The Upsides And Downsides Of Solar Pool Heating
Consumers decide to go for solar pool heaters for several reasons. Pool solar panels cost is comparatively reasonable, and they are energy-saving to operate. Furthermore, solar energy is an eco-friendly way of heating, and once you install the solar system, the operating expenses are minimal.
While theres no doubt that solar pool heating is worthwhile, it mainly relies on regular sunshine. Solar collectors would have to be set up correctly and adjusted to the west, north-west, or north with the slightest shading for maximum outputs.
As a universal rule, solar power would prolong your swimming season by roughly four to six weeks. It will operate to heat your pool on overcast days, but with a minimized effort.
Another thing that makes solar pool heaters an excellent investment is their long lifespan. Generally speaking, they have an expected lifetime of 15 up to 20 years and come with 12-year warranties.
Whats more, the typical payback for solar pool heating systems compared to other heating options is two up to three years. Savings over the lifespan of the solar pool heating system far exceed the investment.
The Size Of Your Pool
It probably comes as no surprise that your pools size is a key consideration when it comes to heating efficiency. A small or weak heater will take much longer to heat a large pool than a high-capacity heater.
A general rule of thumb is that you should increase your pool heater size by 50,000 British thermal units for every 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of water your pool holds. If you live in a cold climate, you may need to increase that to 100,000 BTU.
Make sure to ready my article on what size pool heater you need to figure out the right size for your pool.
The Guide To Solar Heating For Swimming Pools
But what if there was a way to heat your pool for free?
A solar energy-powered heater can help you do just that. Delve into this guide to discover the many different solar swimming pool heating options at your disposal.
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How Much Is A Pool Heater
costspool heater costsaverage cost
. Then, how much does it cost to run a pool heater?
For a typical size 400,000 BTU pool heater, that’s 4 therms per hour. Currently, natural gas runs about $1.50 per therm near Tampa. The average cost to heat a pool for one hour on natural gas is around $ 7.00. To heat, an average pool with no solar cover typically takes 8-14 hours.
Beside above, can a heater be added to a pool? Although it may be possible to install a pool heater on your own, it is recommended to hire a professional, especially for a gas or electric heater.
Keeping this in view, is a pool heater worth it?
Pool heaters have the potential to be an incredibly worthwhile investment if a family wants to utilize its new pool year ’round, or even just well into school starting in the fall. These heaters have state of the art technology that allow for comfortable swimming temperatures, even in sweater weather.
What is the best pool heater for inground pools?
Top 10 Best Pool Heaters:
What Size System Do I Need
The most relevant aspect of sizing a system is based on the square footage of your pool. We typically recommend matching anywhere from 50%-100% of your pools total surface area to solar collector coverage .
*For example, if your pool is 500 square feet, then 50% solar coverage equals 250 square feet of solar panels, 75% solar coverage equals 375 square feet of solar panels, etc. From this point, you’ll want to look at selecting a panel size that fits your installation area.
- For a Complete Breakdown on HOW TO SELECT & SIZE THE RIGHT SOLAR POOL HEATING SYSTEM, see our sizing help page:
All solar heating panels Collectors are sold with a manufacturers warranty, a copy of which may be found on the brands page. Solar Pool Supply is not responsible for any damage incurred as the result of customer negligence or installation error and such incidents are not covered by warranty. All solar heating panels Collectors must be installed with new hardware for warranty coverage to apply. For all warranty claims and replacements, the customer is responsible for covering all shipping costs.
Tips to Protect your Purchase
Use caution when walking near solar collectors.These products are not designed to be walked or stepped on such actions may damage the collector and/or riser tubes. Accidental damage during installation is not covered by warranty.
Terms of Service
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How Much Is Solar Pool Heating
Typically, the expenses can be between $3,000 and $6,000, depending on the system you prefer and the pool size. You might need to pay around $1,000 and $5,000 for the system itself. For the installation, you might need to pay around $600 to $2,500. The total costs can be around $6,250 for the solar panels and installation.
You will need to have a pump to move the water around in your system. It is suggested that you use your current pool pump if it has the right flow rate, water pressure, and capacity. Moreover, a temperature sensor is recommended so that the pump only works when the solar heating system is gathering heat. Coldwater going around the collectors will lessen the pools temperature.
A booster pump is normally priced at around $300, while a temperature sensor can cost you around $300 as well. Installation should be completed in 1 or 2 days. Nevertheless, the duration depends on the difficulty of the installation, the current weather, the type of system you prefer, and several other factors.
After installing the solar pool heating, it can cost less than $1 each day to operate it. Therefore, it is more affordable compared to gas or electricity. You are making a better economic decision since using an electric or gas heat pump can cost you $750 each year to operate. It is estimated that an average solar pool heating can pay for itself in 2 years.
Is Solar Heating Economical
We feel that solar heating is very economical in the long run. Yes, it is going to cost you in the beginning, but then once you install it, there are almost negligible expenses. This is because a solar heating device does not consume any electricity. Hence it is cheaper than electric and gas-powered devices.
Not only so, but it is also very beneficial for the environment and saves a lot of pollution. While gas and electricity are limited, solar heating will help in building a more sustainable environment.
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The Average Cost Of Installing A Pool Heater
It costs most pool owners anywhere between $1,600 and $4,000 to install a new heater in their setup. On average, you can expect to pay $2,800 to either replace your old heater or install a brand new one.
The most expensive heater options upfront are heat pumps and solar heaters, which can cost up to $8,000 to purchase and install. However, its important to remember that these heaters are also cheaper to operate than other options.
While gas and electric resistance heaters typically cost just $1,200 to $6,200 to install, their monthly operating expenses can add up over time. However, the cost difference may be worth it to someone looking to heat their pool quickly.
Sizing A Solar Pool Heater
The solar pool heater collector size depends on the size of your pool, the climate you are in, whether your pool is above-ground or in-ground, and whether you use a pool cover. A professional can help you determine the exact number of panels for your situation. Above-ground pools lose heat faster since they do not have the insulation of the soil and need more panels for the same surface area compared to an in-ground pool. Those living in a cooler northern climate need more panels to heat the same sized pool than those living in warmer southern climates.
A solar pool heater works better when it is the correct size for your pool. It will not work well to raise the temperature if it is too small and too large of a system would be a waste of money. For cooler climates, it is usually a good idea to have the surface area of the collectors be equal to the surface area of your pool. In a warmer climate, the collector area should be about half the size of the surface area of your pool. Pool covers will trap heat and reduce the number of needed panels.
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Solar Pool Heater Repair
Even the best solar pool heater might require pool solar panel repair. Common problems with a solar pool heater include panel leaks, plumbing repairs, panel replacements, valves, controllers, and sensor repairs that control automation. The repair cost varies based on the brand, the required part, size, and problem. Also, the extent of wear and damage impacts the cost because the part might be repairable or need to undergo complete replacement.
How Much Does It Cost To Run
The good news is that virtually all the costs of solar pool heating are upfront. Once youve purchased and had the system installed, it costs less than a dollar a day to run.
To get an idea of what this means in practice, it is worth comparing the upfront and running costs of solar heating alongside other pool heating options.
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We Demand The Best Products For Superior Results And Performance
Stilwell Solar is the exclusive Aquatherm Solar Industries Master Dealer in Southwest Florida. Manufactured for over 40 years, Aquatherm is the largest manufacturer of swimming pool solar components in North America. They are committed to innovative design, uncompromising quality assurance, and a superior manufacturing process. Exceeding the safety, durability, and toxicity standards of NSF-50, Solar Industries patented materials and high performing panel design means our quality solar pool heating systems outperform and will outlast the competition. With tens of thousands of Solar Industries installations worldwide since 1976, you cannot find better built, better backed solar components.
- Highest BTU Collector Rating 93.5% Thermal Efficiency
- Aluminum and Stainless Steel Mounting Hardware, Including Strap designed to withstand hurricane-force winds
- Made in the USA, from their 50,000 sq. ft manufacturing facility in Lakewood, NJ
The Different Types Of Heaters
There are three main types of pool heater that you can choose from that primarily differ in which energy source they use as well as price point and operating costs. Depending on the heater you want, you may end up paying anywhere between around $1,000 and $8,500 for a new unit.
|Total||$2,300 to $9,600|
Solar heaters have a higher initial cost than other types of heaters, but for many pool owners, it ends up paying for itself over time. Solar heaters convert energy from the sun into heat for your pool using solar panels, all without costing you a dime. Theyre also environmentally friendly, low maintenance, and typically hold up around 25 to 30 years.
Solar heaters tend to warm the water slowly more slowly than other options, at a rate of about one to three degrees per minute. They also require light year-round and wont work well if they arent directly facing the sun.
- Offers precise control over temperature
- More hazardous than other options
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How To Install Solar Panels To Heat Your Swimming Pool
If youve decided to purchase pool solar panels and you want to install them yourself, youre in luck: solar panels are pretty simple to install, so this makes for a perfect weekend project.
However we completely understand if DIY isn’t for you. So you could also find a solar contractor through Ygrene to install your solar system for you. This will save you a great deal of work and decision-making, and may even make the project go faster.
Buying A Solar Pool Heater: What Are Your Options
Most solar pool heaters youll find online are actually just the panels, which can be hooked up to most standard pool pumps. If you plan on installing your solar collectors on your roof, its definitely a good idea to consult a solar installation company or roofing professional to get the job done correctly and safely.
What solar pool heating products are available? There are many companies that sell solar pool heaters, so weve compiled a list of some of the popular options online in the below table for comparison:
Best solar pool heaters for sale
|Solar collectors, complete installation kit|
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Best Overall: Sunquest Solar Swimming Pool Heater
We consider SunQuest’s solar swimming pool heater to be top-of-the-line. It’s notable for its superior technology, dependable performance and incredible heating efficiency. SunQuest uses professional-grade solar panels to keep your pool nice and warm, circulating water through the panels to ensure a consistent temperature. The SunQuest solar panel kit works with your existing water pump and is available in packages that include connectors, diverters and roof mounting hardware so you have all of the materials you need for easy installation. In fact, customer reviews show this is one of the simplest solar pool heaters to set up, even if you’re a solar panel installation novice.
- Professional-grade solar panels ensure optimal water heating
- Well-reviewed for its reliability and consistency
- Easy to install
- Works for both in-ground and above-ground swimming pools
- You may need to invest in multiple panels, especially for larger pools
Why Buy: SunQuest sets a high bar for technology, heating efficiency, ease of use and overall value. It should be on anyone’s list of top solar pool heater panels.
How Much Does It Cost To Install
Theres a number of factors on which installation cost depends. The size of your pool, solar heating unit purchased and manpower required to install a system.
Since different companies install the solar pool heating systems, we cant give you a hard number here. The best advice for pricing out the installation cost of your pool heater is to call around and get at least 5 quotes. Then use the one with the best combination of pricing, customer service, and reviews.
It may cost more if theres additional work required such as a very large pool, sharp angled roof, or other unique circumstances. But this information should be gathered by the businesses when theyre building your quote.
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How To Keep Pool Warmer To Minimize Heating
The consumption of energy on your pool will rise at every degree the temperature increases. It will cost you 10% to 30% more if you bring the temperature up from a very cold pool. If you live in warmer places then you can save a lot from heating.
There is also a way to improve the cost of usage of your pool heater and that is by using a pool cover. Pool covers can reduce the evaporation of water thus making you save on water make-up and it also reduces the chemical consumption of the pool. You can buy a solar blanket which cost around $150 to $225 and can absorb up to 85% of solar energy and can even increase the temperature of your pool to 20 degrees.
Other pool covers are made up of UV-stabilized polyethylene, polypropylene, or vinyl. The vinyl covers are made of heavier material and can last for a long time. It will cost you just around $15 to $150 depending on the size of your pool.
Installing A Solar Water Heater For Your Pool
When it comes time to install the pool solar heater, its helpful to know what to expect. Typically, a solar professional will mount solar collectors to a nearby rooftop. If there is not a rooftop close enough by, one must be built to hold the collectors. Alternatively, the solar collectors can be ground mounted in a location free from many obstacles.
Once the professional mounts the solar collectors, they will set up all plumbing to make the system work. Pipes must T-off from the existing filtration loop in order to send water through the new solar water heater.
The installers will also install control valves, so you can control the water flow and turn on or turn off the solar water heater. Additionally, a vent is installed at the peak of the solar collector array, in order to keep water out of the collectors when the pump isnt running.
Because of the complexity of the installation process, the large majority of homeowners will need to hire a solar professional to correctly and safely get the job done.
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What Is The Standard Water Temperature When Heating The Swimming Pool
Essentially, how heated your water will get using solar pool heaters will primarily rely on many factors, such as:
- The solar panels orientation
- If your swimming pool is covered or not
- How many solar collectors are available
- How much space of your roof is shadowed and its pitch
- How small or big your swimming pool is
- The kind of solar heating