Four Cost Efficient Ways to Heat Your Pool

Cost Efficient Ways to Heat Your Pool

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean waiting until next pool opening season to enjoy your backyard nautical oasis.

In my experience, swimming is a year round hobby—not just something reserved for those super-hot days. When winter comes creeping its way to your neighborhood, many pool owners have purchased some type of pool heater to get their water up to a decent temperature. But let’s face it—pool heaters can be costly. If you’re looking for a rather cost-efficient way to heat your pool, we’ve got four ways to get your temperature rising without the electricity bill skyrocketing.

Solar Covers

Did you know… 75% of a swimming pool’s heat loss is due to evaporation?

Solar pool covers capture the energy of the sun and transfer it directly into your pool water to keep it warm. Solar covers also come in various measurements that allow you to find the correct size for your specific pool. Some covers also come in a generic rectangle size, but can be simply cut to match the exact measurement of your pool. Did I mention that solar covers are also pretty inexpensive? Not only does a solar cover keep your water warm, but it has another great advantage when it comes to pool maintenance. Solar covers keep dirt, branches, and other types of debris from entering your pool, which means that you won’t spend much time cleaning during the off season.

What if I already have a pool heater but STILL want to save money? If you have a pool heater installed, solar covers are still a fantastic way to save you some cash. Solar covers are great for heat retention, so if you were to use a heat pump AND a solar cover, much of the heat will retain overnight and will decrease the usage of your pool heater. So ultimately, you run your heater less and save money, all the while maintaining a comfortable swimming temperature at all hours of the day.

The point I’m trying to make here is that a solar cover can both generate natural heat to your pool AND keep it from getting dirty—sounds like a great and inexpensive option to me!

Solar Sun Rings

Solar sun rings are a lot like solar covers, but with a few differences to them.The decision you make between typical solar covers and solar sun rings often will come down to personal preference. But before I delve into how solar sun rings can help with the heating of your pool, let’s explain what solar sun rings are and what they are made of.

A Solar Sun Ring is a type of pool heating device made from two sheets of heavyweight UV resistant vinyl. The top layer holds insulating air and focuses sunlight on the blue colored lower layer. This blue layer absorbs about 50% of the sunlight and converts it to heat, which flows into your pool for a warmer temperature. Let’s not forget that some solar sun rings come with cool patterns that will liven up your pool and make it look more aesthetically pleasing.

So why use Solar Sun Rings instead of a Solar Cover? Well, for instance, many pool owners might have trouble finding the right size solar cover for their pool. Or they might worry that something might puncture the solar cover and render it unusable. Solar sun rings require several individual rings to cover the size of a pool, which can be easier to place and remove. And if any debris were to fall into the pool, chances are it would only affect one of the sun rings instead of having to replace an entire solar cover.

Did You Know… If someone or something were to fall into the pool with solar sun rings, these rings automatically break apart—the risk of trapping someone decreases dramatically. Safety first!

Liquid Solar Pool Cover

Not wanting to worry about adding and removing a solar cover every time you need to use it? You might want to consider a liquid solar pool cover. What is that? Well, a liquid solar pool cover is a type of liquid you pour into a pool that creates an invisible liquid barrier that sits atop of your pool. This liquid layer reduces water evaporation, which causes heat loss inside your pool.

Before you start wondering, “Does this have harmful chemicals? Is it safe to swim?” let me assure you that a liquid solar pool cover is perfectly safe for you to swim in and is biodegradable (which means it’s good for the environment!). So you won’t have to worry about adding harmful chemicals to your pool for the sake of getting it a few degrees higher.

Does this stuff really work? It totally does. Plenty of research has been done to show that liquid solar covers are, in fact, another feasible option to use if you’d like to heat your pool without breaking the bank.

Did You Know… There are some drawbacks when using liquid solar covers. If you live in a windy area of the country, liquid solar covers won’t really do the job to heat your pool. The wind will unfortunately blow the liquid blanket that’s been formed and therefore won’t do its job to retain some heat in your pool. So for those who live in a windy area, I’d suggest investing in a pool heater. Trust me, having to buy pool cover after pool cover can get quite old–and pricey.

Black Hose Method

If you’ve been looking for a crafty DIY method to heat your pool, then the Black Hose Method is right up your alley. To put it plainly, pool owners use this simple pool hack to take advantage of the solar energy radiating from the sun in a rather clever way. I’ll give you a quick rundown on how it’s done.

  1. Purchase a black garden hose from your local hardware store. Make sure the hose is long enough to travel between your pool pump to an area where the hose will receive the most sunlight (i.e. patio deck, roof of your home, any uncovered flat surface). In addition, ensure that the garden also has an extra 50-100 feet of length to spare.
    • Why a black garden hose? Darker colors absorb the most heat so what better color than black for a garden hose?
  2. Unravel the hose and connect it to your pool pump’s return.
  3. Run the hose to the spot you determined where it would receive the most direct sunlight.
  4. Wrap the hose in a coil formation and simply run the remaining hose back down, placing the end directly into the pool.
  5. Voila! The coil formation improves the hose’s ability to retain heat and deliver some warm water into your pool. Warm water for the win!

Did You Know… There are plenty of helpful resources when setting up a black hose to heat your pool. Use Google to help you find a guide if you want to be sure you’re setting this up correctly!

So there you have it—four cost (and energy) efficient ways to heat up your pool. Do you have a cost-efficient way to heat up your pool that’s not listed on here? Let us know in the comments! After all, we love learning new ways to save money.

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Rachel Godoy
Rachel enjoys talking pool shop and sharing her knowledge of the industry to anyone who's willing to listen. Aside from her love of pools, Rachel enjoys travelling the world, watching under the radar films, playing video games, and fostering animals of all kinds.