The heat and humidity of summer is finally behind us here in southern Louisiana. But have you found that continuing to use your pool during the cooler months of fall and winter runs up a high power or gas bill that you would rather avoid?
If so you are not alone. But don’t let the threat of a high power bill scare you as this month, Pleasure Pools has some great advice on how to economically heat your pool – so you can enjoy your pool year round instead of just in the summer!
Pool heating basics
The primary cause of heat loss in a swimming pool is evaporation. The steam that you see rising off the pool during cool weather is the heat escaping your pool to the atmosphere and is the primary factor in your pool cooling off faster than you would like.
The rate of heat escape is a function of a few things, but most importantly it depends on the atmospheric temperature, humidity levels and size of your pool. A good example to think of is like a hot cup of tea or coffee. The larger the volume and smaller the surface area, the longer it takes for the beverage to cool off.
The amount of time (and energy) it takes to heat your pool will depend on the type of equipment you have, as well as the BTU power of the pump and factors discussed above. If you have an Aqualink pump, it will automatically activate when it gets to 34°. This protects the pumps and piping.
However, if you have a different model, there is a good chance it may run continuously trying to maintain temperature. This can be determined by a free pool heater inspection.
The secret – a solar cover (or pool blanket)
OK we promised you a secret for heating your pool without emptying your wallet and here it is – a simple solar cover (or pool blanket). Pool blankets are inexpensive (many available under $150) and are made of durable resin material. They place a simple cover on your pool that can be quickly and easily deployed or rolled up and put away.
A solar cover can reduce your pool heating expense down to about $1 per day by taking advantage of the greenhouse effect. They trap the heat from escaping into the atmosphere and keep it in your pool – cutting evaporation of heat by as much as 95%. As an added bonus, it can also keep leaves and dirt out of the pool when not in use as well.