If you have a home pool without a Solar Pool Heater, you are familiar with this scene: it’s the first really warm day of the year and your family is longing to jump in the pool, but the water is still freezing. An inground solar pool heater can help you solve the problem of pool seasons that are limited by too-cold water on otherwise warm days.
The reason a pool without a pool heater remains cold even when it warms outside is that air warms up much faster than water. That means that early in the spring you may have a few warm days – maybe even one you’d consider hot.
The best part of solar pool heaters is that once you’ve purchased an inground solar pool heating system, you don’t have to pay for the energy it generates. Unlike costly and polluting natural gas pool heaters, solar-powered models don’t give off emissions. There’s no fuel to buy or utility bills to pay. Simply the clean, natural heat of the sun converted into warmer water allowing you to relax in your solar pool all season long.
There are many options for solar pool heating, and it can be hard to decide among the many products on the market. We have collected some of the best solar pool heaters around, inground and above ground, and reviewed them so that you can make your decision with ease.
Our solar pool heater reviews focus on the quality, ease of installation, and affordability of each solar pool heating system.
Best Solar Pool Heaters in 2020
SunQuest inground Solar Powered Pool Heater
The SunQuest pool heater system has some of the best online ratings, and it’s easy to see why. The system has generously sized panels for maximum heat transfer and includes most of the materials that you will need for installation all in one kit.
The SunQuest system is comprised of 2’x12” panels and you can buy kits with various numbers of panels based on the volume of your pool and the number of panels of your solar heater. You can increase your pool’s temperature up to 10° Fahrenheit for a more comfortable swimming experience with these panels.
This solar pool heating kit includes a MAX-FLOW system, which helps to reduce strain on your pump, and a straightforward installation system. This Solar Powered Pool Heater will provide both above ground and inground pool solar heating, so you can use it no matter your pool type.
The SunQuest system installs on your roof with an included kit, the only thing you need is 1 ½” rigid PVC pipe that runs from the roof to your pool. A separate kit is also available to convert the system to run on 2” pipe if that’s what you already have set up with your pool pump.
All other installation materials are included, and so you can easily be enjoying a warmer, more comfortable pool experience with this solar-powered heater in a matter of days. Though it is on the costly side, it’s one of the best solar pool heaters available, and the savings in heating and additional use of the pool can be well worth the cost.
- Generous surface area panels
- Can buy in many kit sizes for larger or smaller pools
- Easy installation kit included
- One of the most expensive systems
XtremepowerUS Swimming Pool Heater Solar System
The XtremepowerUS brand of solar pool heating system is one of the most frequently purchased on Amazon due to its accessible price and simple construction. It comes in near the top of our solar pool heater reviews because of its popularity, affordability, and versatility.
This system connects to your pool’s pump system and can be placed on the ground or roof to collect the sun’s rays and convert them to warm water for your pool. It functions for both inground and above ground pools, so it will work for many consumers regardless of their pool setup.
The XtremepowerUS system has a 40 square foot area and can increase your pool’s temperature up to 15° Fahrenheit. It can be purchased either with or without a diverter kit to regulate the flow of water into the heating apparatus. Based on consumer recommendations, most pool owners will want to include the diverter kit in their purchase.
Consumer’s have positive reviews of the system once installed, but there are some complaints about the included tubing not having a tight seal at connections, and needing regular maintenance to plug leaks.
- Can heat your pool up to 15°F with no energy costs
- Simple construction and installation
- Large surface area
- Some consumers encountered leaks in the couplings and tubing
Smartpool S601P Solar Swimming Pool Heater
The Smartpool SunHeater has a direct flow system which allows more water movement through each heating tube. It can raise the temperature of your pool 6°-10° Fahrenheit.
The SunHeater has a 4’x20’ polypropylene heat collecting system for 80 square feet of solar heat collection. Your pool’s existing pump moves water from your pool into the pool heater’s flow system. The heat collected from the sun warms the water as it flows through, and then it’s returned via pressure and gravity back to the pump and into your pool.
The Smartpool solar pool heater works with both inground pools, or above ground pools. And it can be placed on a roof, fence, or even on the ground. This gives it a lot of versatility and allows it to be a viable option for most consumers regardless of their pool type or size.
However, keep in mind that the Smartpool system kits available for purchase online typically include only the heating apparatus. The installation kit and hookup materials are an item that needs to be purchased separately.
- Wide surface area of 80 square feet per panel
- Temperature increases of up to 10°F
- Installation kit sold separately
- Installation instructions are minimal
Sun2Solar Ground Mounted Solar Powered Pool Heater
The Sun2Solar brand pool heater system offers you a longer pool season by increasing your pool’s heat by 10° Fahrenheit. This system is designed to be mounted on the ground, though separate roof mounting systems are available.
It will provide solar heat for above ground and inground swimming pools. It is made out of polyolefin panels that are 2’x20” each. Two panels are included in the system for a generous 80 square feet of solar heat collection.
The heater kit comes with included solar hardware, including a bypass valve that acts as a diverter to keep the water flow at a slow and steady pace for maximum heating potential of the solar pool heater.
- Large 80 square foot area per kit
- Includes most needed hardware
- Up to 10°F temperature increase with no energy costs
- Some consumers had problems with hose and coupling leaks
SunCOIL Solar Heater
The SunCOIL system is a unique coiled design made expressly as an above ground pool solar heater. This is one of the best solar pool heaters if you have very limited space in your yard or deck to place a heater because of its compact coiled design.
It has a surface area of just under 6 feet square, but it contains a clear, heat retaining window (think of how well your car’s windshield holds in heat in the summer) and a special coiled, rather than lined system of tubing. This allows a long length of tubing to fit into a limited space and helps to heat the water that flows through. The water then returns to your pool for a more comfortable swim experience even in the spring and fall.
The SunCOIL solar heating system has folding, positionable legs so that you can change the position of your heater to match the sun’s angle. This allows you to get the best possible warming with the device.
It also includes a connection kit and a diverter kit which helps maintain proper flow for maximum heating power. And, if you have a larger pool or greater heating needs, you can connect multiple units for additional heating power.
- Smaller size is convenient for limited spaces
- Domed window helps retain heat to maximize warming
- Installation materials included with purchase
- Positionable legs to get the best angle for heat absorption
- Cannot heat as well as the best solar pool heaters due to limited size
- Designed to give solar heat for above ground pools, may not work well with an inground pool