Having a pool is a luxury, and having a heated pool is an even greater luxury. You have earned it, certainly, but maybe you are thinking about a way to keep this luxury from making a negative environmental impact. If so, considering solar pool heating is the place to start. Solar pool heating is tremendously popular and the most common solar heating device in homes today. Of course, it is a rather large investment of your hard-earned money, so you want to make sure it is right for you.
How Solar Pool Heating Works
A solar pool heating system works by running pool water through a filter and into a solar water collector. With the collector facing the sun, the sun’s rays are used to heat the water running through the collector. Solar pool heaters use the sun’s rays directly to heat the pool instead of converting the rays into electricity as they do in traditional home solar panels. Some systems can even be used to cool water if you live in an area that gets really hot during the day. The system is run at night to cool the water down for daytime use.
If you choose to go the solar pool heating route, you will incur higher initial costs. The unit and installation is more expensive. You can expect to pay about $3,000 to $4,000 for the system and installation. However, as the months and seasons go by, you begin to save money due to lower fuel costs to heat your pool. When comparing to other types of fuels for heating your pool, a system that uses propane will be the most costly in terms of month to month fuel costs. Natural gas is the next most expensive followed by electric. Sunlight costs nothing as long as it provides the entirety of your pool heating needs. With savings in fuel, you can generally recoup your initial investment in the system in 2 to 3 years.
How Well Does Solar Pool Heating Work?
Solar pool heating systems are as well built as any other type of system. There are few moving parts and very little maintenance. You can expect a solar pool heating system to last 15 to 20 years. As long as you have sufficient sunlight, the solar system should supply all of your pool heating needs. In some cases, there may need to be a solar boost pump for your system that will result in a few dollars per month added to your utility bill. It is recommended that you get a pool cover and use it during the night and in cold temperatures. The heat from the pool water can evaporate overnight, leaving you with a cold pool in the morning. This makes those early morning swims not so refreshing and takes the pool longer to heat back up to the temperature you desire.
Other Things You Should Know
When shopping for a solar pool heating system, you need to do some research. You want to know if the location of your home will give you access to enough sunlight. A professional solar pool heater installer can help you determine this if you have any questions about it. You also need to research local contractors to find the best for the job. Get quotes from at least 3 different installers and make sure they are familiar with the unit you intend to purchase and know local building codes. When purchasing the unit, you want to find one that comes with a good warranty and fits the specific needs of your pool.