Does Solar Pool Heating Really Work?

Have you ever asked yourself how you can heat the pool cheaply? If yes, then today we want to tell you about solar pool covers and why you need them.

So, the first question is does solar pool heating really work? YES! Solar pool heating systems have plenty of advantages such as:

  • heating pool water;
  • reducing evaporation by as much as 90%;
  • maintaining your pool clean by blocking all the dust, sand, debris and insects;
  • making the pool season longer as pool covers keep the warmth even when it is getting cold outside;
  • giving you ROI (return of investment) within 2-5 years;
  • decreases your use of chemicals to clean the pool;
  • saving your bills as pool covers are very efficient.

Here is the article about the pros and cons of solar pool covers if you are interested.

But now let’s dive into the solar pool heating topic a bit deeper. Here is a summary of the research carried out by the National Plasterers Council on various pool cover types and how effective they are.

Pool Cover Type Average Efficiency (%)
Solar Cover 94.8
Foam Cover 92.7
Bubble Cover 90.3
Solar Disk 53.4
Liquid Evaporation Suppressant A 17.2
Liquid Evaporation Suppressant B 15.6

How Does Pool Solar Heating Work?

A solar cover (or a blanket) is a device that heats water with help of the Sun, it simply converts the energy of the sun into thermal energy. There are various of pool covers options  — different sizes, brands and price. But they all carry out the same function — they keep your pool’s water warm.

Is Solar Pool Heating Really Worth It?

Solar pool covers are great for your pool because they have so many benefits:

  • Reduce evaporation. Solar pool covers reduce evaporation by up to 90%. It leads to other advantages such as cuts down on loss water and your bills.
  • Maintain the temperature of the water. Maybe you like swimming in the cold water, anyway, solar pool blankets keep the water warm by keeping the heat that it has absorbed throughout the day from the sun.
  • Filter rubbish, dust, sand, dirt and even catch those annoying bugs in your pool. This prevents your pool from becoming dirty and you will not ask yourself “why is my pool water green and smells bad?”
  • Save your money. That is exactly right — you do not need any other expensive heating equipment to keep your pool warm, according to the recent study by National Plasterers Council it is the most effective way to heat your pool.
  • Save on cleaning chemicals for pool. It is self-explanatory — if your pool remains clean longer with the solar pool covers, then you don’t need to clean it using harmful household chemicals.
  • The amazing return of investment — from 1.5 to 7 years, depending on what you used to heat up the water before.
    ROI depends on the following factors:

1. The effectiveness and power of your system;
2. Solar resource of your area;
3. The incline of the solar pool cover.

Does a Solar Pool Heater Really Work?

How to Choose Solar Pool Heating System?

  • Estimate the solar resource of the area where you live;

The effectiveness of the system depends on how much solar energy reaches the location of the solar collectors.
Solar collectors absorb both direct sunlight and diffused sunlight, so if the area is not overly shaded and faces south,  it is suitable for a solar pool heating system.

  • Determine the optimal incline of the solar blanket;
  • Choose the right pump.

It is very important because if you replace the conventional pool heating system with a solar system, you may need a more powerful pump than the one you have now, or a separate, less powerful pump for pumping water into the pool and pumping through the system.

  • Determine the effectiveness and power of the solar pool heating system;

The power of the solar pool heating system depends on many factors such as:

    1. pool volume;
    2. the duration of the swimming season;
    3. average regional temperatures;
    4. the desired temperature in the pool;
    5. solar resource of the area;
    6. orientation and inclination of the blanket;
    7. use of the pool cover.

How Hot Can Solar Pool Heating Get?

Solar pool heating can get up to 10-15 degrees above a pool that does not have this system.

How Long Does It Take to Heat a Pool with Solar Panels?

The time required to heat a pool with solar panels will definitely rely on the area where you live and its average temperature. Suppose, you live in sunny Los Angeles, then it will only take 2-3 days to get your pool to a comfortable temperature (26-28 degrees), but if you live in the North, it might take more than a week to heat up your pool with solar panels.

Nevertheless, they are very effective and they can heat up your pool in no time AND save your money. Isn’t it just perfect?

The Pros and Cons of Solar Pool Heating Systems

How Warm Should a Heated Pool Be?

It all depends on your preferences, but the ideal temperature of a pool should be around 25C (75F).

The optimal temperature of the water in the pool should be 2-3 degrees lower than air. The pool bottom should also be warm. The recommended pool bottom temperature is 25-27 degrees.

Why is Pool Temperature So Important?

It would seem that when swimming it’s enough to focus on your own feelings of comfort. This is actually not enough. Experts recommend to strictly monitor the temperature regime in the pool and maintain it within the recommended framework.

What happens if you swim in cold water?

  • Increases the risk of hypothermia and the common cold;
  • Cramps may occur.

What happens if you swim in extremely warm/hot water?

  • Increased heating costs;
  • Accelerated processes of reproduction of microorganisms and bacteria, which worsen the state of water and make people clean the pool more often;
  • Rapid evaporation of liquid;
  • Increased rate of condensation.
solar pool heating system

What about Solar Pool Covers: Are They Dangerous?

Pool covers are generally safe, but they may be dangerous if you do not follow the basic rules of safety. Remember, you must never leave your children or pets as they can fall into your pool.

Also, you need to have a pool fence as this will make your pool area more private and secure for children and pets.

The last reason because of which solar pool covers might be not safe is when they are out of order, but this works for anything in this world. Either change or fix it.



I am passionate about making my home a better place and I want to share all my knowledge with you.

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