What is the Best Solar Pool Heater?

Are you frustrated with high-heating costs from your pool? During the fall and spring season when colder winds start blowing most homeowners use a gas pool heater to increase the temperature of their pool water. However, constantly paying gas bills that increase due to the extra consumption of gas can be very expensive and undesired. Electric heaters have the same problem with high costs. The economical and eco-friendly solution is to install one of the best solar pool heaters. What is the best solar pool heater?

There are three types of solar pool heaters available on the market. The first one is a solar panel system that is typically mounted on the roof of a nearby building. This is the best choice for in-ground and large-sized swimming pools. The second type includes more portable heaters that need to be placed on the ground, near the pool. Such portable devices are generally used to heat up inflatable pools. The third type of heaters is solar pool covers, which are less powerful but have some other advantages. In addition to trapping heat, they reduce humidity and keep dirt and debris away from the pool.

Finding out the best solar pool heater is a tricky job as the market is flooded with a variety of these pool heaters. Don’t worry as we’ve got you covered. We have collected the best pool heaters available in the market and briefly defined their specifications. You can take a quick look at the list below and find out which one is the right solar pool heater for you, so you can bring the pool season back.


1. Smart Pool’s S601 Pool Solar Heater

Smart Pool has been delivering effective solar pool heaters for over 20 years. Whether you have an in-ground pool or above-ground pool, the solar heater does a great job in warming your pool.

S601 pool solar heater uses a direct flow system to heat your pool. Each heating tube has a header hole. It uses 80 square feet of solar panels and raises the temperature of your pool water by 6-10°F (4-6°C). Each panel measures 20 feet long and 4 feet wide.

You have to connect the solar heater to an existing water pump. You can place the heating collectors either near your pool or on your rooftop. It is easy to install the pump. But you have to buy the installation kit separately. It does not come with the product.

The solar panels are made from polypropylene which makes them very durable. Furthermore, it has a coating of fiberglass over the molded header. These features prolong the longevity of the product.


- Keep your pool warm with a polypropylene heat collector. Direct Flow System - One Header Hole for Each Heating Tube

- Solar heater features 80 square feet of solar panels

- Pool accessory is perfect for heating any in-ground swimming pool

- Panel array measures 4 feet wide x 20 feet long. Raises Pool Water Temperature 6-10°F (4-6°C)

- Installation kit required (Sold Separately)


2. SolarPoolSupply Industrial Grade DIY Solar Pool Heating System Kit

SOLARPOOLSUPPLY has truly built a marvelous product. This solar pool heater has everything that you’d expect from pool heaters. Its main features include a 12-year warranty, high build-quality, DIY installation, compatibility with any pool type and any pool size, and most importantly, a modern water flow system for optimum water supply through your existing pump. It is highly energy-efficient making it an environmentally friendly product.


- INDUSTRY LEADING PROTECTION: Features an industry leading lifetime limited warranty that includes freeze protection. The longest, most comprehensive warranty coverage in the industry.

- INDUSTRIAL GRADE DURABILITY: Manufactured using a patented over-molding process whereby the headers and riser tubes are molded together forming one solid piece, eliminating seams and welds that can crack with age. This process produces the strongest possible connection and ensures a low maintenance system. Low head-loss riser tubes eliminate high head pressures, maximize efficiency, and protect against clogging. Unique square header shape maximizes flow and increases efficiency.

- SPECIALIZED CLAMPING SYSTEM: Features an innovative clamping system with a proven record of being the best industry method for connecting panels to each other and to PVC piping. Allows panels to be mounted closer together for a more efficient and more attractive system. Also eliminates the need for troubling rubber hoses and metal clamps that require regular rooftop maintenance and replacement.

- STRAPLESS FLUSH MOUNTING: Specialized design and superior mounting method allow for strapless flush mounting to any roof type, minimizing roof penetrations and allowing for normal expansion and contraction as the panels heat up and cool down. Mounting pad system allows for a greater flexibility of mounting locations when installing panels on a tile roof.

- ROOF FRIENDLY INSTALLATION: An innovative mounting system minimizes roof connections, making it the most roof-friendly system available. An individual tube design allows the roof to breathe, preventing moisture buildup and virtually eliminating wind loads. This design allows the panels to withstand much stronger storm winds all without the need of tie-down strapping. Installations are simple, sleek, and aesthetically pleasing.


3. Fafco Solar Bear Solar Pool Heater

Fafco is one of the first American companies related to the development of solar water heating systems. The developer of copolymer blend materials and collector panel designs that made it one of the largest distributors of solar pool heating systems in the US.

In this occasion, we are evaluating the solar bear pool heating system of the brand that has been specially designed for above-ground pools. The system consists of a 4 ft. x 20 ft. large solar collector with 1-1/2” barb connections that can be laid down on the ground next to your pool to reduce the size of the hose needed. However, the FAFCO solar system can also be installed on a mounting racking that can have a tilt angle between 20-45° while facing South to optimize heating and maximize efficiency.

This above-ground solar pool heater produces up to 80,000 BTUs of heat per day, which is enough to heat a 24 ft. round pool 7-10 degrees warmer than their ambient temperature value. Besides, the solar pool heater kit also includes an integral bypass valve, mounting base, cap straps, and rubber tube plugs.

This product is easy to install as it only requires about 30 minutes to complete the installation, and it has received a lot of positive solar pool heater reviews.


- Package includes 3' 9" x 20' Wide Solar Collector with 1-1/2" barb connections, 12 mounting caps, 12 mounting bases, 6 mounting straps, 1 valve handle and 20 rubber tube plugs

- Pool pump circulates pool water through the heated solar collector

- Optimal heating with unobstructed sunlight between 10am and 4pm. Performs most effectively when tilted 10 to 30 degrees to the South

- Mount on the ground, on a rack, or nearby roof

- Additional materials required: 1-1/2" I.D. flexible hose and ground spikes (ground installation)


4. GAME 4714 SolarPRO Contour Solar Pool Heater

This is a different take on exchange heaters, using the greenhouse effect of steam and evaporation to rapidly heat water. It may not look like much, but in a sufficiently sunny environment, this type of heater can handle a 10,000-gallon pool. At least, that’s the claim – I would recommend putting two of them on a pool that large because sunlight is rarely that cooperative in most of the world.

Still, these are powerful, and they’ll make as much possible use as they can out of the energy available. The heat inside the chamber also reduces the risk of algae or other problems as well, making them a relatively low-maintenance approach to the technology.


- For pools up to 10,000 gallons, Solar Dome Heater creates "Green House" effect to increase heat transfer

- Water Capacity 1.5 gallon. Heats 5 degrees Fahrenheit in 6 days.

- 1.5 HP Pump, upto 19 GPM flow rate

- Injection molded, foldable legs

- Adapters for Intex & Best way pools included


5. Game 4721-BB Curve Solar Pool Heater

Game’s 4721-BB solar heater features a unique curve design that maximizes heat collection. Whether you have an above ground or in-ground swimming pool, this heater will do a good job in heating it.

The solar pool heater can raise the temperature of an 8000-gallon pool by 5 degrees in 4 days. The heater achieves this by its unique curve design. The curve design has more curve design than the conventional plain design. As a result, it collects more heat and raises the temperature of your pool.

Besides, it comes with adjustable and foldable legs. You can adjust the legs and place the heater in a position that has the maximum sunlight exposure. Additionally, the heater has a clear cover that traps heat.

Game has designed this solar pool heater with high-quality materials. As a result, the heater is highly durable. It can withstand regular exposure to sunlight and other outdoor elements.

It is compact and you can install it easily anywhere. It will only consume less space. Besides, it is compatible with Intex, Bestways brands, and most other above and inground pools.

The heater comes with treaded ports giving you flexible plumbing options. The kit includes accessories such as Intex adapters and 2 hoses and clamps.


- Unique curved design for maximum sunlight exposure

- Adjustable legs for positioning

- Clear cover on the surface traps heat

- Raises temperature of 8,000-gallon pool by 5 degrees in 4 days

- Suitable for above and inground pools

- Accessories include Intex adapters and 2 hoses and clamps


If you have any other questions about pool and spa products please do let us know - we are here to help!

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