Pool Solar System Guide: Learn About Solar Pool Heating

During the hottest summer days, your pool water will be warm enough for you to have a nice and pleasant swim, but if you would like to enjoy your pool from early spring to late fall, or even during the winter months, you will have to find a way to heat your pool. The ideal solution is to install swimming pools solar heaters that will not only make your pool water well warmed, but that will help you save a lot of money on electricity bills.

We are talking about solar systems that are pretty cheap, so even if you are on a budget, you will be able to afford one. According to some research, they will be a great investment because, among all other reasons, these systems can last much longer than regular gas or electric pool heating installations.  

Solar pool heating can be used for both in-ground and above-ground pools, and it can cover the needs of any pool size. They are very versatile in their design and the way they work. Now, we are going to present you with everything you need to know about this subject in order to understand better what you can expect from solar pool heating systems.

How does a pool solar system work?

When properly set and installed, the heating pool system will first pump the water out of the pool using a filter, after which the thermal collector will heat it up and send it back to the pool. The heat is provided by solar panels that will absorb and transform solar power into usable electricity. Additional parts of this system, besides the collector, are the flow control valve, check valve, and temperature sensor.

Usually, these systems are capable of automatically detecting the temperature of the water and sending it straight to the solar collector to heat it up. And with the help of a flow control valve, the water will be directed from the solar collector back to the pool.

What you should know is that there are solar pool heating systems that can work year-round, even in a colder climate and during the winter months. The oversized solar collector will keep your pool water warm no matter what in those situations. The best part is you can use a solar system of this kind together with traditional gas or electric pool heating installation, so you won’t have to be worried if there’s not enough sun in the sky during the entire year.

Solar thermal collector

You understood by now that there is no solar heating system without a thermal collector. It’s the key part that uses solar power provided by solar panels to warm the water before bringing it back into the pool. There are two main types of thermal collectors – glazed and unglazed.

Glazed thermal collectors usually come with quite a complex design that includes iron-tempered glass covering, aluminum plate, and copper tubing. They are also known as flat-plate solar collectors, and they are pretty expensive. These collectors are very efficient when it comes to heating the water with the help of the sun’s power, and they won’t ask for much space. Glazed collectors are suitable for systems that will work during the entire year, even when the winter months come.

The unglazed solar collector is definitely more affordable and simpler in its design. It’s mostly made from high-quality rubber or heavy-duty plastic, and it’s UV treated for the purpose of having a prolonged lifespan. These solar collectors are not as efficient as glazed ones, but they will do their job correctly. They are an adequate solution for warmer climates where the temperature doesn’t go below zero degrees.

Solar collector size

According to the Department of Energy, solar collectors should be between 50% and 100% of the square footage size of the pool you are planning to use it on. That actually depends on how long you are planning to use your pool during the year and how warm the pool water you would like to have. Now, those people who would like to use their pools throughout the entire year should purchase a thermal collector that’s the size of the pool or even larger.

Solar pool system cost

If you are wondering what the pool heater cost is and how huge of an investment this will be, you should know that the price of a fully installed solar pool heating system is somewhere between $3000 and $4000. Now, the general estimate is that you will be able to pay off this investment in less than two years, after which you will be saving a lot on electricity bills, especially if you plan on heating the pool water through the entire year. If your appetites are even bigger, and you would like to go fully solar, you can additionally install a solar water pump as well, which will cost you an additional $1000 to $3000.  You can choose to use a submersible or a surface mounted water pump.

Way are solar pool heaters a good idea?

We already mentioned that with solar pool heaters you will be able to save a lot of money on electricity bills looking forward, but also that you will contribute to preserving nature and protecting the environment from the bad influence of fossil fuels. But those aren’t the only reasons why you should think about investing in this sort of system. Pool solar panels will provide a long lifespan to a solar heating system, and it’s most likely it will last longer than any regular electric or gas heating installation.


Using solar energy for making and keeping your pool water warm is nothing but smart. It is a great thing we are even able today to do such a thing, and for a very affordable price, if we are being honest, given that the benefits of a solar pool heating system are huge. Just imagine being able to swim in your pool during winter days and without having to spend hundreds of dollars on making the water feel pleasant.

We hope we helped you understand better why installing this heating system is our recommendation and how exactly it works, but before you purchase it and set it all up, make sure to consult with your installer to see what are his recommendations regarding the type of thermal collector and the size of the system.