Solar heating for your pool is something that more people are considering, especially in the South where sunshine is available year-round. The abundance of sun makes this region a perfect candidate for this sustainable and renewable energy source. Even after inclement weather, several sunny days in a row will bring your pool back up to a comfortable bathing temperature. Why is this source better than a heat pump or gas heater? The main aspect is the cost of energy. The best thing about solar heating is that it is the most economical way to heat your swimming pool because the heat from the sun is free.
How a Solar System works
A solar kit is an array of panels, usually on the roof, that absorbs the sun’s energy to heat the pool. These panels are made up of a series of small tubes. Water is pumped through these tubes (or collectors) and gets warmed by the heat of the sun before returning to the pool. The average heat output is ~1,000 BTUs. In hot environments, the system can also be used to cool water by running it through the collectors at night. Additionally, the collector tubes may be glazed or coated. This will give them a greater efficiency because more of the heat will be retained.
What are the advantages?
As mentioned before, the biggest advantage of a solar system is the heat from the sun is free. The electric costs of running a pump are noticeably lower than the other heater options like electric and gas. In some cases, you can use your existing pump, which saves you from having to buy a new booster pump. They are also low maintenance and last a long time, typically 10-20 years. A solar system will keep your pool operating consistently in the low to mid-80s, which is in the range of what most recreational bathers prefer. Solar system kits are comparable to the costs of electric heat pumps, and installation costs vary. So long as you have 75-100% of your pool’s surface area in solar panels your heater will be effective. The larger your swimming pool, the more space you will need for the collectors.
Regardless of whether you have a heater or not, solar blankets or covers will help to trap heat in your pool. Solar covers also keep maintenance costs down, extending the usage time. Suncoast Solar Trap Liquid Solar Blanket is also a great method for trapping heat. Think of it as the roof of a house keeping the heat in!
If you have any questions about the best heating solution for you, don’t hesitate to call the experts at your local Pinch A Penny.