Solar Pool Heating FAQ’s

  1. Is there any maintenance on the solar system?
  2. Can my homeowners association refuse it?
  3. Will I lose heat at night with solar?
  4. What is the potential of losing the system in a hurricane?
  5. How much longer can I (really) swim in my pool with solar?
  6. Will solar heat my pool in December, January or early February?
  7. Why don’t we see a lot more of it around?

[gravityform id=1 name=Aska Question ajax=true]

1. Is there any maintenance on the solar system?

The collectors are maintenance free. The controls that regulate the temperature can be either automatic or manual. On a manual operation, installed is a 3 way valve that is only necessary to turn off when the pool temperature reaches a desired temperature. From the end of October to mid April you will not need to operate this valve since pool water temperatures will not exceed water temps. that reach too warm. In May and June, maybe every 2 weeks adjust the valve (by-pass the solar) when it reaches your comfort level, hopouwever in most cases July-mid Sept. you will leave the 3 way valve in by-pass mode. It usually requires 4 or 5 times a year to adjust this valve.

Automatic operation requires setting a pre-set temperature and feeds a signal to a motorized valve operated by two sensors (one on the roof- another reads current pool water temp.) Once you program your desired temperature, walk away and its maintained.

2. Can my homeowners association refuse it?

In short NO, because Florida Statute 163.04 allows the use of renewable resources a.k.a. solar applications and overrides deed restrictions and building codes not exceeding 3 stories in height.

3. Will I lose heat at night with solar?

Temperatures normally remain above 65 degrees at night April-October, a solar blanket is not necessary under these conditions, and your warm pool will remain consistent morning and evening, however below these temperatures November-March a cover is necessary because convection heat losses will occur. The same applies to a heat pump or gas, without the cover, you just pay more to make up the difference.

4. What is the potential of losing the system in a hurricane?

The solar system we install has been tested up to 140 mph winds, because the patented hardware allows them to be anchored to the truss. As a result no solar systems in the past 3 hurricanes were lost.

5. How much longer can I (really) swim in my pool with solar?

This is going to vary because each individual has their own version of an ideal temperature.

For starters, when the solar system is sized properly, your pool should be above 80 degrees from the end of February until the end of November (refer to question #3).

If you choose not to use the cover in winter, you can still double your swimming season, on a screened enclosed pool or triple your swim season with the use of the cover. A typical screened enclosed pool’s natural swimming season of 80 degrees and above is from June-September. A typical unscreened pool’s temperature of 80 degrees and above is from early May through mid October. It might seem too warm, however its 13 degrees below your body’s temperature covering every pore on your skin. An 85 degree air temperature feels different because your body’s exchange of heat isn’t occurring the exact same way.

Many pools struggle to reach even 82 degrees in summer, because of the position of the pool related to shading from trees, house direction, extra convection losses from being near a pond or lake or on open field with no wind break.

6. Will solar heat my pool in December, January or early February?

In December of 2007 many of our customers experienced 85 degree Solar heated pool water. That year we had a warmer December than usual. We call December through February (bonus months), because there will be periods of time when your pool will be in the 80s….its just not going to be consistently in the 80s all the time in those 3 months.

A majority of people feel a low desire to swim when they have to put on a light jacket to go outside. For kids who are generally immune to cold water, the temperature of the pool water is nearly 12 degrees warmer in winter under a Solar heated pool as opposed to the natural season. In other words, it could be most of the year for kids. If you have a gas heater for the spa or a heat pump all you need is a few more degrees without a costly expenditure. This can be a comforting thought for that unexpected company that shows up at that time of year.

7. Why don’t we see a lot more of it around?

  1. Most hot water heaters are installed by builders who are more concerned with construction costs than with future utility bills. A conventional electric water heater costs less to install than Solar.
  2. The general public’s lack of awareness on how it works. Its just human nature to steer away from things we don’t fully understand.
  3. Lower electric rates in the (past) combined with No Rebates or incentives made for longer payback times.
  4. Add the old adage: (“If its not broke, don’t fix it.”) and the average conventional water heater lasts 13 years.

All of this is changing and rapidly, with much higher electric rates and (limited) time government Rebates and incentives, (as electric rates continue to increase, rebates for this type of solar application will not be as necessary). People through friends and other connections will find it makes sense.

If you choose to exchange or trade nearly 30% (*electric hot water heating costs) of your monthly electric bill costs for a (Solar Hot Water Heating System) the payback is just a few short years. Then the system will continue to generate almost a 30% return on your money every year thereafter….and even the stock market isn’t that consistent. (That’s real energy security!) (No more money concerns about long hot showers.)