Best Solar Pool Heaters for Above Ground Pool

Swimming in a pool has numerous benefits and advantages such as it being a place where one could relax, a place where one could have fun and bond with family and friends and it being able to provide better health through exercise are just a few to mention. Unfortunately, once the weather becomes cooler and colder, swimming and hanging in the pool could become a challenge and become more difficult as the water’s temperature tends to decrease. Though this is the case, it should not hinder you from being able to enjoy your pool as you could now heat the water through a pool heater.

There are different kinds of pool heaters but one of the best types are solar heaters. This type of heaters draws their power from the sun and does not require any electricity which means, you will not have any problems with your electric bill shooting up.

Things to Consider:

Each and every solar heater varies in terms of cost and performance. Thus, we highly recommend that you consider the following factors before purchasing one:

1. Price

Though there are some affordable and cheaper solar heaters, if you would wish for a higher temperature, this would affect the price. But, it is also a great investment.

2. Warranty

Solar heaters usually cost over a hundred dollars. However, if one part gets broken especially the solar panels or the pump then your investment will go down the drain. With that said, it is highly recommended to purchase one that comes with a warranty.

3. Installation

One of the most important factors when purchasing any product is its level of difficulty on its installation as if you hire a professional to help you, it could cost you additional fees. Fortunately, there are good easy to install heaters for above-ground pools.

4. Size

Since solar pool heaters acquire their energy from the sun, it usually takes some space. Thus, if you have limited room, you will need to consider the size.

5. Temperature

This is one of the biggest factors that you will need to consider. Average solar heaters usually could heat the water by 5 to 10 degrees higher but there are also high-end models that could raise the temperature up to 15 degrees.

Best Solar Heaters for Above Ground Pools

For under $25

10. Intex Solar Heater Mat

There are numerous solar heaters in the market but there are rare budget and cheap options. Fortunately, Intex has offered an affordable solar heater mat for pool use. It is small and does not take a lot of space. It comes with measurements of 47×47 and under 4 feet. It is easy to install as well and is compatible with most filter pumps up to ½ HP. This solar heater could cater a pool with up to 8000 gallons or about 24 feet in circumference.

As for its performance, depending on the weather, this water heater could only increase the water’s temperature by 3 to 5 degrees. Though it is not much and there is only a slight difference in the change of the temperature, it is very affordable.

For Under $150

9. GAME 4512 SolarPro XD1 Solar Pool Heater with Adapter

This brand and model is the editor’s pick. Though it is not the best in terms of overall performance, it is the finest in its price range. It is small and is less conspicuous compared to other pool heaters.

4512 does not require bulky solar panels but it could still get its heat from the sun and transfer the said heat into your pool. This solar pool heater is easy to use. All you have to do is to connect it to the pump and it will raise the temperature up to 5 to 7 degrees. Though it might sound not much, solar heaters that are much expensive could only heat your pool up to 10 degrees making this model more cost effective.

4512 could cater up to 8000 gallons of water and the effectiveness could be doubled through the use of bypass kit and adding a second unit.

8. Doheny’s Above Ground Solar Heating Systems

Other solar heaters on this list are small and compact. That couldn’t be said about Doheny’s above-ground solar heating system. It, in fact measures about 2.5 feet tall and 20 feet long. Though it is huge, it is easy to install. All you have to do is hook it up on your water pump and woolah! It will start working and will increase your pool’s temperature up to 15 degrees.

Though this product is amazing, there are several disadvantages as well such as it is huge and it could take a large space. It also does not have a mounting kit which is needed when installing this device.

Under $200

7. GAME 4721 SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater

Unlike other GAME’s solar pool heater products, this model is quite unique in terms of its curved design and due to its design, the heat output is maximized and extra heat is transferred directly into your pool. The downside however is this unit will only emit the same amount of heat it absorbs from the sun. This means if the sun moves across the sky and the light of the sun changes, the temperature that it will release would decrease. Though this is the situation, do not fret as since it comes with a curved design, it could absorb light for longer period. This model could be paired with other units.

6. SunCOIL SC-DOME Solar Heater for Above Ground Pools

This model comes with kits that would assist you in setting this device for your pool. SunCOIL does not only include hoses but also a complete connection kit and a diverter valve kit. This heater could be mounted on folding legs which allows you to readjust the position of the solar heater for better and maximized collection of heat. Aside from that, it comes with a clear dome which is effective in trapping heat from the sun.

The downsides, however, is its kits come with a quite number of pieces which makes the installation a bit challenging compared to other units.

This model comes with a five-year warranty.

5. 1-2’x20’ SunQuest Solar Swimming Pool Heater

This model unit is similar to Doheny’s solar heater in terms of its size. Yes, SunQuest’s Solar heater comes in large measurements. This means, it also emits more heat. Moreover, this solar heater comes with two inch OD headers which improves the circulation of your pool’s water. By doing so, it also lessens the pressure of your pump and increases the temperature of your water. This pool heater is designed for both in ground and above ground pools. It is easy to install as well and could raise water temperature up to 10 degrees.

Under $250

4. 2-2’X20 SunQuest Solar Swimming Pool Heater

This unit is similar to 1-2’x20 model. The difference however is that this unit comes with a two solar panel units which makes this solar pool heater efficient and is considered as excellent value. Aside from that, it also comes with two-inch OD headers that works as a connector for your pump and to improve the circulation of your pool’s water. It would also raise the temperature of the water evenly.

2-2’X20 is compatible with both in and above ground pools. It could increase the temperature of your pool up to 10 degrees.

3. GAME 4512 SolarPro XD2

Compared to 4513, this model is larger and more powerful. Its performance is better and doubled. The temperature could rise up to 10 degrees in a span of a week. When using this solar pool heater, you will not need any additional adapters nor would you need to consume gas nor electricity. All you need for it to work is a water pump and a bypass kit for powerful pumps.

4512 could cater up to 16000 gallons of water and could be paired with another unit.

Under $300

2. 2-2’X20’ SunQuest Solar Pool Heater with Diverter

With a roof mount and diverter, this SunQuest pool heater becomes one of the best solar heaters sold in the market. It is one of the most effective and efficient pool heater devices. Aside from that, this device comes in an attractive design once it is installed. It comes with 2 inch OD headers that should be connected with your pump and once it is, it will improve the circulation of your pool’s water and would lessen the pressure of your pump.

This model is compatible with both in and above ground pools. It is easy to install but mounting it to the roof could be difficult and challenging. These heaters could increase the temperature of your pool up to 10 degrees.

Under $400

1. Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System for Above-Ground Pools

With measurements of 4 ft. x 20 ft., Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System becomes the largest solar pool heater in this list but it is also the most powerful, efficient and effective. This solar heater comes with two 6-foot long and 1.5-inch hoses with clamps, integral bypass valve and hardware that is needed for installing.

The pool pumps water through this solar heater then it will back out again which means this device heats up your pool rather than transfers heat like most solar heaters.

It is highly recommended to use this solar heater between 10am and 4 pm and for better results aim the solar heater south with 30-degree angle.


Though there are a lot of good solar heaters in the market, like other products, there are no perfect models. There are effective heaters but they come in huge sizes. Smaller sizes, on the other hand, are less efficient and is recommended to be paired up with another unit. Depending on your preference- size or effectiveness, we hope we were able to provide you sufficient knowledge and information for you to be able choose the best solar pool heater.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply