Frequently Asked Questions

 solar pool heater types

Should I heat my pool?

Depending on the climate you live in, your pool may require more heating or less heating.  Heating your pool allows you and your family to enjoy your pool more than just a few months a year.

Heating your pool enables you to comfortably enjoy your pool earlier in the spring, evenings, and later into the fall.  A warmer pool means you will be likely to use it more.

What’s the difference between a solar thermal and solar photovoltaic system?

A solar photovoltaic (PV) system is designed to generate electricity while a solar thermal system uses panels that heat water as it passes through the tubing.

 

How does a solar pool heating system work?

Cold water is pumped from your pool through the solar collector and warmed by heat collected from the sun.  A useful analogy is when water that sits in a garden hose and is warmed by the sun. The warm water is then pumped back into your pool giving you warm water.

 

What are the different types of solar pool heating systems?

Please see the page titled types of solar pool heaters.

 

Is there enough sun where I live?

Studies show that there is enough solar energy in all parts of the United States and into Canada for you to enjoy a longer swim season with a solar pool heater.

 

Will a solar pool heater heat my pool?

Yes! Depending on the climate and weather conditions,  a solar pool heater can raise your pool temperature up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over a period of several warm sunny days.  Utilizing a solar pool cover will help maintain the temperature through the night and when its windy.

Is a solar pool heater preferable to a gas heater?

Once a solar pool heater is installed, your heat is FREE from the sun. With a gas heater you need to pay the gas company depending on how much you use the heater. In the spring and fall when you really need heat, you use the pool heater more, so it costs you more – but solar energy is still free. Also, solar is non-polluting, and it can cool your pool during hot months, something no gas heater can do.

 

Can pool solar panels be used to heat the house?

No. Solar pool panels and controls are designed specifically to heat a large volume of water in a swimming pool, and to operate in temperature ranges of 80 to 100 degrees. Household space heating and household hot water are different applications of solar, requiring heating smaller volumes of household water to higher temperatures.

 

Do I need to use a pool cover with a solar pool heating system?

A pool cover prevents water from evaporating, especially at night.  Evaporation is a cooling process and leads to water loss (and heat loss).  The cover holds the solar heat in the pool added during the day.  This is very complementary to the solar system. The solar system actively adds heat while the pool cover retains heat passively.

 

Can the system also cool my pool?

During the hottest part of the summer, running the solar system at night can lower the water temperature to a more comfortable swimming temperature down several degrees in one night if the conditions are right.  The pool temperature can also be lowered by removing the pool cover at night.

 

How much would a solar pool heater cost for my pool?

Solar pool heating system prices depend on location and size of the pool, location of the solar panels, desired temperature and season, and type of pool equipment.

 

How much money will a pool heating system save me?

Compared to heating with natural gas or propane, an investment in solar can pay for itself in 2 to 3 years.  If the pool owner does not normally heat the pool,  the solar pool heater will not really “save” money, will allow the pool to be used much much longer throughout the year.  A swimming pool is a significant investment, the solar pool heater will assure that the pool is used and enjoyed much more.

 

How much does a solar pool heating system cost to operate?

Solar pool heating systems typically use an automatically controlled valve to divert the existing filtration flow to the solar panels, with no additional cost to operate the solar pool heater.  Some pools may need an additional solar boost pump that would cost a few dollars per month to operate during the swimming season.  However pumps may also be powered by a solar photovoltaic panel.

 

What is the life span of solar pool heating system?

Solar collectors can last between 15 and 20 years.   Look for system having a longer warranty.

 

What special maintenance is required on a solar pool heater?

Digital controls allow you to set the solar pool heater for automatic functioning. It is highly recommended that the panels be shut off and drained in the winter. This process takes just a few minutes and will protect the panels against freeze damage.