Heating a pool greatly enhances and extends its enjoyment. But, the cost to keep the water warm and inviting requires a great deal of energy, and most conventional pool heaters are inefficient in terms of energy costs.

Installing a more efficient and environmentally-friendly heat source can reduce high utility bills and extend the swimming season. This is especially true if pool owners take advantage of the sun by using a solar pool heater.

The sun offers the most cost-effective and environmentally conscious way to heat a pool, provided its energy is harnessed, collected and distributed properly. While many pool owners want the sun’s benefits, they don’t want to use a solar pool heater that has panels or mats. They’re concerned about the appearance, holes in the roof, and community restrictions.

“It’s possible to get all the benefits of solar pool heating, without panels,” stated Ed Palmer, president of SolarAttic. Founded in 1986 in Elk River MN, the company’s attic solar pool heater is heating pools in more than 40 states. “The solar-generated, hot air in an attic can be captured and transferred to the pool in a very inexpensive and energy efficient way.”

When the sun shines, a roof becomes a large solar energy collector, making the attic hot. A solar heater, located inside the attic, uses the hot attic air to heat the pool. Cool pool water is pumped into the heater, which is a heat exchanger, and warmed water is automatically returned to the pool.

This low-cost, easy-to-install system offers all the benefits of a solar heated pool, without panels on the roof or in the yard. As a result, it can add value to a home, pool and property, while reducing utility costs.

“Pool owners can save as much as $500 per month in overall energy costs, for as little as $10 a month,” said Palmer. “And, since the system cools the attic as it heats the pool, a home’s air conditioning costs can be reduced by as much as 20-30 percent.”

Since the sun provides free solar heat, the only cost to operate the heater is a few dollars worth of electricity each week. Compared to traditional pool heaters, an attic solar pool heater can pay for itself in as little as 1-3 years.

“Using the free solar heat energy from attics and roofs can slash utility bills,” Palmer said. “It can also add an extra six weeks on each side of the swimming season, and a more enjoyable pool during season.”

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