Best Solar Heaters For Above Ground Pool

Are you shopping around for the best solar heaters for above ground pool in 2021? If yes, you are in the right place as this post explores the best solar heaters available out there.

Everyone loves spending time in their pool. Water leisure activities are amongst the most popular ones, but why should you enjoy them during the summer? 

HELIOCOL Swimming Pool Solar Heating PanelBest Overall4.7/5
Intex Solar Heater for Above Ground PoolBest Budget4.4/5
SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool HeaterMost Compact4.6/5
XtremepowerUS Pool Solar Heating SystemMost Versatile4.5/5

As the temperature starts to drop, it will start to get a little bit cold. Therefore, you are going to have trouble with your water. However, you can simply heat it with one of the best solar heaters for above ground pool.

What Are Best Solar Heaters For Above Ground Pool?

You can use many best solar heaters for above ground pool to heat your above ground pool. These heaters will make it okay for you to take a dip in your pool even when it is cold outside.

Best solar heaters for above ground pool work in a similar fashion to water heating systems. The only important difference between them lies in the energy source that will actually move the pool water through the system. Above ground pools most often use solar panels to heat their water, mounting them on the sides of the roof of the pool.

It is rather simple, really. Solar heaters for above ground pool pump water through the built-in filter, which removes any contaminants in the water. This is very important as you don’t want dirt in your water.

The water then goes through the tubes with solar energy collectors. Here it collects the heat from these tubes to warm up before going back into the pool.

If you’re thinking about buying the best solar heaters for above ground pool, you’re probably aware that there are hundreds upon hundreds of options out there.

In this article, we’ll be helping you choose the right option for yourself. We will be talking about these heaters, what to look out for, and how to choose the right one for your pool. After that, we’ll be offering our top choices of solar heaters.

Advantages of Using Best Solar Heaters For Above Ground Pool

Firstly, let’s talk about the benefits of these heaters. The main purpose of these heaters is to warm the water you’re swimming in up. It is also to filter it, but they are called ‘heaters’ and not ‘filters with a heating option’ for a reason.

Using a solar heater to heat your pool water is a very efficient way to do it, as you also won’t have to spend any money on electricity. These solar panels react with the sunlight and use it to create electricity. This will power the whole system to warm up the water.

The system is also great since it’s so eco-friendly – sunlight is a 100% renewable source of energy. Therefore, if you want to stay green and keep the planet healthy, this is a great option for you.

These heaters are very easy to install. The best part is, they’re surely going to reflect positively on your monthly electricity bill. You don’t have to worry about wires and extension cords because there are not any, just follow your instructions and heat your pool up.

Benefits of Using Best Solar Heaters For Above Ground Pool

Here are some of the most prominent pros for solar heaters:

  • They’re cost-friendly – since you’re not going to using power from the main electricity grid, you’ll be saving a lot of money with this
  • Eco-friendly – these heaters are completely green, as they’re using a clean and renewable source of energy. Using these heaters helps with cutting down the emissions of dangerous and toxic fumes and gases
  • Maintenance – heaters don’t require much maintenance. Even though traditional above ground heaters that run on electricity do need periodic maintenance, these solar heaters don’t need that.
  • Easy installation – you’ll receive detailed instructions with the purchase, so you don’t have to worry about having problems with installation. It’s a simple DIY project, and you don’t have to worry about hiring a specialist.\
  • Temperature – this heater will keep your temperature at the perfect level the whole time; you won’t have to worry about jumping into cold water.

The only real con we can point out is the fact that they need mounting. This could be troublesome for some people, but that’s still nothing in comparison with the pros.

Things to Consider Before You Buy

There are several things you need to think of when purchasing your solar heater. There are three kinds of best solar heaters for above ground pool, which are

  • Solid solar panels
  • Individual glazed solar panels
  • Unglazed solar panels

Let us have a quick look at each of them

Solid Solar Panels

The solid solar panels are similar to the panels you’ve seen in your everyday solar power system. These panels are great during the hottest parts of the day – since they’re so flat, they’re the best at gathering sunlight around noon. They become less effective as the day passes.

One big problem with them is that since they’re so flat, they also make for good wind collectors, so you will want to strap them down if you don’t want them flying away.

Individual glazed solar panels

Individual solar tube panels are a different story, as these have several tubes that are arranged side by side. They’re more difficult to blow away in comparison to solid solar panels. Each of the tubes on the panel can gather sunlight, so they’re also a bit more efficient.

Unglazed solar panels

The difference between glazed and unglazed individual solar tube panels is that glazed panels are usually ideal for those living in colder temperatures. In contrast, unglazed solar panels are better for those living in warmer climates.

Another important thing to think about is the size of solar collectors, as they’re not all the same. Larger solar collectors can collect more sunlight. If you have a larger pool, you shouldn’t be buying smaller collectors.

You should also keep efficiency in mind, as collectors have a conversion rate of 23% – 25% and collectors that have 21.5% or less.

Only the highest-end collectors can keep the 23-25 percent collection conversion rate, while 21.5 percent and less are less efficient collectors. No collector can use 100% of sunlight, so know that these numbers are normal.

However, if you come upon two solar heaters that cost the same, with the only difference being in the conversion rate – take the one with the higher conversion rate.

Most heaters declare very clearly how much they can heat up your pool. You’re going to want to look for a heater that can raise water temperature by 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything less than that won’t be any good.

Always look for heaters that offer extensive protection. Heaters should have UV protection, alongside corrosion and rust protection. They should be made of industrial-grade materials. There are many parts to a solar heater: the panel, the controller, the pump, the filter, the tubes, etc. – make sure you don’t lose this.

4 Best Solar Heaters For Above Ground Pool

We’ve covered everything that there is to know about solar heaters; let’s move on and take a look at some heaters!

Best Overall – HELIOCOL Swimming Pool Solar Heating Panel

We’ve decided to go with HELIOCOL’s solar heating panel because it’s amazing in just about every way. Seriously, we couldn’t find a single flaw to it.

Firstly, you’ll notice the incredibly modern, streamlined, sleek design. This heater definitely won’t take anything away from your pool, and you’re not even going to notice it’s there. Many heaters are going to assure you of their presence because they’re so bulky and simply don’t fit in there – this heater isn’t out of place, and you’re definitely not going to regret buying it.

About the Manufacturer

Another great thing about it is that these best solar heaters for the above ground pool come from HELIOCOL, they’re a well-known, respectable company. You are not buying something clunked up by your regular weekend handyman and sold to you at an overblown price.

HELIOCOL is a company that’s deserving of the trust we’re putting in them. So much so, this solar heater is considered one of the best, if not the best, in the world.

About the Heater

This heater is also very easy to set up, so you can be sure that you won’t be having any trouble with that. It has mounting sleds; this allows you to maintain the configuration of individual riser rubes. Additionally, it prevents wear and tear to both the panel and roof during periods of expansion and contraction.

The panel clamps allow you to mount the solar panels closer together without the need for rubber hoses and metal clamps. This design increases overall system efficiency and virtually eliminates regular maintenance and replacement.

The header is right over each individual tube and fused together during construction, producing the strongest possible connection. What’s great about this is that you’re safe from the wind because of the individual tube design.

Individual tube design helps resist wind lift and protects roof surface from rain rot by allowing increased evaporation of excess moisture. Round tubes also capture more heat. Each individual tube opens into the header, virtually eliminating backpressure, saving wear and tear on pool pumps.

The only real disadvantage to these panels is that they’re not too large, so if you have a large pool, you’re going to have to buy more of them. It’s only 20x20x13 inches, so if you have a large pool, you’re going to have to buy more.

However, there are similar and larger solar heaters by HELIOCOL that you can look up, so that might be the solution to your problems.

Best Budget Option – Intex Solar Heater for Above Ground Swimming Pool

If you are on a tight budget, you shouldn’t worry, as there are many best solar heaters for above ground pool for you out there. Take Intex’s solar heater, for example. Compactly sized and smartly designed, this heater will get the job done at a low price.

What to Expect?

In fact, its price is probably the first thing that many shoppers take notice of. This heater can heat up your pool from 5 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit, exactly what we’ve discussed and said that you should look for.

It’s compatible with pools with a capacity of up to 8000 gallons and with filter pumps of up to half HP, or a pump flow rate that’s less than 2500 gallons per hour. This heater works perfectly for medium-sized pools, and it’s not that large, just 47 by 47 inches. It won’t take up too much space once you’ve installed it, and it will certainly stay out of your sight.

It’s easy to use, and it’s economical to use, as it utilizes eco-friendly technology to function. You can experience nearly instant results with this heater, as you can connect it to any Intex filter pump. This way, it’ll push the water back into the pool as soon as it heats the water up.

You can even generate extra heat by joining the mats together to create a pool cover appearance.

This is definitely cheaper than heating your pool up using gas. However, do keep in mind that the Intex Solar Heater will not provide the same amount and consistency of heat as some other larger models that we’ll be seeing on this list. This is, after all, the cheapest option, and you should take it as that. Another takeaway from this heater is that it works only with above-ground Intex pools

Most Compact Option – SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater

If you’re looking for something smaller best solar heaters for above ground pool that can fit into any pool and heat it, we have just the heater for you.

Meet the SolarPRO Curve, an ideal solution for those with smaller above-ground swimming pools. This heater features a smooth, compact design with smart technology.

The GAME SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater has a special design for above-ground and most in-ground pools. It increases the pool temperature by 5 degrees in 4 days (for an 8,000-gallon pool, larger pools need more time). You will quickly notice that your water’s becoming warm and very pleasant to swim in.

What To Expect?

The heater design comes from a quality material that will hold up against frequent exposure to the sun and outdoor elements, so you don’t have to worry about this heater’s life is short, as it’s surely going to stick around for a while.

The streamlined, curved design is something that most people notice first. Nobody can deny that this heater looks very modern and smooth, so you surely won’t be swimming with an eyesore in your pool. These best solar heaters for above ground pool are an engineering marvel with a unique curved shape that maximizes heat collection.

The threaded ports offer you complete versatility when it comes to plumbing options. This means that the design isn’t there just for show, as there are many benefits.

This heater’s legs are adjustable; this is very important because you want to catch as much sunlight as possible. The legs are also foldable, so you can always lay it down on the ground. The heater is also compatible with Intex, Bestway’s, and most above and inground pools.

A great thing about this heater is that it collects sunlight throughout the day, not just during the day’s hottest hours. This way, the heater can collect energy at every stage of the Sun’s ascent and descent across the sky, enabling it to increase the water temperature by 10 degrees within a couple of days.

Benefits of Using These Best Solar Heaters For Above Ground Pool

This solar pool heater is not claiming to be a miracle-cure heater. These best solar heaters for above ground pool have a design that extends your pool season by gradually increasing the water temperature by a few degrees. Maximum heat output with space-saving footprint

Taking its efficiency into account, these best solar heaters for above ground pool actually comes with quite a reasonable price tag. Therefore, it is natural that most customers opt to get one of these solar heaters for above ground pool

It’s small and compact, the curved shape it dons is very stylish, and it helps it collect energy, it’s very easy to install, the price is more than reasonable, and it’s ideal for smaller and medium-sized pools.

The only real drawback is that it’s so small, making it inefficient for larger pools.

When we’re talking about this heater, we have to mention GAME’s 4714 SolarPRO Contour Solar Pool Heater. This is basically the previously mentioned heater’s brother. This heater is twice as expensive, but it’s absolutely amazing.

The heater has a shape like a dome, and it can heat up pools up to 10,000 gallons in size. This heater creates a greenhouse effect to increase the transfer of heat. There are no electric or gas connections to this heater. It has a water capacity of 1.5 gallons, and it will raise the temperature by 5 degrees Fahrenheit in just six days.

It has a very powerful pump, with a strength of 1.5 HP behind it, which ensures a flow rate of 19 GPM. Just like the previous model, the legs are adjustable and foldable

Added Benefits

This is the most efficient solar dome heater on the market. People are especially interested in this model of solar heaters because of its looks. The dome design is especially pleasing to the eye, and many people see this as a big plus.

The dome shape makes installation very easy, and the curling tubes on the inside will maximize efficiency for this heater.


There are only two downsides to this heater: firstly, just like with his brother – it’s no good for larger pools as it’s rather small. Secondly, this heater is an Intex pool exclusive, which means that it’s not intended for any other pool.

Most Versatile Option – XtremepowerUS Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System

If you’re looking for the best solar heaters for above ground pool that can really adapt to anywhere, then you’ve just found it. This is a really rare occurrence, as this is one of those heaters that offer really high performance for the price of a cheap heater.

What to Expect?

XtremepowerUS’ panels exclusively use extremely high-grade materials in their design to last in all types of weather – this makes it very durable, and you won’t have to worry about it breaking or being harmed by the weather.

It’s very important for the panels to be able to circulate air even when it’s hot, too much heat will damage the panel – you don’t have to worry about this problem with this heater.

This system is very easy to install, but it’s actually quite large. It is 2 feet by 20 feet, which allows it to be very quick at heating things. This heater will heat your pool by 15 degrees Fahrenheit in just a day – now that’s crazy fast!

And if we’re not wrong, that’s the quickest out of all the heaters on this list. This heater is very effective, clearly. The pool’s pump and filter system circulate pool water through the solar panels once they heat up, and then the water is returned to your pool.

These panels don’t produce any greenhouse gases, so you know that you’re keeping the planet healthy. They’re also cost-effective, meaning that in time when you compare how much money you’ve saved from using this system, you’ll see that it’s actually much more than the amount of money you’ve spent on the system.

What Makes These TheBest Solar Heaters For Above Ground Pool

What’s also great about the system is the fact that it’s very low-maintenance, so you won’t need to worry about servicing it every once in a while

What’s crazy about this heater (apart from everything being perfect) is the fact that it’s so cheap, so people are naturally hurling into purchase to profit off of this offer. It’s also very versatile because it can heat both indoor and above-ground pools, so you don’t have to limit it to above-ground pools.

Each panel is 2×20 feet in size, and they’re all made of lightweight, flexible, durable black polypropylene. The panel tube construction creates a larger surface area, optimizing heat transfer from the Sun to your pool.

Many people use the fact that these panels are so long to their advantage and put them on the roof. That way, the panels aren’t taking too much room, and they’re not a nuisance, but they’re also getting the largest possible amount of sunlight, as there’s no shade on the roof.

Things to Consider

You need to watch out when you’re buying this, though. Larger pools need more panels, so make sure to know how much you need before you order. This is actually the only drawback to this heater – if your pool is larger than 80 square feet, you’ll have to purchase more than a single panel to heat it.

This doesn’t mean that it’s in any way bad, but it’s just too weak to heat a massive pool.

Another thing that should be pointed out, which is not a problem. However,  more of a nuisance is the fact that you may need a diverter kit. This is sometimes needed if you’re using a pump that exceeds 1.5 HP. Diverters are sold separately.

However, we believe that these cons are completely canceled out when you look at all the advantages this heater will give you. You can use it for both an inground and an above-ground pool; it can increase water temperature by 15 degrees Fahrenheit in a single day (which is something no other heater on this list can do).

It is very cheap, and it’s very easy to use and install. It’s also very green and will save you a lot of money in the long term, that’s why we insist that these cons aren’t that much of a problem

Honorable Mentions

There are definitely a few heaters that are good in their respective fields but didn’t really shine in comparison to the ones we’ve listed.

Doheny Space Saver Collector – this heater is cost-effective, eco-friendly, very easy to install and use, and it also works with all kinds of pumps and pools. The only drawback to it is that the panel is so large and needs a lot of space. Here’s the link.

SmartPool Solar Heating System is very easy to install, and it’s also compatible with all kinds of swimming pools. It uses a direct flow design for efficient water circulation, and it comes with all the tools needed for it to start working as soon as you set it up. However, it is very large and requires a lot of space, and you may need more than one to heat a larger area. Here’s a link to this heater.

These go great with solar floating pool lights. And if you want everything to be solar, you may be wondering if solar pool pumps are worth it. It depends on where you live, but they are great for most sunny locations.


I'm trying to make the world a bit greener every day, whether that's through my day job or helping others make green choices for their homes.

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