Solar Pool Heating Vs Heat Pump

solar pool heating vs heat pumpMost people love having a swimming pool in their backyard and they like to enjoy it for as long as they can each year. In order to extend the swimming pleasure for them and their family, they will often heat their pool too. This is usually done by using a gas-fired heater, heat pump, or a rooftop solar pool heater. When it comes to solar pool heating vs heat pump, each has its advantages and disadvantages. That is what we will take a closer look at here. So if you are thinking about purchasing a new heater for your swimming pool it will help you decide which type of pool heater you think will work best for you. 

Energy Efficiency

How much it costs to run a pool heater should be one of your main considerations when looking to purchase one. This is especially true if you want to keep your swimming pool warm during the colder months of the year. It’s also something that’s a one-sided battle when it comes to comparing solar pool heating vs heat pump use. That’s because solar pool heaters make use of the natural heat that solar rays produce. You don’ get much more energy-efficient than that. With that being said, this should not totally turn you off as far as purchasing a swimming pool heat pump either. That’s because there have been big improvements in the technology that goes into them as far as energy efficiency is concerned. 

Ease of Installation

When looking at solar pool heating vs heat pump installation, this is a hard one to give an edge to either one. That’s because they both have quirks when it comes to installing them. Solar pool heaters are usually mounted on top of your roof. That means someone is going to have to climb up there to install the system and be comfortable working at heights while doing it. That is certainly not something that everyone is comfortable doing. It’s also the reason why this is best left to a professional solar pool heating installer.

Heat pumps do not have as much involved when it comes to installing them but they have their own installation quirks too. One of them is they are very heavy. This means that it will usually take three people to carry them from a vehicle and put them into place. They also need to have their wiring hooked up by a licensed electrician. This creates the need to find and schedule an electrician to get your heat pump operational.

Ease of Use

This another area where there is virtually a tossup when comparing these two types of pool heaters. That’s because neither are very complicated to use. Heat pumps are very simple to operate. All you have to do if you have a heat pump is pretty much set it and forget it. They really are that easy to use. Solar pool heaters are only slightly more difficult to use if they are not automated. It will require you to turn a few valves near your pump and filter to get them working or to turn them if. If your solar pool heater is automated, then it too will be a set it and forget it type of deal.

Ease of Maintenance

This is another area where it’s very hard to differentiate when you are looking at solar pool heating vs heat pump installation. There is very little maintenance that has to be done with either of these types of swimming pool heaters. Most of the maintenance that has to be done on each of them involves winterizing them in areas of the country where the air temperature gets below freezing at times. Other than that, just keeping an eye on them for leaks and other issues is all the maintenance that’s necessary on them. 

Heating Speed

This is a trait that is definitely going to favor a swimming pool heat pump. This is because they heat at a much faster rate of speed than solar heaters do. Not only that but they can heat your swimming pool at night which obviously, solar pool heaters cannot. So big advantage here to swimming pool heat pumps as far as the speed which they will put heat into your swimming pool.

Environmental Limitations

Unfortunately, heat pumps have one very big limitation with them. They draw heat out of their air in order to do their job. As the temperature gets colder this gets harder to do. That means that heat pumps are not practical to install if you want to heat your swimming pool when the air is cooler than 50 degrees. Even though solar pool heaters are not as efficient when the weather gets colder, they will still put heat into pool water as long as the sun is shining. 

What’s the biggest drawback with solar pool heaters? You don’t have to look any further than their name. They produce heat for a swimming pool by taking advantage of the sun’s powerful rays. But what if there is no sun? You guessed it; they are not going to do much as far as adding heat to your swimming pool. It’s one of the main reasons why pool owners choose heat pumps when looking at installing solar pool heating vs heat pump installation. Other than that heat pumps don’t work well when the temperature is less than 50 degrees in most cases, they can still be run at night and on cloudy days. 

Initial Cost

When it comes to the cost of buying and getting a pool heater set up, these two types of pool heaters are similar in that respect too. Heat pumps will generally cost more than rooftop solar systems but they are also usually less expensive to install. It’s just the opposite for solar pool heaters as they are less expensive to purchase but their installation cost is higher. So, this is not a relevant trait to consider when comparing these two different pool heating devices. 

Environmentally Friendly: Yes or No

There really is no comparison when it comes to which of these two pool heaters is the most environmentally friendly. A solar pool heater wins hands down. That’s because they work off of energy provided by sunlight which does not harm the environment in any way when collecting it. It is also a 100% renewable energy source. Heat pumps run off of electricity. Electricity is often produced by the consumption of fossil fuels, so it has a definite impact on the environment and that’s not in a good way. So if you want to lessen your carbon footprint on the planet, buying a solar pool heater is by far your best option.

The Bottom Line on Solar Pool Heating Vs Heat Pump Installation

When it comes right down to it, you can’t go wrong when you install either of these types of swimming pool heaters. They do both have their advantages and disadvantages but they will each also help you achieve the goal of extending your swimming season at home. Once you get used to how they work, you will quickly be able to enjoy having pool water that is much more comfortable to swim in. So make an informed decision when choosing between these two types of pool heaters but don’t stress out while doing it. 

Solar Pool Products from Wayne’s Solar

Now that you already know a lot about solar pool heating vs heat pump differences, then you might be ready to make a decision on what to get. Whether you’re getting solar pool heaters or you’re looking for the best heat pumps in Jacksonville, Wayne’s Solar is here to help. Our services such as solar electric installation, solar water heaters, solar pool heating, and more are also available in Orange City, Palm Coast, St. Augustine, and many more areas across Florida. Call us at 386-673-9720 for a free quote.


Wayne’s Solar offers free solar consultations to determine the very best solar investments for your unique situation. This will help you to determine the cost savings that you can realize from a solar investment for your home or business. We can also show you how you can monitor the performance of your solar product in real-time! Schedule your consultation today, and take the first step to a green energy future today!