Ways to Reduce Heating Costs for Your In-Ground Pool
There are many ways to heat an in-ground pool, but the most common ones are using natural gas or propane, electricity, or solar energy. Another possibility is to determine the cost of using either gas or electricity and add solar panels to the house to offset that pool-heating cost by reducing the cost of your home’s electricity.
In this blog article, we’re going to explore generally how to reduce heating costs without going into how to calculate that cost in the first place, which is complicated. How much it costs to heat your pool depends on a lot of factors, including how big the pool is, what temperature it is outside, how windy it is outside, what type of heater you use, and how warm you want to make the pool relative to the ambient temperature.
For example, if it is -20 Celsius outside, and you want your pool to be +27 C, then it is obviously going to cost more than if it is +15C outside. You need 1 BTU to heat 1 gallon of water 1 degree Fahrenheit. Your pool may have more than 50,000 gallons. That’s a lot of BTUs.
It is impossible to say how much it costs to heat your pool because there are so many factors to consider. But for the sake of discussion, assume it will cost at least $500-1000 per year.
The single biggest thing you can do to reduce your heating cost is to use a well-fitting cover. If you keep your pool covered all the time except when you are in it, then you will substantially reduce your cost. You can cut your cost in half or by two-thirds. Most of the heat loss is to the air and by evaporation.
Heating on Demand
The next important thing to do is only heat your pool when you are using it. Now, this depends on how you heat your pool. If you are using solar energy, the pool is slow to heat, so it may not be feasible. However, if you live in a mild climate where it is very sunny in the summer, then your solar heating may not cost you anything beyond the initial installation.
Gas will heat it the fastest, but it will cost you to heat it in a hurry. The point here is that it does not make economic sense to heat the pool for days or weeks at a time if no one is in the pool. Turn off the heater.
The Mayo Clinic says that pool temperatures between approximately 28C and 31C are most comfortable for exercise and that the very young and elderly need water this warm. Competitive swimmers require slightly cooler water.
However, there is a growing body of evidence that cold water or “cooler” water swimming has many health benefits for chronic pain, inflammation and mood (and some risks). The point here is that you could consider heating your pool a little less, even by a degree or two and cut the cost of the heating bill significantly. This is certainly something to consider if your swimmers are not small children or the elderly, but be aware of the risks.
Taylor Made Pools, based in Surrey, BC, is your go-to pool contractor for in-ground swimming pools, hot tubs, decks, and pool renovations on the Lower Mainland. With over 30 years of experience and a passion for beautiful pools and happy clients, Taylor Made Pools will help you realize your backyard dreams.
If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about pools, please feel free to contact us using the handy form on our Contact page.
Knechtle, Beat et al. “Cold Water Swimming-Benefits and Risks: A Narrative Review.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 17,23 8984. 2 Dec. 2020, doi:10.3390/ijerph17238984