To be upfront, we didn’t say free pool heating solutions because let’s face it, nothing is free nowadays, especially when it comes to heating! But still, it doesn’t mean that we have to break the bank to extend the swimming season for a couple of months (or even extend it the whole year round!) right? Today we’re going to show you some cheap and some cost-effective ways to heat your pool so that you’ll have fun in your backyard oasis even in the dead of winter!
The Black Hose Trick
If you already have a black garden hose, then this trick is essentially free, but if not, well, just get one (as long as possible) and who doesn’t need an extra garden hose right? What you do is that you attach your black hose to your water source, look for a spot exposed to direct sunlight and coil your hose on that location as much as possible and then run the edge towards your pool.
Remember basic science? The darker the color, the more light/heat energy it absorbs, and black absorbs everything. What we’re doing here is that we’re using the sun to heat the water inside the hose so that when we add water to our pool, we’re adding warm water! Don’t get too excited though, we’ll be lucky if we get an increase of a couple of degrees using this method, but if you’re in an area with mild winters (or if you’re just wanting to extend the season for a short bit) then this can be a nice cheap pool heating solution.
P.S. This trick can also be used to warm up your outdoor shower so that you can shower with warm water before jumping into the pool!
Using a Liquid Solar Cover
A liquid solar cover is a chemical that’s added to your pool and it creates a layer that’s one molecule thick and it basically traps in the heat in your pool much like a regular solid pool cover, it protects your pool water from evaporation, although not as much. Upon testing, liquid solar pool covers reduce evaporation by around 15% (vs regular solar pool covers that prevent up to 90% evaporation) and retain about 5 degrees Celsius or approximately 9-10 degrees Fahrenheit which is just under what regular solid solar pool covers save your pool.
Are liquid solar covers safe?
According to the manufacturers and to studies done (you can read them here) these chemicals are perfectly safe. But as with any chemical (like chlorine and other pool chemicals) some people may have a sensitivity to them so if you or a member of your family is chemical-sensitive, it’s best to take caution before using additional chemicals in your pool like a liquid solar cover.
Liquid solar covers have also been tested with interaction with regular pool chemicals and pool filters and they have been found to be safe with them so that’s one less thing you have to worry about.
Sounds perfect, are there any downsides?
Nothing is really perfect and there are some situations where liquid solar covers aren’t just the answer to your pool heating or warming solution.
- If you live in a windy area - Since liquid solar pool covers only form a microscopic layer of protection on your pool, if you live in a windy area where the wind regularly disturbs your pool surface then this will render the liquid pool cover useless.
- If your pool sees a lot of use - Again, since liquid solar pool covers are extremely thin, if your pool sees a lot of use, then it won’t be able to do its job, but then again, so does regular pool covers so this point is actually neutral. Oh, splashing around can also cause the chemical to splash outside of the pool, increasing the need to add more.
- If you live in an area with a lot of debris - If you’re regularly faced with a debris or leaf problem then liquid solar pool covers are you since leaves break the surface tension, preventing the chemical from doing its job. Not only that, the more cleaning your pool requires, the more liquid solar pool cover you need to add.
Using a Daisy Solar Pool Cover
We’ve gone through the benefits of using a Daisy pool cover multiple times during the life of this blog and you can browse some of them through the following links:
- Our ultimate pool cover guide
- How to install a pool cover
- Pros and Cons of a pool cover
- How to keep your pool water level during Australian water restrictions
What you’ll find in those articles is basically saying that pool covers can save you up to 90% of water by preventing evaporation, keep the water from losing up to 12F, and protects it from debris. It provides everything that liquid solar pool covers provide, but better!
Building a windproof pool enclosure
Now this pool heating solution’s cost can wildly vary from being extremely cheap to extremely expensive! DIY windproof enclosures can protect your pool from being cooled by wind and the more expensive windproof enclosures can allow you to keep your pool open the whole year round (and add value to your home!) by creating a greenhouse-like environment around your pool. While it is an expensive solution, it is cost-effective in the sense that it reduces a lot of other costs around your pool and creates an almost controlled environment for your pool that will make everything so much easier.
Using a Pool Heat Pump
Before you jump out of the page and say that pool heat pumps are not free or cheap, remember that we did say that this article was also about cost-effective pool heating solutions for the winter! Pool heat pumps, while they may have a substantial cost up front, they’re one of the most cost-effective heating solutions out there! While your standard pool heaters (both gas and electric pool heaters) can cost $300-$1000 a month to use, pool heat pumps can run as low as $50 per month! Of course that all depends on where you’re located, but over the long term, pool heat pumps will pay for that upfront cost in savings! While we don’t have enough room to detail every single thing about pool heat pumps here, we do have a lot of other articles that dive down into how pool heat pumps are the most cost-effective heating solutions for Australian pools.
The perfect pool heating combo
As you can already probably tell, we’re partial to solar pool covers and to pool heat pumps but do you know what we’re more partial to? Using a combination of the both! By using both a solar pool cover, you’re going to multiply the cost-effectivity by at least a factor of two! By using a pool cover, your preserving the heat generated by your pool heat pump, and in turn will require even less energy to maintain/increase the warmth of your pool!
Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.
Happy swimming :)