Though winter is still here in Sarasota, there’s going to be days when it’s too warm, not to be tempted by the lure of your pool. While the gulf temperature is still chilly, the abundance of outdoor recreation remains. And, you call still squeeze in some pool time, if the water is heated.
Many homeowners are concerned about the cost of installation, use, and maintenance. But like most improvements, it’s one that comes will a return on investment. When it comes time to sell, potential buyers will be impressed by your heated pool. This will place your property at the top of their lists.
There are different options for heating a pool. Which you choose really depends on your preferences.
Covering a Pool for Winter
Even if your pool is under a bird cage, you would be wise to cover your pool when the weather finally turns too chilly to swim. There are several reasons you ought to cover your pool in the winter, and chief among them is evaporation. Yes, yes, remember that from way back in school? The natural process of water transforming from a liquid form into a gas by way of vapor, which is initiated through the rays of the sun. Though it might not be as warm during the day, the water will slowly evaporate.
Proper installation and maintenance of your gas pool heater can optimize its efficiency. It’s best to have a qualified pool professional install the heater and even perform complicated maintenance or repair tasks. Read your owner’s manual for a maintenance schedule and/or recommendations. You’ll probably need to tune up your pool heater annually. Also, scaling in the burner or heat exchanger may decrease efficiency over a period of time. —U.S. Department of Energy
Another big reason to cover your pool is to save yourself the time and effort of having to balance the pH levels. This, not to mention the fact that a cover will act as a leaf and debris shield, giving you a break from having to skim the water to remove stuff floating around. Among the top reasons to cover your pool is to help heat it and save money on the heating system. Covering it when it’s not in use will cut down on the amount of energy it takes to maintain the water temperature, which of course, means spending less to heat your pool.
Ways to Heat a Pool
There are more than a few options for heating a pool, and those below are among the most popular. There are other options, such as solar rings, free-floating heating devices which cover about 70 percent to 80 percent of the water surface and heat the water as much or more than 8 degrees Fahrenheit. Other systems are less obtrusive, which include the following:
- Solar panels. Solar panels are generally affixed to the roof of your home and use a system that cycles the water to and from your pool, using the power of the sun to heat the water running through them. These generally are the least expensive to operate and do quite a bit to significantly up the temperature of the water, extending the use of your pool late into the year.
- Solar blankets. Generally, these are used in conjunction with an independent heating system, but can be used alone, though they are not as effective when used without a heater. These blankets are designed to assist a pool’s heat system, reducing operating costs by up-to 70 percent and also prevent as much as 85 percent to 95 percent of evaporation from occurring.
- Heat pumps. These are the most ideal for pool owners who like to enjoy a swim no matter the outside temperature, and perfect for athletes as well. Heat pumps are a great alternative to solar panels, especially when there’s not enough space to accommodate heating panels. These keep the temperature of the water constant, between 80 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Gas heaters. Powered by natural gas or propane, gas heaters are for short periods. Like when you want to host a pool party. It heats the water quickly, then turn off the system when finished. These are also a good choice for people who own vacation or second homes. These also work for spas as the primary heating source or backup heating source.
Yet another option is to have a sun dome installed over your pool. These structures will not only keep the water warmer, they also repel debris. That means less chemical balancing will be required.