Summer is a great time to go swimming and beat the heat but the fact that it’s too short. I know many people, including me, would love to have some refreshing water activities to enjoy even in the winter months. However, swimming in a cold pool is a bad idea. We need to buy a pool heating system. Having a pool heating system will help you to enjoy your pool all year long. Because heating a large water mass takes time and energy, you can realize significant savings by installing a cost-effective and efficient solar pool heater.
A solar pool heater makes an excellent addition to a home pool. It’s the most cost-effective use of solar energy in many climates. A few years ago, a solar pool heating system usually costs more than $3,000 to buy and install. But there’re now many very good options for less than $500 available on the market. Making solar pool heaters affordable for any home that has an inground or aboveground pool.
A solar powered pool heater is ideal for both inground and above-ground pools and is one of the best investments you can make in the long run. If you’re ready to buy one for your swimming pools, you might want to know which one is the right for your needs. In this review, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite solar pool heaters to help you find the perfect system for your backyard water playground.
BEST SOLAR POOL HEATERS
1. GAME 4721 SolarPRO Curve Heater – Best for Above Ground Pools
This solar pool heater from Game Solar Pro is the best choice for use with popular above-ground pools up to 30-foot round. It’s designed to heat your pool water using 100% power from solar panels, no electricity or gas connections. This pool heater is environmentally friendly and can increase your pool temperature 5 degrees in five days without any additional cost.
The Game SolarPRO Curve Heater comes with the curve-design that creates a maximum solar collecting area that captures free heat from the sun even as the position of the sun changes. It’s made from a strong, blow-molded plastic frame with a clear cover that locks in heat and deflects cooling winds. This solar pool heater comes with all Intex adapters, and hose required for assembly. It’s very easy to install, everything can be done quickly without any technical supports.
Because it is designed for smaller pools and strictly uses solar power, it heats much slower than an electric or a gas unit. You shouldn’t use it for a large in-ground pool. Or if you want to use this solar pool heater for larger in-ground pool, you can buy more than 2 units.
This solar pool heater doesn’t come with a control panel. If you want to know the temperature of your above-ground pool, you have to install an external thermometer. And this pool heating system needs a pool pump and a filter to work. So if you haven’t already had them, we suggest you buy the Sandro 75D – a powerful 3/4 HP self-priming pump with the high-efficiency impeller for maximum water flow and minimal noise.
Overall, this compact solar pool heater is a perfect addition to your above ground pool. Heat your pool water by the “green” way using solar energy and get the most out of this pool season.
2. SmartPool SunHeater – Best For Both In-Ground and Above-Ground Pools
The SmartPool SunHeater is a great solar pool heater that works perfectly with both above-ground and inground pools. This heating system is designed to increase your pool temperature more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit (6 C). It is lightweight, durable and easy to install.
This solar pool heater is an array of polypropylene veined mats that are spanned between two feed pipes. The mats, also called collectors, are laid out in direct sunlight to absorb its heat. Water simply flows through tubes via your existing pool pump where it is heated by the sun and returned to your pool. This unit works in conjunction with your pool’s existing pump system and is interchangeable, so you can adapt it to work with all types of pool systems.
This solar heating system is flexible so you can easily find a place to put it on. It can be installed on the roof of your house, garden shed or cabana, mounted to a rack or simply placed on the ground. It works best in warmer climates and in areas where the solar panels are not obstructed by trees and other shadows throughout the day.
Unlike the SolarPro Curve Heater, the SmartPool SunHeater solar heating system is an array of solar panels, the number of solar panels you need to purchase depends on the size of your pool. If you plan to use it for a small above ground swimming pool, one box of solar panels is enough to heat your pool (12 to 18 feet round). 2 boxes for 21 to 24 feet round and 3 boxes for 27 to 30 feet round. If you have an in-ground swimming pool that holds more than 25,000 gallons of water, you may need as many as four solar boxes.
This solar pool heater is a great choice for your home swimming pool, it suits all sizes of aboveground and inground pools. But like the SolarPro Curve, it doesn’t come with a control panel.
3. Game 4714 SolarPRO Contour Solar Pool Heater – Best for Small Above Ground Pools
The Game 4714 SolarPRO Contour Solar Pool Heater is small and lightweight. It is a good and low-cost heating solution for your above-ground swimming pools. With 60 feet of coiled hose inside for maximum solar heat transfer, the 22″ diameter clear dome creates a greenhouse effect that produces maximum heat transfer from the sun to the water of your pool. This unit is also simple to install and effortless to operate once connected.
This unit is designed to increase your pool temperature 5 degrees in 6 days depending on the size of the pool. It is very compact, space-saving and aesthetically pleasing when compared to solar panels. It won’t work well if you use it for a large pool. But you can buy two units and connect them together for better efficiency.
4. Blue Wave Solar Pool Heater Cover Blanket for In Ground Pools
Using a blanket to absorb power from sunlight is an excellent heating solution for pools. This durable rectangular solar blanket from Blue Wave is made by cutting-edge technologies to give you maximum heating and insulation properties. It can increase your swimming pool temperature up to 15 degrees warmer than an uncovered pool.
This solar blanket from Blue Wave is a combination of thousands of transparent blue bubbles and it comes in many sizes, so you can adapt it to work with all sizes of pools. Its design enables it to allow the penetration of the sun’s heat into the water while also preventing the escape of heat from the pool. This unit is also made of a special UV resistant film that adds to its durability. The film is designed to protect the cover from harmful UV rays and also makes sure that it ensures continued exposure to sunlight.
The Blue Wave Solar Blanket is designed for in-ground pools. It’s very easy to use. Simply add this heated blanket on the pool surface and remove it when you need your pool. This solar blanket does a brilliant job of holding the heat and adding warmth to outdoor pools while also protecting the water from the negative effects of direct sunlight. Because this heating blanket is simple, it heats much slower than 3 options above. It works well in a warmer climate but may not enough to keep your pool water comfortable in cooler climates or in shaded areas.
HOW DOES SOLAR POOL HEATER WORK?
Solar pool heaters are inexpensive and they have very low annual operating cost. They provide you and your family with a cost-effective and environmentally conscious way to keep your pool warm and inviting even during the winter months. Water is pumped from the pool to the solar collectors where the water is warmed by the sun. The warm water is then pumped back into the swimming pool allowing you to enjoy your pool for many months and in some areas all year long. A solar pool heater on the market includes the following parts:
- A solar collector: the device through which pool water is circulated to be heated by the sun. It uses the solar panel technology to maximize the power absorbed from sunlight.
- A filter: removes debris before water is pumped through the collector
- A pump: usually your existing pool pump, circulates cold water through the filter and solar collector, the water then is substantially heated and flows back to the pool.
- A flow control valve: an automatic or manual device that diverts pool water through the solar collector.
Unlike solar water heaters for indoor use, solar pool heaters do not require a storage tank. Many systems have sensors and an automatic motorized valve to divert water through the solar collector when the collector temperature is sufficiently greater than the pool temperature. When the collector temperature is similar to the pool temperature, filtered water simply bypasses the collector and is returned to the pool.
Solar pool heaters will surprise you with the amount of heat that can be generated. If you have an attached spa, you can heat the spa to 104 degrees in nearly the same amount of time as a gas pool heater. Solar heaters can produce the same amount of BTU’s as a gas heater, and no matter where you are in North America, you can have 85-degree water – in April, with a properly sized solar pool heater. Some people worry about the output from a solar heater when it’s rainy or cloudy. But please keep in mind that we have at least partial sun 75% of the time and that’s enough to have many fun activities in the backyard pool.