How warm should I keep my pool?

l conservation practice, too. Young children, the elderly and others often need 80F or warmer water, however, and hydrotherapy calls for warmer water, too. Although 78F to 82F takes in about everyone, how warm you should keep your pool actually depends on personal preference. 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 78F. We hear a lot of praise for the pool cover. Is it merited?

Most certainly. A good insulating pool cover can reduce heat loss by 50% or more, depending on your location and climate. A pool that is uncovered can lose up to 5F overnight; a good cover can cut that loss by half. Used at night or whenever your pool is not in use, the pool cover can help save fuel costs by cutting heat loss regardless of the type of heating you utilize. And it can even make an unheated pool more swimmable by helping to retain the sun’s energy that naturally heats the pool during the daytime.

A pool cover stops water evaporation when it is in place. It isn’t the water loss that’s the big consideration here—it’s the heat loss. Every gallon of water that evaporates from a pool takes with it 6000 BTU’s of heat in the process—and a typical uncovered pool loses 1 to 1½ inches of water a week through evaporation.

For a 20 by 40 foot pool, an inch of water amounts to 500 gallons—roughly, a heat loss of more than 30 therms every seven days. (A therm is equal to 100,000 BTU’s). Besides stopping heat loss, a cover saves on pool chemicals, too, by keeping them from evaporating with the water.

Tips to help you conserve energy and heat your pool economically.

1 Keep a thermometer in your pool. It will pinpoint accurately the temperature most comfortable for you.

2. Keep your thermostat at the lowest comfortable setting. Each degree more heat than needed could add more to your monthly fuel cost and use up more energy than necessary.

3 Mark the “comfort setting” on the thermostat dial. This will prevent accidental or careless over-heating and waste of energy.

4 Lower thermostat to 70 degrees when pool is to be unused for three or four days. For longer periods, shut the heater off. You will save money on fuel consumption and help conserve energy.

5 Protect your pool from wind. Wind above 3 to 5 miles per hour can lower the pool temperature substantially. A hedge, cabana or decorative fence can be an effective windbreak.

6. Use a pool cover when pool is not in use. This can reduce heat loss by as much as 50%. If you are vacationing for a couple of weeks or shutting down for winter, turn the heater off completely, including any pilot light.

7 Drain heater completely prior to freezing weather. Freezing water inside the heat exchanger can result in costly repairs.

8. Get a maintenance checkup annually. It’s your best ounce of prevention. Call your Teledyne Laars dealer for a skilled technician to do the job. The cost is minimal and the service will keep your heater working efficiently for many years. Paramount Pools offers this service on Long Island, New York.

Information compiled from articles found on Poolandspa.com (www.poolandspa.com)

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