There are so many aspects to love about owning a pool. Not only are they a great way to cool down during the warm summer months, but they also offer a great space to socialize with friends and family.
But what do you do once the colder months come creeping in, and that refreshing cold water becomes not so enjoyable? Sure you can use heat pump or pool heater but they can be expensive to purchase, and cost you an arm and a leg to run.
Luckily there are more affordable alternatives to suit every pool owners needs, check out our favourite cheap ways to heat a pool in the article below.
But first, here is a list of the cheapest ways to heat a pool that we’ll be going over.
- Using a Solar pool cover
- Using a Liquid solar pool cover
- The black hose trick
- Building a wind proof shelter
- Using a Solar pool heater
Using a solar pool cover
A solar pool cover, also known as a solar blanket is an easy, energy efficient way to heat your pool. It basically looks like a giant sheet of bubble wrap, except instead of air bubbles it has hundreds of tiny solar panels all over it. Not only are they designed to keep your pool toasty warm, they are also great at keeping debris out.
Solar blankets are known to be a popular choice for heating your pool, however there are some things to take into consideration to ensure you’re going to get the best results.
The first factor that is going affect how much heat you gain comes down to how large your pools surface areas is. A solar pool cover is going to do a much better job heating a smaller pool simply because there is a smaller volume of water to heat.
The second thing to take into consideration is is how many hours of sun your pool gets. A pool that gets at least 6 hours of sun a day has known to increase water temperatures of up to 10-15 degrees F.
Solar blankets are also effective at preventing water evaporating from your pool, on average a pool will lose around 5cm of water a week. Now this might not seem like much at the time, but over the course of a year this can equate to over 10,000 gallons!
This is not only going to save you money but will also save you time not having to continuously top your pool up.
Using a liquid solar pool cover
A liquid solar cover is a specially formulated liquid you add to your pool made up of alcohol, hydroxide and calcium. This liquid creates a chemical reaction as It’s added to water which creates a microscopic film like layer across your entire pools surface which you can neither see or feel.
Much like your standard solar pool cover, a liquid solar pool cover is designed not only to retain the heat in your pool, but also prevent any water from evaporating without the hassle of actually having to physically cover your pool with a bulky pool cover.
Liquid solar pool covers are also able to heat your pool when exposed to direct sunlight, in some cases up to 6 degrees. However they are not as effective at heating a pool compared to an actual physical solar pool blanket.
If you want to get the best results with your liquid solar blanket then it is best to make sure you have a strict top-up schedule, ensuring you add more every month, on the same day. You also may need to add more if you have a large amount of swimmers regally, or if there’s been large amounts of wind.
Using the black hose trick
As you can probably imagine, the black hose trick is a cheap way to heat your pool, however it’s not necessarily the most efficient way. The black hose trick involves using at least 50ft of black hose, a submersible pump and the heat from the sun.
What you want to do is coil up the hose feed into a tight spiral and attach one end of the hose to the sub pump in the water, and then direct the other end back into the pool. As the water passes through the coiled up hose it will slowly heat up, becoming warmer by the time it returns back to the pool.
If you want to get the best result you can add additional coils so the water will take longer to pass through, which in return will heat it to a higher temperature.
You can also attach a shut off valve where the submersible pump and hose feed meet which will allow you to control the speed and volume of the water that comes out. The slower the water comes out more time it has to heat up as it passes through the hose.
Build a wind proof shelter
If your pool is situated in an area that is prone to the wind then this is probably one of your first options to consider. The wind is renowned not only for having an impact on water temperature, but it also has a negative effect on other heating methods such as liquid, or solar pool covers.
Not only are wind proof shelters great for preventing heat loss, but they also can make pool maintenance easier by blocking out any debris that would normally be blown Into the pool.
Having a wind proof shelter also means you can use your pool in any weather rain or shine, and can also provide great shelter from the sun on those extra warm days.
Obviously the price of building a wind proof shelter can vary depending on the materials you decide to use, and the size of your pool.
Using a solar pool heater
Using a solar pool heater is a great alternative to your traditional gas, and heat pump pool heaters.
Solar pool heaters have a very low annual cost to run, and have the potential to be one of the most effective ways to heat your pool if situated in the right position.
They generally work by the water being pumped up through the filter, which then passes through the solar collector. The solar collector then heats the water and returns it back to the pool.
Solar pool heaters can also be a great way to cool down a pool if need be by having the water continue to be circulated during the night.
If you want to get the most out of your solar pool heater then the added use of a solar blanket, or liquid solar cover will help greatly as they will help retain and prevent any heat loss.
cheap ways to heat a pool summary
When it comes to cheap ways to heat your pool there is no best or worse way to do it.
There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing the methods that’s going to best suit you such as where your pool is situated, how much money you want to spend, and how large your pool is.
If you want to get the best result when using solar energy to heat your pool, then you can always combined more than one of these ways like building a wind proof shelter, and using a liquid solar blanket.
Whatever your choice is these cheap ways to heat a pool are all effective, and will save you money in the long run.