Yardley Voice – Going Green Solar Column – March 2014
by Mark Bortman
Finally it seems that spring has sprung! After our long, cold, snowy winter, it is nice to play outside and plant some flowers. Before we know it, it will be time for one of my favorite summer activities – swimming.
I really enjoy swimming. One of the things I don’t like, however, is getting into cold water. Unlike my kids, if the pool is cool, I take forever to get in, if I get in at all.
Of course, there is a way to avoid this – heat the swimming pool. This can be an expensive proposition, however. Natural gas, propane and electric bills can skyrocket to hundreds of dollars during the swimming season, not to mention the untold environmental impacts of mining and burning those fossil fuels.
Of course, there is a way to avoid this, too – harness the natural, free energy of the sun. Solar pool heating systems do an excellent job of adding 10 to 15 degrees to the temperature of an unheated pool. They don’t cost much more to install than any other type of heater but they cost nothing to run! The heat from the sun is free and will never go up in price.
Solar pool heaters work by circulating the water from the pool through solar collectors. These collectors are made from a special blend of polymers and are designed to capture the heat from the sun and transfer it to the water. Each collector is rated for up to 48,000 BTU’s per day.
Although solar pools heater are not as well-known as the other types of heaters, they have been around for over 30 years and their popularity is growing. They have withstood the test of time and their warranty supports this. The panels come with a full 12 year and limited lifetime warranty – far longer than any other type of heater.
As the swimming season starts, think about the difference solar energy can make – a warmer pool and a cleaner environment. Then, make a choice to make a difference.