Heating Your Pool with Solar: Full Solar Pool Heater Guide

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Solar pool heaters, including the popular pool heater models, are an innovative solution for pool owners seeking to extend their swimming season, reduce energy costs, and embrace eco-friendly practices. But with many different models on the market, how do you choose the one that best suits your needs? This is our full product review and guide to heating your pool with solar.

Smart Pool S601

  • Easy Install
  • Efficient Performance
  • Durable
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SunHeater S120U

  • Affordable
  • High Efficiency
  • DIY Install
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SunQuest Solar Panels

  • Quality Build
  • High Performance
  • Five Year Warranty
See Here

Overview of Top Solar Pool Heaters

Heating your pool with solar

Solar pool heaters come in various shapes and sizes, each offering unique features and benefits. Solar powered pool heaters harness the sun’s energy to heat your pool water, saving you money on energy bills and extending your swimming season. Here are some of the best solar pool heaters available:

Best Overall: Smart Pool S601 Inground Pool Solar Heating System

Best Above-Ground Solar Pool Heater: FAFCO Papa Bear Solar Pool Heater

Best DIY Install: Goplus Solar Dome Swimming Pool Heater

Best Budget-Friendly Option: SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater

Best Premium Choice: SunQuest Solar Pool Heater Panels

Best Compact Design: GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater

Best Bang For The Buck: XtremepowerUS Inground/Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System

These options provide a range of choices to suit different needs and budgets.

Best Overall: Smart Pool S601 Inground Pool Solar Heating System

Specifications:

• Dimensions: 4’ x 20’

• Type: Solar Pool Heating System

• Compatibility: Inground Pools

• Energy Source: Solar

• Materials: Durable and corrosion-resistant components

• Installation: DIY-friendly with clear instructions

• Temperature Control: Yes, for effective pool temperature management

• Size/Dimensions: Varied configurations available

• Weather Resistance: Designed to withstand outdoor elements

Pros:

Easy to install

Efficient heating performance

Compatible with existing pool pumps

Cons:

An additional purchase of a diverter kit may be necessary

The Smart Pool S601 Inground Pool Solar Heating System distinguishes itself with its potent heating abilities and straightforward set-up. This solar pool heater can:

Warm up your pool to a cozy 80 degrees Fahrenheit or even more, making your swimming experience much more enjoyable through solar pool heating.

The heating performance is influenced by various factors, including outdoor temperature, pool size, number of solar panels, and available sunlight.

The flexible installation options are a bonus for this solar pool heating system.

Yet, bear in mind that the system’s heating effectiveness largely hinges on the location of installation. Selecting the perfect site for the Smart Pool S601 is crucial to maximizing its performance and efficiency.

Rating:

Heating performance: 4.5/5

Installation ease: 4/5

Value for money: 4/5

Best Above-Ground Solar Pool Heater: FAFCO Papa Bear Solar Pool Heater

Specifications:

Dimensions: 4’ x 20’

Type: Solar Pool Heater

Compatibility: Above-ground Pools

Energy Source: Solar

Materials: Durable and UV resistant polyethylene

Installation: Designed for user-friendly DIY installation with clear instructions

Temperature Control: Yes, for effective pool temperature management

Configurations: Varied configurations available for customization

Weather Resistance: Built to withstand outdoor elements

Pros:

Easy to install

Suitable for above-ground pools

Efficient electric pool heater

Cons:

Not as effective in colder climates

As a top choice for above-ground pools, the FAFCO Papa Bear Solar Pool Heater boasts a sturdy and efficient design. The installation process is user-friendly, making it an attractive option for DIY enthusiasts. The heater is also affordable, which makes it a cost-effective solution for heating above-ground pools.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that the heater’s efficiency may be reduced in colder climates, as reported by some customers. Despite this, many users recommend this solar pool heater for its value for money and impressive heating capabilities, making it a popular choice among various solar heaters. Understanding how solar pool heaters work can help you make an informed decision when choosing the right one for your needs.

Rating:

Heating performance: 4/5

Installation ease: 5/5

Value for money: 5/5

Best DIY Install: Goplus Solar Dome Swimming Pool Heater

Specifications:

Dimensions: 22.4” x 22.4” x 8.7”

Type: Solar Dome Pool Heater

Compatibility: Suitable for various pool sizes

Energy Source: Solar

Materials: Premium PP, PC And PE material

Installation: DIY-friendly with straightforward setup

Temperature Control: Yes, for effective pool temperature management

Design: Dome-shaped for space efficiency

Weather Resistance: Designed to withstand outdoor elements

Pros:

Easy to install

Compact design

Suitable for above-ground and in-ground pools

Affordability

Compatibility with various pool sizes

Cons:

Requires a pool pump to circulate the water

Lower heating capacity due to size

The Goplus Solar Dome Swimming Pool Heater earns high praise for its easy solar pool heater installation and potent heating capabilities. The installation process is straightforward, making it the perfect choice for those who prefer a DIY solar pool heater and doing things themselves.

However, a disadvantage of this model is its need for a pump to circulate the water. Despite this minor inconvenience, the Goplus Solar Dome Swimming Pool Heater, a solar powered pool heater, is an excellent choice for those seeking a compact and efficient heating solution for their outdoor pool, such as a heat pump pool heater or a solar swimming pool heater.

Rating:

Heating performance: 4/5

Installation ease: 5/5

Value for money: 4.5/5

 

Best Budget-Friendly Option: SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater

Specifications:

Dimensions: 2’ x 20’

Type: Universal Solar Pool Heater

Compatibility: Suitable for both in-ground and above-ground pools

Energy Source: Solar

Materials: Durable polypropylene

Installation: DIY-friendly with clear instructions

Temperature Control: Yes, for effective pool temperature management

Design: Universal design for versatile compatibility

Weather Resistance: Built to withstand outdoor elements

Pros:

Affordable

Efficient heating performance

Suitable for above-ground and in-ground pools

High Efficiency

Universal compatibility

Durable construction

Easy to install

Cons:

May require additional purchase of installation kit

With its budget-friendly price tag and uncompromised efficiency, the SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater stands apart. It boasts 80 square feet of solar panels, ensuring efficient pool water temperature and circulation and outstanding heat output. Nonetheless, be aware that some users have reported quality issues with this heater. While some users have found it effective in heating their pool, others have faced issues. Despite these mixed reviews, the SunHeater S120U remains a popular choice for its affordability and efficiency.

Rating:

Heating performance: 3.5/5

Installation ease: 4/5

Value for money: 5/5

Best Premium Choice: SunQuest Solar Pool Heater Panels

Specifications:

Dimensions: 2’ x 10’

Type: Solar Pool Heater Panels

Compatibility: Suitable for both in-ground and above-ground pools

Energy Source: Solar

Materials: Durable construction with professional grade corrosion-resistant components

Installation: DIY-friendly with modular design for customization

Temperature Control: Yes, for effective pool temperature management

Design: Modular panels for versatile compatibility

Weather Resistance: Built to withstand outdoor elements

Pros:

High-quality materials

Excellent heating performance

Suitable for above-ground and in-ground pools

Modular design for customization

Efficient DIY installation

Temperature control

Five-year warranty

Cons:

Higher initial cost

For those seeking superior materials and top-notch solar pool heating systems performance, the SunQuest Solar Pool Heater Panels are an exemplary choice. These solar panels are made from high-quality polypropylene, ensuring longevity and maximum efficiency of the heating system.

Nevertheless, the initially high cost of these panels might deter some buyers. Despite the initial investment, the SunQuest Solar Pool Heater Panels come with a reassuring five-year limited warranty, ensuring buyers get exceptional value for their premium investment.

Rating:

Heating performance: 5/5

Installation ease: 4/5

Value for money: 4/5

Best Compact Design: GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater

Specifications:

Dimensions: 27.2” x 5.5” x 44.9”

Type: Solar Pool Heater

Compatibility: Suitable for above-ground pools

Energy Source: Solar

Materials: Compact design with weather-resistant components

Installation: DIY-friendly with straightforward setup

Temperature Control: Yes, for effective pool temperature management

Design: Curved for space efficiency

Weather Resistance: Built to withstand outdoor elements

Pros:

Compact design

Suitable for above-ground and in-ground pools

Efficient heating performance

Affordability

Temperature controls

Cons:

May require additional purchase of bypass kit

For those in search of a compact yet efficient design, the GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater is the ideal choice. This heater is praised for its innovative design and effective heating capabilities. Yet, setting up the heater might necessitate the purchase of a bypass kit, which could add to the cost for some buyers. Despite this, many users recommend this solar pool heater for its compact design and impressive heating capabilities.

Rating:

Heating performance: 4/5

Installation ease: 4.5/5

Value for money: 4.5/5

Best Bang For The Buck: XtremepowerUS Inground/Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System

Specifications:

Dimensions: 2’ x 20’

Type: Solar Panel Heating System

Compatibility: Suitable for both in-ground and above-ground pools

Energy Source: Solar

Materials: Durable construction with corrosion-resistant components

Installation: DIY-friendly with straightforward setup

Temperature Control: Yes, for effective pool temperature management

Design: Solar panels for versatile compatibility

Weather Resistance: Built to withstand outdoor elements

Pros:

Affordable

Suitable for above-ground and in-ground pools

Efficient heating performance

Easy installation

Durable construction

Cons:

May require additional purchase of installation kit

Pool size limitation

If you’re in search of value for money, the XtremepowerUS Inground/Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System makes an excellent choice. This heater is praised for its versatility and effective heating capabilities. But, the need for an installation kit, which constitutes an extra cost, should be considered by potential users during the setup process. Despite this, many users recommend this solar pool heater for its affordability and impressive heating capabilities.

Rating:

Heating performance: 4.5/5

Installation ease: 4/5

Value for money: 5/5

Selecting the Perfect Solar Pool Heater: A Comprehensive Guide

Solar Panels for Pool

Choosing the perfect solar pool heater involves considering factors such as pool surface area, size, climate, and budget. The size of the solar collectors should be between 50% and 100% of the pool’s surface area. Solar pool heaters are also low maintenance, requiring only occasional cleaning to ensure optimal performance.

Another key factor to consider is the environmental benefits of using a solar pool heater. They:

• Emit no air pollution

• Reduce the carbon footprint by using renewable solar energy, compared to gas and electric heating systems

• Can positively impact property value

Finally, the cost of a fully-installed solar pool heater can vary from $1,000 to $8,000, influenced by factors such as pool size and system complexity. Taking these aspects into account will help you select a solar pool heater that aligns with your needs and budget.

Summary

In conclusion, solar pool heaters are an efficient and eco-friendly way to extend your swimming season while reducing energy costs. With various models available in the market, it’s essential to consider factors such as pool size, climate, and budget when selecting the perfect solar pool heater. Whether you’re looking for the best overall option, a budget-friendly choice, or a heater with a compact design, this guide has covered a range of top solar pool heaters to help you make an informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest way to heat a pool?

The most cost-effective way to heat a pool is by using a solar cover to retain heat and pool cover to prevent evaporation, which can keep water up to 10 degrees warmer than with just a heater. Additionally, you can consider using solar heating as the primary source and pool blankets to control evaporation for an affordable heating solution.

Is it worth putting a heater in a pool?

Yes, investing in a pool heater can extend your swimming season by two months, making it a worthwhile investment. Additionally, it allows you to maintain a constant temperature despite fluctuations in the sun and outside air temperature.

Is solar pool heating worth it?

Yes, solar pool heating is worth it. You can save money on heating costs, as solar energy is one of the most inexpensive ways to heat a pool and doesn’t require additional purchases. Plus, it’s cost competitive with other types of pool heaters and has very low operating costs, making it a cost-effective use of solar energy.

How does a solar pool heater work?

A solar pool heater works by using the sun’s energy to heat your pool water, making it an efficient and cost-saving option for keeping your pool warm.

What size solar pool heater do I need?

You should aim for a solar collector that is between 50% and 100% of your pool’s surface area to effectively heat your pool with solar energy. It’s important to consider the size to maximize efficiency and warmth.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute as legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

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