In theory, solar energy of any kind sounds pretty spectacular. The sun gives us life and all, so why not use it to power our appliances as well? There’s quite a few of its warm rays to go around, making solar power a ‘free choice’.
Despite this, people still stick to using expensive (and sometimes dangerous) electricity and even gas for power. Seems puzzling? In truth, solar energy still has a long way to go. Perhaps in a decade, or two, or three, we’ll have free renewable energy everywhere thanks to the sun.
As it stands now, however, solar power is kind of a lackluster energy source. It’s not just that it’s expensive to set up; even your 8-year-old nephew probably knows solar panels aren’t all that effective when the sun isn’t up. There’s a good chance you’ve mostly seen these panels on the houses of affluent individuals who’d like to ‘try this new thing out’ while still having good old-fashioned electricity to fall back on when the clouds gather.
Are solar heaters for your above ground pool even worth considering, then? Like everything, they’re not without their drawbacks, but you might want to give them a shot once you’ve become more familiarized with the workings…
A power source from (too far into?) the future
If you already have solar panels on your property, heating your above ground pool suddenly becomes a much more attractive option. If not, however, you’ll need to go through the troublesome and costly installation first. But before we get to that, you should ask yourself an obvious question: do I like the look of these panels on my home or around it?
Plenty of people find these things have a way of ruining the layout and aesthetic appeal of their home’s exterior. If you think of these panels as nothing but big, ugly Back to the Future props, you’ll probably have better luck with other means of heating your pool.
The aforementioned installation is often what puts people off the most. Aside from being odd-looking when finished, it’s also a very expensive process – having these panels installed for the first time can cost you anywhere between $5,100-10,000, and that’s just to heat your pool. Even when considering that the energy is free from there on, it’s still too much for many people.
Then when the panels are installed, there’s another issue to tackle: efficiency. You’ll want to think simple here: how sunny are things around where you live? If you’re in a London-esque cloudy environment with little sun coming through, solar panels won’t end up being all that efficient. There’s also the issue of nighttime swimming – to heat your water during the night, you’ll need to have another type of heating, which will probably make you think something along the lines of: “What’s the point of getting solar panels in the first place, then?”
When you add to this the fact that the heating process is fairly slow, you’ll quickly realize that these things are not for everyone. Still, friendliness to the environment and a decades-long lifespan managed to make solar panels worth getting for certain home owners despite the obvious cons.