Vortex solar pool heaters use flat solar collectors and your existing pool pump to send cold pool water into the collectors, warm the water, then pump this warmed water back into the pool. This solar pool heater technology is not unique to Vortex but is the way that most solar pool heaters operate.
Vortex panels, however, are 25 – 40% heavier than the industry average, making them more durable and giving them a longer life expectancy. Furthermore, Vortex panels use a unique elliptical tube design that allows for a high flow rate but maintains low pressure. The panels use carbon black to increase sun absorption, plus a UV-resistant coating to prevent them from cracking and leaking over time.
More Efficient than Competitors
The solar collectors designed by Vortex are approximately 5 – 10% more efficient than many of its competitors, such as EZ Heat. EZ Heat is definitely “EZ” and inexpensive, but Vortex increases pool temperature by up to 20%, whereas an EZ Heat mat collector increases pool temperature only by 10%, at maximum.
As a result, while most solar pool heaters can only raise pool temperatures by 10 degrees Fahrenheit, Vortex systems can raise the temperature up to 20 degrees.
The Vortex systems come with three options: the Vortex Standard, the Vortex Deluxe, or the Vortex Premium.
The Vortex Standard is meant only to replace existing solar panels for in-ground or above-ground pools. The Standard does not include a complete kit for a new solar panel system. These kits will cost you about $400, come with an installation guide, and work with an in-ground or above-ground pool.
The Vortex Deluxe includes the Standard kit, along with a complete plumbing kit and a three-way manual control. The Vortex Deluxe is designed for new or existing pools that do not have an existing solar pool heater system. These kits start at around $575, and work with in-ground or above-ground pools.
The Vortex Premium includes everything in the Deluxe kit, but also includes a control unit that has two sensors and a three-way automatic control. The Premium control kit allows users maximum temperature control for their pool. These kits start at around $890, and work with in-ground or above-ground pools.
The Bottom Line
Compared to EZ Heat, SunHeater, AquaQuik, and other popular solar pool heater brands, the Vortex is definitely far more expensive. However, the Vortex also provides double the increase in temperature over these other brands, and is built to last.
If you want to seriously extend your pool’s swimming season, or if you live in a cold climate, and you’re willing to make a higher up-front investment, a Vortex solar pool heater might be the right solar pool heater for you.