Heating in cooler weather _ Best ways to get the most for the least

cchaynes

Well-known member
Jul 6, 2020
51
Wallingford, PA
I am curious if there are good resources for determining the best way to heat a pool in cool weather.

1) Just set the heater and let it run and pay the bills
2) Heat it only in the early morning to bring it up to temp and then let it drop back off each day as far as it goes

I know that the outside temp will drive whether #2 will even be possible/effective, but is there some school of thought on this subject?

I guess put another way, is it cheaper to maintain a water temp or let it drop and bring it back, I am not a thermodynamic engineer, just looking for some insights from those who tend to extend the season or live in a desert setting with cool overnight temps.

Thanks
 

goody222

Silver Supporter
Feb 6, 2018
162
Chesapeake, VA
Best thing? Use a solar cover anytime you aren't using it. It will retain a ton of heat. At first I avoided using them because they are are a pain to fold/maneuver. So I have it in 3 pieces. I can cover 90% of my pool this way and do it myself!
 

cchaynes

Well-known member
Jul 6, 2020
51
Wallingford, PA
Best thing? Use a solar cover anytime you aren't using it. It will retain a ton of heat. At first I avoided using them because they are are a pain to fold/maneuver. So I have it in 3 pieces. I can cover 90% of my pool this way and do it myself!
I was thinking of making some big circles that I could throw in and pull out, I suppose every bit helps.

In California I have a solar pool heater that actually keeps it in a range that is "heatable:" but it's still going to be 500$ in gas per month I would imagine.
 

homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
294
Sunrise,FL
There are a lot of threads on this topic on the TPF website. It depends upon a number of factors:
Does your outdoor temperature stay below freezing for hours/days on end? Run the pump on a regular basis during those times to avoid frozen plumbing.
Are you avoiding "closing" the pool? Leave the heater on low all the time.
Do you want to swim daily? Try to finesse the heat so it is ready when you are.
Weekends? Only on holidays? Leave the heater on as low as you can, but bump it up in time to swim on your "swimming" day.

Someone on the forum (from Canada) kept their pool open year round and even considered the temperature in the plumbing in the ground and ran the heater like gangbusters and then shut it off to not continue the heat loss from the plumbing in the ground.

FWIW, I tend to be a weekend/holiday swimmer in the winter, so I only turn the heater on in advance of using the pool, but I don't have freezing temps to worry about when I'm not using it. And it does cool - quickly- when not covered.

It's always going to be cheaper to have the heater on as little as possible. And no matter what you do, use a solar cover.
 

homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
294
Sunrise,FL
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,724
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I am curious if there are good resources for determining the best way to heat a pool in cool weather.

1) Just set the heater and let it run and pay the bills
2) Heat it only in the early morning to bring it up to temp and then let it drop back off each day as far as it goes

Your heater costs you for every BTU it generates.

1 wastes BTU's maintaining the water temperature at times when you are not using the pool overnight.

2 is the minimum BTUs necessary for your use case. It will use mo more BTUs then 1 and may use less depending on air temperature and heat loss. As long as the overnight heat loss does not cause excessive reheat times then 2 is the best strategy.

My gas heater heats my pool just over 1 degree an hour. Once the air temperature gets too cold I can lose 10 degrees or more overnight if I turn the heater off. In that case it takes too much time to reheat the pool and can't catch up. So when it gets too cold and 2 no longer works then you need to not let the water temperature drop.

A pool cover to retain heat helps tremendously.
 
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