Best Solar Heater for Above Ground Pool 2021

Your pool gets chilly in winter though it remains hot in the summer. But you want to keep your swimming pool open this winter as you want to enjoy the fun of swimming for an extended time. The problem is- you are not ready to spend a leg and arm to get a natural or electric pool heater. So, is it possible to raise your pool temperature when it goes down significantly? 

Yes, it is possible to increase your pool temperature with a solar pool heater. You can boost the temperature by 1 degree per hour if you can install the solar heater professionally. Here in this article, we reviewed the best solar heater for above-ground pools. Each of the heaters is functional, durable, and provides the ultimate heating solution.

Best Above Ground Solar Pool Heater

#1: GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater (Best-Overall)

GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater, Made for Intex & Bestway Above-Ground and Inground Pools
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Efficient, durable, adjustable, and eco-friendly! These phrases go only with the Game SolarPro Curve Solar Pool Heater. You can hardly find a solar pool heater that can beat this one in heat & energy efficiency or longevity. 

Its unique curved shape design helps to collect more heat from the sun. This heater increases your 8000-gallon swimming pool temperature by 5 degrees in 4 days. Indeed, it extends the pool season and lets you swim even on the chilly days of winter by raising the temperature gradually. 

When it comes to adjustability, this heater just beats every solar pool heater in the market. It comes with adjustable & foldable legs. You can set this heater with Intex, Bestway, and almost every above-ground and inground pool. 

Therefore, you can install the heater for maximum exposure to the sun for optimum heat collection due to its adjustable & foldable legs. 

Now, let’s move on to its durability and construction. The heater uses high-quality materials as its built-in element. As a result, it can withstand high exposure to the sun and outdoor elements. 

Pros

  • Durable and long-lasting design
  • Energy-efficient
  • Eco-friendly as it uses solar
  • Compatible with Intex & Bestways pools
  • Easy to Install

Cons

  • It puts a severe strain on the primary filter pump regardless of its size.

#2: Intex Solar Heater Mat for Above Ground Swimming Pool (Best Budget)

Intex Solar Heater Mat for Above Ground Swimming Pool
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You know how much it costs to run a pool heater to heat your swimming pool in winter. A functional natural gas pool heater alone will cost you a leg and arm to get. When you are on a budget, it will be challenging to purchase a pool heater to raise your pool temperature. Fortunately, the Intex Solar Heater Mat makes it possible for you to heat your pool at a low cost. 

This budget-friendly pool heater boosts up your pool temperature by 5-9 degrees F. based on weather conditions. It features a 1m sq surface to absorb sun rays. Because of it, you can heat your 8000-gallon pool with ease. 

Simple installation is a remarkable feature we spot out. It includes a bypass valve, adapter, and connecting hose for convenient installation. Just hook it up with your Intex filter pump and run it to allow this heater to increase your pool temperature. 

Turns out, you can also store it when you don’t use it. Its foldable design makes it a breeze for winter storage. 

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Convenient to Install
  • Compatible with variety of Intex filter pumps

Cons

  • One mat will not be enough to heat your entire pool. It would be best if you get multiple of this as it’s cheap.

#3: Fafco Solar Bear Economy Pool Heating System

Fafco Solar Bear Economy Pool Heating System
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The Fasco Bear Economy Heat system, as the name suggests, it’s a solar-powered pool heater. The company that fabricates this product is the world’s leading solar panel manufacturers—an excellent pick for the people at an affordable price.

High-level companies’ experiences make the design super functional and highly heat sensitive. The product quality is excellent, and the performance is highly satisfactory. 

The Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heat System is equipped with a 1.5-inch hose that works with a solar collector, and a bypass valve.

It can easily add 10 degrees temperature rise, and each panel offers 80k BTU.

Additionally, this product can heat an 18 to 24-foot round pool in a short time. The best thing is that you can customize your solar heater for the above ground pool as per your requirements. Once you have a measured size of the pool, you can decide the number of solar panels. The larger pool would require more than one solar panel to function efficiently. 

The system’s bypass valve has a unique feature that allows the heater to turn off when the pool’s water is warm enough to swim. It is what differentiates this heater from other products as it functions more economically. 

The heating system allows you to keep your pool water warm from morning to evening. Its solar panel needs to be fixed on the rooftop for better sunlight reach. The surrounding of the roof should be clear and directly exposed to the sun.

Pros

  • It can increase water temperature by more than a 10-degree ferrite.
  • It requires low maintenance.
  • Customizable solar panels for your pool size requirement.

Cons

  • Hard to assemble for new pool owners
  • A bit heavy than its competitors

#4: Sun2Solar Clear 18-Foot Round Solar Cover

Sun2Solar Clear 18-Foot Round Solar Cover
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The Sun2Solar clear 18-Foot RoundSolar system is the first choice of every pool owner. It is unique because it uses solar energy to keep your pool warm all the time. The performance of the heater is outstanding and acquires our top rating. As far as customer satisfaction is concerned, this product has fulfilled all its promises. 

Heat loss is an affecting factor for a pool as the water evaporates. However, Sun2Solar prevents this process and offers an excellent solution for this problem. It decreases the rate of evaporation by more than 90%. Thus, it traps the heat by reducing the evaporation process.

Hence, It helps to keep your pool warm for a longer time with less energy.

The science behind it is quite simple. The thousands of bubbles on the transparent solar heat cover permit the sun rays to penetrate the pool water to heat. The bubbles perform as a thermal insulator, productively secure the heat within the pool. 

Using a solar thermal insulator pool heater, secure your money from electricity bills. It is a cost-efficient and energy-efficient technology.

Pros

  • The tiny bubbles on the cover are effective thermal insulators.
  • Minimum heat loss and evaporation of the water is another pro.
  • It is comfortably adjustable according to the size of the pool.
  • Function through infinite solar energy.

Cons

  • It is heavy and may require more space than a standard pool heater.

#5: SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater (Best for Both In-ground & Above-Ground Pool)

SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater 2 by 20-Feet
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Can’t decide which solar heating system kit you need to purchase for your pool? Then, SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater will be your best trait. Its universal fit makes it suitable both for in-ground and above-ground pools. 

Optimum heating efficiency is what we love most about this solar pool heater. Its tube-on-web design extends the surface area for each tube. Therefore, its threaded headers offer ultimate flexibility, making this heater a breeze to assemble with in-ground and above-ground pools. 

In other words, the patented web design ensures each tube gets maximum exposure to sun rays. In return, it will raise your pool temperature by 6°F to 10°F. So, you can enjoy the pleasure of swimming even on the chilly days of winter. 

Stability is a breathtaking feature of this solar-powered pool heater. It has wind vents to keep the unit stable even in windy conditions. 

Like other pool heaters, it includes all the connection and installation hardware for simple assembly. On top of this, this solar pool heater comes with instructions to make the installation a breeze. 

Pros

  • Made of durable polypropylene material to ensure longevity
  • Boot up pool temperature to 10-degree Fahrenheit
  • DIY installation

Cons

  • Need a separate set of adapters to attach to your Intex pool

#6: XtremepowerUS Above Ground Swimming Pool Heater System

XtremepowerUS Inground/Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System
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The XtremepowerUS Above ground Swimming Pool Heater System is another excellent pool heater. The round-pool owners prefer it. This heather’s design has a cove with tiny thermal cells that work as an insulator to trap the heat.

The thermal insulators heat the poll even when the sky is full of clouds, and you can still relax in the pool with the warm water. It is also considered one of the best solar water heaters in the market.

XtremePower pool heater is a UV Resistant cover held out against the exposure of UV radiation. Extension of the season is also possible because of the thick 12-mil blanket using the stored solar heating to warm up the water by 15-degree ferrite. 

The round cover present of thousands of thermal cells is an opaque material blue in color that is highly photosensitive. The pool is covered with a heater that drastically drops the evaporation rate and keeps the heat collected by the water. 

This product does not generate heat by itself. The system works on renewable solar energy, which is in an infinite amount. It is pollution-free and economical to use. The heating technique is advanced enough to retain the warm water long enough for the time. 

Solar blanket works are direct exposure to the sun, and will not destroy the heater. 

The solar blanket works for years in the harsh solar light without damaging the heater. The solar cover also comes with a 3-year manufacturer warranty to assure the quality of its product.

Pros

  • It is affordable and requires low maintenance.
  • The heating pool technique is cost-effective.
  • It works on eco-friendly Solar light.

Cons

  • Some of the users have complained about low quality

#7: SunHeater Solar Pool Heating System for Inground and Aboveground Pool

SmartPool SunHeater Swimming Pool Heating System
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SunHeater swimming solar heating system is blessed with the most acceptable heat transfer abilities. This product reaches out to the expectations of people.

The smart pool solar heating system is suitable for all shapes and sizes of the pool. According to consumers, it is the top-ranking ground pool water heater. We love it for the same reason too.

Solar pool heating systems are permitted to access the free sun’s rays in abundance. The installation is easy as it is adaptable in all kinds of pumps present in your pool system. 

They are very light and long-lasting. The polyolefin material effectively transfers solar heat energy to water through the patented tube and direct flow water circulation design.

Tube-web-tube design permits the SunHeater to capture the abundant sun possible, maximizing square footage. It offers rigid flexibility, allowing panels to enlarge and contract with variable temperature, giving it the power to last.

The installation of the panel on the rooftop is easy. It is large and photosensitive. It’s more efficient and less expensive than the gas heater. It is one of the high-demand products in the market because of its performance and flexibility.

Pros

  • It can be installed at the ground level or above the ground level pool.
  • Direct water circulation design works efficiently.
  • It does not cause any pollution and function on renewable energy.
  • Installation is easy.
  • Saves Electricity and Natural Gas.

Cons

  • Panels take a lot of space
  • The installation process is complicated

#8: Goplus Solar Dome Swimming Pool Heater Above Ground (Best Compact)

Goplus Solar Dome Swimming Pool Heater Above Ground, Pool Solar Heater
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Do you want to extend your swimming session even on the ice-cold days of winter? Then, this space-saving solar dome pool water from GoPlus will be your go-to option. Its compact size makes it ideal for installing it in a tight corner. 

Unlike other solar dome pool heaters, it raises your pool temperature and lets you swim in warmer water. This heater attracts sun rays like a greenhouse effect through the clear lens of the heater. Then, it captures and locks the heat with a black coiled hose that carries water. Afterward, it circulates water back to your pool using your existing pool pump & filter. 

The energy efficiency and eco-friendly features make this stand out from the crowd of top-rated natural gas pool heaters. Neither you need electricity nor natural gas to run this dome heater for above-ground pools. It uses pure solar from the sun to power it, which is eco-friendly and energy-efficient. 

Nonetheless, you can also store it when you don’t use it to protect it from unwilling damage as the heater includes a protective cover. 

Pros

  • Extend your swimming season by increasing your pool temperature
  • Heat your pool in an environmentally friendly way
  • Include hoses and other hardware for simple installation

Cons

  • It is a bit difficult to use the quick connect hose mounts.

#9: Blue Wave NS6022 SolarPRO XD3 Dome Above Ground Pool System

Blue Wave NS6022 SolarPRO XD3 Dome Above Ground Pool
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The Blue Wave Solar Dome Heater with the bypass kit has a different design than the other heaters present. The system is compact and durable. The dome is above the ground pool heater. It is an affordable solar heater for above ground pool.

People who prefer this product are homeowners who buy to enjoy the comfy warm pool water in decent weather.

This heater is not bulky like an above solar heater. It is like a minuscule of solar heaters. The circular base is 23 cm in diameter that presents heat-insulating pipes enclosed with a dome shape. 

The dome surface traps the UV radiation similar to the greenhouse effect and permits the heater to increase the pool’s water temperature. 

Blue Wave NS6022 SolarPRO XD3 Dome can heat up to pool up to 5-degree ferrite in 3 to 7 days according to the pool’s size. It has 60 feet of hose responsible for maximum solar heat transfer. It also connects to 1.25-Inch, 1.5-Inch, Intex hoses. The footprint is so small and saves a lot of space. It requires no gas or electrical connections to install, including two flexible hoses, two claps, and a protective cover.

Pros

  • The design has made it take less space
  • Function with solar power
  • Cool design

Cons

  • Customization requires professional help

#10: Kokido Keops Solar Dome Above Ground Swimming Pool Water Heater (Best for Easy Installation)

Kokido Keops Solar Dome Above Ground Swimming Pool Water Heater
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Set it and let the pool heater heat your above-ground pool.  This is what we can say about this solar dome pool heater that comes from Kokido. 

Like other solar pool heaters on this list, it includes every attachment like 4-feet hoses, fittings, and stainless steel clamps. Just use those accessories and attach your heater between your existing filter pump and pool return. Indeed, installing the pool heater will not be simple like before this. 

Apart from the convenient installation, this solar-powered dome heater is also functional. It includes an integrated rack, allowing you to set it up at an optimal angle to gain maximum sun exposure. As a result, you will get the temperature you need to swim on the ice-cold days of winter. 

The storage option is another notable feature we spot out. It has a protective cover to store the solar dome heater when you don’t use it. 

Pros

  • Reduce the operating costs as it doesn’t require any gas or electricity
  • Eco-friendly heating option
  • Include every attachment for simple installation

Cons

  •  Need several solar dome heaters if you want to heat a large pool

What to Look Before Purchasing the Best Solar Heater For Above Ground Pool?

Based on the following criteria, we make the list of the best solar heaters for above-ground pools. 

Heating Efficiency

How efficiently the solar pool heater will heat your pool is the first criterion you should consider. The heating efficiency of a solar heater depends on the solar panel size and how much the panel will expose to the sun. The more its part will remain exposed to the sun, the more heat it captures. 

Therefore, the solar panel’s shape also matters a lot behind raising your pool temperature. For example, a curved shaped solar pool heater can collect and lock more heat. In simple words, choose a solar pool heater based on the solar panel size and its shape to get maximum heat output. 

Pool size

The Heater model you select should be capable enough to heat the whole pole. The manufacturing chart has all the features mentioned so you can choose the right model for your pool. Some Heaters are useful for small pools and less powerful. The large pool owners buying a heater with the heat exchanger are more energy efficient. Higher is the rate BTU rate lesser time required to heat the pool. To rise one-degree ferrite for one pond of water requires one BTU. Hence higher the BTU more efficient the heater would work.

Fit Your Pool or Not

Most solar pool heaters are designed for above-ground and in-ground pools. Though every heater on this list fits an above-ground swimming pool, we suggest you check the package before getting one. Some solar heaters we included are compatible with both the above and in-ground pool. So, you don’t need to worry about what solar heater you need to pick. 

Longevity

A solar heater takes a lot of investment. So, don’t end your buying session by picking up a unit that doesn’t last for long. The durability of a solar pool heater depends on what construction materials it uses. We recommend you get a heater that uses PP and PE materials. Such a heater can withstand frequent exposure to the sun and shield your unit against outdoor elements. 

Energy Efficient or Not

Every solar pool heater is energy-efficient. All of the solar-powered heaters use sun rays as their energy source. In other words, they don’t require electricity or natural gas, which saves energy bills. 

Ease of Installation

Convenient installation is another feature you should take into account. It’s crucial as it also saves the assembly cost as you can do this task for yourself. Every heater we enlisted includes an installation guide and all the hardware you need to connect it with your existing pool pump and filter. So, you don’t need to hassle to install the solar pool heater.

Which Solar Pool Heater is Best?

Here is the list of the best solar heaters for above-ground pools. 

  • Fafco Solar Pool Heater
  • SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater
  • Smartpool S601P Solar Pool Heater
  • Goplus Solar Dome Swimming Pool Heater Above Ground
  • SOLARPOOLSUPPLY Universal Solar Pool Heater Panel

How Many Hours Of Direct Sunlight Does A Solar Pool Heater Need To Work Properly?

Solar heaters will work properly with the best output if they faced a southerly direction and get direct sunlight of 5-7 hours daily. So, the required panel should be calculated according to the weather condition in that area. You may need more or less solar panels according to daily sunlight conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I heat my above-ground pool fast?

    You can heat your above-ground pool fast by using a gas pool heater, solar pool heater, or using a solar blanket. 

  2. Are solar panel pool heaters any good?

    Solar panel heaters are eco-friendly and energy-efficient pool heating solutions. You don't need to spend electricity or gas bills as a solar heater gets its power from the sun. The best part is- you can operate a solar pool heater in different weather conditions at an affordable price.

  3. What is the cheapest way to heat a pool?

    Installing a solar-powered pool heater in your pool is the cheapest way to heat your swimming pool. It requires no electricity or gas to run it, which saves your wallet. 

  4. How many degrees will a solar cover heat a pool?

    A solar cover can raise your pool temperatures by 12 degrees.

Verdict

The end of the summer season doesn’t mean you need to close your pool for the entire winter. You can extend your swimming season even on cold days by installing solar pool heaters. They (solar heaters) are excellent to heat your pool without costing zero energy bills.

The list of the best solar heaters for above-ground pools we included is functional, durable, and raises your pool temperature. We hope any of the heaters from the list meet your criteria and expand your swimming session. However, we recommend the GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater most. It increases your pool temperature by 5 degrees in 4 days.

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