Did you know that you could install solar panels to heat your swimming pool? For less than $100 in materials and the span of a weekend, you could build solar pool panels yourself. Once the panels are installed, you’re free from ongoing fuel bills.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before building your panels. First, do you get enough sunlight during the day to fully charge the solar panels? In most cases, passive collector panels are used for heating pools. The basic construction of passive collector panels consist of plastic coils filled with water and fastened between layers of shatter-proof glass. Water is heated as it collects in the coils, then it’s pumped into the pool.

Also Read: How to inspect your pool

A property surrounded by large shade trees may not get enough direct sunlight for a passive pool heater. A perfection location for solar pool panels is on a rooftop that faces south or west with unobstructed exposure from the sun.

Next, what is the difference in temperature between the outside air and the desired temperature for your pool? To heat an outdoor pool in a northern state to 75 degrees in the dead of winter, with below zero weather, you’re better off using pool covers and a heavy-duty gas heating system. Now if you’re in Texas and want to heat an outdoor pool to 75 degrees in 50 degree weather, a solar pool heating system is a good option.

In addition to the solar heater, it’s best to use solar covers and blankets if the outdoor temperature drops below the pool’s water temperature. Steam rising from the water surface is a sign the water’s temperature is warmer. Pool covers and blankets help conserve the heat instead of it dispersing it into the air.

Lastly, a solar heating system for your pool shouldn’t be used for heating water for your home. Heating water for your home is completely different. In an effort to save money, you may think it’s a good idea to use the pool’s solar heater for your home. Chlorine and acid are used to condition the pool water. Even though there’s no harm in swimming in it or taking in a few mouthfuls, it’s not safe for your home’s water system.

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