How Does a Solar Pool Heater Work?

One can greatly reduce the swimming pool by installing a solar pool heater. Solar pool heaters are cost-effective whether you are using a gas or heat pump pool heaters. Individuals using solar pool heaters claim they have a low operating cost.  Most pool owners do not understand how solar pool heaters work and that that is why we have prepared this guide. Read on to learn more about how solar pool heaters work.

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Basics of Solar Pool Heater

To understand how solar pool heaters work, it is best to start looking at major components of solar pool heating systems.

  • A pump– Pumps help circulates water through the collector and filter and back to the pool.
  • A solar collector– A collector is a device through which pool water is circulated for it to be heated by solar energy.
  • A filter– Before water is pumped through the collector, it’s vital to remove any leaves, debris, and dirt present. A filter helps get rid of any occurring debris.
  • Dirty filters use a lot of power to circulate the water. In order to maintain a solar pool effectively, you need to ensure that the cartridge filter is clean. Check https://roboticpoolcleanerscompared.com/ for more tips on how to maintain filters for optimal functioning.
  • A flow control valve– when you have plans to install a solar pool heater, one requires an automatic or manual device to divert water to the solar collector.

Working of a Solar Pool Heater

Pool water is pumped to the collector. Before water gets to the collector, it goes through a filter to remove any leaves, debris, and dirt.  In the solar collector, the water is heated by the sun before it’s returned to the pool.  If you live in a hot climate area, the collector can be used to cool the pool during summer months.  This is possible if you circulate water through the collector at night.

With a flow control valve, water is diverted to the collector the moment the collector temperature is higher than that of the pool.  However, when the collector temperature is equal to the pool’s temperature, the filtered water only bypasses the collector before it’s returned to the pool.

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Solar pool collectors vary in type and material used depending on your climate and also how you purpose to use the collector.  Unglazed collector systems are best when you mainly use your pool when the temperature is above the freezing point.  These types of collectors do not have a glass covering (The glazing). Such collectors are made of heavy plastic treated with UV light inhibitors or heavy-duty rubbers.

Due to their inexpensive designs and parts, unglazed collectors are less expensive when compared to their glazed counterparts.  If you have an indoor pool, unglazed collectors are also effective, especially when designed to drain back to the pool when they not in use.

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Unglazed collectors are the best option considering they are cost-effective and easy to install.  Note the type of collector you use in your pool highly influences how effective your solar pool heater is. Now that you understand unglazed pool heaters are unmatched when it comes to performance let’s now look at how to buy the best solar pool heater.

Selecting the right collector can be a daunting task but for the best results, make sure you choose the right heater. Most people buy the right solar pool heater, which makes the whole process a waste of time and money. To correct this problem, lets us look at how one should select a solar pool heater.

How to Select the Right Solar Pool Heater?

Buying a solar pool heater can be an expensive exercise considering it might cost you between $3,000 and $4,000.  Once you install a good solar heater, it provides a payback of 7 to years depending on the quality of the solar and how it was installed among other factors.

Before you buy and install any solar heating system, make sure you look into the following

  • Evaluate your site’s solar resource – This is an important consideration bearing in mind the effectiveness of a solar pool heater depends on the amount of solar energy that reaches your pool.
  • Sizing a solar pool heater – The size of a solar pool heating system is determined by several factors.  For example, you need to consider your pool size, length of the swimming season, collector efficiency, desired pool temperature, and average regional temperatures.
  • Sitting a solar pool heating system on a collector – This is another major factor one should look at considering collectors have to be mounted on roofs or anywhere near the pool for better orientation and exposure.
  • Checking the efficiency of the solar pool heater – one should also consider how efficient a given heater is before buying by checking the heater’s thermal performance rating.  A thermal performance rating is either measured in Btu (British thermal unit) or megajoules (MJ) per square meter.
  • Comparing solar swimming pool heating system cost – Before making a purchase, one should estimate and compare the cost associated with different solar heater models.  To estimate and compare cost, one should look at the total installation cost, the number of collector panels required to heat your pool, and a collector’s thermal performance rating.
  • Building codes and costs – one should also take time to consider installation costs before buying a solar pool heater.
  • Installation and maintenance – One should also be considerate about how a solar pool heating system will be installed before buying. The installation process depends on several factors such as climate, building codes requirements, and safety issues. After installation, one should also consider how the system will be maintained considering proper maintenance; solar pool heaters can run smoothly for 5-10 years.

For best results, there are a few practices adopted when installing a solar pool heater. One of these practices involves using unglazed collectors which are cheap yet effective. Additionally, pool owners are advised to go for top-rated solar pool heaters available on sale.

Tool Required for Installation

When installing a solar pool heater, there are several tools one should use.  Most of these tools are also vital as they highly influence how a solar pool heater works.   These tools include:

  • A solar collector
  • A filter
  • A pump
  • A flow control valve

Make Your Pool More Sustainable Now!

The word sustainable has no single definition since its meaning changes to different people over time. But simply put, sustainability is the use of practices that creates the least blueprint to the environment. When you choose materials or implement policies that promote environmental awareness, you are practicing sustainability.

A pool is not a pool without water, electricity, and chemicals for its maintenance and operation. With this in mind, is it possible to own a pool without damaging the environment?

The answer is yes. There are many ways to have a highly sustainable pool. Here are some of them:

swimming pool maintenance

1. Use water-neutral method

Water-neutral pools have water-saving and water-harvesting devices like water reservoirs to collect rainwater that can replenish the pool. Another way to save water is by installing backwash-minimization systems to reduce the amount of water needed to maintain the swimming pool. The upfront cost for buying water-neutral devices can be expensive, but considering the benefits they offer, they are practical tools in the long run.

2. Use eco-friendly technologies

Another way to make your pool greener is to use eco-friendly accessories such as LED lights instead of the usual halogen bulbs. LED lights use less power than other types of lamps. This means that they consume less electricity too, which means it lets you save on money. They are also easier to automate, so you can set a timer for them through your mobile phone. If you have older pools that come with halogen lamps, you may consider changing them for LED bulbs.

3. Harness the power of the sun

There is nothing more satisfying than taking a dip in a warm pool. However, running your pool heater consumes a lot of electricity which causes a surge in your electric bill. Installing additional 2-3KW solar panels on top of the pool heater can cover the cost of running pool accessories. You can connect the pool pump to the solar panel and let it run between 10 am to 3 pm while the sun is up. This solar pool setup will save you a lot of money later on.

If there is a downside to installing a solar panel, it’s the fact that it needs ample space and the right location where it can get a lot of sun rays.

4. Use a thermal pool cover or solar “bubble blanket”

One of the simplest ways to prevent pool heat loss is to cover the pool when not used. Pool covers help in heat retention, reduces evaporation, lessens the need to top up the pool, and maintains chemical balance.  Thermal covers are specially designed to withstand strong UV, which helps retain the heat more. Thermal blankets with the highest R-value work best in heat retention.

5. Keep your pool clean

Cleaning the pool is a lifetime responsibility. Skimming the pool to remove visible objects, vacuuming the walls and floor to loosen up dirt and algae, and using chemicals to remove bacteria and other microscopic organisms are all part of the cleaning process.

Typically, pool cleaning needs your pool pump and water filtration to run to replenish the pool and backwash the filter to remove the debris. However, there is a better way to clean your pool without wasting a lot of water and electricity.

swimming pool maintenance

Using an automatic pool cleaner (also known as pool vacuum) to maintain the water’s good condition is efficient and eco-friendly. A pool robot saves a lot on electricity since it has its own pump and filtration system, meaning you don’t need to run the pool system while cleaning. A pool vacuum has four different types: suction-side, pressure-side, pressure with booster pump, and robotic.

Some of the best pool cleaners only use the same amount of energy as a standard light bulb or about 5 cents per hour. If it takes three hours for them to clean, it translates to an additional 15 cents on your electric bill. This amount is definitely lower compared to running the pool’s pump and filter at the same time.

A pool robot also comes with filters for collecting debris. The dirt is trapped inside the device, not in the pool’s filter system. This process reduces the need to apply chemicals and performs backwashing to clean the pool’s ducts and filter system.