Best Above Ground Pool Solar Heater in 2021 | Top 10 Picks

solar panel heating system

Swimming in an above-ground pool can be a convenient and fun summer activity, but it can be difficult to heat in winter. Your swimming pool needs to be heated during the cold months, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money on gas or electricity.

Consequently, solar heaters are a smart choice for anyone looking to reduce their energy bills. Solar heaters absorb the sun’s radiation through tubes that have fluid inside, heating the water to the desired temperature.

There are lots of reasons why finding the best solar heaters for above ground pools is tough. This is where you can find the latest information on solar pool heaters.

We will explain the 10 solar heaters for above ground pools, their highlights, how to select one, and some related FAQs in this article. So, don’t miss out on learning more about this amazing technology by reading on.

Intex Solar Mat For Above Ground Pool

SunHeater Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Heater

SmartPool Solar Heaters For Above Ground Pools

Here Are the 10 Best Above Ground Pool Solar Heaters

Choosing a solar pool heater is a big decision. There are many options out there and it can be difficult to know which one will work best for you. Here are a few popular models to help you make an informed decision:

1. Intex Solar Mat For Above Ground Pool

Intex’s solar mat is suitable for heating your pool during the day and at night when there are long periods of no sunlight. They are not very complex or expensive, but they are efficient.

Intex Solar Mat For Above Ground Pool will increase pool water temperature by up to 5 to 9° F with solar energy alone, no electricity needed. This heater mat only needs to be placed in direct sunlight. It won’t have any effect on your yard.

Intex solar heater mat is suitable for above-ground pools up to 8,000 gallons. This product includes connecting hose and one connector for a 1 and a half-inch hose connection. Also, the solar mat is 47 inches by 47 inches.

Its construction of UV-stabilized PVC makes it durable for sun exposure. The solar bear economy heating solution will save you money over time by reducing the chemical usage and the expense of operating your pool pump.

However, keep in mind that this heater mat is not recommended for saltwater pools and the hose should be protected from sharp objects to avoid puncturing the tubing.

Highlighted Features:

  • Heats above-ground pools up to 8,000 gallons
  • Connects to a 1 and a half-inch hose with a connector
  • It raises pool water temperature by up to 9°F 
  • Reduces chemical usage and operating costs
  • Easy to install, simply place it in direct sunlight

2. SmartPool Solar Heaters For Above Ground Pools

Those of you who enjoy keeping your pool heated may find the Smart solar heater is the right option to keep your pool warm and comfortable for use at all times.

This polypropylene solar panel provides 80 square feet of heating surface and is designed specifically for connection with a water system.

The Smart Pool Solar Heater For Above Ground Swimming Pool measures 4 ft x 20 ft and can significantly increase temperatures by as much as 15 ̊ F and helps reduce water evaporation so your pool stays warmer and cleaner longer.

The model comes with a direct-flow system, which features one header hole for each heating tube. A complete installation kit is not included, so you must purchase it separately.

These convenient solar heaters allow you to save money on heating costs as well as maintain a comfortable and safe swimming environment for the entire family. This unit is easy to install and requires no special tools.

Highlighted Features:

  • Black solar panel, 4 ft x 20 ft, 80 sq ft
  • Increases pool temperature by up to 15 ̊ F
  • Each heating tube has a header hole
  • Easy-to-install and requires no special tools
  • Improves pool cleanliness by reducing evaporation

3. SunHeater Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Heater

The SunHeater solar panels two 2’ x 20’ panels are made of durable polypropylene and are designed to fit swimming pools up to 31′ in diameter or 18′ x 36′ in size. 

It is a kit that comes complete with flex hose adapters that are designed for poolside installation and includes four end caps, two elbows, six stainless steel hose clamps, one roll of Teflon tape, as well as rubber connection hoses.

By raising the pool temperature of the water by 6-10° F, you will be able to extend the pool season for several weeks. Polypropylene construction provides durability, allows expansion and contraction, and can be easily cut to desired lengths.

Multiple SunHeater above ground pool solar panels can be connected to increase heat production in a shorter period of time. Studies demonstrate that solar energy capture is greater than other designs.

SunHeater pool heating system is designed to be used in conjunction with your existing filtration system, so it is easy to install, meaning you won’t need any special tools or equipment to get started.

Highlighted Features:

  • Raises water temperature 6-10° F
  • Increases pool heating efficiency
  • Efficient and cost-effective pool warming
  • Easy to install with existing filtration system

4. Fafco Solar Heater for Above Ground Pool

Introducing the new Fafco solar heater for the swimming pool. This solar panel is pre-plumbed, designed with a bypass valve to prevent any added heat loss when not in use.

The setup of this panel is easy, just lay it out flat on the ground or mount it onto a rack. It can be installed within 30 minutes and uses your pool pump so you’re worry-free about compatibility issues.

Fafco Solar Heater For Above Ground Pool comes complete with homeowner protection against faulty parts at purchase time. Its weight is 40 lbs so please ensure proper installation before use.

An integrated switch for easy On/Off operation is built into the 3.75-inch deep, 24 feet long solar panels. You can increase the pool temperature of your swimming pool by as much as ten degrees by cooling your swimming pool at night.

Fafco solar pool heater is made for above-ground pools and heats your pool with the use of heat from the sun. This device is user-friendly and compatible with any pool pump, so there’s no need to worry about compatibility issues.

Highlighted Features:

  • Weighs 40 lbs
  • Easily installed within 30 minutes
  • Bypass valve prevents heat loss
  • An integrated switch for easy On/Off operation

5. GAME Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Heater

The Game solar panels have been made for above-ground pools and designed to increase the pool water temperature by 5°F in four days (for an 8,000-gallon pool).

With high-quality materials and a unique curved shape that maximizes heat collection abilities, this solar heater is sure to outperform other heaters you’ve previously owned.

The GAME Above Ground Pool Solar Panel is designed with adjustable legs that allow for optimal exposure to the sun. The cover can also be locked in the heat for more efficient heating.

Included in this solar heater are adapters for multiple hoses that are compatible with the majority of Intex and Bestway pools. If you are looking to connect multiple heaters, there is also an additional bypass kit available that can be purchased separately.

Whatever the reasons you are looking to get a game solar pool heater, this product can definitely help. It is designed with durability and heat transfer in mind.

Highlighted Features:

  • Increases temperature by 5°F
  • Legs are adjustable for optimal sun exposure
  • Includes adapters for multiple hoses
  • Designed for durability and heat transfer

6. SunHeater Solar Pool Heater for Above Ground Pool

The SunHeater solar pool heater is a special 2 by a 20-foot system that can be used on an above-ground or in-ground pool.

Allow DIY installation is easy and the tubes come with everything you need to get started including roof, rack, fence, or ground mounts, and work with your existing pool pump.

The SunHeater Solar Pool Heater For Above Ground Pool raises the pool temperature about 6-10 degrees F and it is made in the USA. Based on how much natural sun exposure your area receives, you can adjust the heating based on the handy size guide provided on the backside of each tube.

Simply wrap up all of those panels for this product and prevent any water from escaping with one of the liquid heat shields at night as needed. Whatever the size is of your pool, this heater will make the water comfortable and cozy for swimmers.

Especially during those chilly months or when your pool is not in use for long periods of time, keep the water warm and friendly so that you can enjoy it as soon as possible with this product.

Highlighted Features:

  • Made in the USA
  • Customizable heaters for any size pool
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Fits on an above-ground or in-ground pool
  • Raises water temperature 6-10 degrees F
  • Made of durable materials

7. Kokido Keops Solar Dome Above Ground Pool Water Heater

The Kokido Keops solar dome heater is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to heat your swimming pool. The flexible construction fits any swimming pool shape or size, while still allowing water to circulate.

This product includes 4-foot hoses, fittings, and stainless steel clamps. The kit has everything you need to install the heater correctly, making it a breeze to use.

Kokido keops solar dome above ground pool water heater works by attaching between the filter pump and the return of your pool, which means that you can swim up until the cooler months roll in-especially when the sun starts to set.

With a sleek design for unobtrusive storage, this versatile solar water heater is perfect for pools both large and small. The integrated rack helps keep it positioned optimally at any time of day so it gets enough exposure from the sun.

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to heat up your pool, this Kokido Keops Solar Dome heater is a perfect choice that will let you swim during the cooler months of the year.

Highlighted Features:

  • Made of durable materials
  • Sleek design for unobtrusive storage
  • Perfect for pools both large and small
  • An eco-friendly way to heat up your pool

8. FlowXtreme Solar Pool Heaters for Above Ground Pools

Pool heaters from FlowXtreme are the highest quality and most efficient in their class. They will heat your pool to a comfortable temperature and will do it far more efficiently than a gas, electric, or heat pump system.

This state-of-the-art solar panel heating system produces up to 40% more heat per cycle than traditional flat panel systems, making it a strong competitor among other top pool water solar heater brands.

The dimensions of the solar heating panels are 41.4in L X 28.8in W X 20.5in H. A quick and simple installation process, making this a favorite among pool owners everywhere.

FlowXtreme Solar Pool Heaters For Above Ground Pools provide an easy installation with everything needed two installation hoses and a collapsible base leg for ease of mobility if needed. Compatible with standard 1.25 – 1.5in fittings which connect easily to your filter & pump system.

This product arrives damage-free and complete with all the necessary parts and accessories. And solar energy is magnified inside the streamlined housing, which heats up your swimming pool’s water.

Highlighted Features:

  • State-of-the-art solar panel heating system
  • Produces up to 40% more heat per cycle
  • Highest quality and most efficient in its class.
  • Dimensions are 41.4in L X 28.8in W X 20.5in H

9. XtremepowerUS Above Ground Solar Pool Heater

The XtremepowerUS heater is an easy-to-use, cost-effective solution that provides your swimming pool with a free, eco-friendly way to stay heated even through the coldest months.

These panels are made from high-quality, flexible black polypropylene that is strong in all types of weather. The lightweight panels are extremely durable and can be applied to both above-ground and in-ground pools.

XtremepowerUS Above Ground Solar Pool Heater comes with two lightweight, 2 x 20 ft. solar pool panels that are easy to install and can be cut to fit any shape or size of above-ground or in-ground swimming pools.

Not only are the panels cost-effective, but solar bear economy heating friendly, as they produce no greenhouse gases. Additionally, they require little to no maintenance and are designed for the low-to-no hassle.

Once installed, these panels heat your pool naturally when the sun is out with a simple connection to your pool’s pump and filtration system. The system passively heats water as it’s circulated through the panel tubes before being pumped back into your pool.

Highlighted Features:

  • Only needs the sun to operate
  • Greenhouse gas-free
  • Cost-effective and easy to install
  • Comes with two 2 x 20 ft. solar pool panels
  • Requires little to no maintenance

10. Doheny Above Ground Pools Solar Heating System

Doheny solar heating methods for above-ground swimming pools can heat your pool up to 10 degrees in seven days. The system works by transferring solar radiation to the pool water, elevating its temperature.

There is no need to connect a solar collector to either gas or electricity. The dimensions are 28″ Lx28″ Wx12″ H. Solar collectors can be mounted on a roof or placed on plywood next to the pool. Kit includes five 6′ straps, fifteen S/S mounting brackets, and fifteen 14 SS screws.

The Doheny above ground pool solar heating system includes a bypass kit to hook up two or more heaters, pools, or pumps with a 1 HP pump or greater.

Calculate the size of your solar pool heating system based on the size of your above ground pool: 12′ to 15′ round = 40,000 BTU; 18′ to 24′ round = 80,000 BTU; 27′ to 28′-round = 120,000 BTU; 12′ x 24′ oval = 40,000 BTU; 15’x30′ & 16’x32′-oval = 80,000 BTU; 18′ x 34′-oval = 120,000 BTU.

For maximum heat production, place solar panels in direct sunlight. Cleaning these solar panels with a soft brush is a great idea.

Highlighted Features:

  • Helps to keep pool water warm
  • Ten degrees increase in seven days
  • Installed without electricity or gas
  • Dimensions: 28″ Lx28″ Wx12″ H
  • Easily mounted on house roofs or plywood next to the pool

These are all the top 10 best above ground pool heater solar. They are the most reliable, efficient, and trusted options available on the market. If everything is okay, what things should you keep in mind when you buy solar for above ground pools?

Buying Guides on Solar Heaters Above Ground Pools

best solar pool heaters

Choosing the solar mats for above ground pools can be a difficult task, so we’ve created this guide to help you through the process. Hopefully, it will get you started in choosing the right option for you!

Type

First of all, you’ll want to consider what material your solar pool heater should be made out of. There are actually two main options available: panels and mats.

If you go with the panel option, you can expect them to look like large tiles that sit on top of your pool’s surface. These will need to be mounted to your roof in order to harness the sun’s energy.

On the other hand, mats are thin sheets that can be rolled up once they’re no longer in use. If you want a less permanent and more space-saving option, this may be your best choice.

Climate needs

The climate where you live plays a big role in which type of heater you should choose. If your area gets a lot of direct sunlight, then mats may be the best option for you as they’re more efficient.

On the other hand, areas that don’t get a lot of sunshine will not work quite as well with this type. However, if you have a larger budget, you can always go with the panel option.

Size

The best solar pool heater comes in a variety of sizes, so it’s important that you find the right option for your above-ground pool. Be sure to measure your pool size before making your purchase.

Durability

solar heaters for above ground pool

The best solar pool heaters come in a variety of different materials, and some are more durable than others. If you want a long-lasting option that will stay in good condition for years to come, then go with aluminum or stainless steel.

Heating strength

Another important feature that you’ll want to consider is the heating strength of your system. The amount that it can raise the temperature of your pool will depend on its BTUs (British thermal units).

If you choose panels instead, make sure to use thicker layers for even heating throughout all areas of the pool. Keep in mind that larger pools require more BTUs.

Covers

If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow or rain, then this is definitely something to keep in mind. You’ll want to make sure that your cover is sturdy enough to withstand the elements if you get any at all.

Simple and Clear Installation

If you’re not a professional, then it may be difficult to install a solar pool heating system yourself. Make sure that the option you choose is simple and clear enough for an amateur installation.

Easy to Use

best solar heater for pool water

The best solar pool heaters are designed to be easy to use, but it’s important that you find one that works for your lifestyle. There are some options out there that need daily maintenance, while others can last months without any kind of upkeep.

Price

While all of these factors play into the price, obviously one of the most important things to consider is how much your product costs. If you’re on a tight budget, then go with the cheaper options.

On the other hand, if you can spend more, then you’ll usually get a better quality product in return.

Types of Solar Pool Heaters

high quality materials for solar panels

Depending on the structure and material of the heater, there are three distinct types of solar pool heaters:

Solid Solar Panels

A popular choice, solid solar panels are usually made of metal (either aluminum or copper) or plastic. Solid solar panels must be directly exposed to sunlight for solar energy to be harnessed.

Single Tube Solar Panels

Individual solar tube panels have a single line of tubing that holds a liquid, usually a combination of water and anti-freeze. The heating tube solar heater will work at its best if it is exposed to direct sunlight.

Glazed and Non-Glazed Panels

Glazed simply means that the panels are covered in glass. This allows for both direct and indirect light exposure, so it’s an excellent choice if you only get a few hours of sunlight per day.

Non-glazed only requires direct sunlight, but they will not work during times when there is no sun at all. However, these are typically less expensive than glazed panels.

How to Install Solar Heater For Above Ground Pool : 8 Steps

adjustable and foldable legs solar heater

Now that you’ve read all about solar pool heaters, you might be wondering how to install solar heating above ground pool. Let’s take a closer look at the process:

Step 1: Figure Out Your Budget

The size of your pool, the strength of your heater, and the type of solar heater you choose will all affect how much money you spend on a solar pool heater. Be sure that you have a clear picture in mind before making your purchase.

Step 2: Measure Your Pool

In order for this part to be accurate, you must measure the length and the width of your pool. Be sure that both measurements are as accurate as possible for this step.

Step 3: Cover Your Pool if Needed

If there is a chance that it will be raining or snowing when you’ll be using your traditional solar power systems, then consider covering your pool with a tarp.

Step 4: Lay Out the Solar Heating Panels

All of your equipment should be in a single area, and it should be accessible from any ladder that you may use to access your pool. There are usually two or more panels that have been attached together to create one unit.

Step 5: Attach the Solar Heater to Your Pool

Pool water solar heating systems

Depending on the type of system you have, this will be as simple as attaching the panels to a rail or it might even be as complicated as placing them at very specific angles. Be sure that you follow all instructions carefully before beginning the process.

Step 6: Connect the Solar Heating Panel to One Another

If you’ve purchased more than one solar heating panel for your pool, then attach them to each other with ties or screws.

Step 7: Seal the Connection

It’s vital to seal everything so that there are no leaks. You’ll have to use an appropriate adhesive or caulk to do this properly, and you should check for leaks constantly until they are sealed perfectly.

Step 8: Turn on Your Solar Heaters

Once all of your equipment is ready, just turn on your solar heaters and enjoy.

The above steps show how to install an aboveground solar pool heater. You can do all steps by yourself to save money and minimize labor costs.

How Does Solar Heating For Above Ground Pools Work?

right solar heater for pool water

Above ground pools are a great way to enjoy your backyard, but what do you need to know when it comes to heating them? Solar heaters usually function in one of two ways:

Active Solar Heating

If the sun isn’t shining brightly enough for your solar pool heater to work properly, then you might want to consider active solar heating.

This process involves using an additional source of energy (such as electricity) to give your heater a boost. As long as the sun is out, it will still work perfectly.

Passive Solar Heating

When you place your solar heater in direct sunlight, its panels will absorb the sun’s rays and transfer this energy to your pool or spa. This is called a passive solar heating system because no additional sources of energy are needed for it to work.

The best part about passive solar heating is that it’s free! It is also completely independent of any other energy source, which makes it incredibly versatile.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Solar Heating

solar power maximum exposure for pool water

Every solar pool heater has benefits and drawbacks. Be sure to research your equipment before purchasing it so you know exactly what you’re getting.

The Benefits

i) The Power Source Is Free

This is the main advantage of all solar panel heaters. Remember, passive solar heating doesn’t require any other source of energy to work

ii) It’s Environmentally Friendly

Solar pool heating isn’t just free, and it’s also much better for the environment than traditional heating systems like gas or electric.

iii) Ease of Maintenance

Solar heaters don’t require any special maintenance. The panels should be cleaned once or twice a month, and if you notice anything wrong with them then they’ll need to be repaired.

iv) Simple Installation

Many people choose to have a professional install their solar heaters, but it is possible to do it yourself.

v) Always Perfect Water Temperature

The best part about solar heating is that you’ll have a perfect water temperature at all times. This isn’t always the case with electric or gas heaters, but it’s standard with solar heaters.

The Drawbacks

solar panels pool accessory

The only real drawback of solar heaters is that they may not receive enough sunlight to function properly on a hazy or cloudy day. If the panels don’t absorb enough energy from the sun, then your heater won’t work at all.

While this can be frustrating, you should always research how much direct sunlight different models require before purchasing one.

FAQs

There are some related questions that you may need to know when purchasing a solar pool heater for above ground pools:

1. Is Solar Pool Heating a Good Idea?

Yes. Solar pool heating is an environmentally friendly way to heat your pool, and it doesn’t require any ongoing maintenance or expensive system components.

2. Is It Worth It to Invest in Solar Pool Heaters?

That really depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you don’t want to worry about paying for gas or electricity then solar heating is definitely a good investment.

3. When is the Right Time to Buy an Above-Ground Solar Heaters?

It’s a good idea to buy a pool heater at the same time you get your above ground pool. But winter is also a great time to invest in one because you’ll start enjoying it much sooner.

4. In The Winter, are Solar Pool Heaters Still Effective?

Yes. As long as your solar panel heater gets enough direct sunlight, it will function well no matter what the weather is like.

5. Is It Possible to Heat My Above-Ground Pool Quickly?

It is possible to heat your pool quickly with a solar heater, but you’ll need an additional energy source like a gas pool heater or electricity.

But using an additional source of energy can have its own drawbacks, so it’s important to weigh up the benefits before investing in solar pool heating.

Conclusion

Solar heating systems are an affordable solution for above ground pools to get warmer water in the colder months. It’s easy to maintain and provides a low-maintenance way of keeping water warm year-round with good above-ground solar heaters.

We hope you found this article useful and that you learned more about solar pool heating and whether it’s right for you.

Best Above Ground Pool Solar Heater in 2021 | Top 10 Picks

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