With winter just around the corner, even our balmy Florida weather can get a little nippy, but that shouldn’t keep you from getting into the pool! A quick search online will tell you that you can run your pool heater off of solar, but should you? At SolarMates, we know that you need to understand what you’re getting into before committing to a purchase.
Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask if you’re considering getting a solar-powered pool heater for your home.
How much do you want to pay to heat your pool?
If your answer to this question is “nothing,” you’re in luck. Like in other applications, solar power is completely free to you and works pretty reliably compared to other pool heating alternatives. That being said, pool heaters of all types are somewhat notorious for being difficult, mostly because it’s very hard to heat such a massive body of water without losing a lot of excess energy. As you heat the pool, the heat in the water rises as steam, meaning that you’re losing a lot of the heat you’re putting in to warm your pool up. Gas heaters are the best for warming a pool quickly but can be tricky to work with. Electric heat pumps bleed energy when temperatures outside are lower, meaning that your electric heater won’t work as efficiently as in warmer temperatures.
How shady is your yard?
As will all applications of solar, how effective your solar power will be depends heavily on the amount of direct sunlight that your panels will get throughout the day. This means that if your heater is in a shady place, it will not be as efficient as if it’s receiving direct sunlight. The same is true for cloudy weather–but luckily, Tampa is pretty sunny, even on cooler days.
Are you going to supplement your solar heater with any other equipment?
For instance, if you’re willing to keep your pool covered while it’s heating, and then cover it back up again after you get out of the pool, your pool will retain more heat and your solar- powered pool heater will not have to work quite so hard to get the same results as without a pool cover.
If you are considering a solar-powered pool heater to help you swim during the cooler months of the year, be sure to ask yourself these three questions, and be realistic. As always, if you need help, or if you want an assessment of whether a solar-powered pool heater will work in your backyard, feel free to give us a call at SolarMates@ 727-316-6000!