Pool heaters are essential when you need to extend your swimming season into the winter. You should, however, take note that there are pool heaters exclusively made for the in-ground pools and the above-ground pools. This time around, our focus is on models for above ground pools. So, what is the best pool heater for above ground pools to buy this year?
Pool Heaters for Above Ground Pools: 8 Top Reviews
Below we have cherry-picked the 8 best pool heaters for above ground pools. Check them out!
1. SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater
If you are looking for the best solar pool heater panel, consider this model from Smartpool. This SunHeater solar panel heats the water in your swimming pool via a polypropylene heat collector. It increases the temperature by 6 to 10°F.
This panel works in conjunction with the pool water pump. Its system includes stainless steel cable ties, 2 end caps, 1 roll of Teflon tape, and a connector. Its universal design makes it suitable for both above-ground and in-ground pools. This solar panel for the swimming pool is supplied with an installation manual available in three languages: English, French, and Spanish. Economical, the the SunHeater S120U doesn’t add to your electricity bill). There are no complicated control requirement to regulate the temperature, unlike electric and gas pool heaters
2. SmartPool S240U Pool Solar Heaters
This is also is one of the best deals out there if you want a solar system. This pool heater warms up your pool nicely, with respect to the environment, and your pocket. It does not come with anything but two panels. It will slow your water flow if you intend to use your pump for vacuum. After installing this, we suggest the use of a separate pool pump for these panels.
Within a few days and with the full sun, it can raise the pool from 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s suitable for rectangular pools between the sizes of 18 by 36 feet pool. For round pools, you can use it for models with a size of 31 feet, with up to 10,500 gallons of water. It requires some space, but this kind of heating system is all about surface area. With this product, there has to be at last 15-degree difference in two days. You can feel warm water coming out of the return line.
3. Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System
FAFCO is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of solar heating panels for swimming pools since 1995. Their solar pool heaters are characterized by superior quality, unique technology, excellent performance, and unmatched reliability.
It just works – and keeps working. With the Solar Bear Economy system, you can enjoy early spring to late fall evening swims in soothing warm water. You can install Fafco’s high-quality above ground solar pool heating system in more or less than 30 minutes.
The model can heat 18 feet to 24 feet above ground pools, producing 80,000 BTUs per day. It’s made in the USA for quality you can count on. The system is compatible with your existing pool pump.
4. Intex Solar Water Heating Mat for Above Ground Pools
The Intex brand is not limited to the making of pools and the design of electrical equipment. You can also come across its solar equipment, like this model. The Intex solar heater mat is perfect for above ground swimming pools with a size of up to 47 by 47 inches.
The practicality of this device lies in the fact that it does not require a mains connection for its power supply. It is operational at all times, as long as you expose it to sufficient sunlight. At full power, it is capable of giving warmth between 37 to 41°F to your pool. This 120 cm long and wide equipment seems to keep pools warmer and longer than the portable versions. The item comes with practical accessories even though it is inexpensive. Installation is then simplified with the connection pipe, two adapters, and a Bypass kit.
5. SmartPool SunHeater S220 Solar Heating System
Eco-friendly and energy-saving, the SunHeater S220 from SmartPool is yet another fantastic solar heating system. Designed for above ground and in-ground pools, the system uses the heat of the sun to heat your pool water.
It’s made of polyethylene, which measures 2 x 20 feet, and is designed to get the most out of the sun’s heat radiation. This heater can increase the temperature of the pool from 6-10°F, which isn’t bad for a solar-powered heater. What we like about the SmartPool SunHeater S220 Heating System is that it is inexpensive and uses renewable energy. It is installable on roofs, racks, fence, or the ground.
6. GAME 4714 Contour Solar Pool Heater for Intex
This solar heater will quickly and efficiently heat your pool without any harm to the environment. You can use it in above ground pools and most underground pools as well. Adapters are also available to connect to Intex pools. Also, multiple solar heaters can be combined together to heat larger pools.
The SolarPRO creates a kind of “GreenHouse” effect while increasing the transfer of heat to the pool. In six days, this model can add a 5-degree Fahrenheit of warmth to your pool. Also, you get a 1-year warranty with this swimming pool heater.
7. Bestway 58423E-BW Above Ground Solar Pool Mat
An ecological heater to heat your pool, this Bestway solar heater has a surface area of 43 x 67 inches. This allows it to capture the needed solar energy. Depending on the weather conditions outside, the heater can increase the temperature by 3 up to 5 degrees in bright sunshine!
It is reliable and made of robust PVC with a thickness of 0.9 mm. This gives it better durability. The high-tech material of this ecological heater also offers better resistance to atmospheric and abrasive agents. This efficient heater is compatible with all above ground pools, and you can even connect several in series if your pool is large!
8. XtremepowerUS 4×20’Pool and Spa SolarHeater
We close this review section with this XtremepowerUSmodel. One thing we like about the DIY Solar Panel Heater is its versatility. The 4 by 20 feet solar heater is ideal for both the pool and spa. It’s suitable for all pool shapes, including the in-ground and above ground pools.
The XtremepowerUS is a DIYer’s play toy when it comes to ease of mounting. However, it doesn’t feature the installation kit. This is sold separately. The heater is made from a more superior material. It’s built of high-quality, pre-compounded polypropylene. This increases the resistance of the elements to ultraviolet light while taking the most from its power.
In this section, we will look at features to consider before choosing an above ground pool heater. Aspects to consider include the design, power, mode of use, among others.
The power source and energy usage
There are several models of water heaters intended to be used for heating the swimming pool. In general, swimming pool heating systems use heat pumping, a solar blanket, a heat exchanger, or an electric heater with solar panels. The propane heaters can be yours with little investment, but they come with recurring expenses on propane. However, they are the most effective heaters. The solar-powered models, however, are the most eco-friendly and energy-saving models, although they are very slow when it comes to heat generation. Some heating systems, such as electric heaters, are energy-intensive. Others like the heat pump or solar panels are more economical in the long term but more expensive to purchase.
If we have to consider the design, the electric heater seems to be the most aesthetic compared to other types of devices. However, these distinctions can bring about higher prices in a price comparison.
The BTU capacity
Check out the British thermal unit (BTU) of the model you’re buying. In the summer and spring, for pools up to 10,000 gallons of water, you need a heater with up to 50,000 BTU. Meanwhile, for pools up to 17,000 gallons of water, you need a heater with BTU capacity of 65,000 in the summer and 85,000 in the spring.
Ease of installation and use
It is always better to have a device that is easy to handle and install. Oftentimes, there are no particular constraints related to the installation of a swimming pool water heater. However, some models and types are easier to install than others. The only step that must be taken is to check that the heating system is well suited to the pool and your needs.
Swimming in warm water in a frosty weather can be heavenly. Would you like to enjoy this benefit in your small pools without adding to your energy bill? Then you need the best pool heater for above ground pools that run on solar energy. We’ve offered you a bevy of options. It’s left to you to choose what works best for you.