In many areas, especially where there is limited sun, solar pool heating is one of the most practical applications of solar energy. People around the world are catching onto this-even in Canada, solar pool heaters make up more than 10% of the pool heating market.
No matter what, your solar pool heater will save on your pool heating costs. In warmer areas, especially, it is inadvisable to heat with gas. Over a 15 year period, you could spend five times as much on heating with gas as you would with a solar pool heater.
Even if you ‘hybridize’ your solar heater with gas, it will still save you money.
Here are some more solar pool heating benefits, adapted from a Canadian guide to solar pool heating. Just think of how much more beneficial solar will be in Texas or Florida!
Solar extends your swimming season
Whether or not you have an existing heater, you can keep your pool warmer and open longer with free energy from the sun.
In most areas of Canada [and the northern United States], a solar heater used in combination with a solar pool cover can add two to four weeks to the beginning and end of the swimming season. You get a longer swimming season for free.
Solar equipment is durable
Solar equipment often lasts longer than gas or electric heaters. With proper yearly maintenance, you can expect fuel heaters to last seven to 10 years. Most gas heaters have a two-year warranty, and well-made heat pumps carry a two-year warranty with five-year warranty on the compressors. Solar panels have a minimum 10-year warranty and generally last 15 to 20 years or longer.
Solar requires less maintenance
Unlike gas and electric heaters, which should be serviced by a technician every year, a solar heater requires very little servicing. Again, that means less cost and less hassle for the pool owner.
Solar energy is good for the environment
These days we hear a lot about the damaging effect that burning fossil fuels is having on the environment. Burning fuels releases nitrogen oxides that cause the formation of smog in urban areas. Using solar energy instead of fossil fuels can help reduce this smog.
Burning fuels also releases carbon dioxide, the main cause of climate change. Replacing a natural gas or propane heater with a solar heater could stop three to 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide– about the same amount produced by operating your car for one year!– from entering the atmosphere each season.