Solar Swimming Pool Heaters 101

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Everything you need to know about solar swimming pool heaters; how they work, associated costs, benefits, and more

There’s nothing like diving into a crisp, refreshing swimming pool, in the heat of the summer months. That said, the investment – monetary and maintenance costs – associated with installing and upkeeping a home swimming pool, can make it extremely tempting to try and extend your swim season, as much as possible.

Solar swimming pool heaters can help you warm the water in your pool so that you can splash about comfortably, even when there’s no heatwave in the air, smarter, more affordably, and even more importantly, in a far more environmentally friendly way.

Let’s run through how solar swimming pool heaters work, and why they’re the home swimming pool heating method you want to use to extend your swim season, while reducing the financial, environmental, and maintenance resources you expend.

Let’s begin by defining “what’s what”…

Solar swimming pool heaters are heating systems that harness the heat of the sun to warm your pool’s waters to the ideal temperature of between 26 and 29°C.

Most solar swimming pool heaters are composed of multiple collectors (solar panels), a filter, a pump, a flow control valve, and a temperature sensor. When the sun is out, the solar collectors absorb its warmth and then pass this free heating energy through narrow pipes located within the panels themselves. At the same time, the pool’s pump moves the pool water so that it is circulated through the filter (to be cleaned) and then through the solar collectors’ pipes, warming the water before returning it to the pool. This process is automatically performed over and over again, to ensure that the water reaches the desired, pre-set temperature (input into the temperature controller) and that this temperature is maintained, at all times.

To effectively achieve this goal, the solar collectors/panels must be strategically placed within your home. It is recommended that, for those living in the northern hemisphere, the panels face south, south-west, or south-east, so that they can receive direct sunlight, for as long as possible, throughout the day. Conversely, those living in the southern hemisphere would ideally place their solar panels so that they face north, north-west, or north-east, depending on their exact location. A solar swimming pool heater professional should be able to determine the best possible direction for your solar panels, regardless of where you live, and which direction your home faces.

Additionally, the solar panels can be installed on flat surfaces, such as your home’s roof or pergola, so that they are in constant contact with the sun. Some panels, such as Magen eco-Energy’s come with dedicated connectors that enable installation on a tiled roof, with minimal penetration into the tiles themselves.  The exact size and amount of solar panels installed for your particular pool is not a cookie-cutter decision; rather, it should be calculated based on several factors:

 

The ambient weather where you live: temperatures, wind, UV radiation, etc.​

The pool size​

The pool’s location: do trees or other objects cast shade over the pool?

The pool’s heat conservation solution: does a cover keep the warmed waters at the desired temperature overnight?​


Now down to the nitty gritty: The comparison between Solar Pool Heating and Heat Pumps

Solar swimming pool heaters are easy to install and use

One of the caveats of having an outdoor home pool is that it is generally only fit for use during warm summer months. Not anymore. Using a solar swimming pool heater can extend your swimming season, allowing you to swim for more months during the year, and even when there’s no sunlight out.

It’s true! While it can get really cold when the sun is no longer shining at night or during overcast seasons, the heat generated by your solar swimming pool heaters can accumulate and then be maintained, by simply covering your pool with a suitable cover when not in use. So long as your house has exposed, unshaded areas, you can install a solar swimming pool heating system and effectively and efficiently heat your pool, for up to 8 months of the year! In some areas, that’s a 200% increase in swim time!

Solar swimming pool heaters are easy to install and use

When it comes to installing and using solar swimming pool heaters, there isn’t much of a learning curve. Unlike gas pool heaters or heat pumps, which can only be installed by qualified people who are proficient in the fields of plumbing, electricity, and gas, solar swimming pool heating systems can be installed by a trained technician provided to you by companies like Magen eco-Energy with greater efficiency and proficiency, as these systems contain no internal controls or moving parts and require no wiring, whatsoever. Through a simple, one-time installation process by highly professional technicians backed by over 20 years of Magen eco-Energy experience, your solar swimming pool heater and all its requisite connectors for the pumps and pool cover will be successfully attached and operational, in no time!

All the technician needs is to connect the system, which is readily available at our Sydney warehouses, and add a monitor, should you request one. The process takes roughly half a work day to complete. Once installed, you’re good to go, for a good 20 years!

The solar swimming pool heating system is fairly hands-free. All you need to do is set your desired water temperature. Your new solar swimming pool heater will efficiently heat your pool’s water as it moves up through the solar panel and then back into your pool, so you can start enjoying warmer water in your home pool, quickly and comfortably.

Solar swimming pool heaters are built to last

Solar swimming pool heaters are extremely durable and have a long lifespan. The materials used to produce the solar swimming pool heating system are what make them so durable. Many systems are made from rugged materials, such as UV-stabilized PVC and polycarbonate coating, capable of withstanding continuous outdoor use, even in harsh weather conditions.

Most solar pool heating systems come with 12-year warranties, which is far more impressive than the 1-5 year warranties generally provided by alternative heating source suppliers. Following a proper and successful installation, the solar panels powering your solar swimming pool can last 15 to 20 years, or even longer, provided that minimal periodic cleaning and maintenance is performed.

Having led the solar heating industry for the past 4 decades, Magen eco-Energy’s solar swimming pool panels were built to last for 20-25 years, were built to withstand tornadoes, and come with an up to 25-year warranty in Australia, depending on which collector you choose.

Solar swimming pool heaters require minimal maintenance

One of the main advantages of solar swimming pool heaters is that the solar panels continuously soak up the sun, enabling the circulation system to generate the ideal temperature results. There’s no need for ongoing professional maintenance; you can easily maintain the system yourself once a pool season, by brushing off fallen leaves and other debris, and using the vacuum relief valve to drain the water (once per winter), to avoid pipes bursting due to the presence of frozen water. That said, the pipes are resilient in up to -15 degree weather (not that it gets that cold in Australia, but just in case you were wondering). 

Solar swimming pool heaters are cost-effective

Solar swimming pool heaters may seemingly require a sizeable initial investment (just like with heat pumps and gas heater installation), but installing a solar swimming pool heater in your home can lead you to rake in extraordinary savings, for the long term. Or, in other words, solar swimming pool heaters more or less pay for themselves, making them an extremely cost-effective energy solution.

How so?

After making an initial investment in the solar pool heating system and its installation, solar heating allows you to heat your swimming pool, without having to spend money on gas, hydro, or other forms of electricity. This is because the sun is a completely free resource! As such, your home’s monthly electricity bill will be significantly lower than if you would be using any other resource to heat your swimming pool water (and you can’t exactly do without heated water without risking hypothermia, can you?). What’s more, solar swimming pool heaters are more durable than heat pumps and gas heaters; they can last up to 25 years, instead of having to be replaced every 3-5 years. And since these heaters require no maintenance, you’re only paying for the initial installation – it’s that simple!

Factors affecting solar swimming pool heater costs:

Research has found that solar heating saves at least 50% of water heating expenses​

Your geographic location and its access to solar energy​​​

Research has found that solar heating saves at least 50% of water heating expenses​


Solar swimming pool heaters are eco-friendly

In today’s world, sustainability and environmental friendliness are two buzzwords that cannot be ignored… and with good reason.

As human beings, we consume a lot of energy, each and every day. On average, roughly 30% of the energy we consume in the home is used to heat our household’s water. For those with home swimming pools, that percentage is likely significantly higher. 

Solar pool heating systems leverage the sun’s natural energy to warm your pool. They emit no air pollution, greenhouse gasses, or other hazardous waste. As such, you are able to reduce your carbon footprint and help prevent global warming, while gaining the energy advantage you seek, to make swim time that much more enjoyable. Furthermore, since solar panels are extremely recyclable, you can continue to do right by the environment, even when a particular system is no longer in use (following a long, well-used lifespan, of course).

ClimateCare certified, Magen eco-Energy’s solar swimming pool heaters not only help you meet your own eco-friendly goals, but they also meet ambitious global climate standards, as well, making an investment in a Magen solar swimming pool heater an investment in a sustainable planet, for the long haul.

What do you need to know, before installing a solar swimming pool heater in/on your home?

Earlier, we touched upon some of the factors involved in positioning your solar swimming pool heater so that it optimally heats your home’s pool water. In addition to its physical location, there are a few other considerations to take into account, before installing a solar swimming pool heater in or on your home. 

Your required solar swimming pool heater size

There’s no “one size fits all” solar swimming pool heater. You will need to choose the right sized solar swimming pool heater to provide optimal heat to your specific pool, in your specific geographic location, while taking into account your desired water temperature, and whether/how you plan to maintain water temperature levels, when the pool is not in use (such as with a cover).

Practically speaking, outdoor swimming pools generally require solar collectors/panels with a surface area equal to approximately 80-100% of your pool’s actual size. In cooler, windier and more overcast areas, the percentage needed is on the higher end, while pool owners in sunnier and warmer areas can get away with less coverage.

Whether your existing pump can get the job done

Depending on the type of pool heating you previously used, you may need a larger or smaller pool pump, to push the pool’s water through the filter, through to the collectors, and back into the pool. It’s important to consult with a professional about the right size pump for your pool and solar swimming pool heating system. At Magen eco-Energy, we’re always happy to lend a hand, so you make the right decision, right away.

The type of roof/surface, on which your solar swimming pool heater will be installed

While most solar panels can be mounted on most surfaces, it’s important to understand the optimal incline needed to allow the panels to absorb the sun’s radiation, as well as how you’ll need to affix them to the surface, to ensure the safety of those who live in and visit your home. Again, you can always consult with a Magen eco-Energy team member, to devise the optimal strategy for installing solar panels on your roof, pergola, or other intended surfaces.

Any local “red tape” you might encounter

Depending on where you live, a permit might be required to install solar panels on your roof or other exterior surfaces. These permits are required, to ensure that your solar swimming pool heater is safely installed, safe to use, and does not disrupt the neighborhood’s aesthetic vibe. As such, it’s recommended that you do your due diligence and consult with the relevant municipal authorities, before purchasing a solar swimming pool heating system for your home. 

The Bottom Line

Solar swimming pool heating systems provide pool owners with unmatched benefits, in an easy-to-use, hands-off package. They keep your pool water nice and warm, don’t break the bank, and are extremely environmentally friendly. As such, it’s clear that installing a solar swimming pool heater in/on your home is a smart, future-forward decision.

At Magen eco-Energy, we pride ourselves on providing you with the best-selling solar pool heating system for domestic and commercial swimming pools in the world. Unique engineering, multiple registered patents, strict compliance with the most stringent regulations, and continuous research and development empower the company to provide pool owners across the continent with a durable, eco-friendly, and affordable solution that lengthens the swimming season – no maintenance required! 

Our systems can be found in over half a million pools in 80+ countries, including in Australia, the US, Europe, and Mexico:

HELIOCOL – Our best-selling, patented panel that can easily be connected to any surface, regardless of size. The panel is durable and can withstand tough weather conditions, including strong winds or extreme pressure, and is suitable for all pool types.

SunValue This panel requires zero maintenance, whatsoever, and is considered the best value for money for pools in warmer climates.

For more information and to consult on which Magen eco-Energy solar swimming pool heater best suits your home’s needs, contact us today!

Read more

The “battle” over pool temperature:
Solar Pool Heating vs Heat pumps

Here’s the spoiler: this battle ends in an overwhelming victory in favour of Solar Pool Heating, not because we are biased, but simply because we at Magen know that there’s no other heating solution which is as efficient, of such high quality, environmentally friendly, and economically friendly for heating your pool.

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