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The Best Solar Heaters for Above Ground Pool for 2023

Written by Eddie B. Robinson / Checked by Justin Tucker

In the cold weather, it can be uncomfortable to swim in your above ground pool. Thanks to innovation that you can now take advantage of the best solar heater for above ground pool. It is a topnotch product that can increase the pool water’s temperature, ensuring your loved ones will feel comfortable even on a chilly day.

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However, it can be hard to choose among the solar heaters available on the market. Simply, there are too many of them, each with different features and specifications. That is why we’ve put up this buying guide. We’d like to help you pick among the top suggestions so that you can compare your options better later. Keep reading in the following sections.

Top 1 Top 2 Top 3
Preview GAME 4721-BB

SunHeater S120U

Fafco NS725

Dimensions 27.56 x 5.91 x 44.88 inches 240 x 27 x 3 inches 55 x 15 x 15 inches
Weight 12.45 lbs 18 lbs 40 lbs
Temp Rating +5°F in 4 Days up to 15°F up to 10°F
Details Details Details


List of Top-Tier Solar Heater For Above Ground Pool Reviews

1. GAME SolarPRO Solar Pool Heater

  • Made of premium quality materials
  • Has a unique curve shape for maximum sunlight exposure
  • Adjustable and foldable legs
  • Clean cover which locks in heat
  • Beautiful design
  • Hose is a little short

If you are on the lookout for a high-quality above ground pool solar heater for your above-ground pool, I would highly recommend that you check out the GAME SolarPRO solar heater. GAME is known in the industry for manufacturing and designing high-quality products that are guaranteed to do its job.

I prefer the GAME SolarPRO solar heater because of its quality and optimal heating performance, like the SolarPro Curve. This solar heater is made of premium quality materials. It is durable and proven and tested to withstand exposure to extreme outside conditions and other elements.

I also like the curved design of the GAME SolarPRO solar heater. It has been engineered with a unique curve shape. Its shape enables it to maximize heat collection. The SolarPro Curve is designed with a solid blow-molded plastic frame with a clean cover. This property locks in more heat and deflects cooling winds.

With its curve shape and efficient heating surface, this solar heater is able to increase the temperature of the pool by 5 degrees Fahrenheit in 4 days.

The adjustable and foldable legs in the GAME SolarPRO solar pool heater also offers a great advantage. You can set and adjust the pool heater in the angle and direction that offer maximum sunlight exposure for its uncompromised performance.

The shape and overall design of the GAME SolarPRO solar pool heater is a plus. It has a beautiful design and looks good with the landscape.

However, as to its downside, the hoses of the GAME SolarPRO solar heater can be a little longer for better placement and set up. But overall, the GAME solarPRO solar pool heater is an excellent product at a reasonable price. It is made of quality materials and has attractive features for optimal performance. This SolarPro Curve heater is an excellent option for those who are looking for a green option of heating their above-ground pools without breaking the bank.

2. Sunheater S120U Solar Pool Heater

  • Increases pool temperature by 10 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Durable construction for guaranteed longevity of the heater
  • Patented web design for maximum sunlight exposure
  • Eco-friendly and affordable
  • Easy to install and use
  • Does not have a good warranty

Now another trusted brand for a solar heater for above ground swimming pool in the industry is SunHeater. One of their great products in the market today is the SunHeater S120U universal solar pool heater. SunHeater is among the brands you can trust to deliver you with well-made products that we can guarantee reliable performance.

The SunHeater S120U universal solar heater is a great choice. It is suitable for any above-ground or in ground pools. If exposed to maximum sunlight, you can expect it to increase pool temperature by 6 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. You can easily enjoy your pool at any season and extend your summer with this heater.

The quality of the SunHeater S120U universal solar heater is also uncompromised. It is made of high-grade and durable materials. The solar above ground pool heater is manufactured with the most suitable artistry to ensure a quality product. It can withstand any outside weather conditions and elements to which may be exposed.

The SunHeater S120U universal solar heater offers maximum performance. Its patented web design allows more surface area to be exposed to sunlight. It enables the heater to harness more energy and heat to increase the pool temperature efficiently.

The DIY installation process of the SunHeater S120U universal solar heater is also an advantage. Installation is simple and without much hassle. Everything you need is included in the package, and it even provides a manual to guide you. It can be installed on a fence, racks, and roof – anywhere where it can get optimal sunlight exposure.

But overall, I think the SunHeater S120U universal solar heater is a great product, and I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good solar heater. It is reliable, affordable, and energy-efficient. It does its job well and all at an affordable price point.

However, the downside of this universal solar heater is that it does not have a good warranty, which some customers may not prefer.

3. Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System

  • Made of durable UV stabilized polyethylene material
  • Easy installation process
  • Beautiful design
  • Eco-friendly
  • Good 10-year warranty
  • Some users ended up using its warranty

Are you trying to achieve the right solar heat for above ground pools? The Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System is another reliable and cost-effective solar pool heater for your above-ground pool. Fafco is another reputable brand that is committed to delivering only quality and heavy-duty products to its customers.

The Fafco solar bear heating system is made of a UV stabilized polyethylene. This material is known for its durability. It is sturdy and can withstand extreme weather conditions for a solar pool heater that is guaranteed to last.

The Fafco solar pool heater for above-ground pools is energy-efficient, which I prefer. It is equipped with an efficient solar panel that harnesses energy from the sun to increase the temperature of your pool. It is then vital to place your panel in an area with maximum sunlight exposure.

I also like how easy it is to install the Fafco solar pool heater. Everything you need in the installation process is included in the package for your convenience. It also consists of a manual for your reference. You can do the installation yourself without much hassle. You can mount it on your roof, on the ground, or a rack.

Probably one of my most favorite thing about the Fafco solar heater is a good warranty. This heater comes with a 10-year warranty so you can be more confident with your purchase. If you encounter any problems or issues with your heater, Falco’s responsive customer service is there to accommodate you.

But still, I can say that the Fafco solar heater is a great product and the perfect choice for those who are after quality and performance but does not want to spend too much. It comes from a reputable brand so you can trust its quality. This product is reliable, affordable, and, most importantly, eco-friendly. It is definitely worth the value of your money.

However, this solar pool heater also has a downside. Some users did end up using the warranty of this product for above-ground pools.

4. SunHeater WS220P Pool Heating System

  • Raises swimming pool temperature by 15℉
  • Extra-large surface area (40 square feet) to accommodate bigger pools
  • Heavy-duty polypropylene heating panels
  • Sturdy tubing for improved durability
  • Hassle-free installation with included hardware
  • Somewhat pricey

Heating above ground pool units does not have to entail cumbersome work and costly maintenance. Effortless to set up, The SunHeater WS220P promises to heat the swimming pool’s water temperature reliably without requiring electricity.

I like this solar pool heater’s simple design, belying its capability to increase water temperatures by 15℉. Although real-world results might vary, I am convinced this product does an excellent job of extending swimming pool times until late autumn. My kids will not shiver when diving into the pool with their friends during chilly weekends.

This product can cover a surface area of up to 40 square feet. In other words, one pair of these heaters are enough for 24’ above ground pool units or 15’×30’ oval swimming pools. For the extra-large 18’x34 oval unit at my house, I only need to equip four heating panels.

I am impressed with this product’s thoughtful design. The polypropylene material is thicker than my existing solar pool heating panel, giving me peace of mind about its longevity.

I also commend the rigid tubing, which supports the heating panel while allowing optimum contraction and expansion to mitigate the effects of air temperature fluctuations.

The included installation hardware, such as plumbing fixtures, makes setting up the solar heating unit really easy for me. In addition, connecting this product to my residential water filtration system is a cinch without causing a significant drop in water pressure.

However, it’s hard not to disagree with the sentiment that this above ground swimming pool heater is somewhat overpriced, considering it only has a simple polypropylene design.

Overall, most homeowners do not consider this product’s price a deal-breaker. More importantly, its ability to raise and maintain the water temperature at comfortable levels is spot-on. This solar heater’s ease of installation, broad surface area, and heavy-duty construction are sufficient to make it an excellent choice for homeowners.

5. XtremepowerUS Solar Pool Heater

  • Eco-friendly and energy-efficient
  • Made with high-grade materials and best artistry
  • Made of lightweight, flexible, durable black polypropylene
  • Beautiful design
  • Affordable
  • The installation process of this heater may be a little complicated

Another reliable above-ground pools heater in the market today is the XtremepowerUS above-ground swimming pool solar heater. If you want to have an eco-friendly way to increase the temperature of your pool without necessarily spending way off your budget, then this product is the perfect one for you.

The XtremepowerUS solar heater works by circulating your pool water from your pumps and returning it to the pool once heated. It is entirely environment-friendly and operates using just the energy from the sun. It is low-cost and at the same time, energy-efficient.

You can never go wrong with the quality of the XtremepowerUS heater for above-ground pools. It is made to last and withstand any outside weather conditions to which it may be exposed. If you want a product that has guaranteed longevity, then this is your perfect choice.

The quality of its panel is guaranteed and is ideal for long-term use. It is made of lightweight, flexible, durable black polypropylene. Its panel tube construction also had a more substantial surface area-efficient for harnessing more heat.

I also like the beautiful appearance of the XtremepowerUS solar pool heater. Its design blends well with the landscape of your house.

Still, I think that the XtremepowerUS solar heater is an excellent option for a solar pool heater. It is durable and works well in heating the water. It offers a simple and eco-friendly way of heating your pool water. It is an excellent above-ground pools product for your money’s value.

However, the downside of the XtremepowerUS solar heater for above-ground pools is that its installation process can be a little complicated. You have to be careful with the instructions to ensure that you are doing it correctly and setting it up in the right place.

6. Kokido Solar Pool Heater

  • Beautiful appearance
  • Eco-friendly and energy-efficient
  • Durable construction that is sure to last
  • Had an integrated rack for easy setup and maximum sun exposure
  • Easy to install
  • Hose size may not be suitable for standard pools

If you are on the hunt for a well-made solar pool heater you can trust, then I would suggest that you try the Kokido Keops Solar Dome above-ground heater. Kokido is another reputable brand in the industry. They deliver beautifully designed and high-quality products with the customer’s satisfaction in mind.

I prefer the Kokido solar pool water heater because it is energy-efficient. It is equipped with high-grade solar panels and increases pool temperature using just the energy from the sun. This heater is a good investment. Extend your summer and enjoy your above-ground pools even during the colder months with this solar heater.

The Kokido solar pool heater is also cost-effective. Its construction is made of durable materials. It is designed to withstand exposure to different outside weather conditions. Its longevity guaranteed and will save you the money from buying frequent replacements.

I also like that the Kokido solar pool heater has an integrated rack. I find it useful and convenient. It enables you to set up your heater at an angle that ensures maximum sunlight exposure for the optimal performance of your heater.

The Kokido solar pool water heater also has an easy installation process. I like how most mounting hardware and tools are already included in the package. It is convenient and hassles free. A user manual is also provided, which is very helpful.

The design of the Kokido solar pool water heater is also a plus. It has a beautiful appearance that blends well with its surroundings.

Despite that, I would highly suggest that you try this product. It is of good quality, eco-friendly and is sure to last.

However, the downside of the Kokido solar pool water heater is that the hose size may not be suitable for some pools. But this can be easily replaced, so you don’t have to worry.

7. SmartPool Solar Pool Water Heating System

  • Efficiently raises pool temperature by 6 to 10 degrees
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to install
  • Eco-friendly and energy-efficient
  • Beautifully designed
  • Weather conditions can affect the efficiency of the pool heater

Just like when looking for solar panels for above ground pool, you should look for quality above ground heater. For that, you have another trusted solar pool water heater. It is the SmartPool solar pool water heating system. With this solar heater, you can enjoy your pool even on the colder seasons of the year. This heater efficiently raises the temperature of the pool water by 6 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit if exposed to optimal sunlight.

I like the quality of the SmartPool solar pool heater. It is made of highly durable polypropylene for a product that is sure to last. It also has a fiberglass reinforced over-molded header for even more durability.

I also like the Tube-on-web design of the SmartPool solar pool heater. Its design allows more surface area of each heating tube to be more exposed to the sun for more efficient performance. It is also equipped with wind vents to ensure the efficiency of the panel even during windy outside conditions.

The installation process of the SmartPool solar pool heater is also simple and easy, which I prefer. It comes with the mounting hardware you need. A user manual is also included to serve as your guide. Just mount this heater on a surface with maximum sunlight exposure, and you are good to go.

Another plus of the SmartPool solar pool heater is its beautiful design. Not only is it durable, but it also looks gorgeous for your outdoors. It is definitely a good investment and is sure to last you for many seasons.

Despite that, I think the SmartPool solar pool heater is a good investment. It is of high quality and affordable. It works well under maximum sunlight. Even better is that it works without harming the environment. You can rely on this topnotch solar heating for above ground pool for its robust features and heavy-duty performance.

The SmartPool solar pool heater, however, also has its disadvantage. Since this solar heater works using sunlight, it may not efficiently raise pool temperature under gloomy or dull weather. It is then essential to place this product in an area with direct sunlight access.

8. Doheny’s Above Ground Solar Heating Systems

  • Heats water up to 15 degrees
  • Connects easily to water pumps
  • Requires no maintenance
  • Easy installation
  • 5-years warranty
  • It takes up a lot of space

Plunge in your pool all year round with the budget friendly, Doheny’s Above Ground Solar heating system. It is no wonder that this brand and model has been rated with impressive stars because of its many features, advantages, and benefits. What I like most about this is it is effortless to install. Hooking it up to your current water pump system is a cinch. Even people challenged with following instructions will find the installation system of Doheny’s to be a no brainer.

I highly recommend this particular product because it works passively and instantly. Since it relies on solar energy coming from the sun, you practically don’t need to do anything after installation. It works on its own, and it requires minimal to zero maintenance. It does its ultimate purpose of heating your water by an average of 10 degrees and up to as much as 15 degrees with more intensity coming from the sun.
More significant than the rest of the solar heating systems trending right now, it will make its presence known. Still, its massive size has a purpose and can’t be taken against its overall performance. Size means space, and this warmer needs space. It requires no electricity, so compromising with the size is not too bad at all.

Another star for the polypropylene solar heating collector is it comes with a 5-year warranty, which I appreciate. Five years is way enough to test it and check for its quality. Another reason it earns a thumbs-up is that the brand offers you the option to install the solar heater in a sloped mounting and racking kit and complete with brackets, straps, and screws. It can work with this kind of set up without the need for further adjustments from your end.

But then, it might take up much space. Still, it is a good purchase that comes with a layer of 5-years security and functionality to boot. It is economical and won’t get a massive chunk from the budget, which makes it a winner.

9. Goplus Solar Dome Swimming Pool Heater Above Ground

  • Compact
  • Simple and easy to setup
  • Budget-friendly
  • Environment-friendly
  • Comes with hose and protective cover
  • Minimal difference in increasing the water temperature

Are you tired of your unappealing ice-cold pool sitting there and taking away all the fun that you could have any day anytime? Now, you can dip and enjoy your pool any time you want with the Goplus Solar Dome solar pool heater for above ground pools. The above the ground heater doesn’t use any gas or electricity. It uses an all-environmentally friendly system of utilizing the sun and its solar energy.

The Goplus Solar Dome is designed to magnify the solar energy through the heater’s clear lens then captured by its black coiled hoses that carry the pool water. It is somehow comparable to the greenhouse effect. Also, I recommend the polypropylene materials used, which guarantees it to be more efficient.

What’s careful about the Goplus Solar Dome is although the name sounds massive, it just measures over 22 inches across and weighs 11 pounds. It is also one of the most affordable heaters out in the market.

I like how non-complicated is the system with the Goplus. In its simplest structure, the solar pool water warmed by the dome is circulated back to your pool via the pump and filter system. This system is super space-saving, and at the same time, it looks aesthetically lovely, especially if you compare it to other solar panels. It blends naturally without being intimidating.

Of course, the bigger your pool is, the more domes you will be needed, but again, we go back to the simplicity of the simple. You can connect additional domes by the hoses on each end. If you need more than three, then go for a T-bypass system so as not to worry about too much pressure.

If you want to do your share in going green, this is the perfect pool heater for you. Swim in warmer water thanks to this compact heater without having to put a dent on your finances.

Overall, it is still a decent solar pool heater because it is budget-friendly and compact. It is also easy to install and comes with a protective cover and hose.

The downside of the GoPLus Solar Dome is it is only capable of warming the water temperature of up to only 3 to 5 degrees.

10. Intex 28685E

  • Budget-friendly
  • Energy efficient
  • Environment-friendly
  • Easy installation
  • Low maintenance
  • Inclusive for Intex pools, adaptors, and pumps
  • Heating time may take an hour or more

One of the first things you will notice is the size of the Intex 28685E Above Ground Swimming Pool Water Heater. It is very subtle, and despite its uncomplicatedness, I am happy with its performance and how it works well for cash-strapped folks like me. You can rely on the solar panels for above ground swimming pools because of its amazing features.

At 47 x 47 inches, this vinyl solar heater mat can increase your pool water temperature by as much as 5° ~ 9° F depending on weather conditions. It is simple to use, and the setup is straight to the point. The first pre-requisite, though, is you must have an Intex pool. With the mats connected directly to an Intex pump, it will then circulate the water back into the pool for heat modification.

Another point goes to this heater because of its no drama installation. It is easy to install even for non-mechanical people, and it comes with a 32mm hose attachment and adapters. Its design is also quite notable with its horizontal tube layout, which makes it very convenient to hook up to the filter pumps. It doesn’t require much physical effort to set it up, but it would need a little space for installation.

Depending on the size of the pool, you can join several mats together, which is very smart so you can be provided with more heating as needed. It is working so long as it is used correctly.

Still, if every factor works for you, then it is a good buy, and it gets the job done. Overall, it does its primary purpose of warming the water pool using the hassle-free solar heating mats. Coming in 2 packs per box, it is a relatively a right size for starters. As a shopper, you get a good taste of how it works for you without the pressure of committing to the product.

However, it can be exclusive only for Intex. It might be a little fragile, and the speed of the temperature increase dramatically depends on the intensity of the sunlight.

GAME 4513 SolarPro XD2 (Outdated)

  • Increases water temperature by 10 degree Fahrenheit
  • Durable
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Beautiful design
  • Eco-friendly
  • More expensive than other models

The GAME 4513 SolarPro XD2 is one of the top-tier solar heaters in the market today. It is designed to increase the temperature of your above-ground pools so you can thoroughly enjoy your pool even in the colder months of the year.

I like the GAME 4513 SolarPro XD2 like the Game 4721 SolarPro curve solar pool heater because of its optimal heating performance. If it receives maximum sunlight exposure, it can increase the temperature of your pool water by 10 degrees in 3 to 8 days.

What makes this even more appealing is the fact that you don’t have to pay for additional electricity charges. It entirely operates with just the energy it gets from the sun. It is entirely eco-friendly and energy-efficient. It provides you an excellent green option for heating your pool. You can reduce your carbon footprint by using this product.

You can also trust the quality of the GAME 4513 SolarPro XD2 solar heater for a product that is sure to last. It is made of durable and reliable materials. It can withstand outside elements. You never have to worry about buying frequent replacements because this product is designed for longevity.

The GAME 4513 SolarPro XD2 solar heater is also easy to install for the user’s convenience. It comes with the mounting hardware needed and a user manual to serve as a reference. Installation is hassle-free and can be done fast and efficiently.

The design of the GAME 4513 SolarPro XD2 solar heater is another great feature of this product. It is much more beautifully designed as compared to other products. It is compact, which also conveniently saves much-needed space.

The GAME 4513 solar heater is well-made and does what it is intended. It is definitely a good investment for those who are looking for a high-quality heater.

However, the GAME 4513 SolarPro XD2 solar heater also has a downside. It is more expensive compared to other models. But if it’s in your budget, then you might want to check it out.

What Is A Solar Heater For Above Ground Pool Who This Is For


A backyard swimming pool is now a significant feature in many modern homes. It can make for more fun summers for everyone in the family. Unfortunately, with the changing of the season also comes a change in water temperature. Homeowners should have a system in place to ensure the ideal temperature of the water in the swimming pool.

The best solar heater for above ground pool is similar to any water heating system. It raises the temperature of water to make it more comfortable to swim in. Water passes through several components of the solar heater. These components heat the water before it goes back into the above ground swimming pool. The difference with other water heating mechanisms is that a solar heater draws its energy from the sun.

Some systems require electricity to run the mechanism that operates the heating element. Other systems rely on the warm ground and air to heat the water. There are also those that use available gas fumes. All of these produce energy that will heat the water in the pool.

Solar-powered swimming pool heaters are a more efficient way to warm up the water in your above ground pool. It is a more practical way, too, since it will not rely on electricity. The only downside is that the solar heater is very dependent on maximum exposure to the rays of the sun. An overcast sky can diminish the water-warming ability of the solar heater.

Solar heaters are perfect for homeowners who want a more energy-efficient system of heating their swimming pool water. It is also the right choice for those who wish to contribute to the reduction of carbon gases in the environment. The system is also ideal for those who live in places where there is plenty of sunshine all day long.

How Does It Work

The way a solar heater for above ground pool works is similar to any water heating system. They only differ in the energy source that will propel the pool water through the system.

An essential component of such a system is the solar energy collectors. These are similar to the solar panels or photovoltaic panels of traditional solar power systems. Many of these energy collectors get mounted on the roof or get positioned on the side of the above ground pool.

One difference between these solar collectors and photovoltaic panels is the presence of tubes in the former. It is necessary to convey water from the pool. As the water passes through the tubes in the solar energy collector, it absorbs heat from the collector itself.

Let us follow the journey of your above ground pool water. Everything starts in the swimming pool, where water gets pumped through the built-in filter. This removes any contaminants in the water. From the screen, the water goes through the tubes in the solar energy collectors. The heat from these tubes warms up the water before they return to the above ground pool.

Advanced solar pool heaters come with automated sensors. These technologies monitor the water temperature in the solar energy collectors. The sensors compare the temperature readings to the preferred water temperature of the user.

The automated sensors work together with water flow control valves. If the system senses that the water coming from the pool is cold, the solar heater will open the valves to allow more warm water to move into the pool. On the other hand, if the pool water is already hot, then the system will close the valve to prevent heating the pool water any further.

This system of feedback controls allows the solar pool heater to provide you with the right water temperature for your swimming pool needs.

What Are The Different Types Of Above Ground Pool Solar Heater


A solar heater for above ground pool will often have a few key components. There are a pump and filter to move cold water from the pool and through the system. There are also a series of tubes going to the solar energy collectors. In between these components is a control mechanism. Given that the setup is almost the same across different solar pool heaters, they will only differ in the type of solar energy collectors. Let us go through these different types before you shop around for above ground swimming pool solar heaters

  • Solid Solar Panels

These are similar to the photovoltaic panels in traditional solar power systems. The solar energy that such systems harvest is at its peak when the angle of the board is perpendicular to the rays of the sun. Hence, this solar pool heater can provide you with optimum performance at noon. As soon as the angle of the sunlight changes from 90 degrees, the performance of the system also diminishes.

There is also the risk of getting the solar panel getting blown by the wind. That is why many municipalities require the installation of additional security straps to keep the panels from being blown away. The plus of using solid solar panels for heating your above ground pool is its practicality. These systems are less expensive than other solar pool heaters.

  • Individual Solar Tube Panels

This type of above ground pool solar heater comes with several individual tubes arranged side by side. It addresses the concerns raised in solid solar panels, such as the wind blowing it away. With the correct installation, this type of solar energy collector can provide you with a more durable system.

It is more efficient compared to other types. The individual tubes absorb heat. It then transmits the heat to a solution in the tubes. The heated solution goes to a heat exchanger where it transfers the heat to the pool water.

  • Glazed Panels and Non-Glazed Panels

One can also classify solar pool heaters depending on whether they are glazed or not. Glazed solar panels are ideal for those who live in colder climates. These systems increase their ability to harness solar energy to warm up a colder water temperature.

Those living in warm climates will do well with non-glazed pool solar panels. So, if you live in Florida, a non-glazed solar panel would make more sense. These options are more affordable, while also giving you the kind of water heating you need.

If you need more information about pool heater products, we have a list of the top-rated solar pool ionizers for your reference. Also check the top-tier solar shower for the correct choice.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Solar Heat For Above Ground Pools

Solar pool heaters, such as floating solar pool heater, are becoming the preferred method of keeping the family pool warm and comfy all year round. Unfortunately, there are still some people who are not convinced that this is the way to go. If you are one of these home owners, then a look at the advantages and disadvantages of solar pool heaters should help you make the right decision.

Advantages of Solar Pool Heaters

Power Source is Free

The most important advantage of a solar pool heater, such as the DIY solar pool heater, is the energy savings you get. Conventional pool heating systems that require either electricity or natural gas entail expenditure. You will have to pay for the power every time you plug your heater into the outlet. You will also pay for the natural gas that you will need to pump hot water into your pool. The energy source of a solar heater for an above ground pool is the sun. Sunlight is free. You will never have to pay for it to heat the water in your pool.

Friendly to the Environment

The non-reliance on either electricity or natural gas can also reduce the impact of these energy sources in the environment. You may think that your contribution to a cleaner environment is almost negligible. That may be true. However, it is a lot better than contributing to the environment’s continued deterioration.

Does Not Require Extensive Maintenance

As long as you get a professional to install the solar pool heater, you should never worry about its maintenance. Other pool heating systems require periodic maintenance. Not only do these entail a lot of energy needed for their repairs and maintenance, they are also costly. A good quality solar pool heater can run for many years without requiring substantial maintenance or repairs.

Easy to Install

Did you know that you have to be right in plumbing, gas, and electricity for you to install a gas pool heater? You do not need to be a specialist to install a solar pool heater. Many of these products already come with instructions on how you can set it up yourself. You can look at the installation of a solar pool heater as nothing more than a DIY project you can perform on Saturday.

Ideal Water Temperatures All the Time

Many solar heaters for above ground pools today already come with controllers. You can set your desired water temperature, and the system does the rest. All you need now is to get ready with your swimming apparel. Your solar pool heater will ensure you have the right water temperature every time.

Disadvantages of Solar Heaters for Above Ground Pools

The only downside of this technology is the space that it requires for mounting the solar collectors. In an ideal scenario, the solar collectors should be at least half the size of your swimming pool. The good news is that there are now manufacturers that can customize the solar collectors for your needs. There are also other ways you can go around the problem to make sure that you have a more efficient above ground pool heating system.

How We Picked And Tested


Choosing a solar heater for the pool can be tricky. It is often the case among people who are new to the concept of using clean and renewable energy to heat their pools. We picked and tested some of the top-tier solar pool heaters on the market to make it easier for you to choose. Here are the things we considered and tested.

  • Clarity of Installation Instructions

One of the advantages of solar pool heaters is that they are very to install. It can only happen if the instruction manual is written in a clear and non-technical manner. Some manufacturers use vague and too technical terms. Some do not provide diagrams, drawings, or pictures to assist in the installation.

As such, we checked the manuals of these products for clarity of installation instructions. They should be straightforward to understand and should come with pictures, drawings, or diagrams whenever appropriate.

  • Size of the Solar Collectors

Each family has its size of above ground swimming pool. Some are up to 33 feet across. Rectangular pools can reach up to 44 feet or longer. The size of the solar collectors should be about half that of the above ground pool.

Hence, we made sure that the products have information on the size of a pool on which they can work. The product should have this information printed on its packaging. This way, buyers will know if the product is right for their pool or not.

  • Ability to Raise Water Temperature

Solar heaters for above ground pools can raise the water temperature by about 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. It is for an average unit. High-end units can elevate the heat of the pool water by up to 15 degrees. This is warm enough to make your swim a lot more enjoyable.

We checked the water temperature settings of the solar pool heaters under consideration. We scrapped any device that cannot raise the water temperature by at least 8 degrees from our list. It was also vital that we look for any information that will support the company’s claim.

  • Quality of Construction

A solar pool heater has several components. It includes a controller, a collector, and a pump and filter. There are also tubes and hoses in between these components. It is crucial to ascertain the quality of the construction of these individual components. Important factors are UV resistance, corrosion resistance, and rust resistance. The parts should also be made of high-quality and industrial-grade materials.

Our team evaluated every component of the different solar pool heaters. If any of these components for a particular product had questionable quality, we ticked them off from our list.

  • Ease of Use

Heating the water in your above ground pool should not require elbow grease. The controller should be easy enough to use or operate. If it is complicated, then it will take the fun from your pool time.

We checked each product for ease of use. We also considered the weight of portable solar pool heaters. If it is too heavy, then it would be quite challenging to carry it from the house and by the poolside.

Frequently Asked Questions


What size solar pool heater do I need to heat my above ground pool?

Experts recommend that a solar pool heater’s size should be half the above-ground pool’s surface area, regardless of whether the system includes solar tubing, photovoltaic cell panels, or both. For example, a 250-square-foot roof solar heater for pool would be sufficient for a 500-square-foot swimming pool.

You can also observe the same recommendation for a DIY solar heater: it must be at least half the size of the above-ground swimming pool. Likewise, you can combine several small solar heating systems until they can cover 50% of your pool surface.

How many solar panels does it take to heat a swimming pool?

The recommendation is a solar panel array of about half the swimming pool’s surface area. For example, a 400-square-foot solar heating system is necessary for an 800-square-foot swimming pool. You can use this “ideal” dimension to calculate how many solar panels you will need to create swimming pools solar heaters.

Suppose a solar panel measures 4’×12.5’, meaning its surface area is 50 square feet. In other words, you’ll need eight 50-square-foot solar panels to create a sufficient heating system for an 800-square-foot swimming pool.

How much warmer does solar heating make a pool?

Solar pool heating pads can raise swimming pool water temperature by at least 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, provided you observe the correct sizing. However, it is worth noting that solar heaters’ efficiency typically drops on cloudy days and at night.

Are solar-heated pools warm in winter?

Unfortunately, solar-heated pools can’t stay warm in winter. Even with the heating panels, the difference will be negligible in the US winter’s freezing temperatures, which is around 33.2℉. However, the water temperature should be around 78-86℉ for comfortable swimming.

As mentioned above, a solar heating system for inground pool can raise the water temperature by around 10-20℉. In other words, it’ll be impossible to heat water to a comfortable level during winter using solar heaters alone.

How long does pool solar heating last?

High-quality swimming pool solar heating systems, including portable solar pool heaters, have an average lifespan of 20 to 25 years. Like other products, a solar pool heater’s durability relies on proper maintenance for optimized durability.

Exposure to environmental elements can also impact the solar pool heater’s longevity. For example, strong winds can turn loose tree branches into projectiles, damaging the system’s solar panels. Dust buildup and debris can also scratch the photovoltaic cell surface, adversely affecting the solar system’s light-gathering performance.

What are the most trusted above ground pool solar heater brands?

If you’re looking to get the most out of your purchase for an above ground pool heater, you should also check the brand. Some of those we found reputable in the space are GAME SolarPRO, XtremepowerUS, Fafco, and Kokido, among other heaters that we have featured earlier. They are renowned brands that commit to the satisfaction of their customers and the quality of their products.

How can I heat my above ground pool fast?             

The fastest way to heat a pool is by using a gas pool heater. It works like an oven or a grill that burns gas. The downside to such a system is that they are not cost-efficient in the long run. True, they are less expensive than other methods. However, the cost of operating them can be up to 3 times more expensive.

The second way to heat a pool is by using a heat pump. These systems strike a right balance between cost-effectiveness and speed of heating. Homeowners can save up to 60 percent compared to conventional gas heaters. The downside is that their ability to generate heat can take a downturn if the environmental temperature dips below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Solar pool heaters provide the third fastest method to increase the temperature of your above ground pool. It is a cost-effective solution that can provide you with the lowest operating cost every month. It offsets the cost of installing the system as high-end units can be costly. The problem with such technologies is that they are reliant on sunlight. Without several hours of functional daylight, it would be quite impossible to heat a pool.

How much does an above ground solar pool heater cost?             

A 4 x 20-ft ground-mounted solar collector for an above ground pool is affordable depending on the brand. Some feature individual solar tubes that often come in a coiled formation. These products can be more expensive. These products are very different from solar heaters intended for in-ground swimming pools. The prices also vary depending on the features that each product has, as well as a few other things. What is clear is that the size of the collector will have an impact on the price of the above ground solar pool heater.

How do you make a solar heater for an above ground pool?       

There are myriad ways you can heat the water in your above ground swimming pool. The fastest and easiest way to do it is by purchasing a solar pool heater that you can install yourself. You can have these for a few hundred dollars. They already come with all the hardware you will need to install the device.

If you have a DIY spirit, then you can make a very simple solar heater for your pool. All you need is a very long vinyl irrigation hose. You can start with about 200 feet or so. This will serve as the component that gets exposed to the sun. You might want to coil the hose tightly to save space. Connect one end of the hose to your above ground pool pump. Connect the other end of the hose to a water fixture that ends in the above ground pool. You have now created a circuit.

Your pump will draw water from the pool. It pushes this water through the coiled irrigation hose. Since the hose gets exposed to direct sunlight, it should raise the temperature of the water inside the hose. The warmed water then goes into the pool. This project is one of the simplest ways you can bring warm water into your above ground pool.

What is the warranty?            

Manufacturers always provide a warranty for their products. Unfortunately, the warranty period often differs from brand to brand. Some companies provide a 10-year warranty on their above ground pool solar heaters. Some offer a 2-year warranty. Still, some brands do not provide any information on their products’ guarantees. It would be best to avoid these brands altogether. A reputable company will always stand by the quality of its products. The warranty period of a particular product is a reflection of that product’s quality. The longer the warranty period, the more confident you will be about the quality of the solar pool heater.

How to install and use?         

All solar pool heaters come with an instruction manual. Most are very easy to read, while others can be very confusing. With or without these instruction manuals, however, installing and using a solar pool heater is very easy.

Place the solar collector in a suitable location. It can be beside your above ground pool or mounted on a roof. Make sure that the solar collectors are under direct sunlight. Connect one of the hoses to your swimming pool pump. If the product came with a controller, you could connect this, too. Connect the other hose to the solar collector and place the end into the above ground pool.

The setup is such that the pump will draw water from the above ground pool, move it to the solar collectors, and return it to the pool. Set the desired water temperature using the controller. You can also set the time that the system will be running. Some products already come with an auto-shutoff mechanism. It allows the system to cease delivering hot water to the pool if it senses that the water temperature is already higher than the desired temperature. It is the essential operation of an above ground pool solar heater.

How to care & clean?               

Before you attempt to clean and perform maintenance checks on your above ground pool solar heater, it is wise to read the manual first. Each company has its way of maintaining and cleaning their products. In cases where the care of the product is not explicit, then you should observe general care guidelines.

Always check fittings for looseness and signs of leakage. If there are metal components, you also need to check them for signs of corrosion or rusting. The gaps in between solar collectors can have dirt and other particles that accumulate. Remove these to maintain the integrity of the system.

Check any plumbing fixtures for signs of wear. It would be most trusted to replace these with brand new accessories. Check also the solar collectors. Make sure that there is no dirt or debris on the surface. These particles can reduce the solar collector’s ability to absorb sunlight and reduce its water heating capabilities.

Where to buy?

You can buy these solar heater products in solar products shops in your community. They offer a wide range of models and brands that you can choose from and buy. But for many that want to get the most suitable deals and legit heaters from the manufacturers themselves, they go to for a wide range of items to pick from and excellent warranties. You can also buy these solar heaters for an above ground pool in other reliable websites.


Having an above ground pool is a significant investment. It makes pool water comfortable and at an ideal temperature is a must. For this reason, take some effort and time in choosing the best solar heater for above ground pool is essential. Refer to the buying guide to help you pick among the top suggestions in the category. Compare your options using the factors to think about when shopping around for this product. Study and weigh your options well for a satisfying purchase. Buy your ideal solar heater today!

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