best solar pool heaters
Pool Heater

Best Solar Pool Heaters for Inground Pools 2020

If you are looking for a way to make your pool inviting during cooler months, a solar heater could be the best choice for you. In addition to regulating the water temperature for your pool, you will be using green energy for your heat. Not only are you benefiting the environment when you make this choice but it costs less than electric pool heaters as well. When you install a solar heater for your pool, you can set the temperature and enjoy the pool any time. Read on to learn about the best solar pool heaters for inground pools.

How Does a Solar Pool Heater Work?

Most of the time, solar pool heaters use panels that collect heat from the sun, which is then converted into solar energy to heat your pool. They also use a filter, a pump, and a flow control valve. When you connect the system, water is pumped from the pool through the tubes of the solar collector. It is heated and then returned to the pool.

Solar pool heaters usually require very little maintenance, if any. Once they are installed, you can start using them and they use little to no electricity or gas. You can use a solar pool cover in conjunction with your pool heater, which is a pool cover that absorbs the sun and heats the pool underneath.

You can generally raise the temperature of your pool by ten to fifteen degrees but you may need to use extra panels if you have a larger inground pool. It is easy to connect multiple solar heaters to increase the heating potential but you will need to buy them separately.

Our Best Solar Pool Heaters for Inground Pools List

1.Smartpool S601P SunHeater Solar Heating System

You will enjoy free heat using this solar heater. It features heating panels that are made from durable polypropylene and they are specifically designed for easy DIY installation. They will increase your pool temperature by 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

The solar heater has 80 square feet of solar panels and the array measures four feet wide by twenty feet long. You will install it on the roof and it captures a lot of heat. You do need to purchase an installation kit separately. However, once you get it set up, it works well and it can heat your pool by ten to fifteen degrees in a day.

Pros:

  • Raises water temperature up to 15 degrees
  • Works efficiently
  • Can add panels to increase capacity
  • Is a passive system
  • Is made from quality durable materials

Cons:

  • Installation kit sold separately

2.GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater

This solar heater is very portable because it weighs less than 13 pounds. It uses advanced materials and greenhouse steaming technologies to produce heat that can warm your pool by four degrees in four days. It does need direct sunlight and it is simpler than the roof installation models.

It comes in a curved shape to maximize heat collection. It has treaded ports that provide versatile plumbing options. The legs are adjustable and foldable so it can be customized for maximum sun exposure and it has a clear cover that locks in the heat.

This solar heater is the perfect gradual heater and it works by gradually increasing the water temperature by a few degrees at a time. It provides plenty of heat for the water without taking up a lot of space and it is easy to store when it is not in use.

Pros:

  • Compact curved design for portability and flexibility
  • Easy installation
  • Affordability
  • Energy efficiency
  • Environmentally friendliness

Cons:

  • Provides less heat than some larger solar systems

3.Heliocol HC-50 Swimming Pool Solar Heating Panel

The HC-50 Heliocol swimming pool solar heating panel is a great solar heater for inground pools. The panels are made with an open design and more panels collect radiation from every angle throughout the day. It is protected from strong winds and you won’t need straps to hold it down on your roof.

This solar heater is normally installed on a tile or shingle roof but you can also mount it on patios, fences, or ground frames. It comes with an expected 20 years of use and it is highly efficient. You can buy additional panels to link together to increase your heating capacity.

Pros:

  • It is long lasting
  • Maintenance is simple
  • It uses existing pool pump for circulation
  • It saves money in electricity costs

Cons:

  • Is less efficient on north-facing roof
  • Needs large installation area

4.Heliocol Swimming Pool Solar Heating Panel

This is a lower-cost alternative to the Heliocol HC-50. You can easily use free energy from the sun to heat your pool. This panel has a one-piece design that helps to prevent debris or moisture from collecting and damaging your roof. It has an open design so that it collects energy from the rays of the sun all throughout the day.

This smaller version of the solar panel heater is lightweight and portable. It is easy to expand by adding panels. It has a lengthy life expectancy of 20 years. It can heat up to 400 BTU per square foot panel and it weighs only 12 pounds when dry.

Pros:

  • Reliable heater
  • Portability
  • Very low maintenance
  • Ability to use existing pool pump
  • Savings on fuel and electric that outweigh initial cost
  • Affordability

Cons:

  • Requires pool pump for operation

5.XtremepowerUS Inground Swimming Pool Solar Panel 

This solar heater is built from high-grade materials that can withstand any weather conditions. The pool uses its pump and filter system to circulate water through the solar panels, where the water is heated and returned to the pool. The panels are cost-effective, produce no greenhouse gases, and take very little maintenance.

This heater is incredibly low in price at under $100. It is one of the least expensive solar heaters on the market today. The panels are two feet by twenty feet so they do take up some space but if you have the space, this heater will heat your pool by around ten degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros:

  • Is inexpensive at under $100 per panel
  • Is easy to install
  • Can warm water by ten to fifteen degrees
  • Works for inground pools

Cons:

  • You might need more than one panel for larger pools
  • You may need a diverter kit

6.Doheny’s 5′ x 10′ Space Saver Solar Heating Collector

The Space Saver Solar Heating Collector by Doheny is large with two 2.5’ by 10’ panels but it will heat your pool well. It is easy to install and it will start heating your pool as soon as the sun is shining on it. The price is reasonable and it can heat your pool an extra 15 degrees.

This heater is designed to be easy to install and it is made to work with any type of pool and pump. It comes with a five-year warranty and it is a green system that requires no electricity or gas. As long as you have the space for this heating collector system, you will be pleased with how quickly it starts heating your pool.

Pros:

  • Works with all types of pools and pumps
  • Is easy to install
  • Provides up to 15 degrees of extra heat
  • Is environmentally friendly and cost-efficient
  • Comes with MAX-FLO design for circulation

Cons:

  • Panels are large and require space

7.SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater

You can install this solar heater on the roof, a rack, the ground, or a fence. It includes 2’ by 20’ of panels and it is easy to install. It has a patented web design that allows maximum absorption of the sun’s rays. You can use your existing pool pump for this heater and it will raise the water temperature by six to ten degrees Fahrenheit.

This solar heater is a little bit bigger than others but it does a great job of heating your pool if you have room for it. The panels are both durable and lightweight, and it uses direct flow water circulation to quickly heat your pool. It is compatible with all types of pumps so you will be able to install it and start using it as soon as it arrives.

Pros:

  • Is very easy to install
  • Is compatible with all types of pumps and pools
  • Has a direct flow design for water circulation
  • Comes with mounting kit, diverter valve kit, pipe adaptors, and end caps
  • Is environmentally friendly and efficient

Cons:

  • You may need more panels for larger pools
  • You need a lot of space to install the large panels

8. SunQuest Solar Swimming Pool Heater


This system comes with two 2’ by 20’ panels and it uses a MAX-FLO design to create better water circulation as it heats your pool. It is compatible with all pool and pump types, and it will increase the temperature of your pool by up to ten degrees Fahrenheit.

SunQuest has an easy DIY installation. You can install the panels on the ground, on a fence, on your roof, or on a mounting bracket. The panels are professional-grade. They have high performance ratings and are known for reliability. The panels come with everything that you need to install them. This efficient system is environmentally friendly and will reduce or eliminate your heating costs.

Pros:

  • Is easy to install
  • Is compatible with all pump and pool types
  • Heats pool well

Cons:

  • Large panels require space for installation
  • May need additional panels for larger pools

How to Choose the Best Solar Heater for Your Pool

The first step towards choosing the right solar heater for your pool is to look at how they work. Solar heaters vary and they can raise the temperature in your pool from four degrees up to fifteen degrees, depending on the model and make.

You should start by knowing the size of your pool. Some of these heaters are sold by the panel and you can add panels for larger pools. The key is to know how big your pool is as well as what kind of space you have for installation of the heating panels.

Some of the systems that provide greater temperature increases are larger; they can be as big as twenty feet long. You need to decide whether you will install them on the roof of your house, on a mount, or on the ground or a fence. Many of these heaters offer different options so you need to decide what is going to work best for you in your home.

If you live in a place where there is a lot of sunlight, you will have more flexibility. Your solar heater will need to receive direct sunlight for a certain part of the day in order to function properly. Some systems have a curved or dome design to provide more opportunities to capture the rays of the sun from different angles.

Final Words

Solar pool heaters can heat your pool to the perfect temperature. You can use them year round in warmer locations and for a good half a year in the rest of the world. When you use an electric or gas heater, it will be very expensive. Solar power heaters use the heat from the sun, which is absolutely free.

These systems are relatively affordable and some are very inexpensive. You can find the one that is best for your pool and your home. You can install many of them yourself but you will need to choose a location for the solar panels. They are often installed on the roof for maximum exposure to the sun throughout the day.

Solar panels need to have direct sunlight so that they will work. You cannot install them in the shade. You can mount many of them in a variety of ways so it is easy to find the optimal location. When you use solar heating for your pool, you will not use electricity or emit greenhouse gases. You can enjoy a warmer pool in an environmentally friendly way.