Pool Info: Facts about Pool Heating
Laars/ Jandy FAQ
Considering today’s high fuel costs, does it make sense for me to heat my pool?
The answer is yes, if you want to enjoy comfortable swimming at your own convenience. One of the reasons for owning a pool is being able to swim when you want to. As for cost, that’s up to you. You really can control fuel consumption and waste simply by taking advantage of the suggestions made on this page.
What guidelines should be followed in heating our pool?
Taking into consideration the need to conserve energy and to minimize fuel consumption, any unnecessary pool heating should be avoided. You are the best judge of the kind of use you want out of your pool. Use of your pool for recreation, exercise, therapy or just general enjoyment obviously will require heating it. Your pool won’t contribute to your health or pleasure unless it’s warm enough to swim in comfortably, and when you want to swim. Actually, using your home pool can be far less wasteful of energy and cost you less in fuel than driving to distant resort and vacation areas for away-from-home recreation.
For pointers on saving energy and cutting fuel costs, see the list of suggestions on conserving energy.
How warm should I keep my pool?
That depends entirely on you, of course. The temperature recommended for recreational and competitive sports swimming by the American Red Cross and many swimming coaches is 78° F. This comfort level coincides with good fuel conservation practice, too.
Young children, the elderly and others often need 80° F or warmer water, however, and hydrotherapy calls for warmer water, too.
Although 78° F to 82° F takes in about everyone, how warm you should keep your pool actually depends on personal preference.
Obviously, a heated pool means more swimming. How much more?
You’re right. The sun alone usually can’t keep your pool water at that comfort minimum of 78° F. By having a heater to warm your water you can add substantially to the daily use of your pool—and you can also extend the so-called "swimming season."
How much more swimming? From early morning to late evening, even with air temperatures of 65° or lower — if your pool is warm.
You can stretch your pool season by twice in most areas and even longer in other areas by having a heated pool. The usual 2-month season in Detroit, for example, can be doubled in time, and in Los Angeles the season can be more than tripled. In New York, Chicago and Philadelphia - double the season or better.
If we don't heat our pool, how much swimming season can we expect?
Again, it depends on your climate and whether you use a pool cover or not. Without a pool cover you’ll probably have a season of only one or two months in most areas and perhaps three months or a little more with a cover.
During those months when the average temperature in your area is high enough to heat your pool water to a minimum 75 °F—and hold it there—you will be able to boost this temperature to 78°F or more if you use a good pool cover and keep it on your pool when the pool is not in use.
Pools that are not covered can lose 4° F to 5° F overnight in most parts of the country. With a cover, you can reduce that heat loss by 50% or more. So without a heater you should be able to use your pool in the afternoons and early evenings, in the warmest part of the season.
Remember that besides air temperature, you must consider such variables as wind speed and humidity, both of which affect the rate of heat loss from the pool. If your pool is not covered, try to protect the pool from breezes as best you can with walls, covered fences, shrubs, cabanas, etc.
Do we need to heat our pool when the weather's hot?
Again, it depends on you and your personal pool temperature preference. It also depends on the climate in your area— and whether you use a good quality cover to conserve energy and heat.
Even using a cover, you’ll probably have to heat your pool a little, particularly during summer cool spells and for morning and evening swimming.
In Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Seattle, for example, even the July - August average temperatures are usually below 75° F and moderate heating would be essential for comfortable swimming. By contrast, average temperatures in summer are high and sustained. But "real" weather has a tendency to vary a lot from the mean, so it’s a good idea to rely on a heater to brighten up the cool spots and lengthen the swimming season.
What are the health benefits of heating my pool?
A pool that is properly heated and properly used can contribute to and help safeguard health. Doctors and physical therapists regard swimming as one of the most beneficial of cardiovascular exercises. It is an exercise that nearly everyone can do safely, while running and jogging are impossible for many elderly people and those who suffer from arthritis and muscular diseases. (continued........)The information on this page is provided by Teledyne Laars/ Jandy, a leader in the Pool Heating Industry, from their brochure "Facts about pool heating"