Is A Solar Pool Heater A Viable Option?

— Posted in General Health Issues

AquaCal Heat PumpSolar pool heating systems direct the sun’s energy to heat your pool. The big advantage here is that this energy is free of charge and not only that you are being friendly to the environment.

You will find other advantages as well:

  • Can be installed by pool owner – Even though solar pool heating systems are frequently installed by professionals, solar heating kits are obtainable for both above-ground pools and in-ground pools and are easy to install. In this instance there is no need for qualified gas contractors or electricians. The key task is installing the solar panels and locating these properly will be the major factor in determining how effective the system is. Ideally these will be set up on a roof or on a suitable framework, such that they face the sun.
  • Minimal maintenance requirement – Once installed the a solar system requires little maintenance which compares favorably to gas heaters and heat pumps
  • System will last – A solar system will last a long time and hence maximize the return on your investment. This is illustrated by the fact that some manufacturers offer fifteen year guarantees.

But we have to accept that there are also several disadvantages to bear in mind:

  • Large space needed for solar panels – As a rough guide the area of the solar collectors will be similar to the surface area of the pool. Even if you have a small pool this means that the solar collectors will take up a significant amount of room. In addition the positioning of the solar collectors may be forced by your location and this may have a negative impact on your local environment.
  • Low powered compared to gas and electric alternatives – It has to be accepted that, even in the best location, the energy generated will not match that of a gas pool heater or heat pump. Solar heating will still work on overcast days but the output will not be as high as on a sunny day.
  • Dependent on Local Conditions – How effective a solar pool heater will be in practice depends on a number of factors including local temperature, wind, the amount of sunshine and particularly the orientation of the solar panels. The solar panels need to be south facing, at the correct angle and not shaded at all, if output from the system is to be maximized.
  • Can be expensive – Most of the cost relates to the solar collectors and the number of these you need depends on the size of the pool. For an in-ground pool it can work out more that a gas heater. Of course the running costs will compensate for this over time.

Whether a solar pool heater will work for you actually depends on your location and the period you require your swimming season to be usable.  As long as you can install your solar collectors in a good location and are not looking to extend your season into the colder months then you should give serious consideration to a solar pool heating system.