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Solar Pool Heaters vs Regular Pool Heaters, Which Is Best!

Having a luxury pool doesn’t mean heating it has to be a luxury expense! As you’ve probably heard, there are many ways to heat your swimming pool and they all come with their own sets of pros and cons. Some of them can be more cost-efficient than others, like electric pool heaters and solar pool heaters.

In this article, we will dig into the details and compare these two types of popular swimming pool heaters and we’ll help you decide which is the right option for your pool and your budget.

So let’s get started straight away with this quick take away so you can find out the differences between solar pool heaters and regular pool heaters, and whether solar pool heaters are worth it or not.

Are solar pool heaters worth it?

Heating your pool with solar energy is a cost-effective, and greener way of keeping your luxury pool heated. Solar panels do initially have costs attached but no ongoing monthly costs, have very little maintenance and can last up to twenty years. Many dealers will have finance options to spread the cost.

Ok so now we’ve nailed the brief, you might be wondering how both types of pool heating actually work. Let’s discover more below.

How Does Solar Pool Heating Work?

Let’s take a look below at four handy steps as to how solar pool heating works.

  • To heat your luxury pool, solar panels are used to capture the sunlight and in doing so, gathers the heat.

  • Solar collectors are located usually on the roof of your home or in the yard. It’s through these collectors that the water is circulated through.

  • The water is then pumped back into the pool once it’s passed through the panels and heated up.

  • An automatic valve within the system discerns between filtered water without a second pump and with very little back pressure on the existing pump.

One of the great greener benefits of choosing solar panels is that there are zero pollution emissions or any additional energy costs. This will, of course, make choosing solar energy to heat your luxury pool an eco-friendly option.

Solar energy will continuously heat your pool, so that it’s ready to enjoy at any time, and more significantly, with a significant reduction in your energy bills.

How Does Electric Heating Work?

Ok, so now let’s look at the other method of heating your pool, which is by using electricity.

You might not realize there are two different types of pool systems that use electrical energy.

Let’s explore them below.

Electric resistance pool heaters generate their heat from electric currents, while electric heat pumps transfer heat from the surrounding air or water.

Heat pumps, therefore, are a lot more efficient than electrical resistance heating because they actively capture the heat rather than creating it via a pump system.

Ok, so now that we got that out of the way, let’s learn more.

One of the main considerations when buying any appliance is undoubtedly how much of your hard-earned cash is needed to purchase the appliance.

So let’s breakdown the price differences between a solar swimming pool heater and regular swimming pool heater based on life-time costs.

Let’s start first with a standard pool heating system.

Electric resistance pool heaters generate their heat from electric currents, while

electric heat pumps transfer heat from the surrounding air or water.”

What is the Cost of a Regular Electrical Swimming Pool Heater?

As you know, there are two types of electrical pool heating systems. Let’s look at the price breakdown of both of those.

Cost of installing a heat pump system:

According to the UCL Energy Institute’s recent report heat pump systems cost significantly lower than electric resistance heating!

However, you would be looking at upfront costs of up to around $5000 for the parts and labor required to install the heat pump system.

We will take a look at a cost breakdown of 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years so you can make a better decision on which is best for you.

You would be looking at upfront costs of up to around $5000 for the parts and labor required to install the heat pump system.

Cost of installing an electric resistance heating system?

Electric resistance heating generally costs somewhere between $1000 and $2000, but when you add in the additional cost of installation, labor, and materials, it can be two to three times the average price of installing a heat pump system.

This is mainly due to additional upgrades to the wiring that might be required.

Electric resistance heaters require heavy-duty wiring and large-amperage circuit breakers, all of which are not particularly energy-efficient.

At the end of the day, you are looking to pay a total cost anywhere between $1,800 – $4,000 to install an electrical pool heating system.

So you might be wondering which is cheaper? Pump heating or resistance heating? Let’s find out.

Electric resistance heating generally costs somewhere between $1000 and $2000, and $1,000+ for labor

What is the Cost of Installing a Solar Pool Heating System?

Although solar panels have no ongoing monthly costs, they are more expensive initially than electric or heat pumps.

For a solar system, you will be looking to spend around $3,500 – $12,000 for higher-end solar pool heating systems and bigger swimming pools.

Luckily, many trusted and reliable local pool experts will have financing options and locked in costs to make them more affordable for you.

Also, of course, your energy bills will also significantly decrease when you switch to solar energy.

On average, most homeowners usually pay off their solar pool panel investment somewhere between 2 to 5 years.

Solar panels have no monthly costs,

but they are more expensive initially than electric or heat pumps.”

Pool maintenance can be something that many who purchase a luxury pool may not have factored in. Investing in a solar pool heater is something that can help alleviate the long-term maintenance cost of a swimming pool.

So now that we can understand the setup price differences between a solar pool heating system and an electrical pool heating system, let’s look at the maintenance cost of owning any one of these heaters.

Do good reviews demonstrate that a pool company shows up to clean their pool when they say they will? Are their prices consistent? And can you see any bad reviews which say the pool wasn’t cleaned to a good standard?

You will be looking to spend around $4,500 – $12,000 for higher-end solar pool heating systems and bigger swimming pools.

    Maintenance & Product Expected Lifetime

    Solar panel maintenance and expected product lifetime

    Solar panels for pools have very little maintenance requirements and can last for decades, up to 20 years!

    They use a renewable energy source and emit no air pollution. They are a very good eco-friendly option.

    Another great benefit of using solar panels to heat your swimming pool is that all they need in terms of ongoing maintenance is a rinse-off which is usually sorted with a shower of rain.

    Most professional pool contractors will have warranties and technicians who are fully certified and available just in case you do have any issues at all.

    Ultimately, the most affordable and energy-efficient option to heating your pool any time you want to use it is harnessing the free energy emitted from the sun, especially if you are lucky enough to live in Florida and surrounding areas such as Fort Lauderdale!

    So by making an investment in solar panels you are not only making the best decision for your wallet, but you are also making a more conscious choice to better protect our beautiful planet.

    Solar panels for pools have very little maintenance requirements and can last for decades, up to 20 years!

    Electric pool heater maintenance and expected product lifetime

    Heat pump pool heaters can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years and electric resistance heaters typically last 5 to 10 years, and as long as they are fully maintained, they will serve you well and have very little maintenance requirement.

    However, we do always recommend that you should also invest in pool covers and other protective items to help conserve energy and lower your energy consumption costs.

    These items of course, similar to the heat pump and electric resistance heater, will need to be replaced if and when they show signs of deterioration.

    Now that you have a general understanding of the setup costs, maintenance required, and how long they last, let’s look at the cost breakdown by 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years!

    Heat pump pool heaters can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years and electric resistance heaters typically last 5 to 10 years

    Cost breakdown by 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years

    Year 1-10 Cost Breakdown:

    Electric Pool Heater System
    Heat Pump Pool Heater
    Solar Pool Heating System
    Energy Cost: $300-$500/month
    Energy Cost: $100/month
    Energy Cost: $0/month
    Installation: $1,800-$4,000
    Installation: $4,500-$7,500
    Installation: $5,000-$12,000
    Total Year 1: $5,400-$10,000
    Total Year 1: $5,400-$10,000
    Total Year 1: $5,700-$8,700
    Total Year 5: $19,800-$34,000
    Total Year 5: $10,500-$13,500
    Total Year 5: $4,500-$12,000
    You Need to Install a New System...
    Total Year 10: $16,500-$19,500
    Total Year 10: $4,500-$12,000

    Electric Pool Heater System:

    Energy Cost: $300-$500/month

    Installation: $1,800-$4,000

    Total Year 1: $5,400-$10,000

    Total Year 5: $19,800-$34,000

    By Year 10: You will need a new electric pool heating system… electrical pool heaters are NOT worth the investment.

    Heat Pump Pool Heater:

    Energy Cost: $100/month

    Installation: $4,500-$7,500

    Total Year 1: $5,700-$8,700

    Total Year 5: $10,500-$13,500

    Total Year 10: $16,500-$19,500

    Solar Pool Heating System:

    Energy Cost: $0/month

    Installation: $4,500-$12,000

    Total Year 1: $5,000-$12,000

    Total Year 5: $4,500-$12,000

    Total Year 10: $4,500-$12,000

    These prices are based on national averages and can vary by state. States that benefit the most from solar heating systems include Florida, Arizona, Texas, San Diego, and Hawaii. These states experience lots of sunshine throughout the year.

    Ok so now you’ve got a comparison between regular and solar pool heating in terms of how they work, cost, and maintenance, and the breakdown of yearly costs, you might have some other questions about solar pool heating, so let’s dive in.

    Does Solar Pool Heating Work in Winter?

    From April through September, nearly all of your hot water will be solar heated.

    In winter, as you might expect with the shorter days and weaker sun, the percentage of your hot water heated by the sun drops can drop in some areas as low as between 10 and 20 percent.

    Since an unheated pool’s temperature varies throughout the year, your pool’s temperature will also fluctuate.

    If you are worried that your pool may freeze over a cold winter or lower temperatures any good solar water heating system will be designed to withstand low temperatures that may lead to a frozen pool.

    While there is no temperature guarantee with solar pool heating, the good news is that pools in the Fort Lauderdale area, Florida, and surrounding areas will be comfortable for enough swimming for up to at least 10 months of the year, and very possibly the full 12 months.

    This is even if your pool is powered entirely by solar panels and not fitted with any kind of back up electric system.

    any active solar water heating system

    should be designed to not freeze in the winter.”

    So to finish on, you might be wondering how panels are used to heat your luxury swimming pool? Let’s find out.

    Ok so now you’ve got a comparison between regular and solar pool heating in terms of how they work, cost, and maintenance, and the breakdown of yearly costs, you might have some other questions about solar pool heating, so let’s dive in.

    How Many Solar Panels do you Need to Heat a Swimming Pool?

    How many solar panels you need will depend mostly on the surface area in square feet of your swimming pool along with:

    • Location

    • Panel orientation

    • The impact of any shaded areas

    • The type of panel you choose

    • Panel performance rating

    • The overall desired performance you require

    As a rule of thumb, we recommend 100% coverage, meaning you need one square foot of solar panels for each square foot of pool surface.

    Contact Broward's Premiere Solar Pool Installation Company for a FREE Digital Quote!

    Hopefully we’ve helped you decide whether to go with the more traditional heat pump system or decide on solar panels to heat your luxury pool in Fort Lauderdale, surrounding areas, and beyond!

    Here at Sublime Pools & Spa, we’ve had over 20 years’ worth of pool cleaning, repair, and renovation experience!

    Our trusted family-owned business has experienced staff and engineers who will carry out all your pool repair, restoration, and service needs.

    We offer a breakdown of the full project so that there are no hidden costs! Get in touch with us today to talk about solar panel heating for your luxury pool.

    If you live in Broward County, Sublime Pools & Spa is ready to provide excellent monthly pool service right away! We can send you a quote via email or text without even showing up! If you would like to learn more, Call us at 754-260-7193. We take pride in our unbeatable guarantees and our values that keep our company afloat!

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