Solar Pool Heater For Above Ground Pools

​Solar heating an above ground pool has become quite a popular practice in recent years. And it seems as though more and more people are wanting to heat up the pool water to either make it more comfortable or to extend their swim season. Answering this call, manufacturers have responded to the demand by offering more options for the swimming pool owner searching for ways to warm up pool water.

Making The Most Of It

It is important to note that these solar heating systems will work with varying results on each pool. Pool size, location, and air temperature are just a few of the variables that make each application different. However you can make the most of your solar pool heating system by taking a few important steps first.

The location of the pool is the most important factor. If you have not yet installed your pool, try to locate it in the part of the yard that sees the most amount of direct sunlight. The longer the sun can shine of the pool, the warmer it will make the water. If your pool is already up like most, clear away any branches or other obstructions that may be blocking the sun’s rays from shining onto your pool.

Secondly, always use a solar pool cover. A solar blanket or solar cover is a plastic cover that is installed nightly onto the water’s surface and prevents the heat that has accumulated during the day from escaping overnight. For many people a simple solar blanket is enough to warm the water up to their satisfaction. If you live further north or your pool is in a shaded location, an actual pool heater may be necessary to get that water temperature up.

What To Expect

Solar pool heaters are the least expensive way to warm the water in an above ground pool. These heater kits are nothing more than black plastic tubes or panels that are placed in direct sunlight, usually on a roof top or along a fence. As the pool pump pushes the water through the panels, the water absorbs the heat from the black plastic on it’s way back to the swimming pool after leaving the pool’s filtering system.

Solar pool heater kits like this come as individual panels. If room permits and more warmth is required, additional panels can be added with great success. However realistic expectations are a must. Taking the chill out of the water or extending you swim season by a month or two is quite possible. Heating large bodies of water during cloudy cold wintery weather is unlikely with a solar pool heating system. If you need to really warm up the water in these conditions, a heat pump or gas pool heater is going to be required.

Options

Solar heaters work great for many pool owners and their cheap buy in cost makes them quite attractive. However if you are faced with the realization that a more expensive heat pump or large gas heater will be required, you will have to step up your budget for this project. A heat pump or gas heater is definitely an option, properly sized they work great at heating the pool water in large pools and cold weather conditions. Or you can do what many other do and get a hot tub for the winter months. Pricing for a hot or spa is comparable to the cost of the heat pump and the size, maintenance and cost of operation of the hot tub is quite small.