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Solar Swimming Pool Heaters

If you would like to heat your swimming pool water by using the energy from the sun, you should consider installing a solar heating system. Solar systems cost about the same to buy as either gas or heat pump pool heaters, but they last much longer and are more cost effective to operate. Solar heaters work by pumping the poolís water through a filter and then through the solar collector, which heats it and then returns it to the pool. The water can also be cooled during periods of hot weather by circulating the poolís water through the collector at night.

If you are thinking of buying a solar heater, consider the following:

  • A complete solar system consists of a filter, which removes debris before water is pumped through the collector, a pump to circulate the water, a flow control valve, which diverts the pool water through the collector, and the solar collector, which allows the sun to heat the water.
  • Unglazed collectors can be used if you will only be using the pool when the temperature is above freezing. They are usually made from heavy duty plastic or rubber treated with a light inhibitor that protects them from deteriorating in the sunís ultraviolet rays. They are less expensive than glazed collectors, which are generally made of copper tubing on an aluminum plate with an iron tempered glass covering. However, glazed collectors heat the water more efficiently than unglazed collectors, so they can frequently be used all year. Both types need freeze protection systems if they will be used in colder climates.
  • Convenient solar heating systems include sensors which automatically divert the poolís water to the collector when it is cooler than the water in the collector. When the temperature is about the same in both the pool and the collector, the filtered water bypasses the collector and goes directly to the pool.
  • Once properly installed, solar heating systems will last for many years and need very little maintenance as long as the poolís chemical balance and filtering system are routinely

    checked. Glazed collectors will need to be cleaned in dry climates where rainwater does not naturally rinse them.

As you might expect, solar pool heating systems will work best in geographical areas that receive abundant sunshine.

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