Our pool build finished late September of last year. We swam a handful of times and closed it (live in Southern NH).
So I consider this my first season as a pool owner. I have been reading this site a lot to get prepared for taking care of my pool.
Since I remember last year around Easter time it was really nice outside (it was 80, IRRC, the kids chocolate we hid around the yard was melting), I figured we should open early this year in hopes of getting a few early swim days in.
The pool is open and crystal clear (the pool builders haven't "salted" our pool yet, probably next week). The water temp fluctuates between 47-53F, which is obviously too cold for anyone to actually swim in.
That being said, my family is really aching to go swimming, so we are potentially willing to burn some of that $3.50/gallon propane we have left in our tank from winter.
Even though my wife said she refuses to deal with a pool with a solar cover (she has nightmares from doing so as a child), I refuse to heat the pool in this weather without one.
So, here comes my question. Is it a complete waste to heat up the pool (with the solar cover) for what potentially might only be an hour a week of swimming? The current temperature range is 55-68 daytime and 28 -45 at night. Is this just a losing battle of heat and cost? Will the solar cover keep my heat in (while we aren't using the pool) enough where it is worth turning the heat on this early in the season? That is, if I get it up to 80F and keep it covered, how often will the heater need to run to maintain things (note, we also have an electric heat pump, but I doubt it is much use at night right now, when we will lose most of our heat)?
This is what the pool looks like this morning (it is overcast and early in the morning)
I hate just looking at the pool without being able to go in (I could buy a wet suit, I presume, that would be cheaper then heating it, actually, I could buy a wet suit for the whole neighborhood for less then heating right now, I assume).