For most people (us included!) as long as the water is warm and doesn’t cause you to do a cartoonish jump out of the pool once you hit the water, then that’s perfect! There will be some instances though that jumping into the pool will feel like jumping into warm soup and that’s really no fun!
For all around use, Australian swimming pool temperatures are best around 26 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius. 26 degrees if you’re planning on some brisk swimming and the less activity you plan to do, the closer to 28 you should set the pool’s temperature to. Now, is this is the “perfect” and average temperature for the pool, then what’s the point of the article right? Well, there are some situations that call for different pool temperatures for that perfect swim session!
Swimmin’ with the oldies
If you have seniors living in the household or expecting to have some guests over that will use the pool, it is worth noting that as our bodies age, the more sensitive it becomes to the extreme ends of the temperature spectrum. Too cold, and it can be really uncomfortable for them, especially with arthritis and other joint conditions. Too hot it could lead to even more serious effects like heat stroke!
The perfect temperature for seniors for them to be safe and comfortable is somewhere around the 30 and 31 Celsius mark. This temperature is perfect for those arthritic joints and it’s still not too hot to cause any significant issues dealing with heat. In fact, for arthritis cases that cause limited movement and function, you can go up to as high as 32 degrees Celsius, but not more!
If you're looking for temperatures higher than 32, it would be more cost effective, and not to mention relaxing, to go with a spa than heating up your entire pool.
Exercising in the pool
On the other end of the spectrum, if you plan to use the pool for exercising then you should go with the recommended temperatures mentioned earlier, around 26 to 28 degrees. Since your body is going to be warming up from the exercise, the lower temperature will prevent your body from overheating and will allow you to exercise even longer.
Perfect Temperature for children swimming and playing
One might think that with all of the activity children are doing in the pool (ahhh, the boundless energy!) that colder water and lower temperatures are better. But in fact, it is good to keep the water at a comfortable level, around 29 degrees to keep their muscles warm and loose and to prevent difficulties in swimming like cramps and other issues that may lead to more serious problems or accidents.
So if you have kids, or are teaching your kids how to swim, then consider raising the temperature to around 29 degrees. Remember, kids knowing how to swim isn’t a sure way to prevent drowning accidents if they cramp up in water that is deeper than they can stand up.
Things to think about when raising your pool’s temperature
Now if you’re like us and you love to keep your pool temperature at a comfortable 26 to 28 degrees, it’s worth noting that raising the temperature of your pool to accommodate kids or seniors can actually cost a lot. So it’s going to be a careful juggling act of whether to raise the pool just for visitors or warn them beforehand. It really boils down to efficiency!
If a senior lives with you (or if you have arthritis) and you may need to keep the water at a high temperature at all times, it may be better to just get a hot tub as it would actually be cheaper to heat up and buy a hot tub than keeping your pool water at 30 to 32 degrees all year round!
If you DO raise your water temperatures past 29 degrees to accommodate for guests, it’s always good to take note that not only do kids and seniors benefit from the added temperature, but so do algae and bacteria! Bacteria and algae will start to multiply exponentially so it’s good practice to shock your pool once it has cooled down or at least once a week if you plan on maintaining a high temperature in your pool.
Note: Chlorine also gets affected by high temperatures and it will lose its effectivity faster in high temperatures!
What about spas and high temperatures?
One of the reasons why many spas owners opt to go with bromine versus chlorine is that bromine remains stable at high temperatures. So even if the temperature of your spa does go high, the bacteria growth is still kept in check!
Yes, Spa Bromine can also be used in full-sized swimming pools, but they get degraded by direct sunlight even faster than chlorine so it will cost a LOT just to keep an outdoor swimming pool sanitised by using bromine. If you're worried about keeping a heated up pool sanitised then a salt water chlorinator is a very viable option.
Saving Money with efficiency
There are ways where you can help save money if your household requires a warmer than normal pool temperature. This can be done by raising the efficiency of your pool through the use of the following:
A good pool cover
Pool covers from Daisy or solar blankets can go a long way in saving you money when you warm up the pool! As we’ve discussed before in our Ultimate Pool Cover guide, good pool covers not only keep the heat in your pool but it actually heats it up by a couple of degrees as well! This actually translates into hundreds of dollars in savings from energy costs!
A liquid solar blanket
While it doesn’t warm up your pool like a traditional pool cover, liquid solar pool blankets like the ones from Lo-Chlor can help keep a couple of degrees of heat in your pool. And depending on the size of your pool, a couple of degrees can mean a few hundred dollars in energy costs! And that’s nothing to scoff at considering that liquid solar blankets are fairly cheap and you really have nothing to lose as they’re safe to use, and you have everything to gain!
An energy efficient pool heat pump
If there’s one thing that pool heat pumps are great at, then that’s maintaining temperatures for extended periods of time without breaking the bank! Sure, they take a while to get to the desired temperature, but once it hits it, then efficiency skyrockets and the cost to maintain that temperature will be very little when compared to gas or electric pool heaters!
No matter what the perfect pool temperature for your household is, the main thing to remember is that it can easily be reached with minimal costs with a few tricks, whether with a good pool cover, a liquid pool cover, or with an energy-efficient pool heat pump.
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Happy swimming :)