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11 Best Pool Heater Solar Panels

The best way to enjoy the summer heat is to take a quick dip in a swimming pool. And nowadays, owning your own personal pool is easier and more accessible than ever!

The joy of soaking under the sun is not just for the Rockerfellers and Rothschilds anymore! Swimming pool technology has come a long way. In fact, in addition to permanent in-ground pools and above-ground pools, almost anyone can have access to their own portable pools that you can store in a box when you’re not using them. But, there are some limitations to outdoor pools, the main one being that they will always be chillier than their indoor counterparts – what if some of us don’t enjoy cold water as much as others?

Honestly, I don’t enjoy it that much, in spite of being Minnesotan, and I can’t do anything about it but wait until the weather is hot enough to relish dipping into cooler waters and find the perfect balance. But what if I want to swim on a cloudy day like the Rockerfellers and Rothschilds?

If you have the same problem as chilly old me, you will want to look into solar panels to heat your portable pool. It is an effective, cost-efficient, and sustainable way of heating up icy waters and keeping them warm.

In this list, we have provided today’s best pool heater solar panels out there. They will make your swimming experience more compatible with your desired temperature. Keep reading on! We will help you find the perfect solar pool heater for you, your pool, and your budget!

See Related: 5 Best Solar Panels for Greenhouses

How we ranked these Pool Heater Solar Panels

There are many pool heater solar panels on the market with great functionality. With that said, how do we find the best among them?

Here are our criteria for our top 11:

  • Product Reviews – People’s opinions are authentic – well, we hope they are. This is the best indicator that a product is highly recommended.
  • Product Features – Features confirm the modern possibilities of a product. It will also show if it’s easy to use.
  • Durability – We verified every product’s durability to make sure that it will stand the test of time!
  • Sustainability – Nature is our top priority. Every product is energy efficient and will contribute to a sustainable future.
  • Value for Money – Some products may be out of our budget. We’ve provided many options that won’t compromise quality at a reasonable price.

With these criteria, we are sure to provide you with the best solar panels to heat your pool. Let’s check out our top picks:

Best Pool Heater Solar Panels

1. INTEX Solar Heater Mat

INTEX Solar Heater Mat

Key Features:

  • Size: 47.25 in X 47.25 in
  • 11 ft² surface to absorb sun rays
  • Folds for easy compact storage
  • Constructed of heavy-duty UV-stabilized PVC

We start our list with the INTEX Solar Heater Mat, which got a massive 3,456 ratings on Amazon, (while others ranged from ~500+ ratings). INTEX Solar Heater Mat is the main player on online platforms.

It has an edge over other products, if not in features, then because of its appeal among ordinary buyers. The Intex company is known for making top swimming pool products and accessories, so it is not surprising that they have a solar pool heater in their arsenal as well.

This particular product is designed to work with INTEX filter pumps that you will have to buy separately. You can maximize the solar pool heating system by connecting it to five more mats. That’s a total of six mats with 11 ft squared surfaces each.

It is very easy to install with its bypass valve and also very easy to store. It works well with above-ground swimming pools of up to 8,000 gallons.

The INTEX Solar Heater Mat’s capacity to heat your pool will be approximately 3 to 5 degrees. Its pump flow rate will be 2,500 gal/hr, meaning you will feel a significant effect on your pool after 4 hours.

Pros

  • Easy to install and store
  • Can accommodate above-ground swimming pools with 8,000 gal capacity
  • Complete with accessories
  • Constructed of heavy-duty UV-stabilized PVC
  • Incredible value for money

Cons

  • INTEX filter pumps are sold separately
  •  Five more mats need to be connected for maximum heating performance
  • Not compatible with in-ground pools

See Related: Different Uses for Solar Panels

2. YUEWO Solar Dome Above-Ground Pool Heater

YUEWO Solar Dome Above-Ground Pool Heater

Key features:

  • Size: 23 x 23 x 11 in
  • Premium “Greenhouse” heating effect
  • Unique dome design
  • Convenient foldable legs
  • Rotatable hose connection
  • Durable PP Material

When it comes to features, the YUEWO Solar Dome Above-Ground Pool Heater is a cut above the rest. Most of the brands on this list are very tight when it comes to their edge. What makes the YUEWO Solar Dome Above-Ground Pool Heater special? Here’s what;

YUEWO Solar Dome’s premium heating effect is also called the “Greenhouse” heating effect. It traps sun rays for more efficient and stable pool heating. It’s exactly what we’ve done to our planet – only this greenhouse effect is going to up your pool game like nobody’s business, instead of ruining the planet for future generations! That’s a feature you won’t see anywhere else!

There are a lot of dome-type solar pool heaters out there, but only the YUEWO Solar Dome Above-Ground Pool Heater has this claim. The dome, for others, is to protect the heating system from foreign objects, while this dome aids in the heating process.

It has other features like foldable legs for convenient storage and a rotating hose connection for easy installation. The overall construction of the product is made with durable PP material covered with a dome.

However, the YUEWO Solar Dome Above-Ground Pool Heater is not as popular compared to other solar pool heaters. But with its features, it will surely be among the top-rated solar pool heaters in the coming years.

Pros

  • “Greenhouse” heating system
  • More features than standard pool heaters
  • Compatible with any pool pump
  • Compatible with above and in-ground pools
  • Easy installation and pack up

Cons

  • Not so effective on big pools
  • Needs two more units to be more effective

See Related: Best Off-Grid Greenhouse Heating Systems

3. GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater

GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater

Key features:

  • Size: 27.56 x 5.91 x 44.88 in
  • Unique shape for optimal sun exposure
  • Foldable legs for maximized heat collection and portable storing
  • Durable construction against frequent sun exposure and other elements
  • Compatible with both above and in-ground pools

One of the big names in solar pool heating systems is the GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater. Of all its features, the most highlighted are its durability and robust qualities – great if you are planning on having kids use the pool (or sauced adults).

The durability of this product is backed up not just by the company’s description but also by the reviews from its users. The GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater’s construction can withstand some stiff weather conditions and extreme sun exposure (well, one would hope).

Full disclosure; it won’t survive hurricanes. But if you’re living in a place where the weather is not as unpredictable, you’ll be using your GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater for the next 15-20 years.

Another great feature is its unique curved design that maximizes heat collection. This feature can compete with the YUEWO Solar Dome. But the best thing about this product that makes it stand out is its compatibility with above-ground and in-ground pools. Not all solar pool heating systems can accommodate both.

Since its creation, the company has established a trustworthy name and a reputation for durability. I would suggest that if you reach the end of this list and still don’t know what to buy, the GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater will never be a wrong choice.

Pros

  • Compatible with above and in-ground pools
  • Can accommodate swimming pools with 8,000 gal capacity
  • Durable construction
  • Easy installation and space saver
  • Quick and easy set-up and pack-up
  • The ideal temperature can be maintained for at least 4 days

Cons

  • Storage issues due to its massive size and construction
  • Foldable legs can get less sturdy
  • Water heating could be slow

4. Fafco 10028 Universal Solar Panel Heating Kit

Fafco 10028 Universal Solar Panel Heating Kit

Key features:

  • Size: 24 ft x 3.75 in
  • Pre-plumbed panel designed with built-in manual bypass valve for easy On/Off
  • Very easy to install
  • Value for money with a 3-year warranty

The Fafco 10028 Universal Solar Panel Heating Kit got a 3.8-star rating for being a good value-for-money product. Most of its users are happy with its price. So what does this product have for us? Let’s find out.

Seeing the Fafco 10028 Universal Solar Panel Heating Kit for the first time, you can already tell that it is pretty simple to operate. It is a 24 ft long mat that you can lay down under the sun or on a DIY mount and roll up after use.

The installation procedure will take less than 30 minutes. After unrolling your heating kit, connect the pool’s filter outlet to the kit’s inlet, and connect the kit’s outlet to the pool’s inlet, like a simple 1-2-3.

The Fafco 10028 Universal Solar Panel Heating Kit is compatible with any kind of portable pool pump. It is not as effective in an in-ground pool compared to an above-ground pool, but it can handle 8,000 gallons of water capacity.

The kit also has a built-in manual bypass valve that turns it on or off at night time or if the sun is not cooperating. Very decent features for a very reasonable price.

Pros

  • Can accommodate above-ground swimming pools with 8,000 gal capacity
  • Easy installation and storage
  • The bypass valve can shut off if necessary
  • Warms the pool at 10 degrees Fahrenheit at midday and cools it at night
  • Reasonable price with a 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Connection hoses are sold separately
  • The rack is not included in the package
  • Space consuming

5. Premium Solar Pool Heater System DIY Kit

Premium Solar Pool Heater System DIY Kit

Key features:

  • Size: 160 ft²
  • State-of-the-art manufacturing designed for maximum resistance to UV light
  • High-performance design while collecting more heat
  • DIY installation with walkthrough

Sustainability is a reputation hard to achieve, especially on products where plastic is part of the material. Energy efficiency-wise, these products are all the same. We chose the Premium Solar Pool Heater System DIY Kit as the most sustainable solar pool heater on the list because of the material used to make it. Other products don’t indicate theirs. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

The company uses Polypropylene copolymer with synergistic antioxidants and a UV screen, including carbon black to make this product. They manufacture these materials under sustainable standards to minimize their impact on the environment.

Cheap solar pool heaters are usually made with substandard plastic materials. Soon enough, it will weaken and turn into non-biodegradable waste.

Performance-wise, the Premium Solar Pool Heater System DIY Kit heating system is state-of-the-art. Its tube-and-web design allows expansion and contraction as the collector heats and cools. The design will also prolong the service life while collecting more heat.

The product and its accessories are checked thoroughly and are guaranteed to be free from any manufacturer defects or errors. If maintained properly, the Premium Solar Pool Heater System DIY Kit will probably last you a good 15-20 years.

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Premium performance
  • Sustainable manufacturing of raw materials
  • Reliability and Longevity
  • Satisfaction guaranteed

Cons

  • Space consuming
  • Almost permanent installation
  • Getting kinda expensive here

See related: Solar Panels for Sheds: What You Need to Know

6. SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater

SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater

Key features:

  • Size: 240 x 27 x 3 in
  • High-performance design while collecting more heat and UV resistance
  • Easy to install and connect to filtration system

SunHeater has many options for solar pool heaters, and we are going to cover a couple of them in this list. The SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater is the more budget-friendly of the two we are featuring. But for a minimal price tag, you’re getting a maximum product.

As well as being able to heat your pool an additional 10 degrees, installation of the piece is both easy and versatile. You can lay this sucker on the ground, or mount it on fences, walls, or your roof for use with in-ground or above-ground pools.

While it’s not the hardiest entry on this list (and regular maintenance wouldn’t hurt), you certainly are getting a decent amount of bang for your buck.

Pros

  • Easy installation and versatile connection
  • Can be used with any pool and any pool pump
  • Heating capacity up to 10 degrees F

Cons

  • Not as durable as others on this list

7. SunHeater Pool Heating System S240U

SunHeater Pool Heating System S240U

Key features:

  • Size: 240 x 27.5 x 16 in
  • Tube-on-web design maximizes surface area exposed to the sun
  • Wind vents maintain panel integrity during windy conditions
  • Compatible with both above and in-ground pools

SunHeater has many options for solar pool heaters. One of their top products is the SunHeater Pool Heating System S240U, and we’ll tell you all about it and why we picked this one.

There are more affordable options from SunHeater and others, but we picked this product because of its universality and reliability. It is compatible with both above-ground and in-ground swimming pools.

Not only that but installing the SunHeater Pool Heating System S240U is a piece of cake. The easiest option is to just lay it on the ground, but other mounting options will require you to create a rack or put it on the roof if you want to go down those routes.

The package includes 4 end caps, 2 elbows for flex hose connection, 6 stainless steel hose clamps, 1 roll of Teflon tape, and rubber connector hoses. Best of all, it is adaptable to any existing filtration system.

Pros

  • Can heat your pool up to 6-10 degrees F and extend your pool season by weeks
  • Compatible with both above and in-ground pools
  • Easy to install with complete accessories
  • Durable construction made of polypropylene materials

Cons

  • Space consuming
  • A little pricey compared to some on this list

8. Smart Pool S601 Inground Pool Solar Heating System

Smart Pool S601 Inground Pool Solar Heating System

Key features:

  • Size: 240 x 54 x 2 in
  • Direct Flow System – One Header Hole for Each Heating Tube
  • Liquid Heat Shield locks in heat by reducing pool water evaporation
  • Compatible with both above and in-ground pools
  • Easy to install

One of the solar pool heaters that you must consider is the Smart Pool S601 Inground Pool Solar Heating System. Because of its effectiveness and reliability, the SmartPool in-ground pool heater is constantly gaining good remarks from happy customers.

The reason for its effectiveness is its polypropylene heat collector that can increase the pool’s temperature by up to 15 degrees F. It can also maximize heat collection, allowing you to extend your swimming season into the colder months.

If there’s a downside, installation can be pretty demanding since its size can be space-consuming. The SmartPool in-ground pool heater features 80 square feet of solar panels, which are best mounted on roofs.

The package also includes a Liquid Heat Shield that locks in heat by reducing pool water evaporation. The amount to be applied will depend on your pool size.

Pros

  • Efficient and effective heating performance
  • Liquid heat shield solution
  • Universal use

Cons

  • Space consuming
  • The installation kit is sold separately

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

Kokido Keops Solar Dome Above Ground Swimming Pool Water Heater

Key features:

  • Size: 23.23 x 23.23 x 11.3 in
  • Includes a protective cover for storage purposes
  • Integrated rack included for maximum sun exposure
  • Easy to install

We only have two dome types of solar pool heaters on the list, and the Kokido Keops Solar Dome Above Ground Swimming Pool Water Heater is one of them. It may not be at the top of the list, but it is at the same solid standard as the other pool heaters on the list.

People using this product are expressing their praise for its functionality and reliability, as promised. The Kokido Keops Solar Dome will extend the summer fun for the whole family.

Some of its features include a protective cover, 4-foot hoses, fittings, and stainless steel clamps. It can be easily installed with an integrated rack that maximizes heat capture.

Pros

  • Easy to install and store
  • The package includes different accessories and an integrated rack
  • Manufacturer warranty for 30 days

Cons

  • Below-average heating standard
  • Heating may take more time than others on this list

See Related: Best Energy Efficient Electric Heaters for Large Rooms

10. XtremepowerUS Inground/Above Ground Solar Panel System

XtremepowerUS Inground/Above Ground Solar Panel System

Key features:

  • Size: 14 x 14 x 2 in
  • Extremely high-grade materials for all kinds of weather
  • Low-maintenance
  • Compatible with both above and in-ground pools

The XtremepowerUS Inground/Above-Ground Solar Panel System is not as popular as other solar pool heating systems. It does have very promising features.

It is made with extremely high-quality materials proven to withstand all types of weather. It is designed for both above-ground and in-ground pools.

Each panel is made of lightweight, flexible, durable black polypropylene, which is where the water is circulated before returning to the pool. Best of all, this rugged system doesn’t need much maintenance.

Pros

  • High-quality materials
  • Little to no maintenance
  • Heats up to 10-15 degrees F
  • Quick connect design for easy assembly

Cons

  • May need a diverter kit for greater pumps
  • Guess what; that diverter kit is sold separately

11. Bestway 58423 Solar Heating Pool Pad

Bestway 58423 Solar Heating Pool Pad

Key features:

  • Size: 25.98 x 10.63 x 8.66 in
  • Second to the highest ratings on Amazon
  • Easy to attach
  • Easy to store

We have the last, but not the least, on our list in the form of the Bestway 58423 Solar Heating Pool Pad – hey they wouldn’t put the word “best” in its name if it had nothing to offer.

This sucker has the second-highest ratings on Amazon, and most of them were backed up by good reviews. It can be used collectively for more effective heating and bigger pool sizes and is extremely cost-effective.

The Bestway Solar Heating Pool can heat your pool by approximately 5–9 degrees F. Like other solar pool heaters, weather conditions and solar heat will influence the amount of heating time.

Pros

  • Increase water temperatures by 5-9 degrees F
  • Durably made with 0.9 mm PVC
  • Easy to install and store

Cons

  • Need multiple mats for more effectiveness
  • Could be quite space consuming, once you’ve got all those extra mats

How to Choose the Right Solar Pool Heater

Being the most rated or having the best features doesn’t mean that it is the most compatible product for you. Having what you want is different from having what you need.

There are a few factors that you must consider before buying a solar panel pool heater. Read on to find out.

Pool Type

Today, there are two main types of pools suited for a home, which are in-ground and above-ground pools. Above-ground pools also include portable ones. But of course, you can build your permanent above-ground pool if you have the space and resources.

In-ground pools are the traditional kind of swimming pool built permanently into the ground. They have many types, and they could be more stylish than the other types. They are however fantastically expensive to build and maintain.

Pool Size

The bigger the pool, the longer it will take to heat it. It is important to find a solar pool heater with a quality heating system that can harness enough energy to sustain your pool’s temperature. Also the bigger the pool, the beefier the heater needed.

Climate

Since we use sunlight for our pool heaters, they will work best in a sunny climate. Cloudy and rainy days may hamper your pool’s temperature if you’re relying on solar.

Different factors can affect your climate situation. Your location, the upcoming season, and how long the cold weather will last will define your solar pool heater needs. 

Installation

Solar pool heaters have their distinct ways of mounting and installation. Some can be installed easily on the ground, while others need to be mounted on the roof.

In this case, you must make sure that your roof can take the weight for as long as it will take. We provide products that will surely last for more than two years at least. Your house must be able to contain that for the time being.

Budget

The last but most important factor of all is if you can afford to have one of these solar panel pool heaters. Knowing all the things to consider is nothing if you don’t have the money in the end.

Rest assured that all our picks are pretty reasonably priced. There are price options for those who don’t want to spend too much on solar pool heaters without compromising quality and functionality.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best solar panel pool heater can be tricky. Knowing what to consider will help you narrow down your choices and find the right solar pool heater for you. The good news is, we’ve done the hard work finding the good ones for you. There isn’t a heating system on this list we wouldn’t recommend – so the rest is up to you!

FAQs

Are solar panel pool heaters worth it?

Of course! Solar pool heaters are very cost-effective and generally quite durable. Buying once will give you a better swimming experience for years without the weight of paying electric companies every month or freezing yourself.

How long does a solar panel pool heater take to heat a pool?

The standard heating procedure of solar pool heaters will gradually heat your pool 2-4 degrees per day. It will take at least five days for your pool to warm 10 degrees F higher than its original temperature. Note that the weather will be a factor in how long it takes for your pool to be heated.

Should I run my solar pool heater at night?

Most would say that the absence of sunlight will make your solar pool heater ineffective. But the truth is that your solar pool heater will continue heating your pool at night with all the energy it has captured during the day. Most are designed to run 24/7, though it is also important to give them a rest and do regular cleaning so as not to overwork the system.

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