One of the most frequent questions I get from my customers is “Should we install solar heating and if so, what kind?”.
Heating your pool with solar energy is not only green, but it can be very cost effective. A solar pool heater is comprised of four main components:
● A pump that draws the water out of the pool and pushes it back in once the heating process is over.
● A filter that removes debris before the water is passed on to be heated
● A solar collector. The water heats up as it passes through the collector and is then pumped back into the pool.
● A flow control valve that send water through the collector or diverts it back to the pool when the temperature of the collector and the pool are the same.
There are basically three different solar options: Solar Thermal Panels, which concentrate the energy in thermal storage systems, PV (Photovoltaic) or electric solar, and then there is a combo unit that does both.
In my opinion, in our area, if you have a south or west-facing roof, PV solar is the best way to go. There are many advantages to PV Solar, one of them being how long they last. They are rated to last 25 years with minimal maintenance where as pool solar panels are rated for 10 years.
A PV Solar purchase can cost up to 10 times as much as pool solar, but if your PG&E electric bill is near $500 a month, you will find PV to be a much better investment. If you have the option to lease or buy the PV Solar, I always say buy it, it can add value to your home.