Best Solar Pool Heaters Reviews & Ratings For 2018

There are several ways of relieving the stress and pressure after a hard day’s work at the office. All of them, however, pale in comparison to the level of relaxation and healing capabilities a swimming pool offers. Changing the seasons is one of Mother Nature’s strongest fortes, and when she decides to wrap up the swimming season, she robes you and your loved ones of one of the best pleasures. With a little help though, you won’t have to cringe your teeth and clench your fists whenever you gather enough courage to plunge into the cold waters. Solar pool heaters are an eco-friendly, affordable and effective way of raising the pool temperatures by a few degrees to let you extend the swimming season by a few more months.

Our Top 3 Picks

Fafco
  • Fafco
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Durable
  • Price: See Here
SunQuest
  • SunQuest
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Eco
  • Price: See Here
Game
  • Game
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Efficient
  • Price: See Here

The performance of solar pool heaters is patently not comparable to that of their electric or gas-powered counterparts. However, where they cede in fast performance, they more than make up for in reliability, ease of use, pocket-friendly running costs, affordability, versatility, and near zero maintenance costs.

In addition to minimizing carbon footprint, pool heaters are also capable of raising the pool temperature by some significant degrees to allow you enjoy a comfortable, relaxing and warm swim. After researching and analyzing an endless list of solar panels, we’ve dutifully put together a list of ten of the best ones. The aim is to remove the time and effort away from the otherwise nerve-wreaking, energy-draining, and mundane task of combing through the Internet comparing hundreds of different units with one another to find your knight in shining armour.

10 Best Solar Pool Heaters

 

1. Fafco Solar Bear System for Above-Ground Pools

1. Fafco Solar Bear System for Above-Ground Pools
The Fafco Solar Bear epitomizes excellence in performance, ease of use, and effectiveness. Its construction quality is a far cry from other unit’s use of cheap and low-quality materials, a fact which in turn makes their performance pale in comparison to that of the Fafco Solar Bear. Aside from being powerful and effective, the solar heater also features physical dimensions of 4 feet by 20 feet, making it one of the widest or largest solar heaters on the market. The dimensions aim to maximize its exposure to the sun in an attempt at trapping the most solar energy to provide the user with the best performance, an endeavour it never fails to achieve.

While being large has obvious advantages, it also presents some problems. First off, it makes the solar heater considerably bulky, not necessarily heavy, which makes it a little hard finding adequate space to set it up. The bulkiness can be a hindrance if you don't have enough space to work with. However, if you don't have space constraints, installing it is pretty straightforward and quick. The package comes with all the accessories you need to install it quickly and effectively. You get the 4 feet by 20 feet extra-large solar collector, two 6-foot long 1.5-inch diam hoses with 4 clamps, an integral bypass valve and a couple of other accessories.
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The design eliminates the need for using couplings or connectors and therefore makes the installation process quite a breeze. Putting all these accessories together and getting them to work effectively and efficiently might sound a little daunting, especially to greenhorns setting up their first heater. However, the package comes with a detailed user manual to guide you through the installation process. Plus, the customer service is very handy for when the process becomes a little complex.

Its working is a little different from the vast majority of solar heaters on the market. Instead of the conventional heat transfer, it works by pumping water through the solar heater before sucking it back out. The included oversized 2-inch headers guarantee maximum circulation for uniform and quick circulation of the water. Since it uses the concentrated power of the sun, its performance can vary all through the day. In most cases, it reaches optimal performance between 10 am and 4 pm if the season and latitude allow it. One way of ensuring optimal performance is by aiming or installing it south at a 30-degree angle to maximize exposure to the heat of the sun. As for installation, you have the discretion of choosing the ground, the rack, or the roof, among other suitable surfaces.

If you’re out here searching for an affordable, high-performance, and easy-to-use option, look no further than this option. In spite of its bulky size, it nonetheless features a heavy-duty and long-lasting construction quality and works efficiently and smoothly provided the installation is done right. If you want to extend the swimming season and keep the pool comfortable and sufficiently toasty, all without breaking the bank, we cannot recommend the Fafco Solar Bear enough. Plus, you get a generous 10-year warranty to cater for the repair or replacement of parts and components that malfunction as a result’s of the manufacturer’s use of defective or low-quality materials or a shoddy manufacturing process. That’s without a doubt hard to beat.
Pros
  • Features a heavy-duty and long-lasting UV resistant build
  • Using it is a cinch
  • Boasts high-performance
  • Comes with all accessories for quick and easy installation
  • Eco-friendly as it only relies on the energy of the sun
  • Comes with a generous 120-month warranty
Cons
  • Prone to minor leaks

2. SunQuest 2 -2' x 20' System

2. SunQuest 2 -2' x 20' System
If you’re looking for a decorated heater with an impressive list of features and capabilities for domestic use, the 2 -2` x 20` is just the right one for you. The heater is every swimming pool owner’s dream, bringing together an exceptional construction quality, the most advanced technology, top-notch performance, and off-the-charts reliability. It is a workhorse that invariably guarantees toasty waters, effectively allowing you to extend the swimming season by several months without incurring any additional costs or harming the environment, as its NOx emissions stand at zero percent.

Another reason that makes it the preference of environmentally-conscious users is the ease of installation. Even if you’re a novice, the process should not take you more than half an hour. It’s incredibly simple and straightforward. Why spend thousands of dollars on an electric or gas-powered pool heater when you can get similar performance at a fraction of the price and without harming the environment?

The superiority of the performance is not in doubt. It’s compatibility with both in-ground and above-ground swimming pools, for one, makes it one of the most versatile and economical options currently on the market. Such universal compatibility does not limit your choices. With regards to performance, the machine features the convenient Max-Flow design and comes with 2-inch OD headers that together significantly enhance the circulation of water. The design similarly minimizes pressure on the pump, and if the user takes the time to use it in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, it can provide several years of trouble-free and smooth performance.
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Another beauty is its compatibility with the vast majority of pool pumps. The professional design of the heater eliminates the need to check whether or not the two can work in tandem before making a purchase. Neither do you have to uninstall your pool pump after buying the heater. And the installation process happens to be one of the easiest of all the options featuring on our list. The delivery package contains all the accessories you need to set it up, including high-quality and durable connectors for attaching to a 1-1/2-inch and 1-1/4-inch flexible hoses. Given the size of the solar panels, it might be a little difficult to mount the system on the roof, unless of course you have an extra pair of hands or resort to seeking professional assistance. However, after a successful installation, the universal compatibility and the 2-inch OD headers mentioned earlier provide for a quick, effective swimming pool heating experience.

Depending on the prevailing weather conditions, it is capable of raising the temperature of the pool by up to 10 degrees. The performance is not comparable to using an electric heater but at its price and considering that it does not lead to environmental degradation, it's a worthy compromise. The reliable and superior performance effectively bring to an end the days of letting Mother Nature dictate the swimming season or have to grind your teeth together and clench your fists before plunging in, in full anticipation of chilling waters.

There is a multitude of very convincing reasons to help us support the assertion that the 2 -2` x 20`system is one of the best pool heaters on the market. If it's not an ability to effectively and quickly raise water temperature by up to 10 degrees, it's the ease of installation. Additional reasons include the fastidious construction quality, unyielding dependability, and cost-effectiveness. The heavy-duty UV-resistant design will provide you with several years of stress-free and flawless performance. And to cap it all off, you don't have to break the bank to afford it.
Pros
  • Easily and quickly raises pool temperature by up to 10-degrees
  • Very compatible with water pumps
  • Very easy to maintain
  • Eco-friendly
  • Sports Max-Flo design that increases circulation of water
  • Compatible with both in-ground and above-ground swimming pools
Cons
  • Installing it on the roof requires skill
  • Not ideal for pools larger than 15 square feet

3. GAME 4512 SolarPro

3. GAME 4512 SolarPro
Another solid choice for swimming pool owners looking to extend the swimming season without incurring any exorbitant costs associated with electric and gas-powered models is the GAME 4512 SolarPro XD1 with Adapter for Intex and Bestway above Ground Pools. Aside from its remarkable performance, the heater is similarly very cost effective, easy to use and maintain and best of all, it features superior construction capable of withstanding the rigorous task of heating large volumes of water quickly and effectively. Since it packs several technologically advanced features to the brim, it provides for easy and quick heating solution for the swimming pool. Also, in light of it being relatively compact and lightweight, it’s easy to install and takes up minimal space in your backyard.

Raising the water temperature in your pool from cold to toasty does not have to be time-consuming and frustrating. The GAME 4512 takes away all the time and effort from the exercise, leaving you with a peace of mind to enjoy a relaxing and refreshing swim in toasty waters. In ideal situations, the heater easily raises the temperature of up to 10,000 gallons of pool water in a few days. The unique curved shape of the heater, combined with the foldability and adjustability of the legs, provides for maximum exposure to the sun. Consequently, the solar panels still get to capture the heat from the sun even its position during the day. The design, therefore, spares the headache of having to move it around the yard to increase exposure constantly.
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The heater also has the advantage of being a simple DIY installation. No point in incurring additional installation charges if you have a crack for connecting a few wires here and there. Plus, the delivery package comes with everything you need to get started and finish. There are the stainless steel clamps, hoses, Intex adapters, among other vital accessories. The installation is further simplified by the machine’s compatibility with Bestway and Intex above-ground swimming pools. And with its paltry weight of just 16.98 pounds and corresponding dimensions of 28 inches by 11 inches by 28 inches, and a design that eliminates the to use any bypasses for pumps up to 1.5 horsepower, the installation could never have been easier and more straightforward.

According to the manufacturer, it takes the GAME 4512 just seven days to raise the temperature of the swimming pool by 5-degree. It might not sound like much but considering that the solar heater does not use any gas or electricity – meaning that it’s an eco-friendly option – it’s performance is more than impressive. It manages the fete by using a protective cover for trapping heat from the sun before transferring the heat to the water as it passes through. And if your pool is large, the design of the model allows for the connection of more than one unit to another, allowing for the quick heating of the water.

In closing, we'd like to reiterate that it is a compact, energy-efficient, affordable, and eco-friendly pool heater that enables you to increase the temperature of your pool to extend the swimming season. In spite of being passive, lightweight and compact, it's capable of raising the temperature by 5-degrees in just seven days. Additional reasons that make it worth considering are the ease of installation, the durability of its construction, and of course, the remarkable performance. At this price range, it never gets better.
Pros
  • Sports a unique curved design for enhanced heat absorption
  • Features a compact and lightweight design
  • Installs easily and quickly
  • Ideal for use with above-ground pools
  • Energy-efficient
  • Effectively harnesses the power of the sun for optimal performance
Cons
  • A little bulky

4. SmartPool SunHeater-Solar Heating System

4. SmartPool SunHeater-Solar Heating System
Keeping your pool warm and toasty or extending the swimming season does not have to cost you an arm and a leg, as it does with gas-powered and electric pool heaters. There are several formidable alternatives that are both easy on your pocket and the environment, one of them being the SmartPool SunHeater-Solar Heating System. Like other conventional solar collector pool heating system, the machine uses panels and tubes to raise the temperature of the pool. The heater has the advantage of being easy to install, easy to use, requiring minimal maintenance, and cost-effectiveness. The icing on the cake though, if the affordability. Proper installation on a raised surface or at an angle to ensure maximum exposure to the sun enables it to effortlessly raise the temperature of the water by up to 10 degrees in under 12 hours.

For pool owners living in sunny regions, it is a better and more affordable alternative to gas-powered and electric pool heaters. To ensure effective and quick performance, it comes with several black polyethylene panels joined together to increase their surface area and therefore trap more solar energy. Considering their sheer volume and number, they ensure maximum exposure to the sun and therefore collect as much heat as possible during the day. Together with the two threaded-elbow adapters, the result is an effortless and quick rise in the temperature by up to 10 degrees in just 12 hours, making it possible for you to enjoy the cool yet warm water all during the day. Of course, the performance depends on latitude and other whatnots, and for optimal performance, it's highly recommended that one starts using itm between 10 am and 4 pm.
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Its power and performance are wholly attributable to its design and engineering. You have first to ensure there is a strong connection between the solar panels and the pool's pump after which the system works by cycling water through the tubes in the panels. As the water passes through, the heat in the panels transfers to the water before being sucked back to the pool. The process repeats itself all through the day to provide you with warm pool water all through the day, enabling you to enjoy a relaxing swim all day long without incurring huge electricity bills. And that's the beauty of the SmartPool System; you don't have to incur exorbitant electricity bills to end your swimming season.

Another unique selling point is the high-quality construction. The panels are themselves constructed using industrial-grade polyethylene material that enables them to stand the test of time, in addition to enhancing their performance. The other components feature similarly heavy-duty construction necessary for withstanding the rigors that come with constant exposure to the sun. And since they’re constructed in the United States, longevity is a guarantee considering the high standards the products have to meet before they’re availed for general public consumption. And to sweeten the deal,it comes with a generous warranty to cater for the repair or replacement of defective or malfunctioning parts and components. If that assurance does not give you the peace of mind to use it with confidence, nothing will. It’s also indicative of the brand’s confidence in the quality and durability of their product.

Lastly,it is a simple DIY installation, like most other heaters on our list. With a paltry weight of 10 pounds, it is the lightest solar heater on our list and possibly the entire industry. However, its measurements come at 288 inches by 1.5 inches by 24 inches, which are a little on the bulky side. If you have sufficient space by the pool on top of the roof, the measurements should not present much of a problem though. And you have everything you need to make all the connections. The delivery package has the end caps, stainless steel hose clamps, Teflon tape, and hoses if you want to connect more than one collector.

If you're looking for durability, high-performance, ease of use, and affordability in a heater, look no further than the SmartPool SunHeater-Solar Heating System. The machine is an epitome of all these features and qualities and so much more. It's eco-friendly, easy to run and maintain, and installs quickly and with relative ease on several surfaces including but not limited to the roof, shed, cabana, rack, and even the ground. Plus, it's an affordable alternative that's compatible with the vast majority of existing pool pumps. At its price, it's quite a steal.
Pros
  • It’s an easy and straightforward DIY installation
  • Features a cost-effective price tag
  • High-performance option
  • Features durable and sturdy construction
  • Works both as a pool heater and cooler
Cons
  • The delivery package does not come with the diverter

8. XtremepowerUS Inground /Pool Solar Panel

8. XtremepowerUS Inground /Pool Solar Panel
So you finally have the swimming pool you've always wanted, and now you and your loved ones just can't stop barbecuing along the poolside all day. However, no one is daring to plunge into the waters because it's frigid. They only way to reclaim your beautiful swimming spot and inject a little fun into the weekend gathering would be to get a practical, functional, high-performance, and affordable option. And in enters the XtremepowerUS Inground/Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System. Unlike gas and electric pool heaters, the solar heater packs a lot of potential and effortlessly raises the pool temperature within a short time without harming the environment. To find out why it strikes a chord with the vast majority of private and commercial pool owners out there, continuing reading our in-depth review of the product.

While most options come with one bulky sheet of solar collector, the XtremepowerUS comes with two each measuring 20 feet by 28 feet, bringing the aggregate to an impressive 40 inches total. The large surface area ensures maximum exposure to sunshine and their sensitivity to light in solely responsible for the exceptional performance of the heater. Place them at the right angle, 30-degrees facing South for most states, and watch the pool temperature rise quickly from frigid to warm in just a couple of minutes.
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Installing and getting it to work optimally has never been easier. The simple design makes installation a straightforward and quick DIY procedure. The quick connect design essentially takes the effort and time away from the process, making it possible for the user to set up the machine in a fraction of the time it takes with gas-powered and electric models. It pairs up nicely with the existing pool's pump and filter system and proceeds to work like a charm raising the temperature by up to 15 degrees in a couple of hours. Plus, you won't be limiting yourself to a particular type of pool as the heater is compatible with both above-ground and in-ground pools. And they're exceedingly versatile as you can install them on multiple surfaces and places including but not limited to the poolside, the rooftop, or leaned at an angled against the wall of the house.

Irrespective of where you install them, there are a few guidelines you need to keep in mind. They work optimally with oval pools measuring 24 feet in length by 12 feet in width. Round pools should not exceed 18 feet to achieve the same level of performance and efficiency. If your pool is bigger, it would be prudent to invest in an additional option to experience any significant change in water temperature. With everything as advertised, all that’s left is blowing up a float, popping on a bathing suit and hit the waters.

The XtremepowerUS is a tried, tested and proven high-performance heater that raises the temperature of a 3000-gallon pool by up to 15-degrees in just a few days. Nevertheless, it's cost-effective, the installation process is a breeze, thanks to its compatibility with in-ground and above-ground pools and the existing pool's pump and filter system. The construction quality is remarkable, and it can withstand heavy-use in multiple environmental settings. We recommend it on the strength of its performance, longevity, and ease of use.
Pros
  • Compatible with existing pool’s pump
  • Comes with a pocket-friendly price tag
  • Installation is both easy and quick
  • The large surface area provides for quick heating of the pool
  • Raises temperature to between 10 and 15 degrees easily and with speed
Cons
  • Not ideal for large pools
  • Requires diverter kit for optimal performance

6. Solar Sun Rings SSR-1

6. Solar Sun Rings SSR-1
As has been our tradition with every product, we'll first give you an overview of the signature features before delving into an in-depth review. The Solar Sun Rings SSR-1 is yet another contender for the first position and packs a laundry list of features that sets its performance, durability, ease of use, and convenience aside. It provides the user with one of the most cost-effective, hassle-free, convenient, and eco-friendly ways of keeping the swimming pool at an optimal temperature all throughout the day without incurring huge electricity expenses. The running costs are minimal, and you don't have to do much heavy lifting to get everything running smoothly. Its reliable and effective performance eliminates the need to use costly alternatives. Plus, it is eco-friendly. Continue reading for a comprehensive review.

Its design and working are very different from what we've covered so far. Rather than using solar panels like most solar heaters, the product comes with two heavy-duty and durable sheets of UV-resistant vinyl that you use to cover up the pool. The first layer is see-through, and it works by holding as much insulating air as possible while simultaneously focusing the light from the sun on the blue layer beneath it. The work of the blue layer is to absorb as much 50 percent of the heat from the first layer and transfers the remaining 50 percent to the water for deep water heating purposes.
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Like its counterparts that use traditional solar panels, it amply raises the temperature of the water to warm levels to allow you enjoy a warm and relaxing swim all through the day. In addition to heating your water, the machine also comes with six magnets for making the water clearer and to make it soft. The heater is similarly compatible with automatic pool cleaners. And in light of its heavy-duty vinyl construction, the ring guards against the possibility of water and pool chemicals evaporating from the pool. The result is significant savings on both water and pool chemicals over the course of the useful life of the Solar Sun Rings SSR-1, which in turn makes it one of the most economical options on the market. After your pool reaches a desirable temperature, you can easily and quickly turn over the heater, so there is minimal evaporation and to stop the vinyl from continuing heating the water.

The other features that stand out are the ease of using and its compatibility with virtually all poor types and surfaces. With a mere weight of 1 pound and 60-inch diameter, installing and removing or turning them over after the water reaches a desirable temperature does not take much effort or time. And as mentioned earlier, the two layers of the solar heater feature heavy-duty, durable construction using industrial-grade vinyl. Consequently, they are capable of withstanding the mid-afternoon scorching heat of the sun without tearing or wearing as quickly as do units made from cheap, low-quality materials. With proper installation, the Solar Sun Rings SSR-1 can easily provide up to 21000 British thermal units in a day, which makes them very effective.

For pool owners looking for the convenience, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency of solar heaters, we highly recommend taking a second and serious look at the Solar Sun Rings SSR-1. Clearly, its performance is not comparable to that of an electric or gas-powered pool heater. However, in light of its eco-friendliness, cost-effectiveness, and ability to raise the temperature of the pool to sufficiently toasty temperature levels, it is a worthy compromise.
Pros
  • Provides effective and quick pool heating performance
  • Installation and uninstallation is both quick and simple
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Ideal for both in-ground and above-ground pools
  • Cost-effective
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Prone to dirt
  • Wind wobbles it easily

7. Kokido Keops K835CBX/RV

7. Kokido Keops K835CBX/RV
The swimming season does not end when summer wraps up, at least not when you have the Kokido Keops Solar Dome Above Ground Pool heater. It enables you to enjoy warm and toasty pool water for several more months by raising its temperature to warm and comfortable levels. Moving forward, you won’t have to clench your teeth before diving into the water; just hold your breath, toss in, and relish the warm waters with your loved ones. The Kokido Keops is an eco-friendly alternative to the more expensive to acquire and run gas-powered and electric pool heaters on the market. If you’re looking to raise the temperature of the pool by a few degrees to extend the swimming season without incurring heavy electricity bills, take another look at this option.

The solar dome pool heater harnesses the energy of the sun to effectively raise the temperature of your swimming pool within just a few minutes. The fast performance means you won't spend the better part of the day pacing impatiently by the poolside occasionally touching the water to gauge whether or not it's warm enough for a comfortable swim. And in case your pool is particularly large, the design allows for joining more than one, thereby allowing you to cut down the time and effort it takes to raise the pool temperature. However, being a solar-powered model, its performance is not at par with electric and gas pool heaters. Consequently, it is recommended for use in pools with up to 6,000 gallons of water. Anything significantly more and you won’t notice any difference in temperature changes.
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Other auxiliary features that make it stand out include its cost-effectiveness, compact and lightweight design, as well as ease of use. Unlike its electric and gas-powered counterparts that come with complex electrical connections, this models is very easy to set up and get running. It's compatibility with 1-1/4-inch and 1-1/2-inch pool hoses and the fact that its lightweight and compact means you can install it just about anywhere in your backyard. The delivery package comes with all the accessories including fittings, stainless steel clamps, and 4-foot hoses among others to enable you quickly and securely make the connections. The innovative dome design and the solar pool cover provide for increased heating power, letting you and your family members and even friends enjoy a relaxing swim in warm waters.

All rational swimming pool owners want value for their money and therefore make a point of settling for nothing less than a high-performance, innovative, easy to use, and affordable option. Luckily, the Kokido Keops heater is all those things and so much more. It has a small, lightweight and portable design, and it's an eco-friendly alternative that harnesses the power of the sun to raise the temperature by a few degree quickly. In spite of the remarkable performance, the heater features a surprisingly low price tag. And its compatibility with the vast majority of above-ground pools makes for quick and effortless installation. It's totally worth buying.
Pros
  • Comes with a budget-friendly price tag
  • It has a small and lightweight design
  • Comes with all necessary accessories for quick and straightforward installation
Cons
  • You need several solar panels for effective heating

5. Intex Solar Mat for Above Ground Pools

5. Intex Solar Mat for Above Ground Pools
The fifth slot deservingly goes to the energy-efficient, easy to use, cost-effective and high-performance Intex Mat. The features and capabilities mentioned in the previous sentence are not just so that we can fill up space. The heater indeed lives up to its reputation, offering a level of performance that meets or even exceeds industry expectations. It might appear simplistic and humdrum in light of its lightweight and compact characteristics but below the surface, or under the hood, as they say, it packs immense power to enable you to extend your swimming season by a couple of months. For an in-depth review and to understand why some pool owners have christened it the "workhorse", continue reading to the next paragraphs.

It features a tried and tested design that ensures efficient and quick performance all around the year. The mat comes with several panels that ensure maximum exposure to the sun at any given time of the day. Couple this with the patented construction and innovative technology and you have a heater capable of generating extra heat irrespective of the intensity of the sun or its position.

Its performance might not hold a candle to electric and gas-powered heaters, but the Intex Mat is capable of effortlessly raising the pool temperature by a range of between 3 and 5 degrees, depending on the prevailing weather conditions.
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If you have an above-ground pool with a maximum water holding capacity of 8000 gallons and want a lightweight, easy to install and high-performance solar heater, don't hesitate to go with this option. It beats our previous pick in being lightweight and compact, seeing as it weighs just 5.4 pounds with corresponding dimensions of 47.3 inches by 47.3 inches by 0.5 inches. Consequently, moving it around the yard to ensure it's in the direct path of the rays becomes a hassle-free, quick endeavour.

Setting it up requires minimal effort, if any, and time on your part. It hooks up pretty quickly to the existing filter pump. However, ensure the pump's flow rate does not exceed 2500 gallons per hour as this could compromise the performance of the heater. You don't have to go out of your way to purchase the vital accessories required for installation as they come with the delivery package. You get the 1-1/4-inch hose attachment points, one adapter A and another one adapter B, the connecting hose, and lastly a bypass valve. The connection and set up process might sound complex and time-consuming but it's actually not. And in case you find it daunting, you can always refer back to the user manual that clearly outlines all the steps in easy-to-understand English – We're assuming you understand English because otherwise, you wouldn't be reading this, right?

In spite of its diminutive physical attributes and its laughable price tag, its performance is surprisingly remarkable. You don't have to believe. A quick check online quickly reveals that the heater strikes a special chord with many pool owners from various parts of the country, going by the number of rave reviews and praises it receives. Aside from being cost-effective, it also has the advantage of being easy to install, offering the user superior performance for a product in its price range, and being durable. If you want to raise the temperature of your pool by a few degrees to extend the swimming season without leaving a big hole in your pocket, the Intex Solar Heater Mat comes highly recommended.
Pros
  • Comes with a pocket-friendly price tag
  • It’s lightweight and compact
  • Works like a charm with virtually all Intex above-ground pools
  • The design allows for quick and easy joining of more than one unit
  • Energy-efficient and environmentally friendly
Cons
  • Not as effective as high-end options
  • Only compatible with Intex pools

9. SunCOIL SC-DOME

9. SunCOIL SC-DOME
The sunCoil SC-Dome for Above Ground Pools is an ideal choice for users looking for a heater that works flawlessly and is compatible with 18 feet round or 12 feet by 24 feet oval swimming pools. The heater is a lightweight and compact alternative and will take up just minimal space in your backyard. Plus, unlike most options, the model is aesthetically appealing and blends well with your gorgeous pool. With proper installation, it should enable you to raise the temperature of the water by at least some 10-degrees, without harming the environment as it only uses the heat from the sun. While its construction quality is quite sturdy and durable, the manufacturer still provides a generous 60-month warranty with every purchase in case something does not work quite as advertised. In the next paragraphs, we give you an in-depth review of the product to help you make an informed decision before committing your money.

The sunCOIL SC-DOME is patently a high-performance option that packs all the instrumental features to provide quick and effortless heating of the pool, allowing you to extend the swimming season without incurring huge electricity bills. It features the innovative dome solar design that works much like a car window on a hot day. It captures, magnifies then channels the heat via the inner black coil, a process that efficiently and quickly raises the temperature of your pool by up to 15-degrees within a couple of hours. The performance and efficiency are guaranteed, thanks to its professional design. It works like a charm, or champ, with virtually all above-ground and Intex-style soft-sided pools. You can use the foldable legs to achieve perfect angling towards the sun, thereby guaranteeing optimal performance all through the day.
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Another feature that stands out is the ease of installation. It comes with a space-saving design that won't take up too much of your squeezed backyard space, assuming your swimming pool is standard size. The heater weighs 19 pounds while the length and width both stand at 29 inches. Installing it on various surface or at an angle should not be a problem, especially when you also consider that it comes with foldable legs. The delivery package comes with all the accessories you need to ensure it connects and works smoothly with your swimming pool. For instance, there is a connection kit for controlling the rate at which water flows through the dome as well as a diverter valve kit that stops the water from entering or going through the dome as you vacuum the pool. Altogether, these features make it one of the few easy to use that take the effort and time away from keeping your pool toasty and warm all through the day.

In all, the sunCOIL SC-DOME might not hold a candle to the more powerful gas-powered and electric pool heaters, but it's an eco-friendly alternative that lets you raise the pool temperature by up to 10 degrees without using gas or gasoline. The minimal footprint makes an eco-friendly choice that also easy to install, easy to use, and very pocket-friendly. The lightweight and compact design and foldable legs make for easy and quick installation. To this add the generous 60-month warranty that guarantees that the manufacturer will repair or replace all malfunctions or defective parts and components.
Pros
  • Has a space-saving design
  • Angles easily for maximum exposure to the sun
  • Guarantees exceptionally high performance
  • Plastic dome design enhances heat absorption and pool heating
  • Easy to join with additional units
  • Comes with a 60-month warranty
Cons
  • Prone to leakage
  • Not compatible with in-ground pools

10. Doheny's Above Ground Pool Heating

10. Doheny's Above Ground Pool Heating
Are there more powerful solar heaters on the market? Sure. Are there more cost-effective variants on the market? Sure. In as much as the Doheny’s Above Ground Pool System looks and weighs like the vast majority of heaters on the market, it nonetheless sets itself apart from the stiff competition by packing a wide array of time-saving and convenience features. It’s a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative that stacks up pretty nicely against its top-of-the-line counterpart on the market. Seeing as it uses no electricity or gas, it produces minimal footprint and therefore contributes significantly to environmental preservation.

Its simplistic and humdrum appearance aside, it boasts several innovative and energy-saving features that the vast majority of options lack. For instance, it works by passing water through its special panels that store all the green energy it collects from the sun. the quick and effortless transfer of the heat from the panels to the water allows the temperatures to rise quickly and with ease, thereby providing you with a warm and toasty waters even when the swimming season has come to an end. The Doheny’s system might lacks the almost instant water heating capability of gas-powered and electric models but it nonetheless closely rivals it, but without the attendant exorbitant costs.
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It comes with large but relatively lightweight solar heat collectors. Their design allows for the quick and effortless joining with more solar panels for those who have large and deep pools and one heater just won’t do. Each addition helps to increase the temperature of the pool, so it does not matter how big or large your pool is; the heater will invariably rise to the occasion. Like all other solar options, optimal proper installation plays a critical role in the performance of the unit. In the case of this model, the manufacturer particularly recommends that the user makes a point of installing it on a raised platform, such as the roof of the house to increase exposure to the sun. Other equally effective installation platforms include the the roof, shed, cabana, rack, and even the ground.

Installing it is also one of the easiest things to do. You don’t need any previous experience with solar heaters or an engineering degree, obviously. Senior citizens might find it a little difficult bringing all the different parts to work harmoniously and in tandem, which might justify their seeking professional assistance. However, the manufacturer also generously provides the user with a comprehensive quick user guide to walk them through all the different procedures. Even though you have total discretion of choosing an installation that best suits you, we highly recommend hiring a professional to ensure all the different components work without any hiccups. It might be costly but it will spare you the headache and frustration of trying to figure out the components that don’t work exactly as intended.

Whether you decide to go at it yourself or seek professional assistance, it will also provide you with superior performance long after the swimming season has come to an end. It comes highly recommended for users who have a keen eye for efficiency and value and resent the idea of throwing their hard-earned money on cheap, off-brand models that won’t last more than a year. And while its performance does not come close to rivalling that of electric and gas-powered models on the market, it’s not all gloom for the Doheny’s system. It can raise the temperature by at least 10-degrees on a good day, effectively raising the temperature from frigid to warm every day of the week. The heater also has the advantage of running with minimal noise and very smoothly. Since it draws heat from the sun, running costs are very minimal. It’s also eco-friendly.
Pros
  • Features a pocket-friendly design
  • Spots high-quality, durable construction
  • Works efficiently, irrespective of water temperature
  • Very energy-efficient
  • Comes with a long warranty
Cons
  • DIY installation is a little tricky
  • Not ideal for big pools

Criteria for Choosing the Best Solar Pool Heaters

Size of the Pool

Pools come in different sizes and shapes. Compared to smaller pools, bigger and deeper pools will need some significant heat to raise the temperature to comfortable and warm levels. As a result, you may need to invest in several, powerful heaters to achieve the same performance as a small pool paired with one, standard sized heater. And for particularly big pools, you may need to look into the possibility of buying a large and semi-permanent heater. On the other hand, if the pool is small, a small and portable option will suffice.

Ease of Installation

The vast majority of pools are either above-ground or in-ground installations. You need to keep this point in mind when shopping around for a heater as it can be the difference between effortless and quick installation and a time-consuming, energy-draining experience. The mounting location will depend on the type of installation you go for.  Also, depending on the number of solar panels you decide to join together, the installation process can either be easy or quite complex. If you’re not technically savvy, it will be necessary to seek the services of a professional installer to ensure everything works as advertised or intended. It’ll incur you more money, but in the end, you’ll have a solar pool system that works like a charm, enabling you and your loved one extend the swimming season by several months.

Warranty

High-end solar heaters cost a considerable amount of money, and it would be a waste if they were to stop working after just a few weeks. One safe way of guarding your investment is getting a heater with a considerably long warranty. In the event the system stops working as a result of the manufacturer’s use of defective or poor quality materials or a shoddy manufacturing process, the manufacturer will incur the cost of repair or replacement of the part. The warranty also gives you the confidence and peace of mind you need to work without any worries.

Ease of Use

A heater should be enough in design to make using it a cinch. The delivery package needs to have all the accessories you need to make all the connections without a hassle. Like we mentioned above, though, if the installation is complex, it would be prudent to get a professional to get it done quickly and properly, so you don’t run the risk of voiding your warranty by damaging anything. While on the topic of ease of use, consider the weight issue. Most options are bulky as they seek to maximum exposure to the sun. If it’s too large, it will definitely be problematic lugging it to and from the poolside, unless you have it installed semi-permanently or permanently on the roof. The heater should also be lightweight and compact enough that manoeuvring it around the pool is not a problem. Neither should be servicing when the time comes.

Construction Quality

Harnessing the heat from the sun to heat up the swimming pool is a rigorous activity. If you settle for a cheap, off-brand unit from the market, chances are high it will wear and tear quickly. What you need is a heavy-duty heater made from industrial-grade and high-quality materials that are capable of withstanding the task. Similarly, it needs to be resistant to UV rays of the sun. Additional qualities are resistance to rust and corrosion given their constant exposure to water that may at times have a high chlorine concentration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it necessary that I install my solar heater in a particular direction?

A: It’s not a mandatory requirement that your heater faces any one direction. However, irrespective of where the heaters are facing, ensure the direction aids in the optimal performance of the heater. There should be no objects or distractors in the direct path of the sun. Nevertheless, if your solar is not heavy or bulky, you can try facing it southwards at a 30-degree angle.

Q: Do heaters have any advantages over their gas-powered and electric counterparts?

A: Aside from performance, solar heaters have a multitude of benefits over their gas-powered and electric counterparts. For one, they are a lot cheaper and much easier to use. The installation process is a breeze and doesn’t require the involvement of a professional, at least for most of them. Also, they are eco-friendly and very economical to run and maintain.

Conclusion

If you took the time to read through this guide, you are now be armed to the teeth with the most accurate and relevant information to help you confidently make an informed decision. Our list features the very best of solar pool heaters, and they all have the high-end features and capabilities that swimming pool owners crave. They are lightweight and compact, high-performance, easy to use and install, and they don’t leave your pockets with a gaping hole. When the swimming season is over, you don’t have to drain your pool and sit passively in wait for the winter again. These heaters will enable you to extend the swimming season by a couple more months at a pocket-friendly cost.