Solar pool heating is the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to heat your pool. But if you live somewhere with fickle weather conditions and unreliable sunshine, like Melbourne, you might be wondering if solar heating is worth it. Well, the good news is you don’t have to live in Brisbane to enjoy the benefits of solar pool heating.
While solar heating will obviously perform better in regions with a lot of sunlight, it’s suitable for anywhere in Australia.
Let’s find out a little about how to get the most out of your pool solar heater and have a look at five no-brainer reasons to switch to solar pool heating.
How does it work?
Solar heating is super simple. Water from your pool is pumped up to a solar collector, which is usually mounted on the roof of your house. The collector is either a series of rubber tubes or solar panels. As the water flows through the collector, it’s heated by the sun before flowing back into the pool.
The water temperature can be controlled manually or automatically by directing more or less water through the collector.
The system doesn’t require full sunlight to heat the water, which means it will operate even on cloudy days, although with reduced efficiency.
5 Reasons to Make the Switch
Australia is blessed with more glorious sunlight than a lot of other places in the world. So, why not take advantage of it! Here are 5 great reasons to make the switch to solar pool heating.
- Save money
Other than the price of the system and the installation costs, a pool solar heater costs very little to run (it can be as little as a dollar a day), especially compared with the high running costs of electricity or gas heating systems.
- Eco friendly
This one is a no-brainer! With solar heating, you’re not using electricity of gas. You’re making use of a renewable energy source and lowering your carbon footprint.
- Reliable and low maintenance
Other than the water pump, solar heating systems don’t require much machinery to operate. There are no heat exchangers, no motors or fans and no gas heaters. That means there are fewer moving parts and system that require maintenance or repair.
- Easy to install
Unlike gas or electrical pool heating, solar heating doesn’t require in-ground plumbing, electrical or gas connections, so there’ll be no need to dig up your yard.Most of the time, solar systems can be hooked up to a pre-existing pool pump, which reduces the need to install additional equipment.
- Lengthens swimming season
With a solar system, you can get more use out of your pool. Since the system doesn’t require full sun to heat the water, you can still get good heating through spring and even into autumn. As a general rule, solar heating can extend pool usage by 4-6 weeks either side of your regular pool usage season.
While a solar system will work well anywhere in Australia, the efficiency of your solar pool heater and the extent to which it will heat your pool depends on a number of factors. These include:
Where you live
Places that get more sun are obviously better suited to solar heating. So, expect to get better performance from your solar system if you live in Brisbane than if you live in Melbourne.
Solar collector size
Bigger solar collectors can take in more sunlight and therefore heat more water. Ideally, your solar collector should be roughly equal to the area of your swimming pool (give or take 20%).
Solar collector orientation
North facing collectors will collect the most direct sunlight, so this make for the best orientation. Collectors facing up to 45ᵒ east or west of true north should still perform well enough.
Large trees or other structures shading your roof will affect the efficiency of your solar heating system. Additionally, shading over your pool can cool the water, meaning the heating system has to do more work to heat the water.
Roofs that conduct heat well, like metal or dark coloured roofs, will help with the solar heating process. Likewise, the colour of your solar conductor also plays a part, with black conductors working best as they absorb the most heat.
Using a pool cover
A pool cover will help to reduce heat loss, meaning your solar heater can heat the water faster.
If you’re thinking about adding a pool to your backyard or you want to update your costly gas or electrical system, the obvious answer is solar.