by Joyce Lau, August 3, 2018
Simple Ways to Extend Your Pool Season
Depending on the climate in your area, summer may come to an end earlier for you than other pool owners in warmer regions. That doesn’t mean you have to close your pool sooner, though!
Here are some simple ways to extend the pool season so you can still enjoy your pool for more months of fun and relaxation.
Use a Gas Pool Heater
Gas pool heaters warm up the pool quickly and effectively. They use energy from natural gas or propane to generate heat within the combustion chamber. They run independently from the outside air, making them a great choice for almost any weather. The downside is you may need to install a gas line if you are not equipped with one already. Gas heaters will cost more to run and come with higher repair costs than other heating equipment.
Use a Pool Heat Pump
Pool heat pumps work by using electricity to pull in air from outside, heats that air, and uses it to make the pool water warm. They cost less to operate than a gas pool heater and use a small amount of wattage, making them an energy efficient option. The main limitation is they will not work well with an outside temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, they will work best and most efficiently with outside air temperatures of 70-80 degrees. They’re more expensive to buy than gas pool heaters, but they cost less to run and generally have a longer lifespan.
Use a Solar Pool Heater
Solar pool heaters are environment friendly and energy efficient, using the sun’s energy to heat the pool. The solar controller system allows pool owners to set a desired water temperature and automatically opens up a valve when the conditions for solar heating are met. Water gets sent from the pool pump to the valve and passes through the solar collectors. Solar pool heaters have very low operating costs, low cost to fix and less parts to repair.
Keep in mind that solar pool heaters won’t heat as well as gas pool heaters on cloudy days. You’ll also want to ensure that your property has enough roof or ground space to mount the solar panels so you can enjoy the maximum benefits of solar heating. As a rule of thumb, install enough panels to equal about 50% of the square footage of your pool.
*Pro Tip: Regardless of which pool heater you choose, consider using it in conjunction with a solar pool cover. Solar blankets retain the heat in your pool, which reduces the time needed to run your heater. This can lower pool heating costs by up to 75%, saving you hundreds of dollars each year! A solar blanket can pay for itself in the first season.
Use a Solar Blanket
Solar blankets are an affordable and simple way to extend the pool season. They are designed with air pockets, which act as an insulating layer to 1) prevent heat loss, 2) reduce water evaporation, and 3) absorb heat from sunlight and transfer it into the water. Solar blankets work best to prolong the swimming season when paired up with some type of pool heating system — gas pool heaters, heat pumps or solar pool heaters.
If you are using a solar blanket on its own, you will notice a raised water temperature of about 5-15 degrees — but not much more than that. Solar covers do not generate their own heat, so don’t expect it to drastically increase your pool water temperature. Taking a solar blanket on and off the pool can be a hassle, so we suggest purchasing a solar cover reel for a convenient, one-person operation.
Use Solar Rings or Squares
Solar sun rings and solar sun squares have the similiar heating functions as solar blankets. They reduce water and chemical evaporation, as well as trap and retain heat. Their portable design makes them easier to use, clean, and store than solar blankets. Remember to check how many you'll need for your pool size before you purchase. Opt for the sun squares if you want the most pool surface coverage.
Use Liquid Solar Covers
Liquid solar blankets, such as the Natural Chemistry COVERfree and the AquaPill SolarPill, create an invisible barrier on the surface of the pool water. This invisible barrier helps prevent heat loss and reduces evaporation by up to 50%. You can use these even when there are swimmers in the pool!
If you want to heat up your pool water quickly, or if you want to swim when outside temperatures are lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, we suggest going with a gas pool heater. Otherwise, heat pumps and solar pool heaters will be a more energy efficient option, since they rely on ambient air temperatures and sunlight. Using Solar blankets, solar sun rings, solar squares or liquid solar blankets can provide a small increase in water temperature, prevent heat loss and reduce evaporation from your pool. The best part? All of these methods can extend both ends of pool season: early opening, late closing, and tons of swimming in between!Simple enough, right? If you still have questions, give us a call!