Who doesn’t love a nice refreshing swim!? Having a backyard pool can make you feel like you’re on vacation all summer long. That’s why my Dad likes to get the pool open as soon as possible every year. He opened the pool in May this year which surprised our neighbors because of the high cost of heating the pool. We have a gas heater so it can get VERY pricey which is why my Dad recently looked into heating the pool with solar power. Some of the cheaper options for heating your pool actually include solar power!
5 Ways to Heat Your Pool With Solar Power
Liquid Solar Blankets
Liquid solar blankets create a invisible layer or protection that holds in heat. Liquid solar blankets are completely safe and non-toxic. The ingredients are lighter than water so the product can float to the surface and create a protective layer. Liquid solar blankets will not alter the chemical balance of your pool.
- Easy to use
- Safe for pools of all types and sizes
- No need to remove a bulky cover
- Does not work well in windy climate, will be move the liquid layer
- Certain variations cannot be used with chlorine (make sure to check before use!)
- Not as effective in pools that are used often
- Monthly cost
Cost: Between $10-$20 each (Need one per month)
Solar covers (also known as solar blankets) vary greatly in price because they come in a wide variety of sizes. The larger the pool, the great the cost. Solar covers reduce heating costs by minimizing heat loss through evaporation.
- Can be used with in-ground and above ground pools
- Reduces pool heating costs by up to 70%
- Keeps out debris
- Typically raise pool heat by 5ºF for every 12 hours of coverage.
- Treated to be UV resistant
- Tedious to remove (especially after rain)
- Will not greatly increase pool temperature
- Blocks UV rays that kill algae
- Prolonged sun exposure causes deterioration
Cost: Between $50 – $300
Solar Covers On Reels
There are two types of solar cover reels automatic (motorized) and manual (hand crank). The fully automatic solar cover reel is a one-button option that does everything which makes getting the cover off and on your pool super easy. The hand crank is a little more work BUT it is the more cost-effective option. Solar cover reels can be bought on their own or with a solar cover included.
- Increase the life of pool cover
- Easy to use
- Cover will be used more often because of ease of use
- Attractive way to store cover
- Can be operated by one person
- Cost – more expensive than standard solar covers
Cost : $150 – $2,000+ (Prices range greatly btw. automatic & manual models. Also varied due to being bought with or without the cover)
Note: The basic solar cover pros and cons listed above also ALL apply to solar covers on reels.
Solar Sun Rings
Solar rings work very similarly to standard covers but without full pool coverage. Solar rings come in multi-packs and are sold in a variety of sizes and numbers depending on the size of your pool
- Easily installed by one person
- As durable as standard covers
- Let UV rays into pool to kill algae
- Raise water temperature comparable to standard covers
- Can replaced one at a time
- Can’t be rolled when not being used
- Does not efficiently conserve water due to open areas
- Uncovered areas allow heat to escape at night
Solar Heating System
This is definitely the most costly solar heating option but for those looking for a permanent option (with a few more bucks to spend) it’s a great choice. Solar pool heating systems can be more costly than traditional heaters BUT after installation your heat is FREE!
- Solar energy is FREE
- Long lifespan – typically last between 15-20 years
- No additional monthly costs
- Typically pays for itself in 2-3 years (when compared to gas heater utility prices)
- Environmentally friendly – emits no air pollution
- VERY expensive initial cost! $3,500 to $7,000 (compared to $2,000 to $4,500 for gas heaters)
- Takes longer to heat
- Less efficient on cloudy days/evenings. When the sun isn’t out your pool will not heat as well
Cost: $3,500 – $7,000
Would you use solar power to heat your pool?
**Costs are estimated based on various website prices and can vary depending on brand/size as well as where you purchase materials.