Options for Keeping an Outdoor Pool Warm without Draining Your Bank Account
An outdoor pool is one of the best ways to have family fun in the summertime! You create memories while getting fresh air, sunlight, and exercise while playing and relaxing outdoors. Because pool days are so great, having to miss one because the water is too cold can really disappoint. Fortunately, there are several cheap and easy ways to keep your pool’s temperature up, even if mother nature doesn’t cooperate!
Make the Sun Do the Work!
Using the power of the sun to power or heat a house used to be the stuff of science fiction novels. In the 21st century, however, solar panels have become a very real and available form of alternative energy for homes. The same methods of using them to capture energy can heat your pool and tend to be the most cost-effective means to do so.
Solar Covers and Rings
There are a few different ways to harness the sun’s energy to heat your pool, they simply vary in cost, convenience, and effectiveness. The most common are solar covers, which are made of plastic and have “dimples” to help keep them in place on the surface of the pool. They usually resemble a very large piece of bubble wrap and are clear or light-colored to allow the sun’s rays to pass through them, helping spread heat. Solar covers also perform something of a seal on the surface, keeping heat in the pool, rather than letting it evaporate off.
Plastic solar covers usually run between $50 and $200 dollars. Putting one in place on a 24-foot pool can be a challenge for one person to do easily, and to be effective they really should be custom cut to the dimensions of your pool. If you’re looking for a similar option that’s a little more convenient, you might try solar rings. Solar rings are smaller plastic circles that work in the same way as covers but are smaller. They are, however, interlocking, so you can chain as many of them together as you need to cover your pool. While they are more convenient, they tend to cost a little more than a cover in the long run because you need to purchase so many of them to cover the surface of the pool fully.
Going in a different direction, a windproof enclosure of thick plastic or glass is an effective way to keep the wind from affecting your pool’s temperature. They are based around the concept of keeping the surface as still as possible while still bringing in sunlight. The stillness and coverage keep the water warm. Enclosures only work for in-ground pools and they are at least semi-permanent if not permanent. They essentially become a “roof” for your pool which may take some of the fun out of being outside. On the other hand, they do make maintenance much less necessary.
A Long Black Hose
Believe it or not, there’s a great pool-heating life hack you can perform using a simple, 400-500- foot black garden hose. Dark colors, especially black, absorb sunlight and retain heat. If you attach it to your pool pump’s faucet connection, coil it and place it on a shed, roof, or another place where it will get direct sunlight, you can then run the other end back into your pool so the heat travels into your pool! A hose like this will probably only set you back $80 to $150.
Heat Pumps and Solar Heaters
Lastly, if you’re willing to pay a monthly rental fee or shell out $1200-$3000 out front, you can connect a heat pump to your pool’s filter. If you combine it with a solar heater, it won’t have to work as hard, and your monthly costs will likely be lower.
As you can see, there are several ways to keep your pool at a comfortable temperature. The choice depends on how much you’re willing to spend, and how often you want to hook things up, place them in a pool, or simply turn them on.