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4 Best Solar Heaters For Above Ground Pool To Extend The Swimming Season

When it starts to get cold, it can be difficult to still go swimming in your above ground pool. Thanks to the solar heater for above ground pool, however, you’ll be able to take a dip in your pool even if it’s a cold day. This product can increase the overall temperature of your pool and ensure that you’ll feel comfortable – even on a chilly day.

Solar heaters work in a similar fashion to water heating systems. The only difference between them is the energy source that will propel the pool water through the system. Above ground heaters use solar energy collectors that are usually mounted on the roof or placed on the side of the above-ground pool.

How it works is simple. Water gets pumped through the built-in filter, which helps to remove any contaminants in the water. It then goes through the tubes within the solar energy collectors, and the heat from these tubes helps to warm up the water before they’re released into the pool.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a solar heater for above ground pool, you could be overwhelmed by the number of options on the market. To help, we’ve created a guide of what you should look for when purchasing your above ground heater and curated a list of 4 of some of the best above ground heaters to get you started.

Benefits of Above Ground Heaters 

One of the biggest benefits of above ground heaters is that they can warm up pool water and make it more comfortable to swim in. Using a solar powered above ground heater is also an efficient way to warm up the water in your above ground pool. It’s also practical since you won’t be relying on electricity.

They’re also an excellent option for individuals who want a more energy-efficient system to help with heating their swimming pool water. Since it’s eco-friendly, above ground heaters are also a fantastic choice for those that want to reduce overall carbon emissions.

Other benefits of purchasing above ground heaters include minimal maintenance costs and are easy to install. Since there’s no electricity source required, you don’t have to worry about tangled wires or hiring an electrician. Instead, you’ll just have to follow the instructions that your above ground heater comes with, and you’re all good to go.

Pros and Cons for Above Ground Heaters 

Pros: 

  • Cost-friendly. Since you won’t have to pay for electricity or natural gas expenditure, you’ll be minimizing cost on your overall electricity bill.
  • Eco-friendly. Since an above ground heater relies on solar power, you’re doing your part for the environment and reducing the impact of electrical or natural gas sources.
  • Doesn’t require much maintenance. You might take a little bit of time to install your above ground heater, but you won’t have to worry about maintenance. While above ground heaters that run on traditional electrical sources might need periodic maintenance, you won’t run into that issue with solar above ground heaters.
  • Easy installation. Upon your purchase, you’ll receive detailed instructions on how to go about installing your above ground heater. You won’t have to hire a specialist and can even view it as a DIY project for an afternoon.
  • You’ll have the perfect water temperature at all times. Most above ground heaters come with controllers where you can adjust the water to your desired temperature.

Cons: 

  • Mounting is required. With solar above ground heaters, you’d need to mount the solar collectors, and they’re quite bulky as they need to be at least half the size of your swimming pool.

What to Look for in Above Ground Heaters 

Now that you’ve got a better idea of the benefits of above ground heaters, the next thing to consider is what you should look for when purchasing one. There are three different types of solar panels that can help with collecting energy – solid solar panels, individual solar panels, and glazed and unglazed solar panels.

Solid solar panels are similar to the panels you have in traditional solar power systems. They’re usually able to harvest the most energy when the angle of the board is perpendicular to the sun’s rays – generally around noon. Hence, solid solar panels typically provide optimum performance at noon, with their performance diminishing throughout the day. Solid solar panels also run the risk of being blown away by the wind, so you’ll need to install additional security straps.

With individual solar tube panels, these have several tubes that are arranged side by side. They’re much sturdier than individual solar panels in that regard and run less of a risk of being blown away. It’s also a more efficient energy collector than some of the other panels as each of the individual tubes can absorb heat.

With the panel above, they can also be glazed and unglazed. Glazed solar panels are usually ideal for those living in colder temperatures, while unglazed solar panels are better for those living in warmer climates.

Some other things you’d need to consider when making your purchase include the clarity of installation instructions. Most above ground heaters are easy to install, so you won’t need professional help – but that’s only if the manual is written clearly. Some manufacturers can use terms that are too vague or hard to understand. To be sure, you’d want to look at the customer reviews before making your purchase.

The next thing to consider is the size of the solar collectors. If you’ve got a bigger pool, for example, you’d need a bigger solar collector. You’d also want an above ground heater that can increase the temperature of your water by about 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. After all, there’s nothing like being able to swim in warm, comfortable waters while it’s cold outside.

Next, you’ll want to consider the quality of the construction. A solar above ground heater comes with various components from the controller to the collector, pump, and filter. There are also tubes and hoses, and you’ll want to make sure that they all come with solid construction. Ideally, they should be UV, corrosion, and rust-resistant, and made of industrial-grade materials.

Finally, your above ground heater should be easy to use. The controller should be easy enough to operate, and you should be able to get your pool to a comfortable temperature in no time at all. If you’re thinking of getting a portable above ground heater, they should also not be too heavy so you can carry it from your home to the pool.

Top 4 Best Solar Heaters For Above Ground Pool

1. SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater

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This particular above ground solar heater can increase the pool temperature by 5 degrees in around four days for an 8,000-gallon pool. It’s made with high-quality materials and will hold against exposure against the sun along with outdoor elements. It’s constructed in a unique curved shape that’ll help with maximizing heat collection.

Other great features of this solar above ground heater include its adjustable and foldable legs that allow the heater to have maximum exposure to the sun. It’s also a great gradual heater that’ll help extend your pool season by increasing the pool water temperature by a couple of degrees. Those that have purchased it mentioned that the water flows through at a decent rate and warms up nicely as it goes through the coils.

Pros:

  • Increases pool temperature by 5 degrees
  • Has a unique curved shape to maximize heat collection
  • Has adjustable and foldable legs
  • Great gradual heater

Cons:

  • The hoses for the heater aren’t long

2. Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System for Above-Ground Pools

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Upon purchasing this above-ground heater, you’ll get a wide solar collector along with barb connections, mounting caps, mounting bases, mounting straps, a valve handle, and rubber tube plugs. You can easily install this heater by mounting it on the ground, a rack, or even a roof. It performs best from 10 am to 4 pm and is most effective when tilted 10 to 30 degrees to the south.

One customer who purchased two panels mentioned that it helped increase the pool temperature by about 5 to 6 degrees each day. Others have also said that the product works well, is easy to set up, and they like how there’s an on/off switch, so if it’s a cloudy day, you can leave the above-ground heater off.

Pros:

  • Warms the pool by about 5 to 6 degrees
  • Works well
  • Easy to set up
  • Comes with an on/off switch

Cons:

  • Some customers have had to deal with leaks

3. Kokido Keops Solar Dome Above Ground Swimming Pool Water Heater

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Keep swimming – even during the colder months with this above ground heater. It includes a protective cover for storage when not in use and will heat your pool in an environmentally friendly manner. It’s compatible with most above ground pools, and your purchase comes with four-foot hoses along with fittings and stainless-steel clamps.

Those with small pools mentioned that they’re satisfied with this above ground heater as it can help raise the temperature by a few degrees. If you’ve got a larger swimming pool, however, you may want to attach additional heaters. Customers have also mentioned that this above ground heater works best with direct sun and can control the flow of water through the collector.

Pros:

  • Includes a protective cover for storage
  • Compatible with best above ground pools
  • Great for smaller pools
  • Comes at a great price

Cons:

  • The solar heater hose is a little short

4. SmartPool S240U Pool Solar Heaters

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This above-ground heater is just what you need to keep your pool warm. It’s easy to install and uses your existing filtration system. Upon purchase, you’ll get end caps, elbows for flex hose connection, stainless steel hose clamps, a roll of Teflon tape, and rubber connector hoses. This particular heater comes with a unique design that’ll allow it to capture as much sunlight as possible.

The heater is also durable and comes with two panels that are made of high-quality polypropylene. Those that have purchased this heater are impressed and mentioned that it’s excellent at heating their pool. Some have even said that it’s warmed up their pool by about 10 to 20 degrees and extended their swimming season by almost two months.

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Comes with a unique design that allows it to capture as much sunlight as possible
  • Durable
  • Can warm up your pool by about 10-20 degrees

Cons:

  • You’ll have to purchase the additional install kit to help with your installation process

The Bottom Line 

Just because summer is drawing to a close doesn’t mean you’ve got to keep swimming. By installing an above ground heater, you’ll be able to extend the swim season by a couple of months. These above ground heaters are also fantastic as they use solar energy – which is much better for the environment. We hope that this guide and product list were helpful and a great starting point for your search.