Solar Pool Heat Systems

Solar power isn’t restricted to just powering your home. Solar pool heat is a great alternative use for solar power on your property. Over the course of a typical summer, a pool on average may consume as much energy as an average home uses in three months.

So instead of shelling out an extra $2,000 or more in electricity bills for your swimming pool, why not tap into a renewable resource to keep that pool heated? Solar power can be used for three main pool systems: heating the pool water, operating pool pumps, and warming water for outdoor showers.

These systems have more benefits than just driving your enormous utility bill way down. They are easier to maintain than traditional systems requiring minimal maintenance vice a gas water heater that must be serviced yearly.

Solar pool heating systems are also much quieter than your noisy traditional system because of they don’t have any moving parts. Not to mention they run even when the power is out.

Cut Your Energy Costs by 50%-70%

I would feel remiss if I didn’t point out the obvious first, in regards to reducing your pool’s heating costs. Seventy percent, yes, 70% of your pool’s energy is lost through evaporation alone.

When the water evaporates it actually take more energy from your pool than your system spent heating the water in the first place. That means you are in a loosing battle against mother nature.

solar pool heat systems

Source: Department of Energy

That being said, the installation of a pool cover will reduce your pool’s energy costs by 50%-70%. So keeping the water in your pool is the first and easiest step to reducing your pool’s energy costs. For more information on pool cover types you can check out the

U.S. Department of Energy’s webpage on swimming pool covers.

Solar Pool Heat Generation

Solar pool heat is generated just like other solar hot water systems. The water from your pool is pumped through a filter into solar collectors (solar panels for pools) where it is heated by absorbing the Sun’s rays and then pumped back into your pool. Think of when you turn on a hose that has been laying in the sun for a while and how the first few seconds of water is really hot. It works just like that. Simple, right?

The main components for generating solar pool heat are: solar collectors, a circulation system and a back-up heating system. The solar collectors can be made from heavy-duty rubber, pre-treated plastic, or copper tubing mounted on an aluminum plate.

The copper tubing can be covered with an iron-tempered glazing which improves solar heat absorption, however, unglazed systems consist of less expensive components and therefor cost less. If you live in colder weather, the glazed system is better suited to fit your needs.

What’s great about solar pool heating systems is that the return on investment is relatively short. With a typical solar pool water heater system costing about $2,000 to $,000 and having a lifetime of approximately 25 years it can end up paying for itself in as little as 1.5 to 7 years. And don’t forget the nearly 200 tons of carbon dioxide you aren’t spewing into the air any more.

Solar Pool Pump Operation

Did you know that your pool pump might be consuming 20% of your home’s energy costs during the summer? This makes installing a solar powered pool pump a no-brainer.

Using a couple solar panels connected to a regular pool pump would allow your system to run all day without the need for traditionally generated electricity. Your current pool pump could be costing you $240 a season on average. Installing a new solar pump for anywhere from $500 to $2,000 will result in it paying for itself in less than 10 years.

Solar Shower Water Heating

Lastly if you have an outdoor shower why not make it solar. Using dark-colored materials (which even work on cloudy days) to capture ambient warmth can enable you to have warm shower water all day long, and these systems generally cost between$200 and $500.

For more information on choosing solar for your pool water heating needs.

Personal Recommendations for Pool Solar Systems

Now that you understand how you are wasting money keep that pool in good working order throughout the year using traditional electricity, let’s put you in contact with some pros that can help you switch to solar.