You are here: Indoor Swimming Pool Guide » Pool construction » Solar pool heaters

Solar pool heaters

Performance & Use

Solar Pool Heaters are best for recreational pool use and are recommended for those who are comfortable with pool temperatures ranging from the low to mid 80’s. Solar works year round in southern climates, and extends the season in northern climates. There may be periods during inclement weather that the pool is too cool to use; however, several sunny days will bring the pool back to a comfortable temperature. Proper sizing is critical for good performance.

How Does It Work?

Solar Heaters utilize the sun’s free heat and do not have an operating cost. Your existing pool pump circulates the water through the heater, usually located on the roof, and warms the pool. The pump timer is set to operate during sunlight hours, usually 9am to 5pm

System and Installation Cost

System kit cost range: $1000 – $4800
Installation cost: $500 – $2500
Typical 15×30 free-form pool: 7 (4×12) Deluxe Kit $1900 and $2800 Standard Installation

Energy Rating & Efficiency

Solar panels are rated by FSEC (Florida Solar Energy Center) in BTU’s per SqFt. The higher the BTU, the more heat output. The average output is 900 to 1000 BTU’s. This equates to a 3 to 7% difference between different brands. To determine the best value, divide the total cost by the total SqFt of panel. The lower the cost per SqFt, the better the value.

Cost of Operation

Solar is an alternative energy source, and has no cost of operation. The pool pump must run for the solar heater to function, and may increase your electric bill by $30 to $75 per year depending on your normal filtering time.

Size Heater Required

Generally you will need a system equal to 50 to 100% of the pool surface. Solar panels are available in 4×8, 4×10, 4×12 and custom sizes. They are generally placed in a row on one or several roofs. A typical 7 4×12 panel system would require a space of 12.5 ft by 29 ft.

Longevity and Maintenance

A quality Solar Heater will typically last 10 to 20 years. They are very low maintenance. Most systems have a 10 year warranty on the panels