Living in Florida, we have the ability to heat our pools with the sun using pool solar panels. But is it worth the investment?
In our opinion, yes. If the goal is to regulate a pool’s in-season temperature in an energy-efficient, cost-effective way, then solar panels are a great way to accomplish that goal. Read more to see if solar pool panels are right for your needs.
Solar Pool Panels Perks List:
- Low energy
- No giant propane tanks like with gas heaters
- No reoccurring propane costs because the SUN is the heat source
- Most economical way to keep a pool at a consistent temperature
- Lasts 10+ years
How it works:
A solar panel heating system takes water from your pool filtration system and sends it up to your roof to be heated by the sun, moving the water through a series of small tubes in the “solar panels” before returning the newly heated water to the pool. The system has sensors that regulate and keep the pool at the set temperature, automatically adding the solar-heated water as needed to maintain temps. Here in Central Florida, it’s best used “in-season,” late spring through mid fall. You can still warm a pool in the colder months, BUT using it when it’s consistently cold can cause you more general pool maintenance issues. (Likely due to the temperature changes between day and night evaporating the pool water at a higher rate.) Keep in mind that in the winter months shorter days providing less sunlight means less heating capabilities.
What panels are best for:
Solar panels can typically heat your pool up to 10 degrees above it’s current stand-alone temperature.
A solar panel heating system simply does not have the environmental resources to heat a 40 degree pool up to a consistent 80 degrees in the winter. We only rely on our system for the warmer season when the outside day temperatures are more consistent with the night temps. While solar panels can technically work all year mechanically, winter will have less sun (shorter days), which means a lot less opportunity to warm the colder pool water with the solar panels. There’s also a lot more water evaporation if the temperature of the pool is warmer than the air on the colder nights.
How long do they last:
Be sure to ask your provider. Lots of systems are guaranteed for around 10 years. The roof components of a system is typically changed out with a new roof installation, but the mechanics of the system (the power, piping, and controls mounted on the side of the house) can last even longer. Expect a few minor fixes needed along the way, usually due to freezing temperatures in the winter. Fixes should only have labor costs when panels are under warranty.
How much do they cost:
Prices vary but typically around $3,000 to $5,000. Cost usually depends on things like how many panels your pool will need, and the additional materials and labor needed to install your system.
How to choose a solar panel provider:
Make sure they are a licensed, insured contractor. Look for real-world reviews and compare companies. Ask neighbors with pools if they have solar heaters, who they hired, and how their solar panels have worked for them. Warranty is important, so make sure you are getting a quality product that is guaranteed.
Do you have solar panels for your pool? Share your experience with others in the comments section of our Instagram pics for this Curb Appeal article: @DeAnnaAndCompany