Solar Pool Heater

How to Extend Your Swimming Season With a Solar Pool Heater

Chilling dips in the pool are refreshing during scorching summer days, but when the temperature drops, you might find yourself shying away from the icy cold water. But what if you could extend your pool season without a sky-high utility bill? That’s where a solar pool heater can step in to revolutionize your swimming experience.

Why Choose a Solar Pool Heater?

Choosing a solar pool heater isn’t just a lifestyle choice—it’s an investment in comfort, savings, and our environment.


Typical electric or gas pool heaters can skyrocket your utility bills. But a solar pool heater operates on solar energy, and that’s like having a free energy source. Sure, there’s an initial cost for the setup, but you’ll recover that in energy savings in no time. After that, it’s warm, relaxing swims without a dent in your wallet.

Environmentally Friendly

Our carbon footprint is a hot topic these days. The world is gravitating towards sustainable living, and solar pool heaters align perfectly with this ideology. By harnessing the sun’s energy, you’re promoting the use of clean, renewable energy, and actively helping in the fight against climate change. Who knew swimming could be so eco-friendly?

Opting for a solar pool heater goes beyond heating your pool—it opens up a myriad of advantages that touch on comfort, savings, environment conservation, and more.

a solar pool heater, you’re effectively reducing your carbon footprint and making an eco-friendly choice.

Extended Swimming Season

A solar pool heater can effectively extend your swimming season. You no longer need to shutter your pool as soon as summer fades. By maintaining a comfortable water temperature, solar pool heaters enable you to enjoy your pool for most, if not all, of the year.

Low Maintenance

Unlike their gas or electric counterparts, solar pool heaters require very minimal maintenance once they’re installed. This can save you significant time and money over the system’s lifespan.

Quiet Operation

Solar pool heaters are exceptionally quiet during operation, unlike gas and heat pump pool heaters, which can be relatively loud. This ensures a peaceful environment around your pool.


Solar pool heaters are built to last. With no moving parts, they’re less likely to break down than gas or heat pump heaters. This translates to a long, usually trouble-free operating life.

Energy Independence

By using the power of the sun to heat your pool, you reduce your dependence on traditional energy sources. This energy independence protects you from fluctuations in energy costs and contributes to a more sustainable future.

These factors make solar pool heaters an excellent option for pool owners looking for an efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly way to extend their swimming season.

How Solar Pool Heaters Work

Solar pool heaters might sound like advanced technology, but the principle behind their operation is straightforward.

The Technology

Solar pool heaters are like sunbathing beachgoers. They bask in the sunlight, absorbing solar energy, which is then transformed into heat.

The Process of Heating

A solar pool heater circulates pool water through a series of solar collectors—typically, large panels containing small, sun-absorbent tubes. As the water flows through these tubes, it absorbs the heat and then flows back into your pool, raising its temperature. It’s a continuous, energy-efficient process that can keep your pool warm throughout the day.

Types of Solar Pool Heaters

Solar pool heaters are not one-size-fits-all. They come in different types to accommodate varying needs and conditions.

Solar Panel Heaters

These are the most common type of solar pool heaters. They comprise multiple solar panels or collectors mounted on a rooftop or ground rack. They’re like massive, heat-absorbent mats that use sunlight to warm your pool water. They’re effective, popular, and visually discreet, blending seamlessly with your home’s aesthetics.

Solar Coil Heaters

Solar coil heaters, also known as unglazed heaters, work slightly differently. Imagine leaving a black garden hose in the sun. The water inside gets warm, doesn’t it? Similarly, a solar coil heater uses black, coiled tubes to collect heat and transfer it to your pool water. They’re ideal for warmer climates, where freezing isn’t a concern.

Installation Process

Installation of a solar pool heater requires careful planning and precision. It might seem complex, but it becomes effortless when broken down into steps.

Factors to Consider

You need to take into account several factors before installing a solar pool heater. For instance, the size of your pool will determine the number of solar collectors needed. You also need to consider the average sunshine your location receives. And, of course, your desired pool temperature will also impact the heater size and setup.

Steps of Installation

The installation involves mounting the solar collectors in an area that receives optimal sunlight, connecting them to your pool’s circulation system, and setting up a control valve to regulate the water flow. While it’s possible for the installation to be a DIY project, it’s typically recommended to hire professionals to ensure everything is set up correctly and safely.

Maintenance and Longevity

A solar pool heater is an investment, and like all investments, you want it to last long and give you a bang for your buck.

Maintenance Tips

Maintenance for solar pool heaters is usually straightforward and minimal. Regular checks for any leaks or obstructions in the collectors will ensure that your heater is functioning optimally. Also, cleaning the collectors to remove dust or debris will maintain their efficiency.

Expected Lifespan

With the right care, solar pool heaters have impressive longevity. A well-maintained heater can easily last you 15-20 years. That’s nearly two decades of warm, comfortable swims!

Benefits of a Solar Pool Heater

The advantages of using a solar pool heater stretch beyond just warmth and cost-effectiveness. They offer unique benefits that give them an edge over traditional pool heating options.

Increased Property Value

Homes with solar installations often command higher prices on the real estate market. A solar pool heater not only makes your pool more enjoyable but also potentially increases your property’s value, making it a smart investment.

Energy Independence

With a solar pool heater, you’re not at the mercy of fluctuating energy costs. The sun’s energy is abundant and free, giving you greater control over your energy consumption and expenses.

Comparison with Other Types of Heaters

While solar pool heaters offer compelling benefits, it’s worth comparing them with gas and electric heaters to provide a balanced perspective.

Gas Heaters

Gas heaters can heat a pool quickly, regardless of the weather, but they come with high operational costs. These heaters burn natural gas or propane, which can be costly, especially during colder months. Furthermore, gas heaters contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, making them less eco-friendly.

Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are less expensive to install than solar or gas heaters but can lead to higher electricity bills. They’re also susceptible to price hikes in electricity, which could increase your operational costs over time. Like gas heaters, electric heaters aren’t as environmentally friendly.

Choosing the Right Heater for Your Pool

Choosing a solar pool heater isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Various factors come into play.

Pool Size

The size of your pool determines the size of the solar pool heater you’ll need. Larger pools require larger heaters to efficiently warm the water.

Location and Sunlight Exposure

The location of your pool and the amount of sunlight it receives are critical. The more sunlight your location gets, the more effective your solar pool heater will be.


How frequently you use your pool and what you use it for (leisure, exercise, etc.) also affects your choice of heater.

Our Top Picks

Here are a few solar water heaters that we feel tick all the boxes:

Bestway 58423 Solar Heating Pool Pad

Bestway 58423 Solar Heating Pool Pad

Dive into the luxury of a warm, inviting pool with the Bestway 58423 Solar Heating Pool Pad. This innovative, eco-friendly solution is designed to transform your regular swimming experience into a delightful, spa-like retreat.

Harness the sun’s natural energy to effectively increase your pool’s temperature by a remarkable 3-5°C. The Bestway Solar Heating Pool Pad not only optimizes your swimming comfort but also extends your pool season, allowing you to make the most out of your investment.

Offering compatibility with 9,462 liters (2,500 gallons per hour) filter pumps, this solar heating pad is designed to work seamlessly with a wide range of pool setups. Its versatility ensures that it can become an integral part of virtually any above-ground pool system, enhancing its utility and efficiency.

Crafted with cutting-edge materials, the Bestway Solar Heating Pool Pad exhibits superior resistance to weather. Its high-tech design guarantees durability and long-term performance, ensuring it withstands the test of time and delivers consistent results, irrespective of the climatic conditions.

Compatible with all above-ground pools, the Bestway Solar Heating Pool Pad offers unparalleled adaptability. Regardless of the type or size of your pool, this solar heating pad is ready to elevate your swimming experience to new heights of comfort and enjoyment.

Embrace a new era of pool heating with the Bestway 58423 Solar Heating Pool Pad. Experience the warmth of the sun in every swim, without the added energy costs. It’s more than a product; it’s a game-changer for your pool-time pleasure. Amazon’s best prices can be found right here.

SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater

SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater

Elevate your swimming experience with the SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater, a simple yet effective solution to keep your pool at the ideal temperature. With the capacity to accommodate both in-ground and above-ground pools, this innovative heater promises to extend your swim season and make every dip more delightful.

Installation is a breeze with the SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater. Its DIY-friendly design means you can easily set it up on a roof, rack, ground, or even a fence. This versatility ensures you can position the heater for optimal sun exposure, maximizing its efficiency and your comfort.

What truly sets the SunHeater S120U apart is its patented web design. This groundbreaking feature allows for maximum exposure to the sun’s rays, harnessing more solar energy and converting it efficiently into heat for your pool.

The SunHeater S120U operates by integrating seamlessly with your existing pool pump. The water circulates through the solar heater, where it’s warmed before returning to your pool. This efficient system can raise your pool’s water temperature by a generous 6-10 degrees F, making swimming a more enjoyable experience.

Depending on your pool setup and the placement of the heater, you might need additional kits or plumbing. But the effort is worth it as the SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater offers an eco-friendly, energy-efficient, and cost-effective solution for heating your pool.

Invest in the SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater and embrace the power of solar energy. This is not just a pool heater—it’s a game-changer that promises to make every swim session an absolute pleasure. Enjoy warmer, longer, and more relaxing swims with this fantastic addition to your pool.

Choosing to install a solar pool heater doesn’t just give you a warmer pool; it also offers the potential for significant financial incentives. There are various tax credits and incentives offered by governments and utility companies that can make the switch to solar energy even more appealing. Check out Amazon’s competitive prices here.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

The U.S. federal government encourages renewable energy adoption by providing a solar tax credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a substantial benefit because it allows homeowners to deduct a percentage of the cost of installing a solar energy system from their federal taxes. This tax credit can help offset the initial costs of your solar pool heating system, making it more affordable.

State and Local Incentives

On top of federal incentives, many states and local governments offer their own incentives for solar energy installations. These can take the form of additional tax credits, tax exemptions, rebates, or grants. The nature and amount of these incentives vary by location, so it’s worth checking with local authorities or utility companies to see what incentives are available in your area.

Utility Company Incentives

Some utility companies offer rebate programs for customers who install solar energy systems, including solar pool heaters. These incentives can be particularly beneficial because they provide direct reductions in the cost of the system.

Performance-Based Incentives (PBIs)

Performance-Based Incentives (PBIs) are incentives that are paid based on the actual energy production of your solar system. This can be a lucrative option if your solar pool heating system is especially effective.

Net Metering

While less common for solar pool heaters, net metering is another potential incentive. In this setup, if your solar system produces more energy than you use, the excess can be fed back into the grid. The utility company will then credit you for this extra energy, effectively paying you for the power your system has generated.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)

In some states, solar system owners can earn Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) for the electricity they generate. These SRECs can then be sold on the open market, providing an additional source of income.

All these financial incentives can significantly reduce the cost of your solar pool heater, making the technology more accessible and affordable. It’s worth exploring the options available in your region to fully leverage these benefits. Remember, regulations and incentives change over time, so always ensure you have the latest information.

Solar Pool Heaters and the Future

With the focus on sustainable living growing each day, solar pool heaters stand as an incredible technology that aligns perfectly with this ideology.

Energy Security

As fossil fuel resources dwindle, the shift towards renewable energy sources is inevitable. Solar pool heaters are part of this change, providing energy security by reducing dependence on non-renewable sources.

Innovation and Advancement

As technology evolves, solar pool heaters are becoming more efficient, affordable, and accessible. Future advancements promise to make them an even more attractive option for pool owners around the globe.

Wrapping Up

From this comprehensive guide, it’s clear that solar pool heaters present an appealing blend of benefits – environmental conservation, cost savings, increased property value, and energy independence. So next time you wince at the thought of diving into cold pool water, remember – the sun could be the solution!


Do solar pool heaters work at night? Solar pool heaters work by converting sunlight into heat, so they’re most effective during daylight hours. However, with a good pool cover to reduce heat loss, your pool can stay warm into the night.

Can I install a solar pool heater myself? While it’s possible for the installation to be a DIY project, it’s typically recommended to hire professionals to ensure everything is set up correctly and safely.

What happens to a solar pool heater in winter? Most solar pool heaters can withstand winter conditions. However, it’s recommended to drain the water from the collectors to prevent any potential freeze damage.

How long does it take for a solar pool heater to heat a pool? The exact time varies depending on the size of your pool, the efficiency of your heater, and the amount of sunlight. However, most solar heaters can raise pool temperatures by several degrees in one day.

What’s the lifespan of a solar pool heater? A well-maintained solar pool heater can last anywhere from 15-20 years, making them a long-lasting investment.