Swimming in the pool should be a relaxing experience and not a dreaded activity because of the chilly temperature. Especially during the winter and if you want to take a dip, you will most probably end up shaking and chilling because it is too cold. Good thing, there is a solution that holds a lot of promise – the use of the best solar pool heater.
While there are several options when it comes to pool heating systems, solar is one of the best. This is because it is energy-efficient and eco-friendly. It harnesses the energy of the sun to heat water in the pool, eliminating the need for electricity. The initial cost can be high, but the long-term benefits are sure to be attractive.
Clueless about which solar heater will work best for your pool? If you are finding it hard to decide which to buy, read on and we’ll help you come up with the right decision.
Table of Contents
- Top 2 Best Solar Pool Heater for Inground Pool
- Top Best Solar Pool Heater for Above Ground Pool
- How Does a Solar Pool Heater Work?
- What to Look for in a Solar Pool Heater
- Tips for the Installation of Solar Pool Heaters
- Wrap Up
Top 2 Best Solar Pool Heater for Inground Pool
#1 (Editor’s Choice) SmartPool S240U Universal Sun Heater Review
With the use of this heater, you can effectively capture the heat of the sun and use it to increase the temperature in the swimming pool by as much as 6 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The panels come in two parts, each with a size of 2×20 feet.
One of the best things about this heater is that you do not need the help of a pro when it comes to its installation. You can complete the process on your own, especially because it comes with a trilingual manual that provides detailed instructions on how to complete the assembly. There are slotted panels that will simplify the installation.
As for the performance of this solar heater, it is worth noting that it has an exclusive web design, which maximizes the ability to absorb the heat of the sun to store more energy for heating the pool. There is also a direct flow system to optimize the heating.
Meanwhile, when it comes to construction, polypropylene is the main material used in the panels, which can provide an assurance of its longevity.
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The panel has a total of 80 square feet. Based on the recommendations from the manufacturer, this will be more than enough for a pool with an approximate size of 15 x 30 feet.
Looking at its features, one of the most notable is the direct flow system, which allows it to quickly heat the water basically because there is one header hole in each heating tube. To add, it also has an innovative web design, a technology exclusively developed by the manufacturer to optimize the ability of the panels to absorb the energy of the sun.
Similar to the product above, it also offers simplified installation and the kit is already inclusive of almost everything that you will need for its assembly.
Top Best Solar Pool Heater for Above Ground Pool
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This extra-large solar panel has a size of 4×20 feet. Meanwhile, it is equipped with two hoses on both ends, each with a length of 6 feet and diameter or 1.5 inches. There are also four clamps that will hold the panel in place, making sure that it is at the right angle to optimize energy absorption from the heat of the sun. The panels can produce up to 80,000 BTU of heat, which will be more than enough to increase the temperature of the water by as much as 10 degrees.
With this solar panel, users will be able to enjoy versatility as there are different mounting options that are possible. You can mount it on the ground, on the roof, or wherever it is preferred, as long as the rays of the sun will directly hit the panels.
There is also an industry-leading 10-year warranty offered by the manufacturer, which demonstrates how confident they are about the quality and longevity of their product.
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This solar heater has a different appearance from those that have been mentioned above as it does not exist in the form of flat panels. Instead, it is square and has a spiraling part in the middle covered by a plastic dome. This is the one that will absorb the energy of the sun. The design is also good in the sense that it won’t require too much on your end when it comes to care and maintenance.
One of the benefits of this product is that it is space-efficient. It is compact, unlike the solar panels that will require quite a space for installation. Despite its sleek body, however, you can be assured that it will deliver optimal functionality. The diameter is only 23 inches, yet it will already be capable of heating an above ground pool with as much as 8,000 gallons of water.
How Does a Solar Pool Heater Work?
Solar heaters come in different shapes and sizes but most of them work in pretty much the same way. They often have the same parts, which are flow control valve, pump, filter, and solar collector. First, the water from the pool will be pumped into the filter. From here, it will be directed to the tubes that are connected to the solar connector. Here, the water is heated before it is finally sent back to the pool.
What to Look for in a Solar Pool Heater
To increase the likelihood of making the right decision, these are some of the most important things you have to take into account:
You have to determine the size of the pool and match it with the capabilities of the heater that will be chosen. More often than not, the manufacturer will state how many gallons the water can heat, which should provide you with a point of reference if it is suitable for your swimming pool.
For sure, you do not want to deal with complications. With this, choose a solar heater that will be easy to install and operate. The manufacturer should also provide detailed instructions on how to put it together.
It is also important to determine how much heat the unit can provide to the water. More often than not, the solar heater can increase the temperature of water from 5 to 10 degrees.
Solar heaters are exposed, which is how they harness the energy of the sun. Therefore, they will be prone to wear and tear caused by external elements, such as rain and dust. Choose one that is made of premium materials that are capable of withstanding the test of time.
Most of the products will come with a one-year warranty. For your peace of mind, choose a product with an extended warranty, which will allow you to enjoy support from the manufacturer in case the solar heater becomes defective.
Tips for the Installation of Solar Pool Heaters
It is not enough that you choose a high-quality pool heater. To maximize the benefits that it can deliver, proper installation is important. That being said, here are the things that you should do for its proper installation:
- Always follow the instructions from the manufacturer. Refer to the manual to be sure that the heater will work as the manufacturer intends to.
- Find the best place where you will install the solar heater. You should position it somewhere it will be directly reached by the heat of the sun, which will allow it to store more energy for heating the pool. It will be best if it will be facing the south, specifically if you live in the northern hemisphere.
- Make sure that you use the right size of the solar panels. If it is too small for the pool, you might want to install several panels or heaters depending on the requirements of the pool.
- In the case of some models, you have to tilt it at 45 degrees to maximize energy absorption. The manufacturer will state this in the manual if there is a need to do so.
- The right configuration of the pipes will also be important to optimize the heating capability of the unit. The inlet and outlet should be properly installed and using the right materials. Some solar panels will already include these as part of the kit.
From the things that have been mentioned above, it should be clear by now that solar panels indeed provide an excellent way to heat up the pool. It can do so in a manner that is energy-efficient and eco-friendly since you are taking advantage of a natural resource.
With too many options, the SmartPool S240U Universal Sun Heater stands out. It is a top-rated product with premium construction, providing you with the confidence that it will deliver many years of impressive functionality.