Solar Pool Heating
Solar Pool Heating Systems – why, where, how big?
Any residential swimming pool represents a substantial investment to its owner, tens of thousands of dollars, and it’s only natural to want to be able to use that investment most of the year – to extend your swimming season. For many families their pool is the center of their home fun. The traditional choices for heating your pool are gas, oil, and electric heat pump. Each has its own advantages, but each also requires continued expense – anywhere from $750 to $2000 a year just to swim comfortably. But there is one pool heating choice that far outshines the rest – SOLAR POOL HEATING! And there is no annual expense the heat is Free!
The typical solar pool heating system will range in price from about $4,500 to $7,500 depending a lot on pool size, climate, and sun orientation. That means that compared to the other pool heating choices a solar heating system will pay for itself in as little as 3-4 years, and it will continue to provide free heat and enjoyable pool use for 15-20 free years. A quality solar heating system can last 2-3 times longer than a conventional gas or electric heater. That makes a lot of economic sense!
Solar pool systems are a relatively simple arrangement that use your existing pool pump to circulate the pools water through large, flexible, black polymer collectors. A solid state controller operates a motorized diverter valve to control when heat is needed. Since swimming pools don’t require high temperatures, pool systems are most efficient if designed to heat large amounts of water to moderate temperatures. Total collector panel square footage should typically equal between 60-110% of your pools surface square footage. In addition to pool size some obvious factors that effect just how large your collector area may need to be within this range are:
- Whether a pool cover is used
- Climate and latitude
- Collector orientation
- Swim season desired
While typical collector installation is on an exposed south facing roof, they can actually be rack mounted on the ground or even on a north facing roof. And while climate is a factor, solar pool systems are so economical that they are in use throughout the United States, even in mountain resorts.