How Much Does Solar Pool Heating Cost?

Solar pool heaters can be a great way to heat your pool water without increasing your energy bills. You can extend your swimming season so you can enjoy your pool longer. But like any home improvement project, there are costs associated with installing a solar pool heater.

In this article I will break down the cost of a solar pool heater so you can see the upfront and ongoing costs of this type of heater.

How much does solar pool heating cost?

A solar pool heater typically costs between $2,500 and $4,000 to purchase and install. This offers a payback of between 1 and 7 years depending on your local fuel costs and available solar resources. They also tend to last longer than gas and heat pump pool heaters.

Installing a solar pool heater requires an investment before you can start using your new hot water. This is the money you need to outfit your home with the special panels needed to heat your pool. Because without these panels you just hope that the sunlight shining on your pool will get the job done.

Cost-of-a-Solar-Pool-Heater

The average solar heating system is between $2000 and $4000, plus $500 to $1,500 for installation labor. The actual cost, expense and payback period of the solar heating pool is determined by a variety of factors. For this reason, before purchasing and installing a solar heater for your inground pool, it is necessary for a specialist like Everything Solar to do the following:

  • Investigate the source of solar energy.
  • Determine the appropriate scope and size of the pool heating system you need.
  • Find out the right position and orientation for the solar panel.
  • Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of solar pool heating system.
  • Advise you on expectations, any maintenance obligations and policies.

Read on to get a better idea of upfront and adittional cost with factors affecting your cost of solar pool heater.

Upfront costs

The first step in answering the question “What does solar pool heating cost?” begins with knowing the expected investment costs.

Prices vary, but Solar Reviews says you should pay at least $3,000 and up to $7,500 for the unit itself. Add another $500-$2,000 labor cost for installation. Although they come with a higher initial cost compared to other pool heaters, keep in mind that this is the most cost-effective pool heating system that can potentially result in significant energy cost savings in the future.

The price depends on the size of your pool and the type of solar panels you buy: vitrified solar panels or propylene blankets. You can save even more money by purchasing a solar pool cover instead of solar panels or propylene mats. Solar pool covers are priced from $100 to $300 depending on the size.

Additional Cost of Solar Pool Heater

Another aspect of solar heaters is that you need electricity to pump water to the rooftop solar pool heater. This means your electricity bill will increase if your home isn’t already fully solar powered.

I know you’re thinking what’s the point then? Well, the increase in your electricity is far less than it would cost to heat your pool with gas. With solar, you pay the one-time installation cost and then the cost of running a pump is your only expense for the next 20 years (or how long your pool heating is guaranteed). With a gas heater, you pay installation costs and $300-$500/month in heating bills… forever.

Factors Affect the Cost to Install a Solar Pool Heater

The following factors affect the cost of installing a solar pool heater:

  • Pool size – a larger pool will require more solar panels to heat the pool to the desired temperature. On average, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,500 to install a solar heater for a small pool and between $1,500 and $2,000 for a medium-sized pool. The costs can go up to $2,000 and $2,500 for a large pool.
  • Location and climate affect the air temperature and the length of the bathing season and determine the number of solar panels needed. If you live in an area where the winters are cold, you’ll need to winterize your solar pool heater. Winterization is the process of preparing your solar pool heater for the winter months. Winterization typically costs between $100 and $200.
  • Sun exposure – Homes with ideal sun exposure, such as in Florida, require fewer panels than homes that spend part of the day in the shade.
  • Collector Type and Efficiency – Glazed collectors are the most efficient but most expensive to install. Solar pool heater prices by thermal collector number of 4’ x 10’ on and average between $1,500 and $8,000.
  • Inground vs. Above Ground Pool – Solar heating for inground pools usually costs more. On average, the cost to install a solar heater for an inground pool will be between $1,000 and $2,000, and between $500 and $1,000 for an above ground pool.
  • A flow control valve and an automatic diverter valve cost $325 to $600. A regulator increases efficiency and output by bypassing the solar panels on cloudy or rainy days.
  • Discounts and tax incentives can reduce overall installation costs depending on location.
  • Plumbers charge $45 to $150 an hour. Install the solar panels as close to the pool pump as possible to reduce installation costs.

Alternative solar pool heating costs

A gas pool heater costs $1,500 to $4,500 with installation. Operating costs for a gas pool heater are $200 to $500 per month, up to twenty times more than running a solar pool heater.

Installing a heat pump pool heater costs $2,000 to $6,000. Running a heat pump costs $50 to $150 per month.

Read more: What is Solar pool Heater?

Bottom Line

The cost of heating an average sized pool per month with a heat pump is about $150-$300 in the winter and about $100 in the spring and fall. Also, the cost of purchasing a heat pump is around $4,000. The monthly cost of heating a 10,000-gallon pool with a gas heater is over $600 per month in fuel and the initial cost of the gas heater is $2600.

A cheaper alternative is solar pool heating. There are no running costs as it connects to the existing pool pump that delivers water to the solar pool heating panels. They can only be less effective in the winter months from December to February, as the days are shorter and the nights longer. If you need a light jacket or sweater to get outside, the urge to be in your pool isn’t as strong either.

References:

  1. Solar pool heater cost: https://homeguide.com/costs/solar-pool-heater-cost
  2. The Full Cost of a Solar Pool Heater: https://www.sunpowerbythesolarquote.com/post/cost-of-solar-pool-heater
  3. Every Cost You Can Expect Related to Solar Heating Pools in Orlando: https://poweredbydaylight.com/blog/solar-pool-heating-costs/