If you enjoy your pool in the summer months when it’s warm, chances are you are always sad to see the temperature drop and the swimming season come to an end. If only you had a way to extend how long you could enjoy your pool, right?
Well, the good news is that you can – with a heater! Of course, this is nothing new, and no doubt you’ve already considered this option. You’ve probably also decided not to get a heater because of the operating costs. But what if those weren’t an issue? This is where a solar pool heater comes in.
What are Solar Heaters and How do they Work?
As the name implies, a solar pool heater uses the power of the sun to heat the water in your pool. Since solar energy is free, a solar heater is a very cost-effective way to heat your pool.
Solar heaters work on the very simple idea that black materials heat up quickly in direct sunlight. By pumping your pool water through a series of black tubes that have been warmed by the sun, the water will become warmer. Pump it through those tubes enough, and you can heat your pool 10 or 20 degrees with almost zero extra energy costs.
Also Read: Types Of Solar Water Heaters
Solar pool heaters come in all sizes and costs, from the DIY to the very professional and expensive. If you have a nice in-ground pool, the most likely you want something that looks nice and comes with professional quality. Let’s talk about how that process works.
The Installation Process
1. Install the Solar Collectors
The most important part of a solar heating system is the panel (or panels) of collectors. These look much like solar panels, but as mentioned above consist of dark-colored tubing that will allow the water to pass through. Typically, these are installed on the roof to allow for maximum solar exposure.
Of course, you have to have a roof that is exposed to the sun and faces the right direction. A southward-facing roof is ideal, as this will collect the most sun. You also need to determine the right size. Your professional installer will be able to help you here, but the general rule is that the size should be based on a percentage of the size of your pool.
Once ready, the installers will set a framework that sets into your roof and holds the panels in place. These frames will typically be meta, and will go through the roof into the frame of the structure below. Once the framework is in place, the collector panels are then attached.
2. Run the Pipes
Once the collectors are in place, the next step is to connect the pool. Since the water comes from the pool up to the collectors, it’s necessary to have a few extra components. Typically, a pump is used to help move the water, and a filter is put in place to help make sure that only water is running through the collectors. This helps keep the collector clean and damage-free.
The installer will check all the plumbing, the pipes and the connectors before turning the system on. Because some systems have an extensive plumbing system attached, this can take a while to verify all the connections are leak-free.
3. Consider Extras
Some systems can come with extra features. For example, a vacuum relief valve is used to drain water from the pipes when the pump is shut off. A check valve helps to make sure water doesn’t flow backwards, which can damage your system. Finally, a bypass valve can shut out the solar system entirely on days it’s not needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to install?
A typical system costs between $3,000 and $4,000 to buy and install, but prices can vary greatly depending on your pool.
Also Read: Best Electricity Usage Monitor
Can you add solar heating if you already have a pool?
In short — yes! Any pool can have a solar heating system added to it.
How long can a solar pool heating system last?
A quality system can last for several decades.
How effective is solar pool heating?
This depends on where you live and other conditions. In general, though, this system works slowly, but effectively up until your water reaches the low 80s. After that, you might not see much of a difference.
In conclusion, a solar pool heating system is a safe and efficient way to get even more out of your pool. Once installed, you can look forward to years and years of extra swim time with almost no added costs or energy usage, which should make this an easy decision, when you think about it.