Solar pool heating systems channel the sun’s energy to heat your pool. The big advantage here is that this energy is free and in addition you are being friendly to the environment.
There are other advantages as well:
Can be installed by pool owner – Whilst solar pool heating can be installed professionally, kits are available which suit both above ground and in ground pools and can be installed by a competent handyman. In this case there is no need for qualified gas contractors or electricians. The main issue is the installation of the solar collectors as the location of these is critical to the effectiveness of the system. Ideally these will be installed on a roof or on a suitable framework, such that they face the sun.
Little maintenance – Once installed the a solar system requires little maintenance which compares favorably to gas pool heaters and Pool Heat Pumps.
System will last – A Solar Pool Heating System should last many years and turn out to be a good investment. This is illustrated by the fact that some manufacturers offer fifteen year guarantees.
But we have to accept that there are also several disadvantages to bear in mind:
Large space needed for solar panels – Although it is only an approximate guide, the area of the solar panels needs to be about the same as the pool surface area. Even with a small pool this can be a significant space requirement. In addition the positioning of the solar collectors may be forced by your location and this may have a negative impact on your local environment.
Not as powerful as gas heater or heat pump – Even in ideal conditions the heat output from a solar pool heater will not match that of gas pool heaters and electric heat pumps. Solar heating will still work on overcast days but the output will not be as high as on a sunny day.
Effectiveness highly dependent on correct conditions – The effectiveness of a solar pool heating system will depend on a number of factors including local temperature, wind, the amount of sunshine and particularly the orientation of the solar panels. To work at their best the solar collectors need to be facing south and not be shaded by trees or anything else at any time of day.
Can be expensive – Most of the cost relates to the solar collectors and the number of these you need depends on the size of the pool. If you have a medium to large pool the cost is likely to be more than a gas based system. Having said this the low on-going costs will make up for this in time.
So should you go for solar heating? Well there are two key things to consider, your location and the period you want to heat your pool. If you can locate the solar collectors to get best results and are not looking to extend your season into the colder months then a solar pool heater is well worth considering.
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