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Pros and Cons of a Solar Pool Water Heater

Pros and Cons of a Solar Pool Water Heater

Exterior renovationsPros and Cons of a Solar Pool Water Heater

Having a pool is definitely an added bonus to any property: you can cool off all summer long without needing to be cooped up inside. However, at times, pool water may be too cold for you to swim in.

Perhaps you're considering an easy and affordable solution for your pool's heating system: solar water heaters are an effective way to heat your pool water even during the chillier part of summer.

    How does a solar water heater work?

    solar water heater

    Source: Canva

    To understand the workings of a solar water heater, you first need to understand the functioning of the panels used to heat the pool water.

    A rooftop-mounted solar panel absorbs the sun's rays and converts said rays into thermal energy, which in turn is used to heat the pool water. Pool water is pumped through collectors (located at the bottom of the pool) and subsequently channelled to solar collectors.

    The cold water is filtered into the solar collectors, which heat the water and then pump it back into the pool. The type of roof-mounted solar collectors as well as their dimensions can vary according to the slope of your roof and the location of your pool. For example, a pool situated in the shade requires more energy to heat.

    Pros of a Solar Water Heater

    solar water heater

    Source: Canva

    The first significant advantage is its zero energy cost. Unlike an electric water heater that consumes electricity, the energy costs of a solar pool heater are literally non-existent. The sun is free and plentiful in summer, so make good use of it!

    Moreover, it generates zero sound, unlike some pool heaters that run on electricity. And, contrary to popular belief, it'll also perform on overcast days, as the solar panels can absorb scattered radiation even on cloudy days.

    Consider installing a solar pool heater as a state-of-the-art cost-effective measure to retrofit your pool with a water heater. Well, that is, of course, if you want to keep your pool heated and prolong the bathing season without fear of causing unnecessary noise or overall inconvenience. Solar pool heaters serve all of these functions in addition to helping you save money by way of your energy consumption.

    Solar technology is widely praised for its eco-friendly energy conversion. As a matter of fact, solar energy allows you to generate electricity or heat at a low cost. However, the main costs are related to equipment installation and regular maintenance.

    In terms of a whole house, solar energy is definitely a choice to carefully consider. Albeit, for very specific uses, such as heating a pool, this technology, over the last few years, has proven to be a stable option. 

    This option is indeed advantageous from an environmental point of view, but also from a financial standpoint, because a solar water heater will likely last more than twenty years.

    Bottom line, if you're looking for a cost-effective, reliable, and sustainable way to heat your pool, look into getting a solar water heater!

    What are the cons of a solar pool water heater?

    solar water heater

    Source: Canva

    Since the solar collectors are roof-mounted and black, they'll be quite obvious. They're not intrusive, but they're not discreet either, so if that's a concern, do consider it before proceeding with the project. Also, consider getting a size estimate for the solar panels based on the above-mentioned criteria before you start.

    You'll also be up against nature: unlike an electric pool heater, its solar alternative is conditional on good and bad weather. A solar pool heater continuously heats the pool with the energy it stores, yet if it's not able to perform for several days in a row, you'll soon find your pool water getting colder.

    Although the return on your investment will be quickly apparent, the initial cost of a solar pool heater is somewhat higher than competing options. However, do keep in mind that what you don't pay for at the time of purchase, you'll inevitably pay for at the time you pay your utility bill.

    Installing a solar pool heating system is tricky; you'll have to hire professionals to carry out the task. There are ways to install it yourself, however, we would strongly advise against it.

    On top of having to install a solar panel and the necessary piping through which the water will flow to and from the solar panels, you risk exacerbating the drawbacks by carrying out the installation yourself. It may not be a subtle setup, and you run the risk of breaking pool fixtures by tampering with the pump system unknowingly.

    Solar Water Heater: For Swimming Enthusiasts

    solar water heater

    Source: Canva

    In closing, while the energy cost of a solar panelled-heated pool is quickly offset over time, there's no point in having a heated pool if you barely use it or if your primary focus in the summer is to use it to cool off. 

    Consider a solar water heater if you can easily manage the purchase and installation costs, and wish to enjoy a constantly heated pool whenever possible!

    Here are a few articles to peruse should you want more information about your (future!) swimming pool:

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    Last modified 2023-11-07

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