What Is the Best Solar Pool Heater?

What Is the Best Solar Pool Heater?

Ever Wondered What the Best Solar Pool Heater is?

Swimming pools are important investments for many Perth homeowners. They’re the best way to beat the heat of the Australian summers while attracting friends and family to your house. Unfortunately, however, once the summer has passed, these beloved home features lose their appeal and are forgotten until the warmer months.

Homeowners looking to ensure that their swimming pools remain hot-ticket items through the year’s coldest months can find their answer in solar pool heaters. Because these simple tools come in several sizes and styles, many first-time purchases ask, “What is the best solar pool heater for my home?”

Every solar pool heater makes a significant difference in keeping your swimming pool usable year-round. Whether you get the most out of your pool’s solar heating depends on the specific model and features. Below, we will look at the essential factors to consider before you purchase solar pool heating, answer your lingering questions about these tools, and ultimately help you find the perfect make and model for your pool.

What Are Solar Pool Heaters

What Are Solar Pool Heaters?

A solar swimming pool heater warms your pool with the sun’s natural radiation. Solar swimming pool heaters are powered like traditional rooftop solar panels but attract and disperse that solar power in unique ways.

Solar pool heaters are outfitted with three devices primarily responsible for heating water: the pool pump, the flow control valve, and the solar collector. The pool pump extracts old water and sends it up to the solar collector, a tool that collects warmth from the sun’s rays and uses it to heat the water received from the pool pump. With the flow control valve determining the pace that the solar heater returns that water, your swimming pool will receive freshly heated water quickly so that it doesn’t lose heat returning from the solar collector.

The flow control valve also allows you to determine how hot you want your pool. You can lower your pool’s temperature by slowing the pace the water returns from the solar collector or heating it by increasing the speed.

With these three components working together, solar pool heaters provide eco-friendly heat to your pool year-round. And with a temperature-regulated pool, you can bring family and friends together to warm up in the winter the same way you would invite them to cool off in the summer.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Solar Pool Heater

Not every solar pool heater is comparable or serves the same purpose. Some are for smaller, above-ground pools, while others heat expansive in-ground models. Some are cheaper and come without extravagant features, while others come with a higher price tag but more flexibility on how much your pool gets heated.

Considering these factors and other significant differences will help you answer the question, “What is the best solar pool heater for my home?”

Size and Style of Pool

Several solar pool heating systems reliably warm both above-ground and in-ground swimming pools. However, many heaters are better at warming the water in one type over the other. Therefore, finding a solar pool heater compatible with your pool is essential if you want to get the most out of your purchase.

Similarly, not every solar heater you’ll find is a reliable option for warming every pool size. For example, if your solar heating system is too small for your large pool, the machine will not be able to warm the water quickly enough to make a difference. If you buy a solar heater designed for a large pool and use it to heat something small, the heater will work too quickly and warm the water to an uncomfortable temperature.

different pool sizes

Heater Efficiency

Simply put, some solar pool heaters are better at warming pool water than others.

Some heaters can warm thousands of gallons of water within a day of installation and raise the overall pool temperature by as much as six degrees Celsius. On the other hand, less-efficient models might only boost your water temperature by a maximum of three degrees.

It’s essential to decide what you want from your solar pool heating before committing to a model. Whether you need a solar pool heater that provides a sauna-quality experience and keeps you hot regardless of outside temperature or one that has a subtle impact, there will be an option available.

Ease of Installation

One of the most significant downsides of high-efficiency solar pool heaters is that they’re often complex to install. Unfortunately, many of the market’s best solar heaters are so complicated that they are inaccessible to DIY technicians, whether due to required speciality tools or advanced installation steps.

Of course, Perth homeowners can always have their solar pool heater professionally installed with service from 1 Pool Care, the area’s leading pool maintenance experts. However, those who want to handle the installation themselves can also opt for less efficient, less complex solar heaters.


Keeping a pool heated year-round can be an expensive investment. However, the amount you spend on your solar pool heater will depend on the model.

Of course, robust, high-efficiency solar heaters are more expensive than those that don’t warm pools as well. A top-shelf heater might run you into five figures, while some lower-grade models cost less than half that mark. So, if you want to keep your pool warm on a budget, you might side with a less effective but cost-friendly heater.

What Is the Best Solar Heating System for Pools?

The above factors make for a quality pool heater, but what is the best solar pool heater that checks all the boxes? As we mentioned, not every solar heater will work well for every size and style of pool. But, generally speaking, these are the best-regarded heaters for standard in-ground pools.

S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater (SunHeater)

S120U Universal Solar Pool HeaterThis option from SunHeater is popular for several reasons, but none as crucial as its flexibility.

Not only is this solar pool heater a reliable heating tool for in-ground and above-ground pools, but its slender design also allows you to install it anywhere. Many solar heating pools need their heater installed on the roof, but you can set up the SunHeater S120U on the ground, fence, or any outdoor location near the pool. Due to its unique web design, this solar pool heater absorbs more heat than most other models, increasing your pool temperature by as much as six degrees.

The SunHeater S120U’s narrow design makes it a less-than-ideal option for heating large pools. However, any small pool owner looking for a significant boost to their water temperature without the installation hassle can find it here.

Solar Swimming Pool Heater (SunQuest)

Solar Swimming Pool Heater (SunQuest)SunQuest’s pool-heating solar panels provide massive benefits to in-ground pools with minimal strain on existing parts. These solar heaters have a unique design that emphasises efficient water circulation, meaning there’s less strain on the pool pump and a lower chance it will need repairs.

The SunQuest solar panels’ design also allows it to match the high heating output of the SunHeater S120U. Both heaters can add six degrees to the pool’s water temperature, but the solar panels have the advantage of better durability.


The primary downside of the SunQuest Solar Swimming Pool Heater is that it doesn’t come with a replacement warranty. But, if you are willing to risk potential breakage without replacement, this solar heater is a quality option for large, in-ground pools.

S601 Pool Solar Heater (SmartPool)

SmartPool’s S601 solar pool heater is one of the newer heating units available. Since it is a newer machine, SmartPool has custom-built it with equally modern technology to make it one of the best solar pool heaters on the market.

This solar heating system comes with 80 solar panels. And while the high panel count means that the heater will take up more space in your home, it also means that it is one of the most powerful pool heaters you’ll find. Additionally, due to the S601’s direct-flow system, water reaches the solar collector and returns to the pool at high speed.

SmartPool’s solar panels are also more durable than most competitors’ products. SmartPool makes its panels with polypropylene and covers the heater with fibreglass. With those two innovations, The S601 Pool Solar Heater is as durable as it is powerful, making it one of the top choices for large, in-ground pools.

Smaller above-ground pool owners might benefit more from a heater adapted to their pool’s specifications.

What Is the Best Solar Heater for an Above-Ground Pool?

The three solar pool heaters listed above are primarily for in-ground pools. However, you might now be wondering, “What is the best solar pool heater for above-ground pools?”

There are plenty of other quality heating units designed for both types of pools, or above-ground ones specifically.

SolarPoolSupply built a heater panel that works with in-ground and above-ground pools. But, just because it caters to two different pool styles doesn’t mean it’s sacrificing quality for compatibility.

The Universal Solar Pool Heater Panel from SolarPoolSupply is one of the most robust heating systems available. It will easily warm a 24-foot above-ground pool by six degrees and can even bring the overall temperature up by eight degrees in smaller pools.

Like SmartPool’s S601 Pool Solar Heater, SolarPoolSupply makes its heating panels from polypropylene. Between the strong material and a 10-year warranty, this universal heater panel is a long-lasting option that brings plenty of heat to above-ground pools.

S240U (SunHeater)

The S240U is another popular and practical solar pool heater option from SunHeater. Like the S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater, the S240U is easy to install, takes minimal space, and you can set it up anywhere outside. However, the most significant difference between the S240U and the previous SunHeater option is that this one is for above-ground pools specifically.

There are limitations to the pool size the S240U can heat, only being effective for round pools up to 18 feet and oval pools up to 24 feet. If your pool falls within that size range, an S240U solar heating panel from SunHeater is an easy-to-install way to add six degrees to its water temperature.

Solar Powered Heating System (Fafco)

Solar Powered Heating System (Fafco)Fafco is one of the oldest names in solar pool heating, and their newest heater reflects the years of experience they have in the industry.

The Fafco solar-powered heating system packs plenty of power into a manageable frame. This solar heater is 20 feet long but only two feet wide. Its slender frame means it won’t take much space in your back yard. Additionally, you can position it at the perfect angle to absorb the most sunlight because it is narrow and flexible.

Fafco’s solar-powered heating system requires professional installation and maintenance but is still a popular option for its compact size and flexibility.

Solar Pool Heating FAQs

Your solar pool heater will stop working once the sun goes down since it doesn’t have a reliable power source to absorb heat. However, if you install a solar pool cover with your heater, the water will remain warm.

Setting up and looking after a solar pool heater can cause more frustrations than it’s worth. But, with installation, repair, and maintenance services from 1 Pool Care, you can bring the benefits of reliable pool heating to your home without headaches.

It depends on what you want from your solar pool heater. The more expensive models provide more heat than cheaper options. So, if you want a reliable six- to eight-degree boost to your pool’s water temperature, it might be best to splurge.

Pool heating costs vary depending on what product you choose. It’s important to understand the positives and negatives of each heating product individually. For example, full inverter (solar heating) heat pumps can use up to 80% less power consumption than a standard heat pump. Our team are able to help you choose a cost effective way to way to heat your pool.

Learn More About Solar Swimming Pool Heaters with 1 Pool Care

We’ve now looked at a handful of quality solar pool heaters, but what is the best solar pool heater of the bunch? Unfortunately, there isn’t one definitive answer with all the different factors to consider, but 1 Pool Care will help you find the best option for you and your pool.

Our team has helped pool owners across Perth for three decades and is ready to help you find and install the perfect pool heating system to your home. Call us today at 0456 75 75 75 to get started.

Here are the 4 most common choices for residential and commercial pool heating in Perth:

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