Solar Pool FAQ’s

How much does a solar pool heating system cost?

A solar pool heater can range in cost from about $3,000 to $7,000 with the average system costing around $5,000. Costs vary due to size of your swimming pool, desired water temperature, amount of exposure that the pool has to sun and shading, and, finally, the direction that the solar panels will face on your roof.

To see how much a solar pool heater would cost for your home or business, contact us to schedule a solar evaluation. Once our solar consultant has evaluated your pool, roof, and energy needs, we can provide you with a more exact cost.

What is the payback of a solar pool?

Typically, the savings received from solar pool heating system will pay for itself in 1.5 to 4 years of purchasing. For example, the average system costs about $5,000 and it typically costs about $2,000 to heat a pool with gas. Therefore, the payback period would be only 2.5 years in this particular instance.

When our solar consultant provides you with the cost estimate, they will also explain the exact payback period for your solar pool heater.

How long does it take to install a solar pool heater on my roof?

Installation of a solar pool heating system usually takes anywhere from 1-3 days. Often, the installation time is dependent on the size of the solar system, the type of roof and whether any tranching or concrete work must be provided.

How well will solar energy heat my pool?

In Southern California, a properly sized solar system with unglazed solar panels can heat your pool up to 85° F from April through November. Though pool will be warmer and will cut down on costs, it won’t reach as high of a temperature in the winter months from December through March.

If you choose to install glazed solar panels, you should be able to heat your pool to a comfortable temperature for most of the year, if you also use a cover or pool blanket in the winter months..

How long will solar panels hold up in the sun?

On average, solar pool heating panels should last at least 20 years and upwards of 30 years. In fact, AMECO installed solar pool systems in the late 1970s and early 1980s that are still functioning today.

How long is the warranty for a solar pool heating system?

Most solar pool heating system manufacturers that we work with offer 10 or 15 year warranties.

Can a solar system heat my pool all year long?

Glazed solar panels have the potential to heat your pool for the majority of the year. If you choose to install unglazed solar panels (a popular option in Southern California), your pool will be heated all year long but the degree to which your pool can be heated will be reduced significantly when air temperatures are cooler than 70° F. We suggest using a pool blanket to help reduce any heat loss that unglazed solar panels experience at nighttime during the winter months.

Are solar pool heating systems easy to operate?

Yes, today’s solar systems have automatic controls that are easy to understand and very reliable. Just set the thermostat, wait for the sun to shine and then your pool will be heated to the desired temperature.

What kind of solar panel is best for my pool?

AMECO carries a number of solar pool panels from certified and approved manufacturers. We are happy to make a recommendation after we have performed a site inspection and have conducted an interview to understand your swimming needs.

Will solar panels affect my pool chemistry?

When properly installed, a solar system should not affect your pool chemicals. However, since your pool will now be warmer and you might be swimming in it more, you will probably need to increase your chlorine usage. We can help you keep your pool chemistry balanced. Ask us about automatic pool chlorinators, ozone generators and saline pools during your solar evaluation.

Will solar panels cause my roof to leak?

No, if a solar system has been installed properly, then it will not cause your roof to leak. Make sure that you only invest in solar pool panels that can be securely attached to the structural members of your roof (i.e. the rafters).

Should I wait until more efficient solar panels are available?

The efficiency of solar panels for heating swimming pools and spas has not changed significantly over the past fifteen years. When heating an average-sized pool to 75° F to 85° F, most solar pool heating panels operate in the 90% efficiency range. When you hear about improving efficiencies in solar, it’s most likely related to solar photovoltaic panels that are used to provide electricity to homes and businesses. Currently, solar PV panels are in the 14% to 22% efficiency range and continue to improve. So, our answer is that you shouldn’t wait and there is no better time to go solar than the present.

Are solar collector energy ratings important?

Many solar collectors (panels) offered today are in the top 10% of energy performance. While energy output is an important factor to consider when selecting a solar system, it is equally important to evaluate the reliability of the product and its manufacturer. You should also research how long the solar panel company has been in business as well as its track record in warranty service.

Why are solar panels so ugly?

Unfortunately, it’s always the ugly solar panel installations that we remember. You might be surprised to discover how many of your neighbors already own a system that is hidden from view or installed so that it blends in well with the house. Photos of AMECO solar pool installations prove how nice a solar system can look when it’s installed properly.

If a hidden location is not available on your roof, you have a couple different options. Consider purchasing solar panels that are more aesthetically pleasing; many customers choose to go with glazed solar panels because they look like skylights once installed on the roof. There is also the possibility of installing a solar heat exchanger in your attic, which would make the solar panels invisible to all and has the added benefit of cooling your home in the summer.

What type of pool heater should I purchase?

There are three types of pool heaters to choose from:

A gas heater can be installed for $2,400. If you heat an average-sized pool for the months of April to November to 80° F, it will cost you another $1,800 to operate. After five years, your total expenses, including installation and yearly maintenance, will exceed $11,400!

An electric heat pump can be installed for $5,000, and will cost anywhere from $1,200 to $2,400 to operate each pool season, depending upon efficiency and location of the installation. After five years, your total expenses will be anywhere from $11,000 to $17,000!

A solar pool heater ranges in cost from $3,000 to $7,000 to be installed and will cost nothing to operate, making it the most economical way to heat your swimming pool by far.


Tired of Your Cool Pool? Go Solar Today

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us for a solar evaluation and talk to one of our solar consultants. With nearly forty years of experience, we can answer almost any question about solar pool heating that comes our way.

Others parts of our website offer detailed information about solar pool heaters such as the benefits of solar pool heating, how a solar pool works and the theoretical side of solar pool heaters.  You may also want to check out the AMECO Blog to learn more about solar energy.