Any pool owner knows that heating a swimming pool can be hard on your pocket. The good news is that there are a few cost-effective ways that you can heat your pool and keep the water warmer in the cooler months.

Reduce Evaporation

One of the main causes of heat loss in a pool is due to evaporation. Sunshine and wind are the main causes of evaporation. As the warmer water evaporates during daylight hours, this requires that you top up the pool with cooler water, which naturally causes a drop in water temperature. To mitigate the evaporation and cut down on heat loss in your pool by up to 75%, purchasing a solar cover for your pool is a cost-effective investment.

A floating blanket is another way to protect your pool from the evaporation and heat loss cycle.  Made out of vinyl, the free-floating blanket is full of air bubbles that keeps it on top of the water, both heating the pool and retaining the heat already in the water at the same time. While this is a cost-effective choice, be aware that floating blankets do present a safety hazard and drowning risk and should not be used by families with young children or water-loving animals.

Building a windproof pool enclosure or windbreak is the best method to keep your pool warmer and reduce evaporation if you live in a particularly windy area. The cost of building such an enclosure would of course depend on the size of the pool and the materials required.

Harness the Sun

Solar products convert sunlight into energy and while the initial outlay on solar heating products may be a tad pricy, the long term saving of heating your pool in an environmentally friendly way and essentially for free does well to balance the books.

To heat your pool quickly, solar panels are the way to go. How many panels you require will depend on the size of your pool and the size of your family. The more people using the pool, the more energy you will require to keep it warm. You will also need a fairly large surface area in a sunny spot to mount the panels. The solar panel heating system is operated via an automated controller. The thermostat can be adjusted in the same way as a geyser to achieve and maintain the water temperature you enjoy. Depending on the system you buy, the automated controller can also be incorporated with other areas of pool maintenance such as the pump or filtration system, lights and the pool vacuum.

Solar dome connectors contain piping that is rolled up into a dome shape where the water from the pool is pushed through the piping in the domes to warm up. Solar domes take up less space than solar panels and work best for smaller pools.

Solar rings are small rings or circles that work similarly to a solar cover by floating on top of the water and absorbing sunlight. They are cost-effective and very easy to use. You can either dot a few around your pool or connect a bunch of them together using the built-in magnetic clipping system. The number of rings you would need would depend on the surface area of the water.

DIY Water Heater

While it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing solution, black hose, sunshine and water recirculation using your pool pump is a DIY cost-effective way to heat your pool.

Purchase a 30m length of black garden hose or tubing. Connect one end to the return in your pool pump. You can do this using a tap style connection which you can either fit yourself or have professionally fitted if you’re not the handy sort. Run the rest of the hose from the pump to a designated sunny spot near the pool. Create a flat coil with the remaining hose and pop the end back into the pool.

As the water re-circulates between the pump and the pool, the coiled hose will trap the sun’s heat and keep the water going through the hose warm.  When you need to fill the pool, you could disconnect the hose end from the pool pump and attach it to the garden tap instead. This will fill the pool with warmer water.

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