People often think that if they live in a cold state it’s a waste of time getting solar heaters. In some respects they are right, but some solar heaters are so cheap and they can also compliment your pool heating set-up if used correctly, it’s nearly a shame to let even the moderate bit of sun you get go to waste.
So the debate begins about solar heaters. Are they any good? Should you use them? Are they a gimmick? Pools are often thought of as the forte of the rich, but due to the affordable nature of above ground pools, you don’t have to be mega rich to own a pool these days.
If you do not have a solar heater, even a small dome or 2 you are wasting freely available energy that can at least compliment your fossil hungry heaters.
If you also are not using a solar cover shame on you. Most pool heat is lost due to evaporation, the amount of energy a pool loses overnight is shocking.
Think about it this way, if you have spent all that money and it has taken that long to heat up your pool with electric heat pumps, gas heaters and even solar heaters, why would you want most of the heat to drain overnight, only for you to start the whole process again the next day and waste so much gas or electricity, and get up real early to turn the heaters on, so no one will freeze? I mean you wouldn’t run your car all night and waste gas would you?
If a boost from solar allows you to turn your heater down or completely off during the day for a while then that is money saved. After the initial cost of solar heaters (which can range anywhere from $20-$500 for average systems) there is no other cost required. No recurring energy costs in the slightest.
There are many different products you can buy from solar panels, solar reels, solar domes and even solar capsules which you dispense inside your pool.
Let’s look some more at the benefits of all of these.
Solar Pool Heaters Are Cost-Effective
As the energy that powers them comes from the sun, they cost to run solar heaters is a massive fat $0. Imagine if we could use the same technology to power our cars!
You just have to pay for the product and after that it’s free. Gas and electric recurring costs are hefty, even though heaters have got exceptional fuel efficient.
Add some domes and panels together with a solar blanket or reel and your energy bills will fall. How much depends on your climate. Although solar technology is now a lot better at working in lower ambient temperatures than it was a decade ago.
How Much Can You Save?
Naturally all that depends where you live, but you can save almost 80% if you live in the State of California. Other energy saving hot-spots include Arizona, Florida and California. If you live in a hot humid climate, or at least get this type of weather in the summer you are on to a winner with solar technology.
Lower Purchase Price
Unlike a decade ago, the price of solar heaters has dropped dramatically. Cheap products from China have infiltrated the market. These products have flooded the big online shopping sites and even local shopping malls so the price of them has dropped like a stone.
Larger panel based systems will set you back a lot more even up to $5000, but heaters like this can practically replace gas and electrical heaters in sunshine states.
What’s not to like about using a form of energy with completely zero carbon emissions?
If you care about the environment you can add as many solar domes or panels as you see fit.
If you only have a holiday season plastic pool for instance you can buy cheap solar panels on Amazon for instance that will at least give the water a small boost and make the swimming or splashing experience a bit more pleasant for anyone taking a dip.
Most Effective Solar Heaters For Cold Climates
There are generally 2 types of solar heaters,
- Glazed systems and
- Unglazed systems
All pool heaters have a collector which captures and circulates a segment of water for heating.
Glazed systems mostly have copper tubing on top of an aluminum plate, this is sealed with toughened glass (iron tempered). They also include anti-freeze like liquid called heat transfer fluid, which also protects the glass from cracking, and helps the water to heat up, much like antifreeze protects your car engine.
Glazed systems work better in cold climates as the glass and copper captures and transfers heat more effectively than unglazed systems. Just think back to those hot days when you were trapped in school beside a window- glass magnifies heat.
Carry out regular maintenance on your solar heaters. Be sure to check your solar panels for cracks if you use them in cold weather and make sure it has enough heat transfer fluid or it won’t be effective and the glass can also crack. Due to the more complicated nature of glazed systems they are therefore more expensive than unglazed heaters.