If you’re considering installing solar panels to replace your gas or electric pool heater, you may be wondering just how long it will take for your pool to reach a comfortable temperature at the beginning of the swim season. Installing a solar pool heater is a great way to cut down on pool heating costs and the savings you get will pay for the cost of the installation in just a couple years. But just how well will a solar heater warm up your pool? 

How Long Does It Take For a Solar Heater Warm Up A Pool?

How quickly and how warm your pool gets will depend on a number of factors, including your location, starting water temperature and type of solar panels. 

A solar-heated pool in Southern California using unglazed solar panels will warm up to comfortable temperatures between 78° F to 85° F in just a few days in the beginning of spring, while a similarly sized pool in New York can take up to a whole week to warm up. Those same pools, however, won’t reach as high of a temperature during the colder months. 

If you decide to install glazed solar panels instead, you’ll be able to achieve faster and more consistent heating year-round, no matter where you are. Glazed panels provide better sunlight absorption than unglazed panels, even on cold and windy days. 

Using a pool cover reduces heat loss at night and during colder days, allowing for faster and more efficient heating when using solar panels. 

How Hot Will A Pool Get With A Solar Heater?

Unheated pools never stay at the same temperature year-round. Depending on the ambient temperature, an temperature of an unheated pool can range wildly as it looses heat overnight and on on cold days. In the spring and fall, an unheated pool will stay around the upper 70’s. 

A heated pool will stay in the upper 80’s during the same time of year. On average, solar heated pools will be 8-12 degrees warmer than an unheated pool in the same area. Solar heated pools still loose heat at night and on cloudy days, when no electricity is being produced by the system. If you cover your pool at night and on days when it’s too cold to swim, your pool will retain heat better and stay warmer. 

Can I Use My Pool Heater All Year Long?

Both glazed and unglazed solar panels will keep your pool warm all year round. When using unglazed solar panels, the temperatures will not heat up as well once once ambient temperatures drop below 70° F, but will still be warmer than an unheated pool. It is recommended to keep your pool covered overnight and when not in use between November through March to reduce how much heat is lost. 

A solar pool heater is an efficient and cost-effective way to keep your pool heated year-round while reducing your environmental impact. Even though how quickly and how much your pool will warm up depend on a number of factors, your solar heated pool will always be significantly warmer than an unheated pool and will save you thousands of dollars in operating costs throughout the life of your pool.