Having a swimming pool at your own place is a blessing. You can jump in whenever you feel like, morning, noon, evening, today, tomorrow, anytime. However, there can be disruption in your joyous moments.
It won’t affect a person living in a hot region with warm temperatures year-round, but if you live where the seasons change, you will definitely need the pool heater to enjoy swimming. With today’s ongoing economical and environmental situation, it’s better to get the best solar pool heater.
Everyone is going green with their concept be it regarding the interior, or the exterior. So I thought, why not with the electrical equipment too. There are two types of commercial pool heaters – gas and electrical.
Both consume finite resources and are also costly. Along with being pricey, they are harmful to nature as well. As said, sustainability is something that the government is promoting. So, the best alternative is using the solar heater for the pool. Let’s start with us, others will definitely follow!
I know, you might be having many questions hammering in your mind. For example, is it worth it? Will it work year-round? How is it beneficial? and many more. For now, all I can do is promise you that till the end of the article you will get all the answers.
Here in this article, I have mentioned the best solar pool heater in 2022 that you can go for! Our in-house expert reviewers curated this list and also penned down the buying guide for the same.
List of Best Solar Pool Heater
Smartpool S601P Solar Pool Heater
Header hole for each heating tube
Increases pool water temperature up to 6-10°F
4 feet wide x 20 feet long heating panel
80 square feet panel area
Best for the in-ground swimming pool
- Covers large space
- Minimal maintenance
- No installation kit sold with it
Fafco Solar Bear Solar Pool Heater
Ideal for above ground pools
Mounting racking tilted between 20-45°
Extra-large 4-feet by 20-feet collector
Mountable on a ground, rack, or the roof
Raises temperature up to 10-degree Fahrenheit
- Support stronger pumps
- Versatile installation
- Durable construction
- Get the rack separately
XtremepowerUS Solar Pool Heater
2 feet x 20 feet long solar heating collector
Raises temperature up to 10-15°F (and above)
Produce no greenhouse gases
Need low to no maintenance
- Optimized heat transfer
- Built with high-grade materials
- Tricky installation
GAME 4721 SolarPRO
Raises temperature by 5 degrees in 4 days
Best for above ground pools
One panel of 56 inches by 44.88 inches
Adjustable leg height for the maximum sun exposure
Built with high-quality material
- Unique curved shape
- Durable construction
- Easy to install
- Legs aren’t that strong as the unit
SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater
40 square feet solar collector area
Two solar panels of 2 feet wide x 20 feet length
Increases temperature up to an additional 10°F
Ideal for both in-ground and above ground pool
Can be installed on a roof, a rack, or the roof
- Use existing pool pump
- Easy to install
- Vulnerable to leaks
Sun2Solar Ground Mounted Heating
One panel with 2 feet width x 20 feet length
Increases temperature up to 6-10°F (above normal)
40 square feet of solar heating mat
Suitable for both above round and in-ground pools
Comes with a by-pass valve
- Flexible and lightweight
- Comes with 5-year warranty
- Made with durable black polyolefin
- A bit tricky installation
Buying Guide on Solar Pool Heater
What are the key features that you need to look for getting the best solar pool heater? These features will help you in narrowing the options and select the ideal one for your swimming pool.
It is necessary to the size of the swimming pool before you get the solar pool heater. A small pool will heat up with the small solar heater.
However, for the bigger pool, you will need a large solar heater that can heat up the water efficiently.
Another point to keep in mind is pool type. Whether you have above ground pool or an in-ground pool. A small stand-alone solar heater will be enough for the above-ground swimming pool. Whereas, a large solar heater setup is needed for the bigger in-ground pool.
The third feature to look at is temperature rise. Every solar heater has the standard temperature hike it can provide (in addition to the swimming pool temperature).
More solar panels result in more heat as well as more pricey. And fewer solar panels don’t provide heat.
So always check with the manufacturer’s description before buying for the ideal temperature rise it can provide. Apart from that, it also depends on the climate, and pool size.
You must remember there are three mounting types in the solar pool heaters: flat, racking, and on-roof. The Flat solar heater is like rolling a solar mat on the side of the pool. You can adjust the tilt of the racking mount type solar heater.
The last one is the on-roof installation solar heater, it is one of the best solar heaters you can go for! Why? As it can provide you with efficient heating by consuming the maximum sunlight.
No matter what you choose, make sure you have a space to install it, otherwise, everything is a waste. A flat and racking solar heater will need space around the pool for installation, but that’s not the case for on-roof installation. Here you will only have to look at the available space on the roof for installation.
If you plan to DIY the installation, you must read all the instructions regarding it before you buy the product. What I would suggest is, go with the professionals for the installation process. Setting up solar panels, connecting them together, and making the heater work can be hectic.
Value for Money
Last but not least is value for money. You must buy everything, keeping this in mind. Solar heaters have a life of more than 15 years if maintained properly (more on it later).
This won’t only let you enjoy swimming for extended seasons, but will also lessen your gas and electricity bills.
So it is indeed a smart move, just look at the specification properly and make sure the brand or manufacturer is genuine.
Benefits of Using the Solar Heater for Pools
Above you read buying guide for pool solar heaters, here I am mentioning the benefits it will give you:
Extended Swimming Season
Heaters are meant to provide extended swimming seasons, and solar heaters do the same. There is a myth out there regarding solar heaters that they can’t work without sunlight. However, the fact is they can!
Saves Energy Costs
How? Solar pool heaters work on an infinite resource like sunlight. Hence it doesn’t require any other substance like gas or electricity which can get heavy on your pocket.
Another benefit of the solar heaters is that it is eco-friendly. With the increase in CO2 emissions, the environmental condition is degrading harshly. So it is necessary that we start using products that are less harmful to nature.
Just like other electrical equipment, solar heaters also need maintenance. The best point is the maintenance is very little (keep reading)!
Adds Value to the House
Among its many advantages, one is adding value to the house. As said, nowadays people are opting for more eco-friendly products, hence installing the one will certainly provide you monetary benefit as well.
If you have the solar pool heater already installed, it will act as a convincing agent for the buyer as in the future he won’t have to spend time selecting or installing the same. Think about it!
Disadvantages of Solar Pool Heater
Every coin has two sides. Just like that, this power-saving equipment also has some disadvantages. Though they are negligible you have full right to know about them.
High Initial Cost
This is something obvious! The solar heaters are indeed the costs for installing but that’s the initial cost. Once you have set up the heater, you will see a certain drop in your energy bills. In short, if you are spending somewhere, you are getting it back from the other source.
Requires Significant Space
Yes, you must look for the space to install the solar heaters. Electric and gas heaters are compact in size and can be mounted anywhere, but solar heaters require sunlight. So, they need to be laid out in the open ground or the roof.
Takes Much Time in Heating
Once you have installed the solar heater, it will take several days to provide the heightened heat to the swimming pool. Why? It doesn’t pull the power from your house and utilizes the naturally available. This results in low energy bills.
How to Take Care of Your Swimming Pool Solar Heater?
The most awaited section is here! No matter what equipment you get, it is necessary to take care of it properly. Just like electric and gas, solar pool heaters also require maintenance and taking care. Here are the few points that will help you out in the process:
Clean the Filter
You will have to clean the filters time-to-time, in order to keep the dirt and unwanted particles away from reaching the solar collectors. clean it once in a while, if you feel the filter needs to be changed, do it.
This is something that every solar heater owner should know. The solar panels are made of polypropylene (a type of plastic), which is tested to endure heat and withstand water pressure. The weak point of this equipment is freezing water, it causes much damage.
So, you must turn off the solar panels in freezing temperatures. This will extend its problem-free lifespan by a few years.
When you again start the heater after winterization, do the touch test. See if the solar panels are unusually warm, call the technician (if it is). The solar heaters are made to transfer the heat to the water flowing through them, which keeps it cool.
Install Solar Cover
The best hack to keep your pool warm throughout is by installing a solar cover. The solar cover will protect the water from evaporating in the summers and keep it warm in the winters.
Install Bypass Valve
It can endure the water pressure but up to a certain level, so install the bypass valve to control the water pressure. If your pool pump is more than the maximum horsepower allowed, then a bypass valve is a must.
Do Solar Pool Heaters Work in Winters?
The solar pool heaters will work in the shining sun even if the atmosphere is cool. However, it also depends on which part of the world you are living in. In freezing northern winters, the pool solar heaters won’t provide much heat, where in eastern, western, or southern countries you will probably have solar heating available year-round.
Is Solar Pool Heating Worth It?
Yes, solar pool heating is worth it as compared to other counterparts of solar pool heaters – gas and electric heaters. It reduces the energy bills and does the work just like others.
What Is the Best Solar Pool Heater for Above Ground Pools?
There are many solar pool heaters for the above-ground pools but the Fafco solar bear pool heater is the best among all. Another option is SmartPool S220.
Do DIY Solar Pool Heaters Work?
Yes, DIY solar pool heaters also work. The two 4 X 4 feet solar panels are just perfect to heat the small in-ground pool and three will efficiently work for the larger one. It isn’t just cost-effective but is also a fun activity to do.
Can You Add Solar Heating to an Existing Pool?
Yes, you can add solar heating to the existing swimming pool. The solar pool heater is the cost-effective and efficient option to choose, which will save your energy bills and provide heat year around.
The Bottom Line:
This article has all the information you needed to know about the best solar pool heaters, including buying guides, pros, cons, maintenance needs, and FAQs. I am sure enough that this article did convince you to buy the solar pool heater only after looking at the full descriptions.