Solar pool heaters are perhaps the most cost effective way of heating your pool over the long term. While installing solar pool heaters can come with higher initial costs than conventional heaters, the energy savings over the life of your pool make them by far the cheapest pool heating system available.
Many pool owners living in northern regions where winters are much longer may be concerned that solar pool heaters may not be effective. In fact, solar heating is an excellent option regardless of the geographical region or climate that you live in because the earth’s entire surface is exposed to sunlight.
Why Choose Solar Pool Heaters?
There are many good reasons to choose solar heating for your pool. First of all, solar energy is the most cost efficient energy source available to consumers today. As the price of natural gas and electricity continues to rise steadily, pool owners can attest to the great expense they face when heating their pools. In fact, some estimates show that solar heating can cost as much as a fifth of conventional heating systems and once your solar heating system is installed you will no longer be faced with expensive heating bills. So, solar pool heating options are not only very effective but also very cheap.
In addition to the energy savings, installing solar pool heating allows your family to extend their swimming season beyond the summer months. Indeed, when combined with a solar pool cover, a solar pool heater can extend the swimming season by as much as two months. Plus, solar pool heaters tend to be very durable and require much less maintenance than conventional heating systems. Solar pool heaters tend to last much longer than gas or electric heaters and can be expected to last for as many as 10 years. While typical warranties for gas or electric heaters are only about 2 years, solar panels usually come with a 10 year warranty and typically survive for as many as 20 years. In addition to durability, the low maintenance of solar pool heaters means lesser costs for service technicians.
Perhaps the best reason to invest in solar pool heaters is their minimal effect on the environment. In fact, the sun’s energy is completely renewable meaning that you can be confident that you are not wasting our earth’s precious resources. With modern concern about global warming and its damaging effects on the environment, many families are choosing solar pool heaters in order to minimize the amount of fossil fuels they are burning. Burning fuels means an increase in nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide released into our air which leads to serious problems such as smog and the depletion of the ozone layer. Many pool owners are not aware that the fuel used in heating their pool year round is similar to the amount of fuel used driving a car for a year. Clearly, solar pool heaters are a modern and environmentally sound alternative to traditional electric and gas heaters.
Breaking Down the Cost of Solar Pool Heaters
When shopping for pool heaters, many consumers are often deterred by the expense of installing solar pool heaters. For the most part, solar pool heaters are considerably more expensive than installing a gas heater but actually cheaper than installing a heat pump. However, once the installation costs have been met, the energy you receive to heat your pool from a solar pool heater is absolutely free. At current energy costs, the total cost of installing and running a solar pool heater would be less than $6000 over 15 years while a natural gas heater would cost as much as $20 000 and a heat pump as much as $14 000 over the same time frame. Imagine what you could do with the extra money!!
Factors to Consider with Solar Pool Heaters
Just as you would expect from gas or electric heaters, there are several factors that you need to consider before purchasing a solar pool heating system. First of all, the size of your pool is an important variable. Larger pools will obviously require more energy for heating meaning you would need more solar panels for a larger pool. In addition, the logistics of installing solar panels needs to be considered. Do you have space to install heaters? Many smaller houses may not have enough room on the roof for solar panels and you will typically need about half the space of your pool for solar panels. Heat loss should also be carefully thought through and the investment in a solar pool cover is highly recommended. Most heat loss from a pool occurs because of wind or cooler air over the surface of the pool. A solar pool cover reduces heat loss making the entire heating system much more efficient.
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