Heating a pool can be expensive and in addition, it can take a long time. For many people, the water’s natural temperature isn’t optimal, and therefore they need to install a system that will heat it. In this case, adding a solar pool heater can help you increase the heat in a cheap and efficient way.

But in order to find the best solar heater for an above ground pool or in-ground pool, there are key features to consider. If you want to make sure that you are getting the right type of heater, you need to consider the size of the pool and the installation, among other key factors.

In our guide, we will go through all of the important aspects to serve you all of the information you need. We have also completed solar pool heater reviews to let you see the best products that are out there. Once you have finished reading this guide, you’ll know how to find the best solar heater for above ground pool or inground one.

How To Choose A Solar Pool Heater – Buying Guide


Above Ground vs In-ground Pool

There are plenty of differences between an above ground pool and an in-ground pool and they have a lot of different requirements. Due to this, not all pool heaters are going to be able to be compatible with both types of models. There are options that can be used as above ground pool heater options only, which usually come as curve options. They can be used as a solar heating system for smaller amounts of water. While on the other hand, The solar heating system needed for in-ground swimming pools might cost you more, even though they are easy to install and use too.

In-ground solar pool heaters generally require a more permanent connection, where they will be hooked up to the pool’s pump and filter system in order to pass the warm water through it and eventually into your pool. Also, you can combine them with pool solar pumps, helping you have an efficient way of maintaining your swimming pool.

It also depends on the type of above ground pool that you have, as some ground pools structures are a lot more permanent than others. These types may have the same type of fittings that in-ground pools have and therefore you know whether or not it’d be suitable.

There are the floating types of heater that can be used for any type of pool but you always need to consider the volume of water that it has. You also need to check the connections that it has to see if your pool is going to be suitable for the heater that you are buying.

Size Of The Pool

The size of your pool is going to be vitally important as, without going into the math, it’s fairly obvious that the more swimming pools water that you have, the more power you are going to need to be able to increase the temperature by one degree. When deciding to use solar panels to heat pool, you must think about a few things considering the size of your swimming pool.

For this reason, using one small floating pool heater on a large pool would be a fairly pointless exercise as it’s not going to have a noticeable effect on the overall pool temperature. To get the calculation of the pool solar heater panel right is right, you need to know the volume of water in your swimming pools.

If you don’t have that information available, the math is fairly simple. You need to times the depth, width, and length of the swimming pool together. For example, if your pool was 5 foot deep, 20 feet wide, and 40 feet long then it would be 5x20x40 which would be 4,000 square feet.

Obviously this a distance measurement and in order to get the measurement in gallons, you would time by 7.48 and therefore in this example, the swimming pools would contain 29,920 gallons of water. This measurement is for rectangular pools with an even surface, but it’s not always that simple.

Instead of showing you how to calculate for pi, diameter, radius, and a varying gradient, it’s better to say that this doesn’t have to be an exact measurement. A rough figure will give you a good enough idea of exactly how much heating you need.

Maintenance Cost

Pool maintenance is always a factor that you need to consider when making any sort of purchasing decision and the same applies to your solar pool heaters. It’s important that you know how to maintain and clean your above ground pool or in-ground pool as well as your pool filter, heaters, and pumps.

The maintenance costs required for the best solar pool heaters system will largely depend on what type you are getting. If you have a large solar panel and a permanent hook up to your pool then maintenance is going to be higher.

One great aspect of solar energy though is that regular maintenance isn’t really required as they are going to be able to work independently when the sun is in the sky to give you a good level of pool warmth whenever you need it.

If you want a minimal maintenance solution, then getting a product such as the dome heaters or a floating heater is going to prove to be an easier option for you. These would require less maintenance and would be cheaper to maintain and repair.


There are many things to consider before building or installing a pool or spa system and how you’re going to heat it is one of them. There are best solar pool heaters that will work independently while there are others that are going to work with your existing pool pump.

There are generally three different types of solar heater available as you can have a dome-shaped heater that you would be able to simply add to your existing pool and filter system. This requires a level of installation but is fairly simple to do.

The floating pool filters that you can have will actually require no installation and can just be placed into your pool while they get to work. While these have the simplest level of operation, they are also going to be the least effective.

For the best solar heater system where you will be generating heat from a large solar panel, a lot more installation would be required. The panel will likely need to be placed somewhere high such as a roof and then you need the include pumps, filters, check valves as well as possibly linking it up to a regular heater.

It’s likely that you would need a professional to be able to set this up for you, especially if you need a large number of solar panels. Once it is all set up though, then there’s very little that you are going to have to do.

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Ease Of Use

One of the greatest aspects of using a solar pool heating system is just how easy it is to use. While the initial solar pool heating set up might be difficult, once you have everything in place then you’re only going to have to check areas that you would usually do anyway, such as the filter and the pool pump.

With the best solar pool heaters, there is no gas or fuel that you need to have as owning a solar heated pool is a highly efficient and low-risk energy source that will add a great deal of energy into your pool. Using the solar for pool heating requires a lot less maintenance and upkeep than gas heaters, for example.

With the solar domes, they can simply be left to soak up the sun as the water passes through them and into your pool. Again, this can be left to do its job without you even thinking while you enjoy the warmer temperature that you have in your pool.

The simplest solar pool heating method can be the largest to use, as you will need to take floating solar pool heaters in and out of the water every time that you want to use the pool. This is still very easy though and on the whole, solar heaters are very easy to use.


It’s important to know what does the water temperature really means in order to get a good idea of what you need to achieve and want to have a good pool thermometer to enable you to check where your pool is and how much heating is required.

Once you have an idea of what is going to be the ideal temperature for you, then you’re going to have a better idea of how much heating you’re going to need. After that, it’s important to consider the volume of your pool as discussed in the size of your pool section.

In terms of what is going to be the most effective solution, then it goes from the floating pool types to the dome heaters and then to the solar panels that are going to be connected to your pump and filter system.

It’s important to know the capacity of the best solar pool heaters in terms of the amount of water it will be able to have an effect on. If you want to have an effective temperature rise, then you want to make sure that you are providing enough energy into your pool.


Once the right temperature is determined, it’s important to consider what function you have for your pool. If you are exercising, for example, then you might simply just want to take the chill out of the water.

If this is going to be the function, then you also need to think about whether you are going to need a lot of solar pool heaters at all. A simple solar heater could be your best bet here as it will give you an extra bit of heat without many installations.

If you are going to be relaxing in your pool and having fun, then there’s a good chance that you are going to want it to be nice and warm. In this situation, it’s a good idea to get a higher level of the solar heater to give you that warmth.

As with many aspects of pool use, you want to get a solution that is going to match your situation. You don’t want to be wasting energy that you could use elsewhere and therefore you need to have a think about exactly what you need.


All the solar pool heaters that we have looked at here have a very high level of durability and should be able to last you for a long time. We all know things can go wrong and defects can happen though and getting a warranty can be a good step.

A lot of warranties will be limited and only give you a certain amount of coverage and will only cover any initial defects that the product has. As well as what is covered in the warranty, you also want to check how long it is for.

A long warranty can give you confidence that you are going to be getting a quality product as clearly the company believes in the quality of their product enough the be able to give it a long level of protection and assurances.



Q: Why Choose A Solar Pool Heater?


There are a few reasons why choosing this heating system is the best option, but one of the main ones is the lack of continual costs. The initial outlay with solar heaters might be more but not having to buy gas or fuel will save you money over time.

There is also a good feeling of knowing that you are going to be doing something that will be protecting the environment, having that renewable energy means that you can heat up your pool without any guilt.

The maintenance of this heating method is also a lot slower than the likes a gas heater which requires more inspections and obviously the requirement for them to be constantly filled up in order to start working.

The cost and installation of a large solar panel might be off-putting for some, but it’s an initial time and money investment that is going to really pay off over time. Once you have it installed, you’ll have very little to worry amount.

Q: What Is The Difference Between A Solar Pool Heater And Regular Heater?


A regular pool heater generally takes up a lot of energy, as in order to heat a large volume of water a lot of power is needed. In terms of how they actually work, they often work in more or less the same way.

The heat will be added to the power and then this will be pumped into the pool. With fuel-burning heaters, this will be done fire the burning of the material and with electric heaters, this will be done get using electrical heat energy to warm up the water.

In all these types of heater, the water is going to pass through them in a similar way but obviously with a solar pool heater no energy needs to be used up, allowing you to have cheaper energy bills and fewer maintenance costs.

Q: Are Solar Pool Heaters More Cost-Efficient Than Regular Pool Heaters?


Whether you are using solar panels for sailboats, for your pool or even a solar watch, the great thing about solar energy is that it is going to help make you more efficient. This is both in energy consumption but also with costs too.

The restrictive factor with solar travel has always been the fact that the initial set up can be high, especially if you need to bring a professional in to install it for you. After that though, the following costs are much lower and therefore these solar heaters are a lot more cost-efficient.

Q: How Do Solar Pool Heaters Work?


As with the likes of a solar backpack and a solar charger, a solar pool heater is able to transform the sun’s rays into usable energy. There is a big difference in the products we have looked at here though, as some will use the heat, while panels use the light.

Solar panels work in freezing temperatures and also when it is overcast too, as they use the light energy and transfer that into electrical energy and therefore heat. The dome and floating types of panels will work when directly under the sun as they will aim to trap the heat via a greenhouse effect.

Q: What Is A Solar Pool Heater Made Of?


The pool heaters will be made out a wide variety of different materials depending on which type you are going to use. All the products that we have looked at here are made from high-quality materials in order to give you a high level of quality.

They are also durable too and there is a misconception from some that solar heaters aren’t very reliable but that is not the case. A well-installed solar panel could last a minimum of 15 years and will still be able to deliver a high level of quality.

Q: How Much Room Do Solar Pool Heaters Need?


At a basic level, solar pool heaters are going to need as much room as the size of your pool dictates. The bigger the pool you have, the more space is going to be needed to be taken up by the solar heaters that you have chosen.

Due to this, it’s important to make the calculations beforehand to see exactly how much power you are going to need to generate. Once you have done that, then you will be able to see if you have enough space to be able to accommodate that amount of power.

Q: How Many Heaters Do I Need?


In order to cut down on the number of heaters that you need, it’s a good idea to get a pool cover to help you lock in that heat. There are even some great solar pool covers out there that are going to be able to help trap in that heat when you’re not using the pool.

When used in conjunction with a pool cover reel, this can cut down on the number of heaters that you need. As with the previous question though, this is going to be dictated by the size of your pool as you will have to increase the number of heaters or panels that you have depending on the volume of water.

This is a very important point as if you underestimate the amount of power that you need, you could end up installing a system that does very little to change the temperature of the pool and you would have spent time and money on something that isn’t much use.

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Once you have one of the best solar pool heaters all set up you’re going to be able to enjoy the warm water and start thinking about more fun things to buy such as pool toys and pool floats, or you might even decide to treat your kids to a great pool slide.

In order to determine what exactly you are looking for, the first thing that you need to know is the size of your pool and how many gallons of liquid it’s able to hold. From there, you will see how much water you need to heat it, and choose the top-rated solar heater for above ground pool or an inground option.

Hopefully, the guide has given you all the information that you need in order to make a fully informed decision. Once you have your solar heater, you’re going to be able to have a much warmer pool where you will be able to relax without worrying about energy costs.


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