How to select an above ground pool heater – electricity usage by country


Solar blankets or covers are made of a plastic material that is similar to bubble wrap and are designed to retain heat from the sun, a heater or both. They also shield your pool from cool winds and lower nighttime air temperatures which draw away heat. Solar covers float on the surface of the water when the pool is not in use. They come in blue and clear materials, the blue being thinner and less expensive. The clear solar blankets are preferred because they’re not only thicker but also allow more sunlight to pass through the material. This helps to increase your pool temperature as well as prevent the loss of accumulated heat. Many manufacturers of heaters and heat pumps recommend the use of a solar cover for more efficient heating. You can definitely decrease the expense of running a heater by using it in conjunction with a solar cover. If you are in a warm climate with a pool that gets a lot of sun exposure, you might want to try using a solar blanket first, without a heater. It might retain enough heat to keep your pool at a temperature comfortable to you. But if it doesn’t, you can still use the blanket along with a heater for increased efficiency.

Solar covers come in a number of common round or oval sizes for above ground pools. The installation of a solar cover is fairly simple since it just needs to rest bubble side down on the surface of the water and does not have to be attached to the deck or pool wall. But since these covers can be cumbersome and difficult to move when wet, many pool owners employ solar reels. The reel is a long tube attached to a base with a hand crank that is used to easily roll up the solar blanket and store it out of the way when the pool is in use. Aboveground pool solar reels attach to the top rail of the pool wall and are designed to swing to the side when you want to use the pool. Another option for temporary storage of a solar blanket is a handy product called the Solar Saddle. Instead of a reel, the Solar Saddle consists of five mounting brackets that attach to the top rail of the pool. When you want to uncover and use the pool, you simply fold up the solar blanket and roll it over the top rail to rest in the brackets.

To the guy who has a 1 HP pump whose solar panels aren’t doing the job past 72 degrees. You are on the right track by slowing down the water you will allow it to absorb more heat before returning to the pool. Another solution is to link 2 panels via hose or pvc pipe or get a larger panel. If this is prohibitive in cost you can also go with a PVC ball valve and throttle your flow. Just be sure you have good connections because the higher pressure behind the valve can make a hose either burst or an improperly glued pvc pipe to begin spraying water. I had a 20 foot by 4 foot black solar panel on my roof that was piped with PVC and I had to install bypass valves around the panel due to the water in the pool approaching close to 90 deg. F. And I live in NY on Long Island, not a desert nor southern state! Just be sure to leave the return valve open back to the pool even if you have the bypass open to recirc back to the pool because if isolated, the water can build pressure in the panel and start pooping holes in the plastic, which just ruins your setup. Leaving the return valve open will allow for expansion and alleviate that problem.