Winter Pool Heat

Here’s a question for you – do you have your calculator handy? How much energy does it take to raise 10,000 gallons of water 40 degrees Fahrenheit? If you didn’t get an answer, here’s a rough estimate: A whole lot. If you want your pool to be warm enough to use in the winter, you’re looking at raising the temperature of quite a bit of water by at least 40 degrees just to make it usable. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Here are some tips.

Technical Details
Don’t count on using just a solar pool cover to provide enough heat for your pool to swim comfortably in mid-winter. A solar pool cover is designed to raise the water temperature between five to fifteen degrees, but if your overnight low is 40 degrees, your pool water would only get up to about 55 degrees at most with a solar pool cover.

What a solar pool cover is good for is to extend your pool season. Depending upon where you live, the overnight low might still be 60 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit in September or even October, and might warm up to that by April. A solar pool cover during those times will make your pool warm enough to enjoy a few months longer.

If you want to heat the pool during the dead of winter, though, you’ll need a pool cover and a gas heater – and a pretty powerful gas heater at that, at least 400,000 BTU. A heat pump is also a good option.

Even with a powerful heater and a solar pool cover, you should still plan on it taking at least six to eight hours to heat the pool temperature to something bearable.

Models Available
Which heater you get depends upon the size of your pool. Remember that if your pool is shallow or small, you won’t need as big of a heater. Here are some reliable brands to consider:

  • Hayward
  • Aqua Pro
  • AquaCal
  • SmartPool

Pros and Cons
Although it’s nice to be able to use your pool in the winter, you should consider if the cost and energy consumption is really worth it. If you want to heat your pool all winter long, you’ll be looking at a very high bill; you could probably purchase a gym membership and swim indoors during the winter for less.

However, it’s nice to have the capacity to heat your pool during the winter so that on special occasions, such as Thanksgiving, you can heat the pool up and still enjoy it with your friends and family.

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