Swimming fun in home pools is often ruined by cold weather. But solar pool heaters allow swimming in pools during the entire season, no matter what the weather is like. There are different types of solar pool heaters available and comparison is always important. We compared the best solar pool heaters and solar pool heating panels for your home pool.
How to take care of a solar pool heater?
Today’s solar pool heaters are extremely easy to control and maintain. They are very reliable and usually have automatic controls that are easy to set and understand. Since there is no operating cost and generally no maintenance cost, the solar pool heater is the most economical way to heat your swimming pool.
How long do solar pool heaters last?
On average, solar pool heating panels should last about 20 years. Sometimes, if made out of good quality materials and well maintained, they last much longer. Most solar pool heater manufacturers offer a 20-year warranty for their solar panels and solar heating systems. Some even offer a lifetime warranty.
What do solar pool heaters cost?
The price of a solar pool heater depends on the quality and size of the solar panels. There are relatively cheap solar mats, which are a few square meters in size and for smaller pools. There are however also larger solar panels which are much larger and go for a few hundred euros. Larger panels need enough space, but they do heat large pools without a problem.
How do solar pool heaters work?
Similar to solar fountains or solar showers, solar pool heaters use the energy of the sun to heat the pool water. Special solar collectors or space-saving solar domes are integrated into the filter circuit of the pool and simply placed in the garden. The pool water flows through the pipes and heats up while doing so. The solar pool heating uses this energy to heat the water in an environmentally friendly way and without any additional electricity costs. Easily mount your solar panels on the house or garage roof and are barely visible.
Top solar pool heaters
|SmartPool S240U Universal||240 x 27.5 x 16||18 Pounds|
|GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO||27.6 x 5.9 x 44.9||18.3 pounds|
|Fafco Solar Bear||55 x 15 x 15||40 pounds|
|SunQuest Solar Heater|
|31 x 16 x 16||43 pounds|
|Kokido Keops Solar||23.2 x 23 x 11.2||14.9 pounds|
Smart Pool sun heater works for both above grounds and in-ground pools. It uses the sun’s heat to heat the pool water. Composed of a black polyethylene solar panel that measures 2 by 20 feet, the solar pool heater is designed to effectively capture the suns heat. Easy to fit small place that’s why you can easily place your other tools like pool lounge chairs or pool pump easily set.
Installation of the solar panels is very easy and you or a professional can install it yourself. With a trilingual installation manual, your installation will be easy. You can easily install the solar panels on a roof, a solar panel rack, on the ground or on a fence. The pool heater uses existing pool pumps to move the water into the tubes and back in the pool – therefore no extra expenses arise from tubing and pumps. The quality of the materials is ok for the price you pay.
Pool water, after running through a filter, will run through a couple of tubes in the panel and then back to the pool after absorbing the heat of the panel. This leads to an increase in the pool temperature of up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit on a sunny day. Flowing through a one header hole for each heating tube, the Smart Pool Universal Sun Heater is a direct flow system.
In total, the SmartPool S240U Universal Sun Heater will really do the job for you. It is very affordable and has absolutely no costs aside from the acquisition cost. It heats the pool very well and is installable by a handyman or professional, or by yourself. With the quality of the materials, there is however a high chance that this solar heater won´t last 20 years.
Game SolarPro Curve Solar Pool Heater is using a design optimized to capture the heat from the sun all day long. It’s a nicely finished curved solar panel that fits in any backyard without taking up too much space. Constructed from a blow-molded plastic frame, the curved panel stores the sun’s heat without taking up much space.
This DIY solar pool heater very easy to install and this system is ready to use in just a couple of minutes without the need for a professional. Due to the short tubes that come with the Game SolarPro Curve Solar Heater, you will have to place the solar panels right next to the pool. For a different placement of the solar heating system, you will have to purchase extra-long tubes. No matter if installed for inground or above ground pool, it will provide an increase in temperature of the pool by roughly 5° Fahrenheit on pools up to 8,000 gallons in just 5 days. The adjustable and foldable legs allow the heater to be set for maximum exposure to the sun, along with a clear cover that locks in heat.
A big plus aside from the very affordable price and the quick set up is the fact that you can combine each SmartPool Sun heater with multiple units in order to generate even more heat.
#3. Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System
Manufactured by the premier company in the solar business, the Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System is a smaller and more affordable version of the Solar Bear Plus System. This system only works for above the ground pools. To use, mount the solar heater on the ground, on a rack, or a nearby roof. Made of U.V. stabilized polyethylene that is very tough and will last many seasons under direct sunlight, the system offers great durability. The solar heater comes complete with an integral bypass valve, so you can turn them on and off as needed. Also included are two 6-feet hoses and four clamps to hook the system up to your filtration system.
Fafco Solar pool heating system comes with a 10-year warranty and complete installation and user’s manual. With the correct and sun-facing setup, the Fafco System can increase the temperature by up to 10 Degrees Fahrenheit in less than 2 days. To reach higher temperatures even fast, combine it with another system. It is often considered as the best solar heating system for above the ground pools on the market.
Optimal heating with unobstructed sunlight will be achieved between 10 am and 4 pm. Performs most effectively when tilted 10 to 30 degrees to the South.
#4. SunQuest Solar Pool Heater with Couplers
The SunQuest Solar Swimming Pool Heater is very large and bulky, but thanks to its large size it is able to generate more heat for the pool. A lot of things really stand out about this pool heater. It has two-inch OD headers that work to improve the circulation of your water. Not only does this put less pressure on your pump, but it also helps to increase the water temperature evenly. SunQuest solar pool heater is a very affordable solar heater. It is compatible with both in-ground and above-ground pools and has a design for easy installation without a lot of concern.
Water temperatures rise with this solar heater by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit and possibly even more with direct sun exposure. Because this heater comes with two 20 feet solar panels, this heater even heats up very large pools in little time. When both panels are connected to a smaller pool, temperatures can rise even more than the above mentioned 10 degrees. Max-Flow design with 2″ OD headers assures a better water circulation and less back pressure on your pump.
Installation of this solar pool heating system is simple and doesn’t take much time. The Solar panels can be mounted on a roof, or on a rack close to the pool. However, as mentioned before, they do take up a lot of space. The tubes from the panels connect very easily with existing water pumps, and the entire system doesn’t need maintenance.
#5. Kokido Keops Solar Dome Above Ground Swimming Pool Water Heater
Overall, this isn’t the best performing solar pool heating system, but when it comes to the extremely low price and the output and the size, this is a great system for your above the ground pool.
Although it doesn’t require large solar panels to heat the water, the Kokido Keops Solar Dome channels heat from the sun into your pool. The system is very easy to connect with the pump, it doesn’t require any additional adapters like some other solar heating systems, and it raises the temperature of the water between five and seven degrees Fahrenheit in just 2 days of sun. If that doesn’t sound like much, keep in mind that many solar heaters twice the cost and five times the size only add about 10 degrees. That makes the Kokido Keops one of the more cost-effective units above the ground pools currently on the market.
Suitable for pools up to 8000 Gallons of water, upgrade it easily to heat even larger pools with multiple units, or larger units.
Buying Guide / How to choose solar pool heaters
Generally, you should take care of all types of solar pool heaters – for both inground and above ground pools – to match the size of the pool. Otherwise, it may happen that the healing power of the solar pool heater panels is not enough to heat the entire pool. Also, pay close attention should when buying a solar pool heater for the quality of the material. This is important so that the lifespan of your pool heater is very long. Consider the intensity of care and maintenance of a solar pool heater when purchasing. Solar pool heaters are a lot less maintenance-intensive than pool heaters with a heat pump powered by electricity of gas.
Pool Size: It is important to mention that no matter what kind of pool or pool size you have, you can install a solar pool heater to increase the water temperature. For most pools, the solar pool heaters will be very easy to install. Only for some types of pools, it can be a challenge which professionals have to complete.
Most solar pool heaters can heat your pool all year long. A properly sized solar system with unglazed solar panels heats your pool to comfortable temperatures between 78°F and 85°F in summer months. Yet, the amount of heating and temperature of your heated pool depend on the amount of sunlight you receive during colder months. We suggest using a pool cover or blanket in colder months in order to avoid heat loss through the water surface.
Payback of a solar heating system for your pool will come anytime between 2 or 3 years after your purchase and installation in comparison to a gas or electric pool heater. Installation of a new solar pool heating system can take anywhere from one to three days, depending on how large the solar panels are and whether any trenching or concrete work will be done.
You can use solar pool heaters for both above ground pools and in-ground pools. Heaters will work equally as well for both types of pools. When installed, solar pool heaters will not affect your pool chemicals. When your pool reaches warmer temperatures, you will need more chlorine to keep algae away.
Final verdict + editorial Choice
There are many ways to heat up the pool water during the swimming season. Solar pool heaters offer the most advantages since they heat up quickly and climate-friendly, are low-maintenance and inexpensive to buy. When planning and purchasing solar pool heating, always consider the right ratio of heated pool water and solar area. There are small solar mats for next to the pool and large solar collectors, which you can mount on the house or garage roof. It is also very important to consider whether you are trying to heat an in-ground pool or an above the ground pool.
Making the editor’s choice for an inground pool is a simple task – SmartPool S240U Universal Sun heater – this solar pool heater really has it all. It’s very affordable heats the pool well and doesn’t use up too much space. The only downside is not excellent material.
Our choice for the best above the ground solar pool heater is the Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System. It has everything you need for an affordable and easy to set up a system that works well.
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