Swimming Pools in a Variety of Climates

by Pool Builders on 03-21-2011 in Articles

Those living in warmer climates will be able to enjoy a longer pool season. If you live in a colder or wetter climate, consider an enclosure or pool heater so that you can use your pool for a longer period of time each year. Your local weather may make these features virtual necessities if you plan to use your pool for more than a month or two each year.

If you have the budget for it, consider an indoor pool, especially if you live in a region where this will greatly impact your ability to use the pool year-round. A heated indoor pool is the only way to guarantee a usable pool every day of the year, though it is the most expensive option.

The local climate also affects the design itself. Concrete pools, for example, are said to function better in areas with very high summer temperatures or expansive soil, but may crack if the winters are very cold. If your area experiences freezing temperatures, a concrete pool would need to be reinforced with steel, which can add to the overall cost of the construction. Fiberglass is flexible, making it a good choice for earthquake-prone regions. Vinyl-liner pools are often chosen for areas of the country that get cold during the winter months.

Pools can be expensive not only to build, but also to maintain. Building in energy-saving features can save you time and money. These include putting your pumps and lighting on timers, and covering your pool with an enclosure or a cover when not in use. Consider whether you want to keep your pool full and warm for the winter, or save heating costs by emptying it in the winter. There are year-round energy costs associated with running a pool, including the purchase of chemicals and increases in your water and electricity bills.

According to the Department of Energy, water evaporation accounts for 70% of total energy lost in both outdoor and indoor pools. A typical pool loses 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water a week, which can mean 600 gallons of water or even more. With the water go your heat and your pool chemicals.

Covering your pool when not in use is the single most important step you can take to reduce energy costs. Covering it also reduces maintenance requirements, since chemicals are not evaporated and dirt and debris cannot fall into the pool. A colored cover will help even more by heating your pool through collecting solar energy.

To reduce energy costs, you can also turn down the pool heater when the pool is not in use. Recommended temperatures are 82 to 84 degrees for recreational swimming or 78 to 80 degrees for active swimming. Turning the temperature down just one degree can result in substantial energy savings.

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