Top 5 Solar Heaters for Above-Ground Pools [Buyer’s Guide]

If you have an above-ground pool that you are looking to buy a heater for, you have come to the right place. Due to our absolute love for swimming pools and passion for the environment, we have made it our duty to discover the best solar heaters for above-ground pools. So, we will be sharing our findings with you below. Besides, you will also get to read our buying guide of solar pool heaters. We have some useful tips you will need to keep in mind while making your purchase.

Since time immemorial, swimming has always been the escape route for people looking for a perfect way to beat the excessive heat of the summer, and it is understandable. Does this mean a swimming pool is only useful during the hot summertime? Well, it shouldn’t be so. A pool should be useful during the cold winter as well, albeit in different conditions. Of course, nobody would attempt to dive into a cold pool in a cold morning, and that is why solar heaters have been invented.

Solar Heaters for Above-Ground Pools

If you are looking to extend the pleasure of swimming in your private pool beyond the summer period, then you need to buy a solar heater. Of course, a solar pool heater is a solar panel designed specially to regulate the temperature of your pool. However, a solar pool heater isn’t a regular solar panel, battery or generator. It is designed with only a single purpose in mind, and that isn’t powering your laptop or your fridge. It is made for the sole purpose of heating the water in your pool and regulating its temperature during the winter period.

How to Choose Your Solar Pool Heater

In both performance and cost, solar pool heaters different dramatically. If you are looking to ensure you buy the right solar pool heater for your home, below are some factors you need to take into consideration before buying.

Number of Panels Is a big deal

One of the first things you need to consider before buying a solar pool heater is the number of panels the heater has. Normally, the panels determine the amount of energy the heater will be able to harness from the sun. In other words, it’s recommended to opt for a heater with many solar panels. However, take your available space into consideration as well and plan accordingly.

How Much Temperature Increase You Can Achieve?

One of the most vital factors you must consider is the temperature difference you are looking for. A regular solar pool heater will increase the temperature of the water in the pool by around 5 to 10 degrees. Some more expensive models can raise it up to 15 degrees, but you won’t likely get anything more than that.

Don’t Ignore Size and Weight

Since solar pool heaters rely on solar energy to warm your pool, there are models that take up much space. However, the space consumption usually depends on how powerful your solar heater is. If you are looking for a very powerful solar heater, then you have to be ready to sacrifice the space.

Warranty Does Matter

Most solar pool heaters cost more than a hundred dollars. There are some high-end models that cost hundreds of dollars. However, if the pump spoils or the solar panels break, your money has gone into waste. Ensure you purchase a heater that comes with a warranty. The warranty is even an effective way to know how much confidence the manufacturer has in the product.

Installation – Does It Have What It Takes?

Another important consideration you must make is how easy your solar pool heater is to install. Installing a solar pool heater can be difficult, and hiring a professional for the installation can be quite expensive. Luckily, installing solar heaters for above-ground pools is usually easier than in-ground pools, so you should keep it in mind. Also, ensure your solar pool heater comes with installation kit and accessories, such as unions, connectors, and etcetera.

Top 5 Recommendations

ImageModelTemperature
Increase
Dimensions
Per
Panel
WeightRating*
SunQuest [2 Panels]Up to 10°F
(Up to 6°C)
2'x20'
0.6x6.1 m
28 lbs.
29Kg
3.5 stars
Sun2Solar [One Panel]Up to 10°F
(Up to 6°C)
2'x20'
0.6x6 m
15 lbs3 stars
Fafco [One Panel]Up to 10°F
(Up to 6°C)
4'x20'
1.2x6 m
NA3.5 stars
GAME 4714 SolarPro [One Unit]Up to 5°F
(Up to 4°C)
28"x11"x28"
71x28x17 cm
17 lbs3.5 stars
Doheny [One Panel]Up to 10°F
(Up to 6°C)
2.5'x20'
NA3 stars
- Best Solar Heaters for Above-Ground Pools [2018]
* The above ratings do not indicate Amazon's customers' ratings

Detailed Reviews

Truly, all solar heaters perform the primary function of warming pools. However, do they all do perform this function the same way? Definitely No. They vary in efficiency, performance, and durability. Therefore, we have reviewed some of the best solar heaters for above-ground pools above.

1. SunQuest 2 -2` x 20` Solar Pool Panel System

Talk about solar pool heaters and talk about SunQuest. Since the company is a big player in the production of great solar pool heaters over the years, their name has become almost synonymous with solar heaters. This 2 -2` x 20` Solar Pool Panel System from the company is an incredible option. It is one of the most effective, most efficient, and most attractive solar pool heaters on the market.

SunQuest 2-2`x 20` Solar Pool Panel

SunQuest 2-2`x 20` Roof Mounted

It comes with two” OD headers which you can use to enhance the flow of your water by connecting them to your pump. The SunQuest Solar Pool Panel System is compatible with both above-ground and in-ground pools and its installation process is incredibly easy. However, it can be a bit difficult to mount the heaters to the roof. Therefore, you will likely need some help from professionals for the roof mounting.
Furthermore, this solar heater is built to increase the temperature of your water by ten degrees. Because of the roof mount, you don’t have to worry about them creating lots of unappealing mess by your pool.

This solar pool heater is the ideal choice for anyone looking to keep his home clean and appealing. Check Prices On>> Amazon.

2. Sun2Solar Ground Mounted Heating Solar Panel System

Sun2Solar Ground Mounted Heating System

Sun2Solar Ground Mounted Heating System

Made of flexible, durable, and lightweight polyolefin. The Sun2Solar Ground Mounted Heating Solar Panel System is an ideal solar pool heater for the winter season. The heater has optimum transfer of heat to your pool, thanks to the tube construction of the panel. With warm temperature and sufficient sunlight, this solar heater will raise the temperature of your pool water. Your filter system and pools pump circulate water through the panels when it’s heated and the water is returned to the pool afterward. If you are looking to get more power from your heater, you can add additional panels.

If you want the panels to be very effective when ground mounted, ensure they are positioned at a 45-degree angle to the sun for optimum heat collection. Also, the installation process is easy and all you need are clips or straps to secure them to the ground or a solar panel. The product also comes with a by-pass valve which will enable you to send the water around the panels. For optimum efficiency, we advise you to use a solar cover. Check Prices On>> Amazon.

3. Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System for Above-Ground Pools

Measuring 4 x 20 ft., this solar pool heater from Fafco is one of the largest solar heaters on our list. Also, it is one of the most effective and powerful. Understandably, it is difficult to find a place to install due to its very large size.  However, it produces a high performance that compensates for the troubles. It comes with a bypass valve, two 6 ft hoses, and all the necessary hardware for installation.

The solar pool heart works most efficiently from 10 am – 4 pm, but that can slightly change depending on your latitude and the season. If you want to get optimum performance from the solar heater, aim it sound at a 30-degree angle. There are many ways to set the heater up, including mounting it on a rack, on the roof, or even on the ground.

Check Prices On>> Amazon.

4. GAME 4714 SolarPro Contour Solar Pool Heater with Adapter

While the GAME 4714 SolarPro Contour Solar Pool Heater might not be the best heater around when it comes to the overall performance, it is the best when it comes to the value for money. Also, it has a very compact and small construction, without compromising on performance. Although no bulky solar panels are required for this solar heater to deliver great performance, it still derives its energy from the sun.

GAME-4714 SolarPro Contour Solar Pool Heater

3xGAME-4714 SolarPro Contour Solar Pool Heater

Furthermore, connecting it to the pump is quite easy, and no additional adapter is required. It is worth mentioning that this solar heater increases the temperature of your water by 7 degrees. If you’re not impressed with that, remember that several solar pool heaters with twice the price only raise the temperature by around 10 degrees. Therefore, the SolarPro is one of the most cost-effective solar heaters around.

Check Prices On>> Amazon.

5. Doheny’s Above Ground Solar Heating Systems

Measuring 2.5 x 20 feet, the Doheny’s Above Ground Solar Heating System is one of the largest solar pool heaters on the market. While some people wouldn’t like its large size, it isn’t so bad really. Installing this solar heater is very easy, and connecting it to your water pump is as simple as ABC. Besides, the solar heater functions passively and instantly.
Furthermore, this solar pool heater requires little or no maintenance. It just works and doesn’t need you to do anything, something a lot of users will really like. Also, the solar pool heater raises the temperature of your water by 10 degrees on average. Probably as much as 15 degrees, which is really impressive.

This solar heat isn’t without its shortcomings as well. The first drawback is that it consumes a lot of space because of its largeness. Also, it comes with no mounting kit, which means you would have to buy it separately. Despite these few drawbacks, this is really a great solar pool heater, and the fact that it doesn’t require any adapter is also a bonus.

Check Prices On>> Amazon.

Conclusion

It is never easy to choose the best of anything, but it is here. Without any doubt, our clear winner is the Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System (Buy it on Amazon) due to its outstanding qualities. It is also very affordable, which is probably the best thing about this excellent solar-powered heater. That being said, better performance and higher quality.

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