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Top 10 Tips for Extending Your Pool Season

All pool owners want to get the most out of their swimming pools. But in many areas of the country, the swimming season might be limited to a few short months during the summer. With the help of Leslie's, you can now extend your pool season by weeks — or even months — moving your swimming time into the early spring and late fall.

1. There are many options available for extending your swimming season.

Cooler weather outside doesn't mean you have to shut down your swimming pool. Because with the help of Leslie's heating products, you can extend your swimming season by several weeks, or even months. Solar covers, gas heaters, heat pumps, and solar heaters all help to increase the amount of time you and your family can comfortably enjoy the pool. No matter which option works best for you, there's something available for every pool and budget.

Leslie's Fun in the Sun

2. Adding a solar cover can extend your pool season by a few weeks in spring and fall.

Solar covers are an easy and cost-effective way to extend swimming pool season. Designed to heat up during the day and retain warmth during the night, solar pool covers are great for both inground and above ground pools.

3. Solar covers save money by reducing water evaporation and chemical loss.

Buying and installing a solar cover does more than just help heat your pool. It can also help save you money. The main cause of heat loss in a pool is evaporation. It's true — evaporation can pull up to 70% of the heat from your pool. Used properly, solar covers can reduce evaporation by as much as 90%. In addition to the energy savings, solar covers save you time refilling your pool, as well as money spent on water and replacement chemicals. Solar covers also help cut down on the amount of dirt and debris in the pool, which saves time on cleaning and maintenance.

BONUS TIP: There are so many benefits associated with solar pool covers. It can literally pay for itself within a pool season. Learn more on our other blog post: Solar Pool Cover Buyer's Guide.

Extend Swimming Season with a Solar Pool Cover

4. Solar reels make installing and removing solar covers a simple, one-person task.

Solar covers are designed to fit over the entire pool. This means that for large pools or regions that get a lot of rain, pool covers can be fairly heavy and tedious to move — especially for one person. Solar reels make the task of rolling up your solar cover a breeze. They also provide a safe place to store your cover out of the way when not in use.

5. If using a pool heater, also use a solar cover to help retain heat in the pool.

When using a pool heater to extend pool season, it's important to supplement its heating power with a solar cover. Running a pool heater without a solar cover is like running your furnace with the windows open — the heat (and your money) will escape quickly! As mentioned in #3, evaporation causes a majority of your pool's heat loss. Installing a solar cover with any pool heater retains the heat inside your pool for longer periods of time. This allows for a more efficient heating experience that saves you money, and helps you enjoy your pool even more.

6. Solar Sun Rings are an easy-to-use alternative to solar covers.

Solar Sun Rings are an alternative to much larger solar covers. Built from heavy-duty UV-resistant vinyl, Solar Sun Rings are large rings, about 60 inches in diameter, that rest gently on the pool's surface. Just like solar covers, they work to heat the water during the day and retain the warmth throughout the night. They aren't quite as efficient as a solar cover, since they don't cover the entire surface of the pool. However, they're easy to handle and often have bright, fun sunburst designs on them.

Gas Fired Pool Heaters

7. Using a gas heater can raise your water temperature by 30 degrees or more.

In areas with a cold climate, pool seasons are often very short. Gas heaters are the most powerful way to quickly and effectively heat your pool water and extend the pool season. Using either propane or natural gas, pool heaters can increase water temperatures by 30 degrees Fahrenheit or more, giving you months of extended enjoyment.

8. Heat pumps are cost-effective options to extend pool season in mild and sunny climates.

Different than gas heaters, heat pumps work almost like an air conditioning unit, but in reverse. The refrigerant in the heat pump absorbs heat from the surrounding air, and ultimately transfers that warmth into the water through a heat exchanger. Designed for use in sunny climates that rarely see temperatures drop below 50-60ºF in the spring and fall, heat pumps are easy to use and very cost-efficient. Some heat pumps can even operate in temperatures as low as 45ºF, but it depends on the manufacturer. In warmer climates, heat pumps often cost much less to operate than gas heaters.

BONUS TIP: So which is better, a gas pool heater or a heat pump? It depends. For help figuring out which one's best for your swimming pool, head over to our Pool Heater vs. Heat Pump resource article.

9. In sunny areas, solar heaters can increase pool temperatures by up to 20 degrees.

Solar heaters are the most cost-effective method of pool heating. However, they are best suited for areas with copious amounts of warm sunshine. Capable of being installed on the roof, against the side of the pool, or even on the ground, solar heaters absorb warmth of the sun's rays and turn them into powerful heating energy. Under the right circumstances, they can increase pool temperatures by as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Above ground pool

10. Above ground pools are easily heated with a solar heater.

Solar heaters for above ground pools can achieve the same kind of heating power as other heater types, without causing harm to the pool. Above ground pools may be easily and safely heated using a combination of a solar heater and a solar cover, keeping your costs down — and your family comfortably swimming in the pool.

So there you have it! There are a number of ways to extend swimming time and increase the length of your pool season. If you have any questions about the pros and cons of the different options available, and aren't sure which one's right for your pool, we can help. Call or stop by your local Leslie's today to speak with one of our friendly, knowledgeable pool professionals.

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Leslie’s makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and Leslie’s assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Leslie’s assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.