If you are just starting to research how much a solar pool heater costs, and you are not ready to contact a dealer, we totally understand. After all, solar panel pricing is all over the map for various technologies, with some systems costing in the tens of thousands of dollars. Solar pool heaters do not fall into that category. You don’t want to waste your time looking at a pool heating options that isn’t in your price range, so I’m going to give you the answer, or at least a range that can help you make an informed decision.
First, let me point out a couple of things that may or may not be obvious:
- Solar pool heaters are not solar electric panels, and heating your pool with solar electricity is not the ideal solution.
- All solar pool heat panels are not the same. There are various designs and features that set each apart.
- Solar panels themselves are only part of the system, and represent only a fraction of the total cost.
- The solar pool heating panels you can buy online are NOT the same as those offered by professional solar dealers.
- You pay for what you get, especially in a competitive solar pool heating market.
A professionally installed solar pool heater costs in the range of $3,000 to $6,000 for a typical pool in Southwest Florida. Other markets may have very different pricing due to costs specific to that region and their competitive landscape. That’s still a wide price range, and you should probably expect to spend in the middle of it if you have an average pool with an average roof and typical features. The price may be lower if you have an extremely small pool or a spa only, and may be higher if you have a large pool, want all the bells and whistles, have a complex installation location, or want other energy saving features.
Some of the factors that affect price are:
- The size of your pool surface area, which indicates how many panels are needed for a given performance level.
- The orientation and type of the roof on which solar panels will be installed.
- Plumbing distances and complexities.
- Quality and design/type of the solar panels themselves.
- Quality of other components that make up the system.
- Whether the system will be manually controlled, connected to existing pool automation, or installed with a new automated solar controller.
- Existing plumbing deficiencies or problems that will be addressed at the time of installation, like valves or filters that need to be replaced.
- Other features purchased at the same time like energy saving variable speed pumps, complex automation systems, flow meters, supplemental valves, manual drain valves (when necessary), heater bypasses, integration with other heat sources, etc.
- Other job complexities like working conditions, steep roofs, remote locations, and other issues that a atypical for a solar pool heater installation.
- And finally, permit costs (local permit costs range from about $80 – $300).
So hopefully you can see why there is a wide range of prices for solar pool heaters. A solar pool heater is not a simple appliance that you just plug in and start enjoying. It’s a system that integrates with your existing pool equipment in a symbiotic relationship, and must be designed accordingly. The only way to get a good firm price on a system is to have a solar consultant look at your existing system and provide a price accordingly. We can get a very good idea with some basic information from you and using aerial imagery of your pool and roof, but ultimately we need to confirm details about the installation prior to committing to a firm price. Fortunately, most dealers will offer you a free consultation and firm quotation. There are no “estimates” given in our industry. Once we have a chance to examine your existing equipment, a firm price can be established.
Basically, the price of a solar pool heater is similar to the initial cost of a quality electric heat pump or gas heater, but with no ongoing operational cost. You can get really cheap electric heat pumps, but again, you get what you pay for, and don’t forget the ongoing cost of electricity, which can be shocking.
If you still have questions about how much a solar pool heater costs, contact us today and we will be happy to help!