Five Tips for Using Solar Energy to Heat Your Swimming Pool
A backyard swimming pool can make the summer more enjoyable and help fend off the heat. A pool is also a great place to get your daily exercise, it’s fun for the kids and it can be plus when entertaining friends and family. However, keeping the water warm can be expensive, even during the middle of the summer. Fortunately, there are ways to harness the sun’s energy and use that warmth to heat your pool. Most casual swimmers prefer a pool that’s between 80 and 85 degrees, so most home pools need a little help with heat on all except the hottest summer days. Below are just a few tips on making the most of the sun’s energy.
Cover Your Pool at Night
You can save up to 50 percent on your pool heating costs by covering your pool at night. Covered pools also help conserve water by reducing evaporation and use fewer chemicals, further reducing your pool expenses. Improve your savings further by using a solar cover, which not only keeps the heat in the pool contained, but also helps to warm it by harnessing the early morning sunlight. A pool cover from in The Swim is a good choice.
Consider a Windbreak
Evaporating pool water means lost heat in your swimming pool. Reduce the amount of water lost into the atmosphere by installing a simple windbreak. According to the US Department of Energy, just a seven mile-per-hour wind can increase the energy needed to heat your pool by 300 percent! Reduce this extra cost by erecting a windbreak that’s tall enough and close enough to the pool to reduce the wind turbulence on the surface.
Consider Insulating Above-Ground Pools
The US Department of Energy also explains that above-ground pools lose up to 11 percent of their water’s heat via the sides of the pool. Surrounding your pool with an extra layer of foam or plastic (hidden, of course, behind a decorative fence or wall) can help your pool retain even more heat from the sun.
Turn Down the Pool’s Heater When the Pool is in Use
On days when the pool is crowded with people, let the swimmers’ body temperatures and the heat created as they swim, warm your pool. Lowering your pool temperature by just one degree can save between 10 and 30 percent of the energy needed to heat your pool, depending on where you live.
Lose the Screen
According to Flasolar.com, an open pool retains almost twice as much heat from the sun as a screened-in pool. In a climate like that of central Florida, this can mean a six to eight-degree temperature difference. Although a screened pool enclosure looks attractive and can help prevent bugs from entering, the screen acts as a barrier to the sun, similar to an umbrella.
Don’t let the increasing cost of electricity and natural gas keep you from enjoying your backyard swimming pool. Put the sun’s rays to work for you and keep on swimming comfortably.