Choosing the Right Solar Pool Heater

There are many solar pool heater kits available in the market these days. These cost between $3,000 to $4,000 for the materials and labor. In terms of recouping your initial investment, you could probably get your money’s worth in energy savings, within two to seven years. This all depends on the fuel costs in your area.

Solar pool heaters are also more durable than heat or gas-pump pool heaters.

Before getting a solar pool heater system, you have to do a little research. One of the priorities is to find out the solar resource of your location. The efficiency and the design of your solar pool heater will depend upon how much solar energy reaches the site of your pool. Because the system utilizes direct solar radiation, you won’t need to have sunny weather all the time.  As long as the sun rises, it will be effective. Installers can perform a solar site analysis for you, to help you find the best spot for your solar pool heater.

Then you will need to find out the right size for your solar pool heater collector. Factors that can determine this include the size of the pool, the length of the swimming season, the desired pool temperature, your area’s solar resource, and your collector’s efficiency. The surface area of your solar collector must also be equivalent to at least 50% to 100% of the surface area of your pool.

The efficiency of your solar pool heater is determined by the collector’s thermal performance rating. The higher the efficiency, the bigger your savings on annual operating costs will be. A more highly efficient collector will also require less surface area.

Before you purchase a solar pool heating system, be sure to shop around for various models. There are various collectors to choose from. Find out which of them best suit your requirements. You’ll have to compare the costs with the savings you’ll get in the long run. Don’t just pick a system based on its estimated costs. There are various other factors to consider.

Check with the local building codes, subdivision covenants, and zoning ordinances that pertain to your pool location. You might be required to get a building permit for your solar pool heating installation. Some problems with building code could include excessive roof load, unacceptable heat exchangers, unlawful tampering with water supplies, or improper wiring. Zoning issues can be obstructions to the side yards, illegal protrusions on a roof, and the distance of the system from the street or lot boundary. You’ll need to contact the local jurisdiction’s zoning and building enforcement divisions and the community association to find out more about the requirements.

These are a few things you need to know when you’re about to install a solar pool heater. Hopefully these can help you decide on the right model for your pool.

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One Response to “Choosing the Right Solar Pool Heater”

  1. Energy2Green July 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    DIY solar and wind isn’t just an investment in energy it’s an investment in the future of energy that pays a lifetime dividend. I like your point about going for higher efficiency, since it will pay itself off quite easily. You can build your own solar thermal water heater and save thousands but it’s not for everybody. This project also allows you get the most out of another investment actually: your pool, since you’ll be able to comfortably spend an extra couple of months in it.

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