Residential Pool Heating

Pool Heating

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Solar heating is the most cost-effective way to heat the water in your pool to a comfortable temperature spring, summer and fall. It harnesses the sun's energy to extend your swimming season and costs nothing to operate. Pool heating is the largest use of solar energy in the world… no surprise, since its more economical than a pool heater that uses electricity or gas. What's more, solar heating for your pool is an affordable, one-time investment that pays for itself in 2-4 years.

Double your swimming season!

On days when you can relax comfortably in a bathing suit at poolside, but the water is too cold for swimming, solar energy can heat your pool to a comfortable temperature. More swimming, sunning and splashing means you'll realize the full benefit of the investment you made in your pool.

Affordable payments make it easy!

You can be swimming in an Aztec-heated pool in a matter of days – and with financing available as low as $78 monthly, you'll be making an investment that will pay for itself with more swimming days and increased home value.

California's leader in solar pool heating

Your system is expertly designed and professionally installed by Aztec Solar – backed by nearly 30 years of experience and more than 7,500 solar systems installed. We use top-quality components from industry-leading manufacturers and protect you with outstanding warranties and reliable, professional service.

  • Adds value to your pool investment and your home
  • Fully automatic operation
  • Durable, reliable and virtually maintenance free
  • Long lifespan with warranty protection

Solar Pool Heating Overview

Of all the options available to heat your pool, solar energy offers the best value, dollar for dollar than any other method available. In fact, solar pool heating is so effective that it is the largest use of solar energy in the world… accounting for over 90% of all solar collector shipments.(Source: Department of Energy Solar Collector Activity Report) The plain truth is that solar pool heating works! That's why over 300,000 pool owners have already purchased solar systems for their pools and why the number grows every year. Although the initial cost of a solar heater is higher than a gas or an electric heater, the heat source is free. Because gas and electricity goes up every year, most people stop using the heaters.

Sizing Methodology

One of the major considerations of pool heating systems is the amount of panel surface area that is required to offset the heat loss from the pool surface. This relationship is of the utmost importance to ensure proper solar contribution to the heating load of the pool. The percentage of pool collector surface to pool surface varies with geographic location, microclimates, orientation, pitch, and during a southern exposure in any northern hemisphere location. However, an orientation with 45 degrees of south will not significantly reduce performance as long as shading is avoided. Even using a due west exposure will work well if the sizing is increased to compensate for this less satisfactory situation.

System Design Configuration

The panels are typically mounted directly to the roof surface regardless of the pitch of the roof. The pitch of the panels is not a real big concern to the overall performance of the solar system. In areas where it is more practical or desirable to mount the panels on the ground, racks are almost always required to support and secure the panels. The piping and pumping requirements of a residential system is very simple. The first concern is the capability of the existing pump and filter to give the solar system adequate flow. Most new pools have pumps and filters of sufficient size to pump water within required amounts to the solar panels even if located on a two-story roof. Most systems require flow rates of about 3-5 gpm (gallons per minute) per panel. To ease the additional load placed on the pump, most residential systems are plumbed in 2" PVC piping to reduce friction loss in the plumbing. If the existing equipment is not capable of pushing the required flow rate, they would need to be upgraded. Typically, a manual or automatic bypass valve is used to divert the water from its normal flow pattern through the circulation system to the solar panels and then back to the pool. The valve is generally placed after the filter. It is highly recommended that an automatic control system be used to maximize the efficiency of the system. The motorized three-way valve has become the industry standard as the automatic diverter. This is controlled by a different thermostat that monitors the temperatures of the panels and the pool water to determine if heat can actually be added to the pool. The panel plumbing should follow two very simple criteria. First each bank, or group of panels, should be plumbed so, wherever the water enters at the bottom, it should be returned at the opposite upper corner. In other words, the water should enter and leave each bank from diagonal corners. Second, all plumbing from all individual banks should return to the highest point before the final return back to the pool. This high point return will ensure all panels receive their equal share of water and flow. In addition, where freeze is possible, all banks should be connected with a drain line so all water in all panels drains back to the pool or can be manually drained. Panels are normally drained for the winter months

Pool Heating Economics

The economics of pool heating using solar heating has become a much simpler issue in recent years. Due to the rising costs of whatever conventional method is used to heat the pool, solar is a very viable alternative. Anyone who heats their pool knows exactly how much it costs. Comparing this to the cost of solar, clearly determines how long it will take to recover the initial investment. Generally a system pays for itself in less than three years. From then on, the pool will be heated for free for the life of the system, from 15-20 years. In many residential situations where the pool is not being heated, the owners must only decide whether they want to use their pools or see this rather sizable investment sitting unused for the majority of the year. Regardless of the method used to heat a pool, the economics and warmth of the pool are further improved by using a cover to retain as much of the collected heat possible. This is of further benefit economically by reducing chemical requirements and water loss through evaporation, a significant concern in water-starved California.


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