A Complete Guide to Solar Heating
Here in Australia, the most popular and affordable heating for your pool is solar heating. If you have decided to invest in solar heating you must do an extensive amount of research as just like anything, there are pros and cons that you need to carefully consider. There are so many different solar systems on the market, and important that with the right amount of research you find one that is right for you. Let’s take a look at some important information to think about when it comes to choosing solar heating for your fibreglass pool.
How does solar heating work?
Solar heating for your pool is one of the most popular forms of heating in Australia and the main reason for this is because it is the most environmentally friendly form of heating up your pool! It operates by collecting the natural energy from the sun which then goes via a solar collector. Once the energy has been collected, the pool water then gets transferred through several tubes over the solar system at a steady pace, the final step is the heated water is then transferred back into the pool which in turn leaves your pool water at a warmer temperature. The majority of the energy used is from the sun, however, the pump does require a small amount of energy to run which is normally around 1KW per hour.
The positives of solar heating
Cost-Effective – Solar heating is your most cost-effective form of heating as it uses the natural energy from the sun to heat your pool. Prices for gas and electricity are always on the rise, so choosing solar means you will save quite a lot of money when it comes to your electricity bills.
Environmentally Friendly – Solar is also the most environmentally friendly form of heating as its power source comes directly from the sun which also makes it an incredibly safe choice too. These days most solar systems come with automated controls which means you can choose the desired temperature you want your pool to be and it also allows you to decide which times you want the system to turn on and off. This function allows you to save even more energy which in turn means you save more money on your electricity bills!
Install costs are inexpensive – You might be thinking that a solar system is expensive to install, considering how much you will save on your electricity bills they are relatively cheap. Generally speaking, you will pay anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 to have a solar heating system installed for your pool.
You will save water -It might surprise you but using solar heating for your pool will not just save you in energy bills you will actually save water too!. Here in Australia, we live in the driest continent on earth and water is one of our most valuable resources. Using other methods for heating such as gas and electricity can use up to thousands of litres of water each year. Water is used for several things such as cooling generators
- Easy Maintainance – Solar Heating is the easiest form of heating when it comes to your pool. Unlike gas and electricity, there are no fans or motors that you need to worry about. Generally speaking, your solar heating will last you around 15-20 years
- They are Quiet – Quite often the feedback we receive from our customers who use gas and electricity for heating is that the systems can be quite noisy. Solar heating has a fantastic reputation for being quiet, a good tip is to ask your technician which model is the quietest.
The negatives of Solar Heating
• You need plenty of sunshine- If you live in an area that gets plenty of sunshine then solar heating on its own should be enough to keep your pool at a comfortable temperature all year round. Solar needs plenty of sunshine for it to be sufficient enough on its own if you live in an area that has a cooler climate that has cloud cover and rain frequently then solar may not be the right choice.
• You may need gas or electricity as a backup- If you do live an area that has more cloud cover and rain than sunshine you can still use solar heating but you will need a back option such as gas or electricity if you want to get the most use from your pool throughout the year.
• Can be slow to warm your pool- Solar heating can be slow at times to warm your pool, and you may find that you cant always get the same temperature each day, it will all depend on the weather. If you have a spa in your pool and you are wanting this to be at a typical spa temperature, you will need to use gas heating for this section , as gas is the only form of heating that will reach those high temperatures.
The 3 different types of solar heating
1. Pool Cover – Solar pool covers are a popular choice by many, they are an affordable option that still provides great results with being able to heat your pool up to 8 degrees Celsius warmer. They are made from polyethylene (PE) bubble layer that provides a constant thickness to help with warming your pool. As well as heating your pool, solar covers are fantastic for saving water, save time with cleaning your pool, help save money as fewer chemicals are needed and generally speaking you will pay anywhere from $1,500-$4,000 for a solar cover.
2. Evacuated tube solar heating – This type of solar heating has been known to have the best results with warming your pool but on the other hand it is far more expensive compared to the other 2 forms of solar heating. When it comes to costs, you will pay anywhere from 20 to 100 per cent more compared to thermal solar collectors. It is, however, a more reliable form of heating especially in cooler climates, and it will heat your pool much quicker. The way it works is a series of small glass combined with larger glass tubes which create a vacuum between the two. The sun then heats the glass which produces heat which is then collected through the vacuum and transferred by the heat exchanger which is connected to the water box. The pool water is then transported through the water box, here it is heated by the heat exchanger before being pumped back into the pool at a warmer temperature. These systems are a fantastic choice for homeowners in cooler climates.
3. Thermal Solar Heating – This type of solar heating is the most common, it is also known as solar panel heating, this is when the solar panels are placed on the roof of your home. Solar panels are a fantastic option for anyone who lives in a warm and sunny climate if where you live is a cooler climate you can still use this form of heating but if you are wanting to use your pool all year round you will need gas or electricity to get the most out of your pool. Solar panels come in a range of materials, the most affordable ones are made from rubber or a plastic matting, the other option is the glazed solar panels, these are made from glass, copper and aluminium. They are much more efficient however they are also more expensive. If you are in a cooler area that gets quite a lot of cloud cover, glazed solar panels would be a better choice as they are much more effective with collecting heat in cooler temperatures, you may even be able to use your pool all year round with glazed panels.
Important things to consider before choosing a solar heating system
The most important thing to remember is that bigger pools neat more heat, here at Factory Pools Perth when speaking to our customers about solar heating, we always recommend that the solar collector should cover 80 to 100 percent of your pool in metre squared measurements. Your solar collector should be positioned where it is going to reach the most sunlight, most of the time this would be facing north, the most important thing to take note of is to make sure it is not positioned in shadows of building or trees as this will affect the amount of sun that it can collect. When your pool is not in use a pool cover is a great idea as it will help keep your pool at a warm temperature, choosing a cover that is darker in colour will also help keep your pool heated as the darker the colour the more it will absorb heat from the sun.
Here at Factory Pools Perth, we have been helping homeowners transform their backyards for the past 30 years. We are experts when it comes to top-quality fibreglass pools and we are always helping our customers make the right choice when it comes to heating their pool. We are always willing to help and assist you in any way we can, give us a call today and one of our friendly team will be more than happy to help!