A few years ago, I was in the Bavarian Alps sat in the outdoor section of a swimming pool. The air was cold, but the pool was like a bath. After a while, the heavens opened and the rain started to pour. With my natural instincts kicking in, I was about to make my way inside when I noticed that no one else was moving; so I just sat back. The cold air and even colder rain was so refreshing, sat back in this steaming hot bath-like pool and it got me thinking – why do I only use my own backyard pool in the summer?
If you’re reading this, then the chances are you also own some sort of pool in your back garden. We all know that on a baking hot summer’s day, nothing beats having a dip in a fresh pool to cool off, lazing back while the sun slowly bakes us; blissful.
This, however, is England. Whilst we are occasionally blessed with some long stretches of glorious sun, often, it’s far more overcast, a bit colder and often features the great British summer time classic, the rain. As nice as cooling off in the pool on a hot day is, just like my experience in that little German mountain town, there’s something really special about warming up on a cold day. We’re not letting the weather put a dampener on our pool experience!
So let’s talk heaters!
It sometimes surprises me how few pools actually use a heater, relying on the natural warmth of the sun to do the job. This, to me, just seems like a waste of a great facility for the rest of the year. There are a lot of choices for heating systems which are can be flexible around your budget, pool type/size or even just personal preference; so let’s talk through a few of the options.
Why not use the suns natural energy to heat your pool? Solar panels collect heat, as they sit in the sun. The pump system then pushes water through the solar panels, which heats it up. This is a fantastic way to warm your pool, but is not so efficient on cooler or winter days. Many solar heater owners also use a secondary auxiliary heating system.
An electric heater is often better for spas, or smaller pools as they can require large amounts of electricity. They work by current being applied to an element, within the unit, which naturally heats up. When water passes over the element, the water heats and the element cools and the process is repeated. Electric heaters do no emit any air pollution or noise, but can be expensive to operate.
Gas burners create heat from burning gas inside a combustion chamber, which hosts a series of copper coils. Water passes along these copper coils and heats up. Gas heaters can heat water very quickly but again can incur high gas bills. In more recent years, gas heater popularity has been declining in favour of Air Source Heat Pumps.
Air-source heat pumps heat your pool by transferring heat from the air, whereas water-source, or geothermal heat pumps transfer heat from water. Heat pumps have become very popular, as they are energy efficient and environmentally friendly. They do however heat pools quite slowly and are dependent upon air temperature.
Now, it’s worth remembering that heating a pool can get pricey. The longer your pool is open for, the higher the costs associated with running it are. Year round pool enjoyment is a luxury. I often get asked whether it’s actually worth keeping my pool heated and quite simply, my answer is always: yes. We own pools so that we can use them. We relax in them, we train and exercise in them, we learn in them, we waste time in them and we have fun in them. We can’t do any of that if the pool is too cold to use.
Swimming is hugely beneficial to both our mental and physical wellbeing and a warm pool helps both those aspects. Heating your pool doesn’t have to be a bank breaking event, it just takes some thought and planning. Of course, we can help you with that.
So don’t sit indoors staring at the pool cover making puddles on gloomier days, embrace your adventurous spirit and enjoy the cooler weather for what it is.
An added point!
Once your pool is nice and warm, it is essential that your pool cover be the best grade to ensure heat gain & retention. This will help to save on your bank balance, and the environment. You can see UK Pool Store’s recommended Solar Pool Covers by clicking here.