Solar Pool Heater and My Ugly Garage

August 21, 2015



Solar Pool Heater

Last spring, my husband stained the concrete patio in our backyard to spruce it up and I shared the process. A large site highlighted my post on their Facebook page and the comments rolled in. Most people wanted to discuss the concrete, but there was a lot of interest in my garage as well. It is covered in solar pool heating panels.

Not everyone got this, even after my explanation. 

I was told that I needed to repair my roof and not worry about my patio. Others were just curious, why was my roof all wrinkled? Some people called it just plain ugly and you know what, it is, but it keeps the pool water very warm...and after the initial investment, which was less than $1000, the heat is free and it's environmentally friendly to boot!

Where's the downside, you ask. Well, apparently, it is not attractive.

How to Stain A concrete Patio

When we had the pool installed, we decided against a heater. The pool is in full sun all day, plus heating units and the subsequent gas bills were more than we were willing to shell out for tepid water.  Besides, a pool is supposed to be refreshing!

Inground Pool Inspiration

Turns out refreshing is just a fancy word for cold and that mentality lasted about a year, two tops. My husband started investigating heating system options and came upon this one. He found the kit on Ebay and it got great reviews. 

Now, it's not perfect for our set up, but we're a make it work kind of pair. The panels really should be vertical, but they fit our tiny garage better when laid horizontally, which is why they buckle in the heat a bit. Either way, the system routes water out of the pool, from the filter, sends it up a pipe, through the panels on the roof. They are super hot from the sun and the water is warmed as it runs through them. 

Solar panels

Then it moves out of the panels, down another pipe, back into the chlorinator and is sent into the pool through the jets. If you are looking for a hot massage, just stand next to one of these babies. 


My husband is very handy. He has plumbing experience, but they do market this set as a DIY. I am sure you could get a plumber to set the pipes if necessary. The biggest consideration is making sure you have a large enough kit, with the proper square footage to heat the water in your pool, based on size. The kits are also available for above ground and semi-inground pools, too. 

All in all, we have been very happy. It's been in place for several years and our pool is perfectly heated by the sun to a temperature somewhere between 85 and 95 degrees, depending on the weather. We do not have a solar blanket to keep the heat in, that's way too much work of us, but that would keep the temperature more stable. 

So there you have it, the mystery of my ugly roof is solved. 

Of course, I don't think it's so ugly, it's a little wrinkly, but then again, lately, so am I. 

Would you put up with a wrinkled roof for a toasty swim? 


Want to see more of my yard? My covered porch is much prettier than my garage roof! 




Sign up for email posts and follow the fun ~

Tips, Tricks, Crafts and Giggles delivered straight to you!






   

56 comments:

  1. People are just way too critical about appearances, especially when giving their opinion online. I can't say I like how it looks but I agree with you, it serves a purpose & it would be worth it to me as well. I love the stain & think it really looks so much better.

    We're in the process of staining our new deck/screened porch. I am amazed at how much better it looks! (Just don't look at the mess around it!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jenny! We are really happy with the set up and the patio. It's all worked out well. I wish you luck with your own deck and screened porch project. Messy now, but so worth it, I am sure!

      Delete
  2. Hi Kim, wow are you so lucky that your husband is handy and that is great about the solar panels he put up on the roof. Our friends have it also for the house and pool and they love it and the low bills too.
    Wishing you a nice day and weekend.
    Julie xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He’s a really handy guy, Julie. It makes all the difference when I start dreaming about upgrades! ;-)

      Delete
  3. What a great idea to heat the pool with solar heat - I would be fine with the wrinkled roof to have a warm swim!!

    I love your home and your blog. I've recently started my own - feel free to stop by for a visit sometime!!

    http://www.mountainmamaonline.net/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Debbie! I can't wait to check out your site!

      Delete
  4. Good for you . . . using solar to heat your pool.
    Using natural energy to play and have fun in the pool.
    Better yet. . . . warm you are, not freezing cold.
    I can't believe there were " fretters" about your wrinkly roof.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The "fretters" always make me wonder why they care...they don't live here, but that's ok, we do and we like it. Come for a swim, Lynne!

      Delete
  5. Though I love Red, in my world of Rock, Paper, Scissors – being Green trumps being pretty any day! Great to see you capturing the heat off your roof, I love seeing Green ideas like this and hearing it is working for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We try really hard to be as green as possible, this was a big way to do that and get the warm pool we craved. Thanks for weighing in Kari!

      Delete
  6. To tell you the truth, I didn't even notice it, until you pointed it out. That tells me that the jackasses that said something about it, were looking for something to pick on. People need to get a life. Seriously.

    Anyway, I think it's great you can heat your pool that way. Also, from a distance it looks like my cottage roof that's wavy on purpose ;)

    xoxo,
    rue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you my feisty friend! ;-) Someone else said it was ruffled and that is very in! I agree!!

      Delete
  7. Hi Kim, great idea to heat your pool and the solar panels are perfect. Being outside I don't think the wrinkles are a problem at all. This does not have to be perfect, it's the perfectly warm water that matters. I am sure you are enjoying this benefit in the warmth and the savings. Congrats to your handy hubby for doing such a great job.
    Have a nice weekend. Hugs, cm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, I'll pass your kudos on to him. He really is a great handyman!!

      Delete
  8. Just tell the naysayers that it is the latest fad in roofs......ruffles!! Just what every cottage home owner needs!!
    I think it looks fine, and I would LOVE to vegetate in your pool!!
    Blessings,
    J

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruffles??? I love that! It’s my shabby chic, ruffled, cottage roof!! ;-)

      Delete
  9. I would definitely put up with a wrinkly roof for a toasty swim! I had an above ground pool in the 80's with a solar cover. What a pain that thing was! Very heavy to move and then it had to stay on one side which was always in the way while swimming. Hey, whatever works for you is good and who cares what others think!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My sister had a solar cover for a while and I could never get that thing off while trying to wrangle babies. It was HEAVY!

      Delete
  10. Great alternative to heating the pool and so much more energy efficient too. Ahhhhh to have the pool. Enjoy.
    Kris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone said that my wrinkles were shabby chic, cottage ruffles, Kris! I thought you'd appreciate that! ;)

      Delete
  11. I guess it's a trade off. I'd love a pool. I know my hubby's interest in taking care of it would last one season! In any event, I think the solar panels are great.

    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pool was a hard fought battle over here, Jane. I grew up with one and can’t imagine not having one now. Open and closing is job, unless you hire it out, then it’s pricey, but during the season, not much work at all. It’s all automated today!

      Delete
  12. Great post, gets me thinking about if this could work in the winter here to add some warmth to my winter greenhouse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet solar would heat that greenhouse up, Lorri. I am sure there must be systems out there. Great idea!

      Delete
  13. Don't these people know that wrinkles are the new thing? At least, that's what I tell my husband. ;) Seriously, what's a few wrinkles if you have nice warm pool water and you're using the sun's energy? I say smart decision and good for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Funny, well, that means that I am so in style, lately! ;-)

      Delete
  14. Kim, since our society has twenty-somethings opting for Botox to banish the thought of any wrinkle, I guess it's not surprising that your wrinkly roof would receive criticism by some! Personally, I love your thrifty, energy efficient solution! The concrete looks great too ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I love your Botox reference, Cecilia! So true!

      Delete
  15. I love your idea. And I have no problem with how it looks. Well done by you all.
    I love the concrete. Your pool area is beautiful.

    Carla

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carla, we really do enjoy the space. We just wish the season was longer!

      Delete
  16. We are in the upper NE. So some pool heating is wise. We had one, for a time. It broke and we never got another.

    He has thought about solar heating. But we haven't gone farther than 'thinking.' Your idea is purrrrrect.

    We only need it, in spring and fall. Now it can get too warm almost. :-)

    Big expense this year, is a GOOD pool cover for a change. ,-))))))

    Hugs,
    Tessa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a good cover can make all the difference come spring! :)

      Delete
  17. I think that system is pretty awesome! And who cares what other people think about how it looks? I think it's fine and if the water stays that warm, it is doing a great job!! I really wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't pointed it out! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really does do a great job, Benita and we don’t even notice it!
      Glad to hear I’m not alone!

      Delete
  18. Hi Kim! :)
    People amaze me in Blogland, there is such a thing as 'Be Nice or Leave'! ;)
    I would gladly stare at the wrinkled roof in order to have a toasty pool...I can't do cold so I would welcome your alternative over cold and the high cost of non-solar any day!
    I do not think the roof is ugly!
    Kimberley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kimberley, I am like you, if I don't like something, I just don't comment, but that's ok, if you put it out there, you have to be ready for all comments. We really enjoy the warmth it provides and don't even notice the wrinkles. With the pretty pool and garden, we are not looking at the garage! ;-)

      Delete
  19. Sometimes we have to do what we have to do.

    I'm glad you are doing what's right for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carol....warm water works for us! ;-)

      Delete
  20. Smart! I didn't notice the wrinkles. You are doing something that works for you and is great for the environment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Stacey! It feels nice, too! ;-)

      Delete
  21. I am liking your ingenuity and that it is working for you! As I was reading the comments I saw someone mentioning a greenhouse-you know we are going to have one at the new house, so my mind is turning it's cogs...
    Jemma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never thought of that either, Jemma, but I guess it could work! Glad I could inspire! :)

      Delete
  22. Who cares what anyone thinks? If it works for you, and your're happy, and your hubby is happy, and you're saving money while you have a comfortable water temperature, good for you. We once had a pool with a solar blanket. It was ugly and a pain to take on and off, but it did the job. I like your idea better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Nancy, those solar blankets are heavy…removing one does not make for a relaxing day by the pool!

      Delete
  23. I never knew this kind of heaters existed! When we bought the house, the pool already had a working heater. But if something happens to it, I might have to check out your alternative!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's worked out really well for us, Vel. I highly recommend it!

      Delete
  24. This is brilliant, Kim. I never knew they made this kind of solar heaters. I think it is just the perfect solution and I didn't even noticed anything wrong with your roof until you pointed it out. I guess I was too busy looking at your pretty pool. :) xxx Maria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Maria Elena. We really do enjoy it and frankly we don't notice the wrinkles either! ;)

      Delete
  25. Any good reason for wrinkles works for me! If you are going to have a pool, then I think you should be willing to do whatever you can to have it useful and enjoyable for as long a time as possible. I like the stained concrete, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Carol! You are right, it is too expensive an endeavor to not use it.

      Delete
  26. I think your pool heating system is awesome... forget the naysayers... if it makes you happy, keeps you warm, and really to my eyes, doesn't look that bad, especially because it is functional! Isn't it wonderful having a handyman husband! Enjoy your solar heated pool, and just smile when you look at the roof of your garage as you enjoying the lovely warmth of the pool!!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! We were in it today, enjoying the warmth. Happy Weekend! :)

      Delete

Hey~ before you go, let me know what you think! I love comments and respond to them all. Thanks so much for visiting! *Please note that if your comment contains a hyperlink it will not be published.