Even though our planet has been blessed with vast oceans to enjoy a good long swim if one desires, many individuals prefer a swimming pool instead.
We all know that the living costs have increased rampantly in recent times, and the need to conserve energy and the cost spent on it is now more crucial than ever. If you are fond of swimming pools or have one of your own, looking for the best solar pool heaters is a wise decision.
The good news is that with the advancements in technology, humans have now manufactured environment-friendly solar-powered water heaters for pools that will maintain an ideal temperature not just in winters but throughout the year, and that too without burdening your pocket. To simplify this entire process, We have compiled this guide on the best pool solar water heaters that you can skim through and choose the best one according to your needs.
What is a Solar Pool Heater?
A solar pool heater is a type of heating device that harnesses the energy from the Sun to heat the water in your swimming pool. The water from the pool is forced across a special filter placed above the installed solar panels, which are either on the top construction or side of the swimming pool.
Solar heaters for the inground pool are the same as the traditional PV solar heaters. They have special pipes spread across the bottom surface of the swimming pool that ensure constant and uniform heating of the pool water. Many solar heating systems for swimming pools come with a special valve to control the flow, are equipped with sensors, and smartly operate, adjusting the temperature.
When you configure the temperature according to your needs, these sensors can measure the temperature of water generated from solar panels and adjust it according to your set value. If the water in the swimming pool is at a lower temperature, the heating device channelizes the water onto the solar collectors, which heat the temperature of this water. But when the water in the pool is warm or hot, the flow control valve switches off and reduces the amount of hot water being released into the pool.
Lastly, these pool solar panels are quite efficient, especially because the solar heating system is automated, and the process allows it to operate ideally and give you the desired output. So, you can enjoy a nice warm swim anytime you wish to.
Benefits of Installing Solar Pool Heater:
There are multiple benefits of installing solar water heaters for pool, but we have compiled the top 5 purposes of using these heaters, which will convince you to invest and install one. Keep reading ahead:
1. With solar pool heaters, you can enjoy prolonged swimming sessions compared to a pool with no solar pool heaters since the latter can only be used a couple of months in a year because, in winters, the water is water would be extremely cold.
2. Through a solar heating system, you will be getting nice and warm water even in the later months of the winter season.
3. A solar heating panel for pools allows you to conserve energy because they fetch power from solar energy reducing your expenditure on fuel expenses.
4. The solar pool heaters are environmentally friendly since they release no harmful exhaust gases and do not contribute to the rising global warming.
5. Lastly, the solar inground pool heaters do not have extensive maintenance issues or produce polluting sounds, making them budget-friendly and safe.
Best Solar Pool Heaters Reviews
(Inground & Above Ground Pools)
Read the reviews of the best solar water heaters for in-ground and above-ground pools that we have honestly and accurately reviewed for our readers so that they can make a smart choice for themselves according to their budget and requirements.
1. SunHeater Pool Heating System Two 2’ x 20’ Panels
The first one in our list of the best solar-powered water heaters for the pool is the SunHeater Pool Heating System Two 2′ x 20′ Panels, a universal solar pool heater specifically designed for swimming pools and has made quite a name in the market. It is particularly famous for its ability to transfer heat efficiently.
This solar panel heater for the inground pool has a smart design that is ideal and compatible with all kinds of swimming pools hence has been given the title of best inground solar pool heater available on the shelf for purchase. The SunHeater Pool Heating System can be used both above grounds and inground. Hence it has an added advantage.
The SunHeater Pool Solar Heating System is equipped with 2 X 20-foot solar panels that are portable because they are light in weight and high on durability. They are smartly constructed out of black-colored polyolefin, making solar panels well-equipped to fetch energy from sunlight and use it to warm the water in the pool. The process is further efficient with the water circulation system and patented tube.
Moreover, the solar heating panels are compatible with all kinds of pumps, so installing this solar pool heater would be easy. Hence it is considered one of the best solar heaters for above-ground pools. Some of the features of the SunHeater Pool Heating System are compiled below:
This solar pool heater allows your swimming pool to stay nice cozy, and warm through its special polypropylene heat collector.
It operates using its two adapters shaped like a threaded elbow.
The accessories that come with the solar pool heater have dour end caps, a roll of tape made of Teflon, four clamps of stainless steel, and a Solar Pill.
It operates on a system of Direct Flow.
- Can be installed both above ground and inground.
- A highly efficient water circulation system.
- It is safe for the environment.
- Simple to install.
- Conserves the cost of electricity because it harnesses energy from the Sun.
- The large-sized panels can be an issue if the space is small, like backyard pools, etc.
2. SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater 2 by 20-Feet
The next one on our best solar pool heaters list is SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater 2 by 20-Feet. It has an ideal panel size of 2’x 20′, covering an area of around 40 sq. Ft. This solar pool heater can heat your pool water temperature between 6 to 10 degrees. It is right to claim that this pool is a wise single-time investment for your swimming pool, making it ideal for both in-ground and above-ground swimming pools.
The solar collectors of this solar pool heater have a vivid design structure, ensuring that the maximum surface area gets exposed to the sunlight allowing it to harness as much solar energy as possible. They can work ideally for six hours on a full sunny day, while the venting system for winds helps secure panels in a specific position during windy days. The water is pushed over these solar collectors using the pumps in swimming pools.
The water is then warmed up on the solar collectors and circulated back to the pool, where the swimmer can enjoy a comfortable, warm swim on a cold day. Moreover, the heater has a fairly straightforward installation procedure that you can easily do yourself. Still, if your swimming pool’s size is large, you may need to invest in another connecting kit.
This solar heating system for swimming pools ensures that the pool water remains clean as it comes with a mesh wire cover that filters out the mud and fine debris. The solar panels are high on flexibility and can easily be installed on your house’s roof.
Lastly, SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater provides efficient absorption of heat that is retained for an extended time, especially with its added solar blanket. It is smartly designed using polypropylene material, ensuring that it remains light in weight and high on durability. All in all, it is a very budget-friendly option over a long period.
- This solar panel heater is constructed of highly durable construction material.
- The installation is fairly straightforward. You can easily do it yourself. No need to hire an expert.
- The pool heater can work with the already present swimming pool pumps.
- The construction material is flexible; hence you can easily install it on the roof or on the ground.
- The polypropylene material ensures that the solar pool heater remains lightweight.
- If you have a large-sized pool, you will need to buy an additional connecting kit.
3. Smart Pool S601 Pool Solar Heaters (Black)
Next on our list of the best solar heaters is the Smart Pool S601 Pool Solar Heater in color black. This product in our list is a complete definition of a complete packaged solar water heater for a pool usually installed on the home’s roof to have maximum exposure to the sunlight. In contrast, the output water from the solar pool heater comes at a high temperature.
These solar pool heaters consist of a high surface area, and with technologically advanced construction materials, this heater performs at maximum capacity. The one setback of choosing this model is that you will separately need to buy the installation kit apart from the Smart Pool S601 package. The solar pool heater works through the installed solar panel that can operate on all swimming pools and needs a pump.
However, you must keep in mind that you will still require the aid of electric power because the water needs to be pumped against gravity. These solar water heaters are avouched to be using the power of convection currents and vacuum to pump water against gravity; However, this is not entirely true because the water itself is too heavy to be pumped against gravity without the assistance of an electric current.
Once you realize that a pump with this solar pool heater is essential, you will come to know that this is a good fix. Especially on the days when the Sun is shining bright, the water generated out of this solar pool heater would be of an amazing temperature. Besides, the solar panel of this heater has a measurement of 48 x 1 x 240 inches. At the same time, its construction material is polypropylene, which is light in weight, making the solar panel corrosion-resistant or safe from wear and tear.
It is safe to say that with this solar pool heater, your swimming pool will remain warmed up the entire year for you to enjoy a nice, warm, and cozy swim anytime. It also has a highly efficient heating system that is high in durability. While its patented special design of the solar panels ensures that their exposure to the sunlight is maximum so that they can harness maximum solar energy.
The solar heater consists of many tubes that accumulate water from the swimming pool that flows through the swimming pool pump. One major upside of this model is that the solar panels in this pool water heater are simple to install in a few steps only. You can set them up on a simple surface where they can absorb maximum solar energy from the sunlight. You can further use a voluntary kit to help you install the solar panels on your roof or any special rack assigned for this purpose.
You can even install or set the solar panels on the ground where you are sure that sunlight would be sufficient. The Smart Pool S601p Sunheater Solar Heating System is a smart selection for any place with an inground swimming pool and can warm the temperature by 10 degrees!
- It is highly efficient in terms of absorbing solar energy.
- The installation of the solar panels is simple in 3 steps only.
- It is a cost-effective option in terms of investment.
- This solar pool heater requires very low maintenance.
- It needs an additional pump to send water to the panels.
- It can accumulate algae.
- If there are leaks, your roof can be damaged.
- You will need to remove it if your roof is under repair.
4. SunHeater WS220P S220 Solar Heating System 2′ X 20′ Panel (Black)
Now is the turn to discuss the SunHeater WS220P S220 Solar Heating System 2′ X 20′ Panel, one of the best solar water heaters for a pool on our list. The smartly designed solar pool heater has an elegant appearance in color black. It keeps the water in your swimming pool at an ideally warm temperature throughout the year for you to enjoy a long nice hot swim in any weather.
It has its solar heat collectors made out of polypropylene, which ensures that the panels remain light in weight and high on durability. The solar heater also comes with two adapters in a threaded elbow shape, while the entire package includes the hose clamps made out of stainless steel, end caps, tape made of Teflon, and special hoses for the second collector.
The installation of the solar heater panels is fairly simple because the installation guide or the manual is available in three languages; French, Spanish, and English. If your swimming pool is round and you have selected this mode of solar pool heater for your pool, then the following dimensions are recommended: 12 to 18 feet for One box, 21 to 24 feet for Two boxes, and 28 feet for Three boxes.
However, if your swimming pool is slightly oval, the following dimensions are recommended: 12 to 24 feet for one box, 16 to 25 feet for two boxes, and18 to 34 feet for three boxes. This polypropylene solar pool heater comes equipped with everything you need for a warm swim at any time of the year. It comes with a useful pool cover compatible with both types of swimming pools; in-ground and above-ground.
- This solar pool heater can easily prolong the time you require to use your swimming pool every year by a month or even longer.
- The solar panels for this heater are fairly simple to install.
- The major advantage is that this solar pool heater can increase the temperature of your swimming pool by 20 degrees, making it ideal for freezing climate areas as well.
- The solar pool heater package is not equipped with any item that can secure the panels in a specific place.
- The size is small, may not cater to a normal-sized pool, and you would need to purchase multiple solar pool heaters to cover your swimming pool.
5. Intex 28685E Above Ground Swimming Pool Water Heater Solar Mat
The Intex 28685E Above Ground Swimming Pool Water Heater Solar Mat is the best solar heater for above ground pool. This item in our list makes no fake claims that it does not require any pump; it includes a small one that makes it one of the best portable solar pool heaters. This solar heater for above ground pool has been designed with an advanced yet simple approach to solar heating systems. It uses black-colored material to harness energy from the sunlight and then uses it to warm up the pool water that runs over it.
If you have a swimming pool that does not occupy much area, then the Intex Solar Mat is ideal because it is quite effective in heating water quickly. However, they are very tricky to handle because they can break easily, but their initial investment is less, so if you search for a budget-friendly option, then this is it.
This solar pool heater is easy to handle and carry because of its compact size and has been smartly designed to cater to small and medium-sized swimming pools in your backyards, usually the ones that are above ground. It is one of the smallest-sized solar pool heaters with dimensions set only at 47 x 47 inches, meaning that even if you have limited space, this one can easily be adjusted in a way that will not be visible.
Moreover, you can even connect an additional Intex filler pump to speed up the healing process. This solar pool heater efficiently increases your pool’s temperature by 10 degrees. Then the heated water is circulated back to the swimming pool in minutes, if not less.
All in all, there is one thing you must remember with this Intex Solar Heater is that it may not have the capability to give the same level of consistent performance in terms of heat exchange compared to the other models. Still, it is highly affordable and would be suitable for your small to medium-sized swimming pool on the days when the Sun is shining bright.
- This solar heater mat is very budget-friendly.
- It is small-sized hence easy to handle.
- It is completely environment friendly.
- It conserves energy because it uses solar energy.
- It is compatible with all types of pools.
- Its installation procedure is quite simple.
- If you connect multiple solar heater mats, you can produce more heat.
- The solar heater mat does not give the same amount of heat or consistency as other large solar heater models.
- It works for swimming pools that are above ground.
6. MISOL Solar Collector of Solar Hot Water Heater with 10 Evacuated Tubes
The MISOL Solar Collector of Solar Hot Water Heater with 10 Evacuated Tubes, which we believe is a wise selection to include in our list for the right reason. It comes equipped with highly durable solar collectors that fetch water from the swimming pool and use solar power from the Sun to heat the water and circulate it back to the swimming pool.
The MISOL Solar Collector of Solar Hot Water Heater with 10 Evacuated Tubes comes equipped with ten special glass tubes under vacuum and dimensions of 500 mm in length and 58 mm in diameter for each. For the construction material, the outer shell of the tubes is constructed out of an aluminum alloy, which has a thickness of 1.8 mm, while the insulating layer is made of rock wool throughout. There are ten units for the heat pipe included in the package. This model can be used as a solar collector for systems installed for heating water systems or as miscellaneous collectors for heating systems to heat water at home.
When you purchase the MISOL Solar Collector of Solar Hot Water Heater with 10 Evacuated Tubes, the package would include a single set of solar collectors with a water heater of the dimensions set at 0.5 m in length and 58 mm in outer diameter. All in all, the package includes these four things:
1. 10 Vacuum or the Evacuated pipes for heating
2. 1 Manifold that has ten holes to distribute the heated water back to the swimming pool
3. Ten tube holders to secure it in place
4. One set of brackets made of aluminum, including the nuts and bolts, to secure it.
- It is a good budget-friendly option for heating your swimming pool.
- It is ideal in size and light in weight.
- The solar power heater is friendly to the environment and does not release any harmful fumes.
- It is efficient in operation and conserves energy costs because it uses solar energy from the Sun.
- It is compatible with inground pools providing your warm water throughout the year.
- You can easily install it by reading the manual or the guide that accompanies the package and do not need to hire an expert for installation.
- It may not be easy to remove and reassemble in conditions of any kind of repair.
Solar Water Heater Buying Guide
While purchasing any solar pool water heater, there are certain key factors you need to keep in mind to make a wise choice for your swimming pool. These key factors are:
The Pool Form Factor
This means that you need to see the type of pool you own, whether above ground or in-ground. The above-ground pools can easily be warmed up using heating sheets or small-sized heat exchangers.
The Distance of Your Pool From Your Home
You also need to analyze your swimming pool’s distance from your home because if this distance is considerable, then your heat exchangers installed on the roof may not be ideal.
The Installation Procedure
You also need to look at how easy your selected solar pool heater is to install. The surface pool heaters are simple in terms of installation, but the heat exchangers need an additional pump also a bit of construction.
The Required Temperature
You also need to analyze the amount of heat you require in your pool. See to it that whether you need a small amount of heat or a huge amount of thermal energy to your water. If your house is located in a warmer region, then pool heaters do not need to work a lot; however, if you reside in an area that gets freezing winters and less warm summers, then your solar pool heater would need to work hard and efficient.
The Offered Warranty on your Solar Heater
Well, it is inevitable that on the purchase of any expensive long-term assets, one wants an extended warranty because any part of an appliance can get dysfunctional. So, a model with an extended warranty will help you cover any such costs.
The Functionality of Your Pool
Before you go out to buy your solar pool heater take a good look at your pool. See whether your swimming pool is a leisure pool or a regular one. If it is the former, then you would require the temperature somewhere around 90 degrees. If your pool is a gym-based pool, then it is ideal to keep the temperature a little colder, i.e.,80 to 85 degrees, which will ensure proper circulation.
Maintenance & Cost
If you own a swimming pool, you would already be aware of the fact that it needs maintenance time and again. The same is the case when you decide to install a solar pool water heater. These solar heaters for inground pools or even above ground need to be periodically inspected for any leaks or damages. They also require you to maintain a solid routine of their maintenance if you wish to extend their efficient life span and operation.
Moreover, since the solar pool heaters are heating devices, they may also need repairing and replacement of their parts from time to time. You may need to take proactive actions to avoid rusting, corrosion, freezing, or any kind of wear and tear.
At times you would need to manage the inspection-related duties or the pool heater maintenance yourself, but other areas would require you to hire the help of qualified experts. For this, you should get an estimate of the cost that may come to you. In fact, in many areas of pool maintenance, it would be more budget-friendly if you simply get a new solar heating system for your pool rather than investing in its repair. This is especially when your solar heaters are at the end of their life spans. However, the best quality solar pool heaters can run smoothly for many years.
If you wish to redeem the entire cost spent on purchasing your solar pool heaters, then it is ideal to timely hire experts who can ensure long-term usage of your solar heaters installed for your swimming pool. In fact, it is an affordable but long-term investment for maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How would any solar pool heater cost when being installed?
A complete solar heating system for a swimming pool on average will cost you somewhere in the range of $3,000 and $4,000, including the cost price and the installation price. This amount of initial investment will be good enough for you to get a payback up to 8 years, even to a decade. These solar pool heaters also have a longer lifespan than the gas heating systems, besides the fuel costs in the gas one add to the budget.
Should I buy a Solar Heater or an Electric Heater?
It is totally on your choice if you wish to go for a solar-powered pool heater or an electric-powered pool heater. However, it is our job to tell you that an electric-powered heater has many drawbacks. You get charged for the electricity units used hence, in the long-term, it is not budget-friendly.
Smart people always spend money while investing in a solar pool heater because it harnesses energy from a source that will not cost you! The Sun, after all, is free for everyone, making it budget-friendly as well as environmentally safe.
How do I know the size of the solar pool heater I need for my swimming pool?
When you go out to purchase a solar pool heater, then first take the exact measurements and dimensions of your pool and then compare it with the size of the available pool heaters in the market to get a better idea. If your swimming pool is large then, of course, you should consider the bigger size solar pool heaters rather than the smaller ones and vice versa.
Remember, if you think buying a bigger solar pool heater for your pool even if the pool is small would be a big waste of money because a smaller one would be enough to heat water and vice versa if your swimming pool is large and you get a smaller solar pool heater.
Should I get a solar pool heater if my swimming pool is above ground level?
If you have a swimming pool that is above ground level, then yes you can still get a solar pool heater, and it would be, in fact, relatively easy to install and turn out to be very profitable as well. It would use up less of your budget and save you money even in the long run because its maintenance would be easy.
How can I install my Solar Pool Heater completely?
The installation of a solar pool heater is quite simple. The first step is to configure the solar collectors in an appropriate area where they can easily and sufficiently harness power from the sun and exchange heat with the pool water.
Once the solar collectors are set up, then the filters will monitor the flow rate of the pool water as well as its temperature. Then the next task is to install all the pipes in the entire space of the swimming pool so that all the water can be heated timely and uniformly across the length and width of the pool. And then you are done.
The process will become easier and simpler if the solar heating system comes with a user manual or guide which will instruct you in a step-by-step manner on how to install, configure and use the solar pool heaters.
To pump water on my roof solar panel, do I need to resize my swimming pool?
If you already have a pump of 1 hp or higher, then you do not need to increase the size of your swimming pool because using your own pump, you can push water up even 2 floors against gravity. but you will see that the pressure in the filter will increase by 2 lbs to 4 lbs in your pressure monitor and many pumps will be able to easily operate without any resistance.
Will my pressure side swimming pool cleaner interfere in the working of the pool solar panels?
If you own a swimming pool cleaner that has a booster pump, it is advised that you do not use it simultaneously with the solar pool heater because the solar panel controller already has an inbuilt booster pump that can shut off your cleaner pump when the valve is opening up to deliver water on to the panels for heating up.
Is it possible to install my solar panels on different sides of my rooftop?
Yes, you can. When you set up the first panel, connect it with the second panel set through a pipe, and then attach it with the return pipe.
Is it necessary to install a Solar Controller with my solar pool panels?
It is advised that to get the best output when you install a solar controller with your solar panels. In case of bad weather such as heavy rain, if you rush water over solar panels, it will decrease the temperature of the water, and the heated water will lose its temperature, so it is recommended that you install a solar controller.
If I need to refurbish my roof, can I remove the installed solar panels?
Yes, you can easily remove the solar panels without any hassle until your roof is reattached.
What does winterizing the solar panels mean?
When installing solar panels, they are set up on a slight angle on the exit pipe, while the valve for air locking is on the opposite side of the solar panel which lets complete drainage. If these solar panels pitching is accurate, then you will not have to blow the air out. This is what winterizing means.
How many degrees a solar pool heater can increase the temperature of the water in my swimming pool?
This question does not have a definite answer because the issue with solar power is that it does not have an exact value as gas or electric energy does. The amount of energy harnessed depends on the energy generated by the Sun, which can vary according to the climate, weather, and the conditions around the atmosphere. The Sun shines brightly one day and less on the other due to cloud coverage or fog. So, this varies from time to time.
Moreover, this will also vary according to the volume of water and the surface area to volume ratio, or the size or the surface area of the solar pool heaters that are installed. This is why sheet pool heaters are widely used because they have a higher surface area and can increase the temperature of the pool water by 10 to 15 degrees and, at times, even more, if the day is sunny and clear.
If we talk about the exchange heaters, then they can get hot quickly even more hot than a steaming shower given if they are exposed to a sufficient amount of heat in the day. They have been seen to get as hot as more than 100 degrees. But do not worry because this will not burn you since the hot water gets mixed with the cold to reach an appropriate temperature.
By now, it would have become inevitable that pool heaters that are powered by solar energy are the wisest decision you will make for your swimming pool at home, spa, or your office space even. These solar heaters for pools will keep the water in the swimming pool warm and heated throughout the year regardless of the outside weather. Apart from this, they are budget-friendly in the long run because solar energy does not cost anything, so you would be saving tons on fuel. Then they are environment friendly as well and fairly simple to install.
The best solar pool heaters reviews we have compiled above show that you have a wide range of options when it comes to purchasing a solar pool heater.
The solar heating system for a swimming pool is an automated and smartly constructed system that has the capacity to warm up the water in your pool by a generous 15 degrees in a matter of a few minutes only. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to have this? Especially if you are someone who is concerned about the environment and global warming, then shifting to solar power is a peaceful choice you would make, reducing the carbon footprint that other power sources release in toxic amounts.
Hence, to sum it all up, it is imperative we mention that the solar heating system for swimming pools has everything that a happy swimmer would require in a pool. In fact, during these unpredictable times where a lockdown can be evident any day, a nice warm swimming pool will relax you in your home!