Solar Pool Heater 101: How to Heat Your Pool With Solar Power

It is a great experience to extend your pool season with a solar heater. But how do you properly heat the pool water with a solar heater, and which system is the best?

Pool solar heaters are available as absorber systems and as vacuum tubes. Solar absorbers are cheaper and easy to install, whereas vacuum tubes cost more and are 20% more efficient. A solar pool heater should always be combined with a solar cover.

In this article, you will find a pool solar heater comparison with the best systems. In addition, you will find further important information about functionality in the article.

Save electricity costs, protect the environment, and heat the pool water with a solar pool heater.

Tip: You can find a comparison between the solar pool heater and conventional heat pumps in my blog. Just click on the link.

In the next chapter, I explain more about heating your pool with a solar system.

How do solar pool heaters work?

When choosing a solar pool heating system, a distinction is made between two systems:

  • Solar absorber: Black plastic absorbs solar energy and transfers it directly to the pool water.
  • Vacuum tubes: Vacated glass tubes that contain a heat carrier in the center. The double-walled Sidney system is recommended.

The solar pool heater is installed between the water filter and the return to the pool.

A pool pump is required to transport the water.

The swimming pool water flows over the solar collectors, is heated, and then flows back into your swimming pool.

In strong sunlight, you will feel how heated water flows back into the pool.

This is a disadvantage with solar absorbers: The system only works when the sun shines.

In addition, you need a sufficiently large area to adapt the output to the pool size – mounting on the roof is ideal.

Tip: Modern pool solar systems have additional solar controls for the pool.

How warm does a solar heated pool get?

Approx. 8000 liters of water can be heated with just one collector – depending on the pool size and performance.

1.16 kWh is required to heat 1 m3 pool water to +33 °F (+1 °C).

  • At 4500 liters (equivalent to 4.5 m3), that’s a total of 5.2 kWh.
  • 10,000 liters (corresponds to 10 m3), 11.6 kWh are required.

Sellers generally promise that a solar heated pool gets 50 °F (+10 ° C), but that is difficult to imagine.

This might be possible in Mexico, Spain, but a +37 to 40 °F (+3 to 4 °C) water temperature is more realistic.

Tip: With a frequency converter, you can save more than 100 dollars a year in energy costs for pool maintenance.

How much does a solar pool heater cost?

If you have decided to buy a solar pool heater, I can only compliment you.

You are doing something good for the environment – if you fall back on renewable energies – and you also save on electricity and heating costs for the operation of the swimming pool.

Now the only question that remains is: How much should a pool heater actually cost?

You will find solar heaters for a fair price in most cases, around 70 to 200 $.

The prices differ significantly from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Of course, a bigger solar pool heater costs more. The larger the surface of the solar collector, the more expensive it gets.

I recommend calculating the ideal size for your own pool beforehand. This makes sense to avoid buying an oversized solar heater for your pool.

Extra tip: How about a suitable solar shower for the garden?

The solar shower saves electricity costs, is also kind to the environment, and is essential to reduce the amount of dirt entering your pool.

The best thing to do is to read my article about solar showers. Just follow the link.

Is a solar absorber worthwhile for the pool?

In addition to cleaning the pool water with a pool vacuum, the ideal water temperature in the pool is important for bathing fun.

This is why solar pool heaters are practical.

In addition, a solar heating system is affordable and good for the environment.

The systems have been continuously developed over time and are currently a modern way to heat the pool water.

A solar absorber is ideal for heating the pool, even on cold days.

Depending on the sunlight, a collector can heat the pool water by 34 to 36 °F (1-2 °C) per hour.

Of course, this always depends on the respective model.

The energy transition is making slow progress globally, and consumers do not notice anything in the electricity price – even if it turns negative.

The cost of electricity has risen significantly in recent years, and you have to ask yourself twice whether you heat your pool with a normal pool heater or heat the pool with a solar absorber.

Tip: With an extra solar cover, you can heat the pool water faster and keep the heat generated in the pool longer.

You can find more information about the solar pool cover in my blog. Use the search function for this.

Conclusion on a solar pool heater

If you are looking for an effective way to heat the pool to a pleasant water temperature and do not want to throw money unnecessarily out of the window, you are well served with a solar pool heater.

In addition, you contribute to environmental protection, because let’s be honest: A pool is not exactly environmentally friendly.

Tip: As always, you can find more tips on environmental protection as a pool operator in my blog. Use the internal search function for this.

Conclusion: A solar pool heating system can be worthwhile with sufficient solar radiation.

Do you also heat your swimming pool with a solar absorber?

Let me know at @contactswimfool on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Co. Feel free to ask me further questions on the topic on social media.

Have fun in the warm pool water!

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Hi. I'm Max Berg. I've been in the pool industry since 2015 and have always felt drawn to water. I'm the author behind swimfool.com, where I share my years of experience in pool maintenance and give helpful tips on keeping a swimming pool or hot tub clean. My tips reduce the costs of water treatment and protect the environment.

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