Best Solar Pool Heaters for 2020

A good way to keep your pool at a comfortable temperature, even during the chillier months, is by getting a solar pool heater. These tools take thermal energy produced by the sun to heat pool water, typically be recirculating pool water through a series of heated panels. Today, we’re going to tell you our picks of the five best solar pool heaters, as well as provide you with all of the info you need to make the best decision for your pool

Best Solar Pool
Smartpool WWS421P

Bestseller


SaleBestseller No. 1
SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater 2 by...
Simple DIY installation; for in ground or above ground pools; Installs on roof, rack, ground or fence


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Our Recommended Solar Pool Heaters

For Above-Ground Pools: SmartPool WWS421P

Although simple in looks, the SmartPool WWS421P is actually one of the higher-end solar pool heaters on the market. A single 4 x 20-foot panel has the capacity to thoroughly heat 10,000 gallons of pool water in above-ground pools across a 2 to 3-day timeframe.

Smartpool WWS421P Sunheater Solar Pool Heater Review

Best Seller: SmartPool S240U

The SmartPool S240U is the best-selling solar pool heater for several reasons, such as its attractive price tag, painless installation, and wide surface area coverage. It comes with two 2 x 40-foot panels with a short connecting hose between them which can easily be installed either on the roof of your home or the side of your pool (both inground and above).

SmartPool S240U Pool Solar Heaters Review

Amazon’s Choice: Fafco Solar Bear

The Solar Bear by Fafco is designed for above-ground pools of between 18 and 24 feet. It’s made of a single 4 x 20-foot panel with two 6-foot flexible hoses that can be installed in any orientation near your pool. The panel can raise the temperature of pool water by 10°F in a single day (depending on placement).

Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System Review

Affordable Option: SmartPool S601P

The S601P is similar to the SmartPool WWS421P, except its design allows it to be used in both inground and above-ground pools. Each kit comes with a 4 x 20-foot panel that can be installed on fences, on rooftops, or even laid flat on the ground. The ridges across the S601P add more surface area to the panel, allowing it to heat water more thoroughly.

Smartpool S601P Review

Durable: GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO

Finally, we have has been deemed the most durable solar pool heater kit—the GAME SolarPro. Available as either a curved panel or in contour form, this solar heater can add a bit of style to your existing heating system. Made of high-quality plastic composite, the SolarPro is designed to withstand even the most extreme heats during sweltering months.

GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater Review

Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Solar Pool Heater

In this brief guide, we’ll go touch on the basics of solar pool heaters and provide you with all of the information needed to decide which solar heater kit to get.

Fafco Heating System Review
Fafco

What are Solar Pool Heaters?

Solar pool heaters are a lot different from the solar panels you’re probably accustomed to hearing about/using. Instead of producing electricity, solar pool heaters take in thermal energy produced by the sun to gradually heat passing pool water. If you’ve used a garden hose that has been laying in the sun all day, the heated water in the hose is what you would get, though at a grander scale.

Important Considerations before Choosing a Solar Pool Heater

1. Compatibility

First and foremost, you need to understand that solar pool panels are not the best type of pool heater for everyone. A number of different factors can affect its overall performance, including climate, amount of direct sunlight, wind, and shading. For instance, if your pool, yard, and home are completely shaded by large oak trees, you might want to consider looking at other pool-heating options (gas or electric).

2. Pool size

You need to know how large, wide, and deep your swimming pool is. The more water it can hold, the longer it will take to raise the temperature of your pool. In general, each square foot of pool surface will require at least one square foot of panel to heat up efficiently, although you can go slightly lower if your budget or space can’t allow a 1:1 ratio.

3. Mounting Spot

Speaking of space, you should determine which spots around your pool get the most sunlight. The more sunlight there is, the quicker the panel will raise the temperature of passing pool water. Rooftops, fences, DIY racks, and even the ground around your pool are fine spots to mount your solar pool heater panel, though you should determine how much space you can actually allocate to the panels.

4. Pump Size

How large is your pool pump measured in horsepower? Your pump should be able take water from your pool and push it through the panel. If you’ve mounted your solar pool heater on the roof, a 1.5-HP pump should be sufficient in fighting against gravity. If the panels are sitting at the same height as your pool, then your current pool pump should do the trick.

FAQ

How many solar panels are needed to heat a pool?

Ideally, you’ll want to get one square foot of a solar panel for each square foot of pool surface. However, shading, winds, and the amount of direct sunlight are just a few of the factors that can affect the effectiveness of the panel. You should consider hiring a qualified solar contractor to help you determine how many panels you need.

When should I turn on solar pool heater?

The way a solar pool heater works is by turning on a pump that takes water from your swimming pool and passes it through the solar panel. You’ll get the best results when running the pump during the sunniest times of the day or when the panels get direct sunlight.

Is a solar pool heater worth it?

They can be, depending on where you live and how hot it gets for how long. As their name suggests, solar pool heaters rely on the natural heating power of sunlight to bring passing water up to a comfortable temperature. On average, a solar pool heater kit pays for itself in just two years by reducing the cost of running a gas/electric pool heater.

How long does pool solar heating last?

The longevity of each pool solar heater unit varies from model to model, although the general lifespan of each panel is anywhere between 5 and 15 years. As long as you take the necessary precautions when rolling and unrolling the panel(s) as well as mounting it correctly, you should enjoy at least a decade of properly heated pool water without any added costs.


Conclusion

A solar pool heater is a cost-effective way of keeping your pool at a comfortable temperature. Assuming solar power is the ideal option for heating your pool, you should check out our list of the five best solar pool heaters. We’ve included everything from the best of the best to the most affordable option so there’s a bit of something for pool owner!

GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO
GAME 4721-BB

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Last update on 2020-10-24 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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