How to Choose Your Solar Pool Heating System

by Pool Builders on 03-14-2011 in Articles

A solar pool heating system will provide you and your family with a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to keep your pool warm and inviting throughout the year. Choosing a quality solar pool system that is installed correctly will ensure that you enjoy all the benefits of owning a warm and comfortable swimming pool for many years to come.

Here are some questions you should you ask yourself when deciding on a solar pool heating system.

1. How do I choose the right Solar Collector for me?
2. How do I choose a reputable Solar Contractor?
3. How should I choose among different Price Quotes?

1. How do I choose a Solar Collector?

Material:

Most solar pool panels or solar collectors manufactured today are made of polypropylene due to its durability. You should try to avoid collectors made with rubber or rubberized material. Even though these types of collectors are less expensive, they will not last as long in direct sunlight.

Solar Collector:

One way to select the right solar pool collector is by examining an actual sample of the collector you are considering and asking a few simple questions such as:

- How is the solar pool collector made?
- Is the collector made in the USA?
- How long has the manufacturer been in business?
- Have they been manufacturing solar pool heating collectors at least as long as their warranty?
- Is the collector covered under warranty by the manufacturer?

2. How to choose a Solar Contractor

Selecting the right contractor to install your Solar Pool Heating system is as important as choosing the right solar system. Some questions you should ask are:

- Is the contractor licensed or certified?

Having a valid and appropriate contractor's license is required in some states. Be sure to confirm licensing with your state's contractor licensing board.

- Is the contractor insured?

Make sure that the contractor you select has the proper liability and workman's compensation insurance. It is a good idea to ask for copies of their insurance or a certificate of insurance prior to signing a contact or work order.

- Does the company have experience installing and maintaining solar pool heating systems?

Be sure to choose a company that has experience installing the type of system you want and experience servicing the applications you select.

- Is the contractor reputable?

You can check with the state licensing board or the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the contractor you are considering has any complaints against them.

3. How do I choose among Price Quotes?

If you have several quotes for your solar pool heating system, you may wonder if the lowest bid is the best deal. Most times it is not.

A contractor is in business to make money. He must cover his overhead and operating expenses. A low price could be a sign of inexperience, a company that is struggling to survive, or a company that is taking shortcuts like not pulling permits or using inferior installation materials and methods.

Contractors that expect to stay in business must charge enough to cover their products and services. Price is not the only consideration and too low a price should be a red flag.

Make sure all the quotes you get are based on the same information and requirements. For example, comparing a bid for a six collector system with a manual control with a bid for a seven collector system that includes an automatic control is like comparing apples to oranges.

To ensure that you are comparing apples to apples, ask the contractors to specify the make, model, size and number of collectors with all the components of the system included in their bid. Cost should include having the system installed and getting it up and running, as well as the cost of hardware and permits if required.

Selecting the right system is not difficult as long as you follow a few guidelines and use good old common sense. Choosing the right system and contractor will ensure years of trouble free service so that you and your family can sit back, relax and enjoy all the benefits of owning a warm, comfortable swimming pool.

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