How Much Does It Cost to Install a Solar Pool Heater?

Typical Range:

$2,000 - $11,000

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated April 13, 2022

Reviewed by Robert Tschudi, Expert Home Building and Remodeling Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Solar pool heater installation costs an average of $5,000, with most homeowners paying somewhere between $3,000 and $7,000. The price is based on a glazed solar panel pool heater big enough to heat a 288-square-foot in-ground pool. For smaller pools, you may pay as little as $2,000, while a high-end, high-temperature collector solar heater for a large pool can cost up to $11,000.

Average Cost to Install a Solar Pool Heater

Low End Cost National Average Cost High End Cost
$2,000 $5,000 $11,000

Estimating Costs

The only costs associated with installing a solar pool heater are the price of the unit itself and the installation costs. How much you'll pay depends on the number of panels you need, the ease of the installation, and how far the panels are from the pool.


Materials make up the bulk of the price to install a solar pool heater. Your setup will include panels and a heat pump, and the materials alone will cost between $2,550 and $9,300. The cost of the solar panels ranges from $2,500 for 4 4-foot by 10-foot panels, and up to $8,000 for 10 4-foot by 10-foot panels. Then there's the cost of the solar heat pump, ranging from $50 to $1,300, depending on pump size and gallons per minute (GPM).


Labor for solar pool heat installation costs between $500 and $1,000. How much you pay for labor depends largely on how far the panels are from the pool. The further the distance between pool and panels, the more time the installation takes, and the more you'll pay. Installation costs may also rise beyond $1,000 for a particularly large solar array or when installing a complex, high-end setup. Talk to a local pool heater installer for an accurate quote for your particular needs.

Cost of a Solar Pool Heater by Panel Type

Solar pool heaters can cost from $500 to $11,000, including installation. Aside from the number of panels and the size of the pool, the type of panels is one of the biggest cost-influencing factors. Of the four types of solar panels available for pools, the type you'll use depends on the type of pool you have as well as your budget.

Type of Solar Pool Heater Cost Range (All-In) Average Cost (All-In)
Propylene Mats $500 – $3,000 $1,700
Unglazed Solar Panels $1,500 – $4,000 $2,800
Glazed Solar Panels $3,000 – $8,500 $5,700
High-Temperature Collectors $9,000 – $11,000 $10,000

Propylene Mats

Polypropylene mats typically cost $1,700. Prices start at $500 and go as high as $3,000, including installation. These collectors are the most affordable option and work well for hotter climates. However, they struggle to consistently provide enough heat in more temperate regions.

Unglazed Solar Panels

Unglazed solar panels cost an average of $2,800, including installation. Depending on the size of the array you need, you'll pay anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000. Made of plastic or rubber, these panels are infused with UV light inhibitors to extend their lifespan, but they lack the glass covering. While unglazed panels perform well in hot climates and in temperate regions during summer, their lack of glazing makes them very inefficient during cooler weather.

Glazed Solar Panels

Glazed solar panels cost around $5,700, with a range of $3,000 to $8,500. Glazed solar pool heaters work in any climate, including areas with shorter days and less direct sunlight. So, while they're more costly and unglazed or propylene arrays, they're much more efficient and you can use them year-round.

High-Temperature Collectors

High temperature collectors typically cost $10,000, or between $9,000 and $11,000. These are the most costly—but most efficient—of solar pool heater options. These panels excel in less sunny climates that have short, colder days and less overall sunlight. High-temperature collectors have glass panels like regular glazed arrays, but they also contain mirrors. This increases the amount of sunlight available to convert to heat for the pool. Not only does this setup compensate for a lack of sunlight, but it also significantly increases the water temperature, making it a popular choice in colder climates.

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Solar Pool Heater Price By Pump Size

Solar pool heater pumps cost anywhere from $50 to $1,000, depending on the size of the pump, or the gallons per minute (GPM) capacity.

Depending on the type and size of your pool and solar collector setup, you'll likely also need a solar pool heater pump to effectively circulate the warmer water with the rest of the pool water. Otherwise you'll have hot and cold spots.

Pump Size (GPM) Cost of Pump Range (Materials Only) Average Pump Cost (Materials Only)
0.5 HP (40 GPM) $50 – $400 $220
1 HP (60 GPM) $150 – $600 $370
1.5 HP (68 GPM) $200 – $700 $450
2 HP (76 GPM) $500 – $750 $620
2.5 HP (80 GPM) $600 – $800 $700
3 HP (85 GPM) $700 – $1,300 $1,000

Cost of a Solar Pool Heater By Collector Size

You'll pay anywhere from $2,500 to $8,000 for the solar panel array, or collector. The total price of the collector depends on the type of collector, but also on the size. While many solar panels come in 10-foot by 4-foot units, there are plenty of other panel sizes, too, so the table below shows you the total square footage you need based on the surface area of your pool, also in square feet. Remember that you'll also have the cost of installation, the pump, and other materials on top of the price of the collector.

Collector Size (Sq. ft.) and Pool Surface Area (Sq. ft.) Cost Range (Materials Only) Average Cost (Materials Only)
Collector size: 160 sq. ft. Pool surface area: 288 sq. ft. $2,500 – $4,500 $3,500
Collector size: 240 sq. ft. Pool surface area: 512 sq. ft. $3,100 – $5,200 $4,100
Collector size: 320 sq. ft. Pool surface area: 288 sq. ft. $5,000 – $7,200 $6,100
Collector size: 400 sq. ft. Pool surface area: 288 sq. ft. $6,100 – $8,000 $7,000

Cost Factors of Solar Pool Heater Pricing

There aren't too many factors that influence solar pool heater pricing other than those outlined above. However, it's important to factor in ongoing and one-off costs. For example, you'll need regular inspections and servicing for the pump and components. Consult with a pool heater specialist or a nearby pool maintenance company to ask about a regular service contract.

The solar collectors should be fairly low-maintenance, but, if something does go wrong, you'll need to hire a local solar installation pro.

You will need to perform regular general maintenance, like keeping the filter and pump clean, but you can have that taken care of as part of your regular pool cleaning and maintenance service.

FAQs About Solar Pool Heaters

How do solar pool heaters work?

Unlike regular pool heaters, solar pool heaters don't use electricity to heat the water. They work by pumping water to the collector that's taking the sunlight and converting it to thermal energy. The collector warms the slowly moving water by heat transfer, and then the pump circulates the warmed water out into the pool while pulling in more cold water to receive heat in a continuous loop.

How long do solar pool heaters last?

On average, solar pool heaters last between 10 and 15 years. But high-end models, with proper maintenance can last up to 30 years.

How warm does a solar heated pool get?

On average, a solar heated pool gets 5 to 7 degrees warmer. However, a high-temperature collector can increase water temperature by up to 12 degrees.

How long does it take for a solar heated pool to get warm?

It takes up to 4 hours to sufficiently warm a solar heated pool in a warm climate. But it can take a full 12 hours to raise the whole pool temperature by 5 degrees. The process is a slow one that relies on the collector gathering and converting enough sunlight to heat, and the pump slowly feeding water through the tubing for heat transfer to take place.

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