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Pros and Cons of a Solar Pool Heater

Posted by Solar Source on Mar 9, 2015

If you’re considering a solar pool heater for your pool, you must weigh the pros and cons to decide if it’s the right investment for you. Solar pool heating systems have many benefits, and there are various reasons that people invest in them. To find out if solar is the right way to go for your pool, read this handy pros and cons list. 


  • Solar energy is free. The number one benefit that draws people to solar pool heaters is that the energy is completely free! The renewable energy from the sun heats your pool, so your energy bill is greatly reduced, when compare to other heating methods.  Also, your bill isn’t susceptible to rising gas and electricity prices. 

  • Inexpensive to operate. With solar pool heating, there are no additional monthly operating costs. Gas pool heaters often spike your utilities bill due to the high cost of fuel. An average outdoor swimming pool in Atlanta, Georgia heated with a gas pump generates about $1,704 per year during the swimming season. The additional cost for a Heliocol solar pool heating system can be as little as $30 to $74 per year if you choose to extend your pump’s run time.

  • Ready when you are. Other heaters can take hours or days to heat the pool.  Solar automatically operates whenever the sun is shining and your regular pool pump is running.  Your pool stays warm throughout the season and is ready when you are.

  • Long lifespan. Solar pool systems generally come with 12 year warranties (compared to 1-5 years for heating alternatives) and an expected lifespan of 15-20 years. The typical payback for a solar pool system when compared to other heating alternatives is 2-3 years.  Savings over the lifetime of the system far outweigh the investment.  

  • Environmentally-friendly. Unlike gas pool heaters, solar heating systems emit no air pollution whatsoever. Home and business owners looking to cut their carbon footprint often choose to go green with solar heating, which is also great for public relations efforts.



  • Less efficient heating in evenings and overcast days. Solar power operates on heat from the sun, so when the sun isn’t shining, your pool won’t heat as well.

  • More expensive initial cost. The initial cost of solar pool heaters generally ranges from $3,500 to $7,000. For many people the initial cost seems hefty, but it’s a worthwhile long-term investment. You will make your money back and then some after just a couple years.  Installed cost for gas heaters or heat pumps generally range from $2,000-$4,500

  • Takes longer to heat. After the initial installation, solar pool heaters take several days to heat the pool before they maintain the heightened temperature. Gas heaters surge energy from your home in order to heat your pool quickly, which is why your monthly gas bill is so much more expensive with a gas pool heater.


While gas heaters and heat pumps look attractive at first glance, there are hefty operating and maintenance fees, the warranties are often incomparable, and they cost you more money per month. Solar pool heaters are durable, low-maintenance, and cost-effective in the long-term. They’re ideal for recreational use with pool temperatures ranging from low 80’s to mid 90’s. They work year-round in southern climates, and they extend the swimming season by months in northern climates! If you’re interested in a solar pool heater for your swimming pool, contact Superior Solar today. We will answer any questions you may have and we can give you a quote!

Topics: Pool Heating Options, Green Energy Solutions

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