10 Best Solar Pool Heaters Reviewed (2021 Guide)

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One of the reasons why some people prefer to swim in a pool instead of sea water is because the pools have more reliable and predictable temperature levels.

However, with the rising cost of living, saving energy is becoming more and more important and getting the best solar pool heaters is often the first thing to look for. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Nowadays, we have access to efficient and environmentally friendly solar pool heaters that will keep the water in your pool feeling pleasant, not only during the swimming season, but all year round without heating costs by burning a hole in your pocket with high energy bills. We also strive to produce a complete guide with all the information you need to find the ideal solar pool heater for your type of pool.

Our Top Pick

Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top 10 Best Solar Pool Heater To Buy In 2021

Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10 Best Solar Pool Heater Review

Bestseller No. 1
GAME 72000-BB, Made for Intex & Bestway SolarPRO Curve Solar Above-Ground Pool Heater
  • SOLAR POOL HEATER: The GAME SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater has been designed for above-ground pools. It increases the pool temperature by 5 degrees in 4 days (for an 8,000-gallon pool).
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: We’ve designed this above-ground solar pool heater with high-quality materials that will hold up against frequent exposure to the sun and outdoor elements.
  • UNIQUE CURVED SHAPE: The GAME solar pool heater has been engineered with a unique curved shape that maximizes heat collection. The treaded ports have been added for versatile plumbing options.
  • ADJUSTABLE LEGS: This solar heater is compatible with Intex, Bestways, and most above and inground pools. The adjustable and foldable legs allow the heater to be set for maximum exposure to the sun, along with a clear cover that locks in heat.
  • THE PERFECT GRADUAL HEATER: This solar pool heater is not intended to be a miracle-cure heater. It’s designed to extend your pool season by gradually increasing the water temperature by a few degrees. Maximum heat output with space saving footprint
SaleBestseller No. 2
Kokido Keops Solar Dome Above Ground Swimming Pool Water Heater | K835CBX/RV
  • Pool heater lets you swim on into the cooler months of the year with an integrated rack for receiving maximum sun exposure
  • Extends your swimming season with warm water and heat your pool to a warm, comfortable temperature; Reduces or eliminates pool heating costs compared with gas or electrical heater
  • Includes a protective cover for storage purposes when not in use and 4-foot hoses, fittings, and stainless steel clamps
  • Installs in line, quickly and easily; Compatible with 1.25-inch and 1.5-inch flexible pool hoses; Dimensions: 22 x 22 x 12.6 inches
  • Additional heaters can be easily connected for larger pools; Depending on conditions, 1 heater is recommended per 10,000 liters of pool volume; Manufacturer warranty: 30-day warranty
SaleBestseller No. 3
Intex Solar Heater Mat for Above Ground Swimming Pool, 47in X 47in
  • Solar technology increases temperature of the pool water by approx. 3 to 5 degree
  • Simple hook up, compatible with filter pump up to 1/2 HP or pump flow rate less than 2500 gal/hr. (9463 l/hr.)
  • Suitable for above ground pools up to 8000 gal (30,280l)
  • Includes: 1 1/4 " (32mm) hose attachment points
Bestseller No. 4
Solar Sun Rings Solar Pool Heater (6) SSR-SB-02
  • HEAT YOUR POOL - Solar Sun Rings are passive solar swimming pool heating devices, constructed from two layers of U.V. resistant vinyl. The upper clear layer directs the suns rays onto the bottom blue layer which absorbs about 50% of the sunlight, converting it to heat. The remaining sunlight filters through the ring into your pool water.
  • WARMING DISCS - The majority of heat loss from a pool comes from the water surface at night. Solar Sun Rings do not cover the entire surface of your pool; therefore it allows heat to escape. To help keep the warm water in your pool at night we recommend you use additional insulation such as solar fish or a solar blanket.
  • WHAT'S INCLUDED - Each unit contains 6 magnets that are used to attach the rings together. Do not over inflate. Do not use as a flotation device.
  • SOLAR ACTIVATED - Use the Solar Sun Rings to provide heat to your swimming pool from the sun. Swim comfortably without wasting energy
  • PLEASE NOTE - These Solar Sun Rings are NOT a solar cover or a replacement for a solar cover. These are floating disc heating devices.
Bestseller No. 5
YUEWO Solar Dome Above Ground Pool Heater for Inground and Above Ground Outdoor Swimming Pools Water Heater with Connector, Black
  • Powered by Sunlight: The YUEWO Solar Dome Above Ground Pool Heater uses nature's most powerful source of warmth. Solar rays are magnified within this heater's streamlined housing, heating up your pool water as it flows through the system.
  • Innovative Design: The Pool Heater allows for a better capture of the sun heat, heating water uses the sun's energy. Takes up less space than traditional solar panels. Suitable for small spaces.
  • Easy to Install: Standard, 1.25 - 1.5-in fittings provide compatibility with most above ground pools. Simply attach to your filter & pump system and let the warm water flow!
  • Extend the Season: By keeping your water warm, you'll have extra time for swimming with friends and family.
  • High Adaptability: This Solar Dome Swimming Pool Heater can work with any pool pump, suitable for swimming pools of different sizes, above-ground and underground swimming pools.
Bestseller No. 6
SolarPoolSupply Highest Performing Design - DIY Solar Pool Heater System Kit - 15-20 Year Life Expectancy (4-4x10 / 1.5" I.D. Header)
  • SUPERIOR MANUFACTURING: Each SwimEasy solar panel undergoes a state-of-the-art manufacturing process designed to significantly increase the materials resistance to UV light. This process eliminates the inherent quality issues that plague cheaply manufactured products which typically see a lifespan of only 1-2 years.
  • QUALITY ASSURANCE: The result of SwimEasy's high-grade materials & specialized manufacturing techniques is a panel capable of withstanding the harsh conditions of a rooftop, in all types of weather, for 15-20 years! Each panel is put up against more than 40 quality control inspections throughout the entire manufacturing process to ensure the final product.
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE DESIGN: A tube-and-web design allows for expansion and contraction as the collector heats and cools; extending service life while also collecting more heat. A direct, metered manifold delivers a balanced flow through the collector and prevents hot spots. This panel style has been used by professional installers across the country for decades for one simple reason; it works extremely well and keeps on working for years to come.
  • DO IT YOURSELF: Includes everything you need to mount the solar panels to a roof or rack, secure with hold down strapping, make connections to and from each solar panel, complete water connections to the system's supply and return plumbing lines, and the parts necessary to allow for automatic gravity drainage of the panels and piping.
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEED: Each panel is guaranteed to be free from manufacturer defects, withstand the effects of freezing weather and will not fail from corrosion or scale deposits in the walls of its water passages (10-year limited warranty). These panels should ideally be installed vertically for optimal performance and drainage. Sideways mounting is possible; however, drainage is always a concern with sideways installations.
Bestseller No. 7
SunHeater Solar Heater, Includes Two 2’ x 20’ Panels (80 sq. ft.), 10-Year Warranty – Heating System for Aboveground Swimming Pools – Raises Water Temperature up to 15°F – S2220AG
  • SOLAR POOL HEATER – The Sunheater Solar Pool Heating System allows you to capture free heat from the sun’s rays to effectively raise your pool water temperature. It’s an efficient and cost-effective method to heat your aboveground pool.
  • EXTENDS POOL SEASON – Your pool’s pump pushes the water through the panel’s many tubes where it’s warmed by the sun and then returned to the pool. This system can raise the water temperature up to 15°F and extend your pool season by weeks!
  • EASY TO INSTALL – This solar pool heater uses your existing filtration system & comes with the necessary plumbing fixtures to connect to a rigid wall aboveground pool using flex hoses (hard plumb installations will require additional parts not included).
  • TUBE-ON-WEB DESIGN – The tube-on-web design allows Sunheater to capture the most sun possible, maximizing square footage. It offers rigid flexibility, allowing panels to expand and contract with changing temps, giving it the strength needed to last.
  • DIMENSIONS – This Sunheater Solar Pool Heater System includes two 2’ x 20’ panels (80 sq. ft) and is perfect for heating aboveground pools that measure up to 31’ round or 18’ x 36’ oval.
Bestseller No. 8
XtremepowerUS 90105 4"-inch X 10'feet Spa Heater nground/Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System, Black
  • Quantity of these solar panels needed is dependent on the pool size and the location, which may estimate by some websites.
  • Each Roll 24" x 10 foot Long; 24" x 10' Solar Collector; Quick connect design for easy assembly
  • XtremepowerUS Panels are built from extremely high-grade materials that are proven to last in all types of weather
  • Quantity of these solar panels needed is dependent on the pool size and the location
  • The system can be installed on the roof of your house, shed or cabana, mounted to a rack or simply placed on the ground.
Bestseller No. 9
VINGLI Solar Pool Heater Above Ground Domed Solar Powered Swimming Pool Heater Contour Pool Heating Coil
  • 【Easy to Install】This solar pool heater install was fairly easy. The hose mounts are easy to use. More important, the heater hose are solid and don't leak.
  • 【Heat Well & Eco-friendly】VINGLI solar heater can keeping the water warm quickly and longer if you use three or more our heater linked together in the same time. It is eco-friendly. Note: Water pump pressure does not exceed 0.8, air pressure 35PSI
  • 【Space Saving & Compact】The compact design and small footprint of the swimming pool solar heater really easy to store. It has 2 foldable legs on the bottom so that you can prop it up to align the coil with the sun for maximum efficiency, and it is also easy to store if you don't use it
  • 【Dome Design & Heat Quickly】If you want to heat the water quikly, please remove the cover. This solar powered heater protective cover to go over the coil for extra protection and to keep it clear from debris
  • 【Hassle Free Warranty】VINGLI pool solar heater offer you 1-year warranty, 100% money back guarantee, and 24-hours friendly customer service. Any problem please contact us without hesitation. Please contact us send you additional soft hose if you need
Bestseller No. 10
XtremepowerUS 90100-V 28" X 20' ft Inground/Above Ground Solar Panel System Heating Swimming Pool, Black
  • XtremepowerUS Panels are built from extremely high-grade materials that are proven to last in all types of weather
  • Pools pump and filter system circulates pool water through the SOLAR PANELS when it is heated & then returned to your pool. Once installed, these panels are cost effective, produce no greenhouse gases, and need low to no maintenance. Extend your swimming this year at a low cost with the help from the sun!
  • System is designed to be used on above-ground or in-ground pools. Each kit is made of - 2' x 20'ft panels. Each panel is made of lightweight, flexible, durable black polypropylene. The panel tube construction creates a larger surface area which optimizes heat transfer from the sun to your pool
  • Quantity of these solar panels needed is dependent on the pool size and the location, which may estimate by some websites.
  • Diverter kit may be required for pumps 1.5hp and greater. Sold separately under item number B01FNE41HA

Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What are Solar Pool Heaters? How Do They Work?

What are Solar Pool Heaters

Solar pool heaters are undoubtedly the most inexpensive pool heating mechanisms available out there, and they work just as well as any other heat pump.
The only difference is that solar pool heaters will only work at full capacity when it’s hot out, otherwise its efficiency will significantly diminish when it’s overcast.
These are the type of heater which collects the energy from the sun to warm your pool water.

But this works in a different way as the water from your pool is pumped through the filter which is situated on the solar panels situated on the top of the pool or on the side.

They are similar to the normal solar panels which are known as PV solar panels and there are pipes circulating throughout the bottom of the pool which makes the pool water warm.

There are many pools of solar panels which include flow controlling valve with automatic sensors which can provide you with feasibility and flexibility.

When you set up the desired temperature these features will detect the water temperature coming out of the solar panels and compare it to your desired set temperature.

When the pool water is chilling or cool this device diverts it towards the solar collectors which automatically warms the water according to the temperature, when the pool water is hot so the flow controlling valve stops furthermore hot water entering the pool.

Yes, they work efficiently as they are managed with an automatic solar system and the mechanism hence making them work perfectly fine and produce the best results.

Benefits of Solar Pool Heaters

Essentially there are many benefits of Pool Solar Panels but there are 5 main reasons which can make your mind buy and install this system in your pool.

Like you can have a longer swimming session as an average pool owner might use the pool for up to 4 to 5 months and the rest of the time the water is cold and unbearable.

With the pool solar panel, you can have a proper warm and heated water for your pool even in starting winter months.

Other than that, it saves energy while using solar energy to power it hence saving fuel cost and pollutions.

Thirdly, it helps to save the environment as combustion is the main reason for global warming in this era.

With that said, it requires low maintenance and it quiet and silent hence making this cost-efficient and affordable in every aspect of a budget-oriented person.

How Do Pool Heaters Work?

Electric pool/spa heaters use a resistor element and electrical current to generate heat to warm your pool water. After it is heated, the water is pumped out of the unit and circulated back into your pool. Electric pool heaters are quite effective, but they require a large amount of electricity, which could become costly. Your electrical panel may also need to be modified to accommodate the additional load.

Electric heat pumps transfer heated water to cooler areas of the pool so the overall heated temp is maintained. The system takes warm outside air into the compressor and compresses the heated refrigerant inside. The hot compressed refrigerant heats the water while cold air is expelled.

Gas pool/spa heaters can heat quickly and maintain your desired pool temperature regardless of weather, temperature, or climate. They operate on natural gas or LP and use your existing pump and heat coils to circulate the water and heat your pool, hot tub, or spa. Your pump circulates pool/spa water through the filter to the heater where gas fuel is burned in the combustion chamber heating copper coils the water passes through and is heated before it is returned to the pool.

Solar pool/spa heaters use energy from the sun, a solar collector, filter, pump, and control valve to heat (or cool) pool/spa water. Your existing pool pump circulates the water through the filter and then through the solar collector where it is heated and returned to the pool. This process may be done at night to cool the pool during peak hot climate months.

Types of Pool Heaters/Heat Pumps

Electric Pool Heaters

Electric pool heaters are extremely effective, reliable, clean, and require less space than other types of pool heaters. They are easily installed and operated whenever there is power and effectively operate in any weather. However, your regional cost per kW/Hr of electricity and how many hours a day you intend to run the system may increase your utility bill making your electric pool heater more costly to run than gas or solar unit. For these reasons, electric pool heaters are recommended for smaller pools, hot tubs, spas, or in climates where shorter periods of heating is needed.

Electric Heat Pumps

Electric pool/spa heat pumps do not generate heat. They move heat to where it is most needed to ensure your pool is maintained at a consistently comfortable temperature. Heat pumps are easy to install and use and cost little (50% – 75% less than gas heaters) to operate. They provide a reliable, budget- and environmentally-friendly, efficient means of heating and cooling your pool/spa’s water. Electric heat pumps are a good addition for larger pools. They operate most efficiently when the air temperature is 45+ F. deg. A typical electric heat pump can last up to 20 years.

Gas Pool Heaters

Gas pool/spa heaters are most commonly used because they are efficient in any climate. There is no minimum outdoor temperature restriction since they burn fuel (natural gas or LP) in a combustion chamber. They heat quickly (faster than other types of pool heaters), which makes them especially a good choice for hot tubs, spas, and pools that are not used regularly.

New model gas pool heaters are reliable, energy efficient, and less expensive than heat pumps. They are also more environmentally-friendly than in the past. They may be hardwired to natural gas or propane sources. Professional installation costs may reduce any initial cost savings. Their operating cost is determined by the cost of propane or natural gas. Propane gas typically costs more than natural gas. A typical gas pool heater can last as long as 15 years.

Solar Pool Heaters

Solar pool/spa heaters maximize energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. Initial purchase and installation costs may be higher, but they are affordable to operate and require little maintenance. Only solar panels/collectors, the sun, pump system, and enough space to install the collectors are needed. Solar heaters tend to take longer to heat the water than electric or gas heaters, however. They are less efficient in colder or cloudy weather, so a backup heater may be recommended. A typical solar pool heater can last as long as 20 years (barring no glazing/tempered glass panel breakage).

7 Things to Consider in the Best Above Ground Pool Heater

When you’re choosing your own pool heater, there are several factors you may want to consider.

1. Efficiency

One of the things that make a pool heater great is how efficiently it heats your water. Gas heaters are usually the quickest and most effective, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s what you need.

For your climate, pool size, and type of pool, a solar blanket may be just as efficient in meeting your heating needs.

2. Durability

A good quality pool heater will be made out of quality materials made to last and withstand your particular environment. 

3. Size of Pool

The size of pool you have will make a difference in the type of heater that will work best for you. For example, very small pools may only require sun rings to stay toasty warm, while a very large pool might need something better.

4. Environmental-friendliness

Gas heaters are the only pool heaters that can sometimes be harmful to the environment because of their emissions. However, most newer models are made with this in mind and meet emissions standards in even the strictest of states.

5. Ease of Installation and Maintenance

The right pool heater for you will be easy to install and maintain according to your own standards and abilities.

6. Affordability

Affordability means something different for everyone. But keep in mind the cost of the unit is not all that you need to consider. 

Also take into account the cost to maintain it and how often it will have to be replaced.

7. Climate

Again, your climate is one of the most important factors in choosing a pool heater. 

For example, pool owners in Florida might like using a solar blanket to take the edge off the water temp. But pools in Maine often require something more just to keep the water bearable.

Reasons Why You Need an Above Ground Pool Heater

The truth is, most people don’t necessarily need a pool heater, but the comfortable swimming conditions they provide is certainly preferable. After all, when you purchased your pool, you probably hoped to get as much enjoyment out of it as possible, right?

Of course, the exceptions to this are pools in colder climates, like some northern areas. If you have a pool where you don’t have many days of warm swimming weather, you might fall into the category of actually needing a pool heater.

Either way though, jumping into a pool that doesn’t make your toes curl and chill bumps pop out on your skin is usually the way to go.

So, what are some reasons you might need a pool heater?

Extended Pool Season

With a pool heater, you’ll get to use your pool longer than most people. Pools without heaters may be closing down for the winter long before the temps outside dip to colder weather.

Relaxed Muscles and Joints

Aside from pure enjoyment, heated pools also have a few health benefits. One of those is that it relaxes muscles and soothes achy joints.

Stress Relief

Swimming in warm water is known to help relieve stress and depression by relaxing your body and mind.

FAQ

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Pool Heater?

The operating cost of a pool heater varies according to the type of unit you have. Electric pool heaters can run an upward of $50 per month extra on your utility bill. The time of year and local rates may make the cost less. Gas pool heaters are usually cheaper at about half the yearly cost, particularly natural gas.

Even less expensive are heat pumps. In comparison to gas-powered pool heaters, heat pumps cost cents on the dollar to run. Then, there are solar swimming pool heaters. Since solar heaters utilize the sun’s rays, the cost to use them is minimal.

How Do I Correctly Size a Pool Heater?

To get the ideal efficiency from your pool heater, it should be sized corresponded to your swimming pool’s capacity and the region in which you live. The more water your pool can hold, the more BTUs the pool heater should have. If you live in a cold climate, your pool heater needs plenty of power behind it. Conversely, a warmer climate necessitates a less powerful swimming pool heater.

Pool Heater Pumps

What’s the Average Heating Time?

Of course, you want to enjoy the relaxing and warm water of your swimming pool as soon as possible. However, it takes a little time for a heater to warm the water upon startup. Even though the heating time varies by the unit’s BTUs, the pool’s size and other factors, the approximate temperature increase rate is approximately 20 degrees in 24 hours.

How Much Maintenance Is Involved?

A pool heater is a large appliance. As such, it requires routine maintenance to ensure it lasts for years and operates at peak efficiency. Professionals recommend that pool owners get their swimming pool heater serviced on an annual basis. By adhering to a once-per-year maintenance schedule, you can avoid the cost and hassle of mechanical repairs.

How Long Do They Last?

Like air conditioners and heat pumps, pool heaters are built to last. A particular pool heater’s lifespan depends on the type of heater and how well it’s maintained. For instance, gas and electric heaters can last at least 10 years while heat pumps may work for as long as 20 years.

Best Pool Heaters

With proper maintenance, your swimming pool heater can reach and even exceed the end of its expected lifespan. It also helps to run the heater regularly, which prevents the moving parts from locking up or corroding.

Conclusion

Considering the benefits of pool heaters, it is important that you don’t overlook the importance of installing one for your pool or spa. Just keep in mind that there are available in different sizes, designs, and types.

You should pay attention to your unique circumstances, know your budget, and decide whether you need a solar, gas, or electric heater for your pool. They all have their pros and cons, so weigh them carefully to answer, What are the best pool heaters on the market today?

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