by Rob Cox, May 28, 2010
5 ways to keep the heat in the swimming pool
Back in the day, when I was a pool serviceman, we had a customer in DC who would keep his pool open late into December. Heat cranked up, steam rolling off the surface. The steam looked to me like dollar bills with wings - and I would always turn the heater down a bit - only to find it cranked up again the following week.
If you have movie producer money, then this may not be the article for you. But if you are interested in reducing the cost of pool ownership, and reducing your swimming pool's environmental impact, please enjoy, my dear reader.
If you have a solar heater heating your pool, or a pool heat pump, the cost to heat your pool can be very low. If you heat your pool with fossil fuel, namely natural or propane gas, like an estimated 900,000 pool owners do, you may be interested to know ways to reduce your gas bill and reduce your pool's energy demand.
1. Use Liquid Solar Blanket:
Liquid Solar Blanket, or HeatSaver was invented by a Canadian company, Flexible Solutions, in the mid 90's. A proprietary mixture of Isopropyl Alcohol, Liquid Solar Blanket floats to the surface and creates a microscopic layer just a few molecules thick. This layer reduces heat loss through evaporation, is tasteless, invisible and completely harmless. After a swimmer stops disturbing the water they rush to reform a complete layer because they are molecularly organized and happiest that way. And most importantly - with Liquid Solar Blanket in your pool, evaporation is reduced by up to 50%.
2. Use a Solar Blanket:
Solar Blankets - whether they are blue, clear or pink, perform a two-fold job. One, they heat the water (unlike LSB) by focusing the sun's rays through the air filled bubbles of the solar blanket. Solar Blankets or Solar Covers can increase the temperature of your pool by 10 degrees. Secondly, a Solar Blanket will retain heat and prevent evaporation. Using a Solar Blanket is also a good idea on indoor pools, to keep humidity levels low inside the structure. Using a Solar Reel makes installation and removal much easier, although the large reel is to some, a bit of an eyesore on the pool deck.
3. Use Solar Sun Rings:
A relative newcomer to the heat retention marketplace, Solar Sun Rings are very unique. Extremely durable and heavy duty, they will far outlast the life of a regular solar blanket. Also easier to install and remove, no solar reel needed. Pull them off the pool individually and stack them up. The edges of Solar Sun Rings have magnets, so that they stick to each other. Independent tests rate Solar Sun Rings as providing more heat transfer than standard solar blankets, and they certainly are easier to work with.
4. Install Wind Blocks
Hedges, solid fences and structures provide a good wind block to reduce heat loss. Wind is the largest heat theif from your swimming pool, so if you have prevailing winds, blocking at least one side of the pool will reduce the wind at the pool surface level. As an added bonus, you can block the prying eyes of nosy neighbors. Even partial fences and low hedges can be useful in blocking the wind, just be sure not to block the view of the pool from the house, which can pose a safety hazard.
5. Install a Pool Cover
Winter pool covers, even mesh pool covers, dramatically reduce heat loss. A pool cover is the most recommended method for reducing heat loss, and should pay for itself in a short time. Automatic pool covers, made of solid pvc reinforced vinyl, really keep the heat in, while keeping the dirt and debris out. Using a winter safety cover on your pool during the summer is not very common, but is a great way to reduce your gas bill, keep your pool cleaner, and prevent unauthorized use of the pool.