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“That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest”

H.D. Thoreau

 

Consumers Guide to Solar Energy

Solar Swim Pool Heating Systems FAQ

Frequently asked questions about:
Simple, Dependable, & Affordable Solar Pool Heating Systems

About Solar Today…

By now you've probably heard a lot about solar energy and what it can and cannot do. But did you realize that the most effective use of solar energy is to heat a swimming pool? According to government tallies, more solar collectors have been made for swimming pool heating than for all other uses combined! With all that you've been reading and hearing about solar energy and the constant increases in the cost of utilities, you probably have a lot of questions. The following may answer some of them for you.

Q: Why would I want my pool heated?
Q. What about the environment?
Q. How well does solar energy heat a pool?
Q. How does solar compare with heat pumps for pool heating?
Q. What is the best type of collector to use?
Q. Is a solar pool heating system easy to operate?
Q. How much will a solar pool heater cost?
Q. In simple terms, how does a solar heater work?
Q. What kind of maintenance is required?
Q. How much will my solar heater cost to operate?
Q. What sized system will I need for my pool?
Q. Do the solar collectors have to face south?
Q. Can the collectors also be used to heat a spa?
Q. How long can I expect my Heliocol collectors to last?
Q. Why should I buy a Heliocol pool heating system from SolarSwim instead of other seemingly good brands?
Q. Can I install the Solar pool heater myself and save money!
Q. What makes SolarSwim Pool Heating Systems my best choice for solar pool heating?

Q Why would I want my pool heated?

You probably bought your pool for many reasons like family fun, entertaining friends, exercise, and those quiet relaxing moments or perhaps even for therapeutic reasons. You spent a lot of time making the decision to invest in a quality pool, patio furniture, fencing, landscaping, and all other incidental items that make up the backyard pool experience. You are therefore expecting to get the most use out of your pool. But if your pool is frequently too cold to swim in comfortably, you are not realizing the full benefit of your investment. Solar Heating can more than double the length of your swimming season and provide many more warm and comfortable swimming days throughout. With a heated pool you will honestly feel that you have achieved maximum use of the pool for the season. Simply ask yourself the question “If our most important house guest showed up today, could they use the pool?”

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Q. What about the environment?

Solar pool heating is friendly to the environment. Solar is clean and uses no fossil fuels or chemical refrigerants which may contribute to air pollution, acid rain, ozone depletion or the ‘greenhouse effect’. This free and easy heat makes solar an elegant choice for pool heating and politically correct...

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Q. How well does solar energy heat a pool?

Solar energy is just another fuel with which to heat your pool. A properly designed solar pool heating system can achieve the same results as other fuels. On days when you can relax comfortably in a bathing suit at poolside, but the water is usually too cold for swimming, solar energy can heat your pool to a comfortable temperature for swimming, usually about a 10-15 degree increase!

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Q. How does solar compare with heat pumps for pool heating?

The cost of installing an electric heat pump is generally comparable to the cost of a solar heating system. The annual cost of electricity to run a heat pump may be two thirds the cost of gas, but the sun’s energy is FREE. Also, remember, a heat pump has a refrigerant system with a motor and compressor. When these mechanical parts eventually wear out they are expensive to replace. However, in the unlikely event that your pool is among the few on which a solar system cannot be installed, a heat pump may be your best alternative.

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Q. What is the best type of collector to use?

Unlike other solar pool heating systems that use tube on tube flat plate collectors or monolithic designs, the Heliocol collectors use a patented individual tube design that relieves stress caused by expansion and contraction. This may not be important in the Sun Belt where the temperature does not vary more than 30 degrees. However, in New Jersey where we may have temperature swings of 100 degrees or more, this ability of the Heliocol, collectors to expand and contract without failure is paramount. The individual tube design eliminates the need for invasive hold-down strapping and all the holes in the roof required by less intelligent, monolithic designs. Less roof penetrations means a safer, more secure and longer lasting trouble free installation for you! Heliocol collectors are the only solar panel engineered with a direct flow system to provide optimum flow without restrictions on your pool filter system. Other collectors that use a sub-plenum create backpressure that reduces your filtration system performance. Our proven design has been in continuous operation for 30 years now making Heliocol the number one choice of satisfied swimming pool owners around the world.

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Q. Is a solar pool heating system easy to operate?

Yes. Most solar pool heating systems can be made fully automatic and are as simple to operate as any electric or fossil fuel heater. Our most advanced auto control panel, the Aqua-Solar incorporates digital temperature readout. It is as easy as set it and forget it!

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Q. How much will a solar pool heater cost?

The initial cost is on par with a heat pump purchase and can be about the same as the cost of a gas heater and perhaps the first and second season’s worth of gas. That’s it! Thereafter, all your heat is free! We have had systems price out for less than a gas heater\gas line installation offering an instantaneous payback! After the system has been paid off, it will offer large dividends to you each and every year in the forms of savings and added comfort. Remember, if you didn’t have the solar heater you would have a large fuel bill. Since you don’t have that fuel bill, the money can now be used for other purposes. Even if you aren’t presently heating your pool, a solar heater can provide you with economic benefits. The financial equation is simple: Increase the investment in your pool up to 30% and increase your fun, enjoyment and swimming season a minimum of 100%! For real numbers, we find the average system falling between 4 and 5 thousand dollars and tax exempt!

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Q. In simple terms, how does a solar heater work?

Using the pump that circulates pool water through the filter, the water is diverted so that it flows through the many small passages of the solar collector. While passing through the collector, the water is warmed by the sun. This warm water then flows directly back to the pool. When the pool has reached the desired temperature the water will then by-pass the solar collector and return directly to the pool. The automatic control is constantly monitoring temperatures of both the pool water and the solar collectors. When it sees a 3 or more degree advantage at the collectors, it will actuate the control valve and let the water flow. Automatic!

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Q. What kind of maintenance is required?

Your solar pool heater will require no maintenance beyond your usual pool winterizing procedures.

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Q. How much will my solar heater cost to operate?

Since the sun’s energy is free, there are no additional operating costs to heat your pool!

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Q. What sized system will I need for my pool?

There are many factors that affect this answer. These Include: the size of the pool, how long you want to extend your comfortable swimming season, geographic area, average wind and humidity levels, the tilt and orientation of the solar collectors, the use of an automatic controller and the willingness to use a blanket when the nights are cool. A qualified solar installer will carefully gauge all these factors to assess your particular requirements and design a proper sized solar collector for your pool. Our collectors usually fall between 60-80% of the pool surface area. We strive for temperatures above 80 for 5 months of the year. Temperatures in the mid to high 80’s for 90 days or more each season can be expected!

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Q. Do the solar collectors have to face south?

Not necessarily. The solar collectors should just be installed where they can be in the sun a good portion of the day. Depending on the angle of the mounting surface, east and west facing systems can function equally as well. We like to see a minimum of 5 hours of sun on the collectors between the hours of 10am-5pm for a respectable performance curve.

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Q. Can the collectors also be used to heat a spa?

Yes, but you will need a backup heater for evening use to. Those pools with an attached spa and spillway are well suited to a solar collector. Most have valving allowing you to send the heated water directly to the spa while spilling over and heating the pool. In this situation, the spa will always be the warmest part of the pool.

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Q. How long can I expect my Heliocol collectors to last?

That is anyone’s guess. We have not seen any significant failures after 28 years of manufacture. The probability is that they can be expected to last a minimum of 20 years in the New Jersey climate! Nevertheless, we know the quality of these collectors is so good that we are the only solar collector in the world to carry I.S.O. 9002 quality certification and to offer a factory backed 12 year parts and labor guarantee and a Limited Lifetime Warrantee! In January 2007, we were called to remove a Heliocol system from a house in Princeton for some roof upgrades. This system had zero leaks, zero defects and was in astonishingly good condition for its age. It was installed in 1991.

The strongest guarantee in the industry, the recognized leader in quality, and the roof friendly design backed by actual field experience since 1977 make this system the intelligent choice for you! Who could ask for more than that?

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Q. Why should I buy a Heliocol pool heating system from SolarSwim instead of other seemingly good brands?

  • Heliocol collectors have been in continuous production and service since 1977.
  • It is backed by the strongest guarantee in the industry. 12 years full parts and labor, and a lifetime limited warrantee.
  • It has been engineered as a completely integrated system to exacting specifications and quality control to provide you with extended trouble free performance. I.S.O. 9002 certification does not come easily!
  • Superior components including corrosion free attachment hardware and modular sizing capability.
  • Government tested and accredited performance certifications. Rated at 956 btu/sq ft./day and 165M.P.H. Wind!
  • A beautiful, continuous appearance. No unsightly gaps between collectors or rubber hoses and hose clamps!
  • The roof friendly design eliminates the need for invasive, troublesome hold down strapping. 66% less roof penetrations means safety, security and peace of mind for you!
  • They are the finest pool heating solar collector available at any price. It is no wonder that are the #1 selling solar pool heating collector in the world! The engineering speaks for itself. Heliocol: Solar pool heating perfected!

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Q. Can I install the Solar pool heater myself and save money!

We offer DIY kits for the capable homeowner. We will be glad to discuss your needs and help design a system for your pool. We can then arrange delivery of the equipment to your home. Many people opt for our dealer assisted installation. We come out and size the system and determine the exact configuration, and after the equipment is delivered and installed, we come out once again to make the complicated cut in at the filter and hook up the automatic control if purchased. We also inspect your work at this time. This option gives you a professionally designed and installed system while saving you 25 to 50 percent!

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Q. What makes SolarSwim Pool Heating Systems my best choice for solar pool heating?

As authorized Heliocol Master Distributors, we have earned a reputation for our skill and dependability. We are thoroughly trained and experienced tradesmen familiar with every detail of your design and installation. Having had our basis in the swimming pool industry instead of the heating and cooling industry gives us a unique advantage. We are very familiar with the all the popular pumps, filter systems and brands of automation and have been around pools continuously since 1976! We recognize the importance of flow rates and utilize almost all 2 inch piping and manifolds. Our manifolds are sensible and neat. We often re-do our customers plumbing around the filter to bring it out of the Stone Age. We will provide the added assurance of continued satisfaction with your purchase. Beware of your local pool guy offering to install a solar heater for you. They cannot possibly offer the quality of product, expertise, or installation know-how of an authorized Heliocol Master Distributor. And because of our volume buying power and installations, you will find we are competitive and often less expensive than the occasional pool guy dabbling in solar. One thing is for sure, when you buy your solar pool heater from SolarSwim Pool Heating Systems, you are buying a system that will provide years of trouble free service, high performance, and pride of ownership. Couple that with our low price guarantee and you have a win-win situation. We have been building a better solar system since 1990. May we build one for you?

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Solar Swim Pool Heating Systems
PO Box 5971, Somerset, NJ, 08875 • 800-894-7652 • fax: 908-533-3019 • sales@solarswim.net

 

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