Solar Pool Heater: Pool Heaters 101

Unless you live in a very warm climate, heating your swimming pool at certain times of the year is necessary to keep swimmers comfortable and maximize enjoyment. Over the next few weeks we will be featuring a mini-blog series discussing all the different types of swimming pool heaters. Today we will talk about the pros and cons of a solar pool heater.

Solar Pool HeaterAs their name implies, Solar Pool Heaters, collect energy/ heat from the sun that is then transferred into your swimming pool water and used to heat it. While solar heating is the most environmentally friendly way to heat your swimming pool, it is often not the most effective. Depending on where you live,  the size of your pool, desired temperature, and  how long you plan to keep your house a solar pool heater may or may not be the right choice for you.

Where You Live

If you live in a warm climate where the water does not need to be heated significantly and you use the pool often, even in cooler months a solar pool heater might be a good option for you.  If you live in a colder climate, a solar heater may not be the best option as most solar pool heaters will only increase water temperature 10-15 degrees at the most.

It is also important that you live somewhere that gets a lot of sun, in order to heat the solar panels. A solar pool heater in Seattle is probably not the best option, but in Phoenix it could be.

Size of Your Pool

The size of your swimming pool will determine how many solar panels you will need to heat that many gallons of water, the more solar panels you need the more your initial cost will be. Here at Sunplay, we carry Eco Saver Solar Panels which come with the following recommendations for panels based on size.

How Many Solar Pool Heater Panels Do I Need? It depends on your pool size. The recommendations are as follows:
Round pool up to 24 foot - One (1) 20 foot panel
Round pool up to 30 foot - Two (2) 20 foot panels
Rectangle / Oval up to 15' X 30' - One (1) 20 foot panel
Rectangle / Oval up to 18' X 36' - Two (2) 20 foot panels
Larger pools may require more than two 20 foot solar panel systems.

Desired Temperature

Again, this is where climate could come into play--- The manufacturer of the Eco Saver Panels estimates the correct number of panels for your pool size can heat water 10-15 degrees on a sunny day, so it all depends on the temperature your water is starting out at. If you are in Utah in January and its 10 degrees outside a solar heater is not going to help you, even if it is a very clear sunny day. However, if you are in Miami and your water temperature is around 70 degrees the solar pool heater could help increase it to a comfortable 80-85 degrees.

How Long You Plan To Keep Your House

This is a question homeowners have to ask themselves often, will my investment payoff?  With the solar panels you are making an initial investment that will pay for itself over many years so it is important to consider how long you are going to be there to reap the benefits of your investment when it comes to a solar pool heater.

There are many things to consider when determining which type of swimming pool is right for you but if you live in a warm climate with lots of sun and plan to keep your house for several years a solar pool heater may be a good option for you.
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