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The Best Ways to Heat Your Pool

July 1, 2022

As the weather heats up, thousands of pool owners prepare to bring out the floaties and unpack the sunhats. Although summer is often the prime time to enjoy your backyard pool, many places can enjoy pool weather year-round. But sometimes, an early cold spell or nighttime chill can make your pool the last place you want to be.

Heating your swimming pool is a great way to enjoy your backyard pool for longer. Whether you’re trying to get in a few more pool days before autumn or a warm spring has you impatient to swim, a pool heater provides more enjoyment throughout the year. Learn about how to heat a swimming pool in this helpful guide.

Benefits of Heating Your Pool

Why should you heat your pool? The benefits include:

  • Avoiding the shock of a cold pool: The water temperature in your pool might take longer to catch up to the surrounding air temperature. If you jump into the pool after a cold spell, you could be in for a shock. Swimming in freezing cold water can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. With a heated pool, you can always be sure your pool is in the perfect condition for swimming.
  • Extending your swimming season: The length of the swimming season varies by location. Whether you only have a few months a year to swim or only a few where you can’t, heating your pool can lengthen your pool’s usability. You can use a heated pool earlier or later in the year to enjoy more swimming fun.
  • Swimming at night: Even in the middle of summer, the temperature can dip after dark and quickly cool the water in your pool. A pool heater keeps the sun from controlling your pool time.

How to Heat a Swimming Pool

Interested in heating your pool? Here are the top five methods to consider:

1. Solar Pool Heater

solar pool heating system pushes the pool’s water up through the pump and into the solar panel’s tubes, where the sun’s rays heat the water. A solar pool heater can heat your pool by 15 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can install a heating system on the roof, on a shed, on the ground or on a fence.

These heaters are one of the best alternative ways to heat your pool. While they may take a little longer to heat the pool after installing the system and can’t efficiently heat the pool on cloudy days, solar pool heaters are still effective and sustainable solutions for supplying pool heat.

Many pool owners are choosing to switch from traditional gas or electric pool heaters to solar pool heaters because of their benefits, including:

  • Affordability: The top advantage of using a solar pool heater is that they use the sun’s free energy. Using renewable solar energy can reduce or eliminate the portion of your energy bill spent on heating your pool. Heating your pool with solar power also protects you from rising natural gas and electricity costs. Within a season or two, solar pool heaters can pay for themselves.
  • Environmental friendliness: These pool heaters harness the energy from the sun to maintain your pool’s warm temperature, emitting no air pollution in the process. These systems reduce your household energy consumption and lead to a smaller carbon footprint, something you can feel good about.

2. Traditional Pool Heater — Natural Gas and Propane

Many traditional pool heaters run on natural gas and propane. Traditional pool heaters that use natural gas must connect to an underground gas line. In contrast, propane-powered pool heaters heat the water using propane tanks. Both types of pool heaters heat water in a combustion chamber before returning it to your pool.

The primary benefit of using natural gas and propane pool heaters is their power. These traditional pool heaters harness their energy source to heat your pool quickly. Still, natural gas and propane pool heaters are the most expensive to operate in the long run, requiring you to either pay to pump natural gas to your house or purchase full propane tanks after you use them up.

3. Traditional Pool Heater — Electric

Another type of traditional pool heater is the electric heater, also called the electric heat pump. Electric pool heaters draw the water into a heating tank and use the warmth of the surrounding air to heat the water temperature. Then, the heaters circulate the water back into your pool.

Electric pool heaters require a warm outdoor temperature before they can heat your pool to a comfortable condition. If the weather is colder, this pool heater can’t maintain a warmer temperature. Electric pool heaters also take several hours to warm the water, meaning that turning it off overnight will require you to run the heater throughout the next day to get the temperature back up.

Overall, electric pool heaters tend to be expensive options. You’ll need to run the heater all day to efficiently heat your pool, especially during cold seasons when the outside temperature is low. Running the heater at night might give your pool a constant temperature, but the increased cost offsets the benefit.

4. Liquid Heat Shield

Evaporation poses a significant issue in maintaining a warm pool. An inexpensive and family-friendly solution to evaporation is a liquid solar pool cover. A liquid heat shield is a solution made from natural chemicals that pool owners can pour into the water to create a safe, natural evaporation barrier. A liquid heat shield is an easy-to-use and low-cost option. Liquid heat shields are non-toxic and don’t interfere with the pool’s filtration system.

A disadvantage of liquid heat shields is that they aren’t as effective as solar and traditional heaters. This solution reduces evaporation and keeps warm water in the pool, but wind can reduce its effectiveness. Although a liquid heat shield might not keep your pool warm enough during certain times, it’s an excellent addition to other pool heating methods.

5. Pool Blankets

Pool blankets are another environmentally friendly option for maintaining your pool’s warmer temperatures. Pool blankets float on your pool’s surface and insulate it. While a pool blanket reduces heat transfer through evaporation, it allows the sun’s rays to enter the pool and warm the water. These products have durable polyethylene construction that will last several years and are inexpensive to use and install.

Pool blankets are a low-cost pool heating solution. However, these products also come with some disadvantages. If a person or pet falls into the pool with the pool blanket on, they can become injured. Pool owners also have to remove their pool blankets before swimming, which can be time-consuming.

Choose Pool Heating Products From SPQ Brands

The pool heating method you choose for your backyard pool will depend on your location, budget and desired outcome. When you need cost-effective pool heating products to increase your pool’s temperatures efficiently, SPQ Brands stocks trusted products you can depend on. With over 20 years of experience manufacturing pool products, we have what you need to improve your pool.

Choose from our pool heating products like the Sunheater® Solar Pool Heating System and Sunheater® Liquid Heat Shield. We manufacture our products to be easy to install, efficient and reliable, so you can enjoy your pool for longer. Browse pool heating products from SPQ Brands today.