How Much Do Pool Solar Panels Cost?
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Installing solar panels to heat your swimming pool is not only an efficient way to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it is also a means for households to use their pools in nearly all weather conditions. Solar panels may seem costly up front; however, the long-term savings from the investment can be substantial. Operational costs are almost non-existent and solar panels require very low maintenance and upkeep. The payback period can be as little as from 2 to 7 years.
How much does it cost?
- According to the HomeRenovations section at About.com, the swimming pool solar panels cost around $3,000 to $4,000, depending on geographic location, pool size and orientation.
- SolarCraft.com states that installing solar panels in a residential pool can cost from $2,500 to $7,000, depending on location and pool size, placement of solar panels, preferred temperature, season of installation, and pool equipment type.
- SolarExpert.com estimates the cost of a solar panel installation system at around $3,500 to $6,500.
- An estimate of the number of solar panels needed can be calculated through the solar pool calculator provided by Flasolar.com.
What is going to be included?
- A complete solar panel kit for a swimming pool may include a certain number of solar panels, installation kits, a system kit, a hold-down strap, and a solar controller.
What are the extra costs?
- Except when buying a set, purchasing solar panels often requires components like straps, headers, connectors, caps, O-rings, lube and a controller to be paid for separately.
- A pool cover is recommended for use in conjunction with the solar panel. The cover is important as it keeps heat from escaping the pool, retains heat at night and avoids evaporation loss. The solar panels will keep the air in the pool area warm as well.
- Maintenance costs are necessary to keep the setup functional at all times.
- Landscaping and decking the area calls for higher costs.
- Some dealers will charge shipping and handling costs for online orders.
Factors that influence the price:
- Type of solar panel. Solar panels designed for pools are of two classes: the unglazed and the glazed types. Unglazed solar panels are made of plastic or heavy rubber and are usually appropriate for places with above-freezing temperatures. Glazed solar panels for pools are made with copper tubing and aluminum plates and often come with tempered glass casings. Glazed solar panels are typically more costly as they are more efficient and are more durable, and they can be used all year long.
- Pool size. Pool solar panels are available in sets, usually with fixed solar panel dimensions. Bigger pools have more volume of water to be heated. Naturally, it will require more solar panels.
- Panel size. Pool solar panel manufacturers offer different options to fit varied needs. The standard pool panel sizes are 4’x8’, 4’x10’ and 4’x12’, but some installers offer to make custom-sized panels to fit a unique area. At some dealers, solar panels measuring 8 feet long cost $249.95, while a 10-ft long panel costs $299.95.
- Weather conditions. Location plays an important role when it comes to installing solar panels. Different areas have different climates, which are usually taken into consideration when putting up the panels.
Tips to know:
- When looking for a contractor, always ask if they are licensed and insured. Contractors are typically required to hold pool maintenance licenses in order to install new pool solar panels and solar energy heating systems. To find a qualified contractor, free quote services such as HomeAdvisor.com can help you find one in your area.
- Check the warranty of all parts, particularly the collector. Find out the life span of the collector. It should exceed the warranty period.
- Inspect the solar panels or the solar panel kit. The units should be accredited and authorized by agencies and organizations that provide product certifications.
Questions to ask:
- What type of solar panels should I get for my swimming pool?
- Does operating the solar pool heater require additional costs to operate?
- How do the various kinds of solar panels differ in function and performance?
- How important are solar panel ratings?
- How should the collector panels be tilted?
- Can the panels heat my pool all year long?
- How long will the equipment last?
- Does the solar pool heater require special maintenance?
How can I save money?
- The federal government as well as some states, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009, offers tax incentives (up to 30% of the cost) to consumers who install panels. For instance, if you invest $15,000 on new solar panels, you will obtain a $4,500 credit on your taxes. The credit is applicable through 2016.
- Rather than pay a solar contractor to set up the system, installing the solar panels yourself can substantially help save on labor. However, you have to be very handy in electrical and plumbing. You should carefully read the instruction manual even if you think you know what you are doing.
- Buy at wholesale suppliers/dealers as they usually offer lower prices compared to those offered at regular sources.
- When buying online, opt for a customer pick-up arrangement to save on shipping and handling costs.