weather climates, solar pool heating is one of the most effective ways to use the sun for energy.

How Solar Pool Heaters Work

The Best Solar Pool Heater will include a solar collector. This device circulates the water that gets heated by the sun. They also contain a filter that removes impurities and debris in the water before it goes through the collector. The pump then circulates the water through the filter and collector and sends it back to the pool. Finally, a flow control valve sends pool water through the solar collector.

In hot areas the collector can also cool the pool by circulating the water through the collector at night.

What Materials Are Used?

People who use the pool when the temperatures are above freezing can choose an unglazed collector system that does not include a glass covering. They are thick rubber or plastic. Unglazed collectors also work in indoor pools in cold climates.

Glazed collectors are made of copper tubing on an aluminum plate. These materials are more costly, so a glazed collector will cost the consumer more. Glazed systems have heat exchangers and collect heat from the sun more efficiently than unglazed systems. Homeowners use glazed systems all year long.

Choosing a Solar Pool Heater

Solar Pool Heaters usually cost between $3,000 and$4000 to purchase and install. While that is expensive up-front, they often last longer than gas and heat pump pool heaters. Before deciding which kind to buy, evaluate the site’s solar resource, determine the best size and efficiency, and look at local codes and regulations.

Pros of Solar Heating Systems

Solar energy is free. Renewable energy from the sun heats the pool, and therefore energy bills will be lower. Solar heaters are always ready, unlike other heaters that can take hours or days to heat a pool. Solar works anytime the sun shines and the pool pump is running. The pool stays warm all season.

Solar pool systems usually come with 12-year warranties and have an expected lifespan of 15 to 29 years. Typically, the payback for using a solar pool system is two to three years. So, savings over the lifetime of the system are far greater than the investment.

Solar systems are excellent for the environment. They emit no air pollution and reduce a home or business’s carbon footprint.

Cons of Solar Heating Systems

Because solar systems operate with heat from the sun, they are less efficient on cloudy days and in the evenings. The pool will not heat as well under those conditions. Solar pool heaters are also more expensive upfront.

Solar heaters take longer to heat the pool initially. They can take several days to heat the pool before they maintain their set temperature. Gas heaters take energy from the home to heat the pool quickly. This is why monthly gas bills are much more expensive with a gas pool heater.

Solar pool heaters are durable, low-maintenance, and cost-effective in the long run. They are an excellent choice for recreational-use pools and can work year-round in warmer climates. They are an investment worth considering for pool owners.


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