Winter is coming – and even when it’s not here, you need your pool warm in any season. There are several ways to keep it warm, but none of them will save you money like a solar-powered pool heater. Solar-powered pool heaters have lower operating costs than other pool heating setups like heat pumps and gas pool heaters. The best solar pool heaters are also easy to install, powerful, and durable, so you hardly ever have to make repairs.

We have scoured the web to identify the best solar pool heaters based on their specifications and user reviews and listed them in this post. A warm pool doesn’t have to be a luxury, so we’ve selected affordable pool heaters that you can buy and install today without fuzz. It’s time to take your pool from ice-cold shiver-inducer to warm and cozy for you, your kids, and your friends.

Table Of Contents

How Do Solar Pool Heaters Work?

A solar pool heater is a type of heater that heats your pool with power generated from the sun. This device contains several combines such as a solar collector, a filter, a pump, and a control valve to keep you warm safely.

To heat your pool, the pump directs the water to the solar collector through the filter. The function of the filter is to remove any debris in the water. The water is then heated in the solar collector before it is pumped back into the pool. Some solar pool heaters also come with automatic sensors and control valves that allow you to set a desired temperature and keep it that way throughout your swim.

These components will monitor the water temperature and send a signal to the solar collector once it drops below the desired temperature. Once the heater has raised the temperature, the control valve halts the process, so the water never gets too hot.

You can also cool your pool water with a solar-powered pool heater through a process called Nocturnal Cooling. This is done by passing the water through the solar collector at night or any time when your collector’s temperature is lower than that of your pool water. The high emissivity of the solar collector helps it release heat excellently at night.

What Are the Advantages of Solar Pool Heaters?

Solar pool heaters make for a great addition to your pool, and there are several benefits to investing in one:

  • Use Your Pool All Year: The foremost benefit of installing a solar pool heater is that your pool will remain usable regardless of the season. This pool heater will be able to heat your pool in the cold winter and cool it on hot summer nights.
  • Lower Your Utility Bills: Since swimming pool solar heaters run on the free energy from the sun, you won’t have to depend on your utility company for the energy needed to heat your pool, making a solar-powered pool a highly economical choice.
  • Environmentally Friendly Energy: Solar energy is a clean and renewable source of energy. You will be reducing your carbon footprint when you heat your pool with solar energy. Homeowners all over the world are switching to solar-powered systems in a bid to reduce environmental impact and reverse global warming.
  • Low Maintenance: A swimming pool solar heater usually requires little to no maintenance. Once the installation is done expertly, preferably through an experienced professional, you can enjoy a swim in warm water for years to come without any issues.

Types of Solar Powered Pool Heaters

There are three types of pool heaters. The type of pool you have will play a huge role in the type of pool heater you’ll install.

  • Roof Mounted Solar Systems: This type of solar panel system is mounted on a roof close to your pool. If your pool is behind your house, you can mount the solar pool heater panels on the shed or directly on the backside of your main building’s roof. It is the right choice for you if you have a large-sized or in-ground swimming pool.
  • Portable Heaters: This type of heater is the best solar pool heater for above-ground pools. The solar pool heater panels are usually installed on the ground next to a pool, making them a perfect choice if there’s no roof near your pool.
  • Solar Pool Covers: While this type of swimming solar pool heater isn’t as effective as the others, it offers other excellent benefits. Asides from keeping your pool warm, a solar pool cover will reduce water loss due to evaporation and keep out debris.

Review of Best Solar Pool Heaters for All Types Of Swimming Pools

Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System (Editor’s Pick)

  • Number of Panels: 1
  • Dimensions: 4 × 20 ft
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Weight: 40 pounds
  • Temperature Raisable: 10°F
  • Time Required to Heat Pool: 6 hours

Step in the pool with confidence with the Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System. First introduced to the market in the 1970s, it remains the number one choice for property owners all over the U.S and beyond. While this product has several excellent features, its versatility is arguably its biggest selling point. You can choose to install this pool heater on your rooftop, on the ground next to your pool, or on a rack. Also, the solar has a total of 80 Square feet, meaning that it will sufficiently heat about 80 Square feet of your pool with an extra kit.

Additionally, the pool heater is built to withstand harsh weather conditions. So, you can be assured that it will last for several decades. The product manufacturers are so certain of its durability that they offer a ten-year warranty on it – that’s at least ten years you won’t have to pay extra electrical bills.

Furthermore, the product comes with extra-large tubes that enable it to circulate pool water quickly and transfer heat with great efficiency.  Installation is easy; the heater comes with everything you need to install your pool heater, including a manual for DIYers.

Pros

  • Incredibly versatile
  • Supports powerful pumps
  • Highly Durable

Cons

  • You will have to purchase the installation rack separately.

Smartpool S601P SunHeater Solar Heating System (Best Inground Pool Solar Heater)

  • Number of Panels: 1
  • Dimension: 4 × 20 ft
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Weight: 19.4 pounds
  • Temperature Raisable: 6 – 10°F
  • Time Required to Heat Pool: 3 days
  • Power: Can power pumps up to 1.5 HP and more

Get your inground pool from chilly to cozy in no time with the Smartpool S601P SunHeater Solar Heating System. Of all the solar pool heaters, it is the most suitable for inground pools. The large size of the solar pool heater panels makes them very efficient at absorbing energy from the sun. As a result, it can increase the temperature of your pool water up to 15°F.

This pool heater’s environmentally friendly design includes specially built tubes that connect the pool pump to the solar pool heater panels. We recommend keeping the polypropylene heat collectors in the sun for at least 6 hours; the more sun they get, the better they work. You can install the Smartpool S601P o your roof, cabana, rack, or on the floor by your pool and use it with your existing pool pump without any issues. Since it only weighs a maximum of 80lbs when filled with water and it distributes the weight evenly over a large area, your roof should not feel any undue stress. You can purchase an installation kit separately to install it wherever you choose.

Pros

  • Highly Efficient
  • Budget-Friendly
  • It can also be used for an above ground pool
  • It can increase your pool’s temperature by 15 degrees in less than a day

Cons

  • A large space will be needed for installation
  • DIYers may find installation complicated

GAME SolarPRO Solar Pool Heater (Best Solar Pool Heater for an Above Ground Pool)

  • Dimensions: 27.56” x 5.91” x 44.88”
  • Weight: 18.3 pounds
  • Adjustability: Legs height can be adjusted to increase exposure to sunlight

If you are looking to enjoy free heat from the sun in your above-ground pool, this is the right product for you. There are several reasons why we have chosen this product, but it easily outshines other products in terms of design. The SolarPro Solar Pool Heater comes with a curved design that collects energy from the sun with maximum efficiency. Also, the flexibility of the pool heater’s legs will allow you to adjust the solar pool heater panels in the direction of the sun all day.

Furthermore, this solar-powered pool heater is built with highly durable materials. As a result, its quality won’t deteriorate due to exposure to sunlight and other environmental elements. For an 8,000-gallon pool, you can expect this heater to raise the water’s temperature by 5°F with four days. The SolarPro Solar Pool Heater is one of the best solar pool heaters out there that will complement your landscape while keeping you warm during the season.

Pros

  • Excellent gradual heating
  • Beautiful design
  • Specially designed for maximum sunlight
  • Durable materials
  • Adjustable legs

Cons

  • Short Hoses

SunHeater Pool Heating System (Best Board Mounted Pool Heater)

  • Number of Panels: 2
  • Dimensions: 4 × 20 ft
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Use: In-ground and above ground pools

No roof space to mount your pool heater? No problem. You can get in on the hot action with the SunHeater Pool Heating System – the best board-mounted pool heater. You only need to mount your solar system on a board without sacrificing exposure to sunlight. It is the perfect choice for you you’re bothered about putting weight on your building’s roof or if you already have solar panels installed on them.

Thanks to its unique tube-on-web design, this pool heater captures maximum sunlight while having a very long lifespan. Additionally, the fiberglass reinforced over-molded header and its rigid flexibility that allows the panels to expand makes it much more durable. The SunHeater Pool Heating System is excellent when it comes to heat generation, and it can increase your pool’s water temperature by up to 10 Fahrenheit. It can leverage your existing filtration system and connect to other SunHeater systems for even faster heating!

Pros

  • Durability and longevity
  • Special web design for maximum efficiency
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install and maintain

Cons

  • Unfavorable warranty system

XtremepowerUS Inground/Above Ground Solar Panel Heating System (Best Rooftop Solar Pool Heater)

  • Number of Panels: 1
  • Dimension: 28″ × 20 ft
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Weight: 15 pounds
  • Temperature Raisable: 10°F
  • Time Required to Heat Pool: 3 days

Extend your swimming season by months with XtremepowerUS Inground/Above Ground Solar Panel Heating System, the best solar pool heater for rooftop installations. Installation is fuss-free, and the components are lightweight despite being extremely durable. Feel free to use the XtremepowerUS as an inground-pool solar heater or as an above-ground pool heater, depending on which pool you have.

Despite the low cost, it provides excellent heating results as its collector is about 80-Square-feet in size. In addition to this, it is made with materials of very high quality. As long as it is properly installed, it will last through all seasons with minimal need for repair or maintenance. Another feature that makes it unique is that you can easily remove the system for storage whenever the pool is not in use.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to roll up for storage

Cons

  • It’s not very suitable for extreme climates

Sun2Solar Blue Solar Cover (Best Solar Pool Cover)

  • Dimensions: 33 × 33 ft
  • Temperature Raisable: 6 – 10°F
  • Time Required to Heat Pool: One week

While this isn’t your standard pool heater, it can be just as effective. A solar pool cover is simply a solar heating blanket spread over a pool from wall to wall. The air bubbles in the cover enable it to trap heat energy.

The best solar pool cover available today is the Sun2Solar Blue Solar Cover. This pool cover is designed to draw in heat, trap heat, and retain heat. When you’re out of the pool, it can continue retaining that heat, so your pool is warm throughout the night in case you feel like jumping back in for a quick dip.

Additionally, this pool cover will keep your pool clean and prevent water and chemical evaporation, making it effective at reducing your pool maintenance needs. However, you should know that this product isn’t suitable for hot climates. It will last up to two years in a favorable climate, but only a season in a hot area.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Enhances pool cleanliness and heat retention

Cons

  • Short lifespan

Kokido Keops Solar Dome (Best Compact Solar Heater)

  • Dimensions: 23.6 × 11.4 × 23.6 inches
  • Weight: 14.9 pounds
  • Temperature Raisable: 10°F
  • Time Required to Heat Pool: 3 days

Homeowners usually prefer ground-mounted solar heating systems when they don’t want to deal with the complications of a rooftop installation. The reason why homeowners can get enough of this pool heater is that it solves that problem perfectly. While this solar-powered pool heater performs the same function as a standard pool heater, it comes in a very compact size. It will only take up a little space in your backyard while raising the temperature of your pool water to 10°f, just like the regular-sized pool heater. This compact solar heater is suitable for most above-ground pools, but you may have to combine a few of these heaters for larger pools.

Pros

  • Saves space
  • Easy to install
  • Highly durable

Cons

  • Requires a lot of sunlight to be effective
  • It comes with short hoses

Buying guide: How to Pick the Best Solar Pool Heater for your need

Before purchasing a solar-powered heater, there are several factors that you should keep in mind so you can buy the best solar pool heater for your needs.

·      Pool Size

The most important factor to consider before purchasing your pool heater is your pool size since heaters are made for specific pool sizes. Some heaters will be more effective in a large pool, while others are more suitable for small-sized pools.

·      Pool Type

All pools aren’t built the same, but there are different types of solar-powered pool heaters. For instance, if you have an inground pool, you must ensure that the solar pool heater you buy is designed for that type of pool, or at least it is designed for multiple pool types, including your inground pool.  If you’re buying a multipurpose solar pool heater, confirm that the installationa kit includes manuals and compnents for your type of pool.

·      Cost

Solar pool heaters are meant you save you money on electricity or gas bills, but it doen;t mean you have to break the bank to buy one. Stick with your budget, and don’t overspend on solar pool heaters with extra components or features you don’t need. Also, keep in mind that you may be paying extra for a professional to install your heater. If you have a low budget, buy pool heaters that you can install yourself; you’ll find some on our list of best solar pool heaters above.

·      Power

Pay attention to the power rating of your new heater. The power rating determines the type of pump and pool size that it can best perform with.

·      Ease of Installation

If you’re planning on a DIY installation, be sure your solar pool heater is easy to install. Many heaters on our best solar pool heaters list do not require any technical skills to install them. You can save yourself a lot of time and effort by buying a heater with an easy-to-follow user manual.

·      Desired Pool Temperature

Not all solar-powered pool heaters offer the same heating results. Some are more effective than others, and this makes them more suitable for certain climates. If you live in an area where your pool needs only a little heating, you don’t need a very powerful solar heating system. But if you reside in a cooler climate, you should get a solar heating system that can raise your water temperature by at least 10°F in a short time.

Are Solar Powered Pool Heaters Worth It?

A solar-powered pool heater is always an excellent investment. It won’t just help you reduce the monthly costs of running your pool; it will also serve as an eco-friendly energy source for many years. You can rest assured of a good return on investment, both in the short and long term – all while making a positive impact on the environment.

FAQs

1. Do solar pool heaters require maintenance?

Barely. Most solar pool heaters are built to last for at least five years with a negligible need for maintenance or repairs. Many of the heaters on our list have warranties for up to 10 years to cover the cost of repairs or replacements in the event of damage. As long as your installation is done right, you shouldn’t have any problems.

2. What Is the lifespan of a solar pool heater?

Good solar pool heaters can last up to 20 years. However, how long it serves you depends on how well it is installed, so having an expert install your solar pool heater is a great idea if you’re not experienced yourself.

3. How well does solar energy heat a pool?

On average, the best solar pool heaters will keep a heated pool about 10 – 15°F warmer than an unheated pool in many climates. Solar heaters can heat your pool all year long with free and clean energy.

4. What if I have a heat pump or gas pump?

The fact that you already have a heat pump or gas pump doesn’t mean you can’t have a solar heating system. A solar-powered heater will complement any of these systems perfectly. The solar system will reduce your dependency on more expensive energy sources, serving as a backup or your main source of heat.

Conclusion

Solar pool heaters make swimming in every season without huge electric bills a reality. Now you can swim all day long with the best solar pool heaters keeping you warm. We’ve covered heaters for all pool types, so you won’t have to go through much trouble to get the best.

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