If you’re lucky enough to own a swimming pool, you’re going to want to get as much use out of it as possible. Without heating the water, you’ll be limited to using it comfortably only during the hottest part of the summer. Even then, the water may be too cold for enjoyable swimming early in the morning or late at night.
Doesn’t it Cost a Lot to Heat Pool Water?
Like many who own swimming pools, you’ve probably heard about the exorbitant expense of keeping pool water heated. Heat pumps, gas heaters and other water-heating options do, indeed, tend to cost a lot of money. You can expect your gas bill to increase significantly if you opt for one of these solutions.
In the end, it may not be worth it to you. What if you could heat your swimming pool without incurring additional, ongoing costs? You can. The answer is solar pool heating.
Harness the Power of the Sun
When the sun shines directly on the surface of a pool, it warms up the water to a certain degree. However, that energy can be used much more effectively by installing solar panels or strip solar collectors. These solar pool heating options allow you to keep your pool warm and comfortable without spending a small fortune.
What are the Options for Solar Pool Heating in Sydney, Brisbane & Melbourne?
With all of that sunshine beating down throughout the year, solar pool heating makes all kinds of sense. In terms of heating a swimming pool, there are two options.
Option One- Professionally Installed Solar System
Solar panels or strip solar collectors are made up of long lengths of tubing and are installed on the roof of your house. Water is diverted from the pool, fills the tubes, gets warmed by the sun and is then sent back to the pool. In this way, it doesn’t rely on gas or electricity. Water is heated solely through solar energy, which is abundant and free.
You will however need an additional pump to circulate the water to the roof and back.
Option Two – Professionally Installed Solar System with Heat Pump
This system uses solar heating as mentioned in option one in conjunction with pool heating equipment such as a gas heater or a heat pump. These items can be used as a booster to help heat the water when it’s colder, though it’s not generally necessary in warmer climates like Sydney or Brisbane.
Option Three -DIY Solar System
Yes you can install solar heating yourself. It’s really not that hard to do if you’re handy. It’s simply a matter of running a set of pipes to your roof, installing the panels on the roof, connecting up the pipes and adding a control box. These DIY systems are available online and in some stores and come with comprehensive instructions.
ProTip: make sure you select the select the size of your system correctly. There are a number of factors that will affect what size system you need including: your geographic location, size of pool, amount of sun and shade on your pool and roof, direction of pool and roof, colour of pool & roof surface, type of pool (fibreglass, concrete, above ground) and the type of solar collector used.
What to Look for when Buying Solar Heating
However you opt to heat your pool, there are a few things you should insist on to get the best results:
Minimal Visual Impact – There’s no need to disrupt the appearance of your landscaping in order to heat your pool with solar energy. Panels can be installed inconspicuously on roofs, and mats can be arranged in ways that have the least visual impact possible.
Weather & Cockatoo-Proof Designs – Look for products that are specifically designed to withstand harsh weather (such as hail) and animals like cockatoos.
Stainless Steel Clamps – Any fittings that are used should be made out of stainless steel, or they will corrode over time and negatively affect the functionality and appearance of your solar heating device.
Resistant to Bad Weather – Your solar pool heating device should be able to withstand the sometimes severe weather that hits Sydney.
Warranty – Good quality systems will have a warranty that is at least 10 years.
As long as these criteria are met and your pool heating system is installed by correctly, you should be able to start enjoying free, heated water in no time.
Photo Credits: Teaser Photo Attribution: By LuAnn Snawder Photography ; Blog Photo Attribution: By LuAnn Snawder Photography ; Blog Photo Attribution: By vagawi ; Blog Photo Attribution: By Gemma Stiles