How to Cool Down a Pool
Picture this: It’s summer. It’s hot (like 90+ degrees outside, HOT). You’ve worked all day – now you’re looking forward to a refreshing dip in your pool. You dive in, hoping for a sweet reprieve from the heat, and your pool feels like… bath water!? So much for the cool, refreshing dip you’ve been waiting for!
During the hottest part of the summer, especially in warmer regions, pool water can heat up to the point that it is not as refreshing as you would hope. Also, warmer water can quickly become a breeding ground for living contaminants like algae and bacteria, making it harder to balance your pool chemicals and keep the water clean and clear. Hot, mucky pool water is not on anyone’s checklist for an enjoyable summer. Fortunately, if you are looking for how to cool down a pool, there are several things you can do that will aid in your regular pool maintenance and help cool the water. This guide will walk you through 10 different methods for cooling your pool.
Run the Pump at Night
One of the easiest things you can do to cool the water in your swimming pool is to run the pump at night. As part of your standard pool care, you need to let the pump run for 8-12 hours anyway, and doing it at night when the air is cooler can help cool the water down. This happens because cooler air will work as an imitation evaporative cooler, which helps decrease the temperature faster than if you run the pump during the warmer, sunnier daylight hours. This method is fairly dependent on your climate and the nighttime air temperature, but will produce subtle results. Running the pump at night can also amplify the effects of aerators, water fountains, and other water features, which are good methods for cooling down your pool.
Add a Fountain or Waterfall
Extra pool features, such as waterfalls and fountains, are an excellent option for cooling pool water. The movement of the water and the increased air exposure means it will be cooler than still water. You can install a simple water fountain to your return jets, but there are a variety of decorative and unique water features available. More complex elements may require a professional installation, but additional water features add visual appeal and personalize your swimming pool. They are a great way to add aesthetic value to your pool and are usually a great talking point for guests. But, buyer be aware – these structures can also contribute to water loss (and, therefore, chemical loss) due to evaporation, so be sure to weigh the pros and cons before choosing to install one in your pool.
Use an Aerator
An inexpensive but effective way to cool your swimming pool water is to use an aerator, which is an attachment that screws or plugs into the side of the pool. The aerator will use return water from the pump and spray water back into the pool, and as it sprays, it introduces air with tiny droplets of water. As a result, heat can escape the water more quickly due to evaporation.
If you wish to attach and use an aerator, there should be a valve for you to open on your pool equipment. Most pools label the valves so that you can determine what each valve controls. You will need to open the one that controls the aerator water flow. Generally, aerators work better in dry climates, but they are also effective in humid climates. You can expect an aerator to help drop your pool water’s temperature a few degrees.
Ice is a bit of a drastic measure to attempt to cool your pool water, but we’ll discuss it anyway because you will see it recommended every now and then. It will take thousands of pounds of ice to cool the temperature of a swimming pool by even a few degrees, and it is a short-term solution at best. However, if you have access to large quantities of ice at a reasonable price, it is certainly a unique method to try for fun. Although it is not the most reasonable option for long-term or repeated use, the kids in the family might enjoy the novelty of ice in the pool on a sweltering hot day.
Cover with a Shade
Giving your pool a break from the sun is another way to keep the water from getting too warm. Installing a canopy, patio umbrella, or other physical structure over a portion of your pool can help keep it cool. Pool shades can serve double duty by providing protection to the swimmers in the water. There are many stylish options available, so you can find something that suits your outdoor aesthetics.
You can also plant trees or foliage around the pool to add a little shade. The major downside of using this method is that you will undoubtedly be dealing with extra cleaning from leaves, twigs, and pollen, especially after storms. In addition, with deciduous trees, you will have even more clean-up in the fall when the leaves drop. However, with the right pool tools to make cleaning and routine maintenance more manageable, it might be worth it. You can also work with a landscaper to determine which native plants would be best for providing shade and allowing wind to pass through while leaving you with as little mess as possible.
Use a Solar Panel
When many people think of solar panels, they think of using them to heat the pool water. However, you can also use them to help cool the water too. There is a method called nocturnal cooling, which essentially uses solar panels at night to cool the water. We discussed running the pump at night anyway to take advantage of the cooler air, and if you combine that with solar panels, you can boost its cooling power even more. When you use your solar panels at night, the water passes through the solar panels’ tubes and expels the heat. Then, the cool water returns back into your pool.
Use a Pool Cooler
As the name suggests, an evaporative cooler uses evaporation to lower the water temperature. Water flows through the unit and transfers heat with a fan and tubes. Some pool coolers also use a refrigerant, much like an air conditioner. The cooler water is pumped back into your pool for you to enjoy. The size of the cooler and your pool size, among other variables, will affect how much of a temperature change you can expect, but 5-10 degrees is typical with this type of system.
Install a Reverse-Cycle Heat Pump
Similar to a dedicated pool cooler, you can also use a reverse-cycle heat pump. It will work in much the same way, but it can also be used as a heat pump in cooler weather. Many systems come with temperature control, allowing you to find the perfect setting. While these are more costly investments from an installation and energy consumption standpoint, they are effective at cooling the pool water.
Drain and Refill
A partial drain and refill is an option to consider for cooling your pool, but several factors may influence your decision. Although this method certainly works, it is even more effective if your water source is a well. This is because well water is generally cooler than surface water, and many larger municipalities use surface water. Another factor to consider is that you will need to rebalance your water chemistry. However, if, for some reason, you have had other problems with your pool water, such as excessive algae growth, draining the water may be necessary. Finally, a refill can be considered wasteful. You must determine if the downsides and cost will be worth the temperature difference.
Staying cool in the Summer Sometimes Means Having to Cool Down Your Pool Water
When it comes down to it, the water temperature can make or break your swimming experience. If you want to enjoy your swimming pool to the fullest, it is essential to keep the water cool and clean. You may need to make an extra investment for the right cooling system, but there are other ways to save on pool costs. Proper cleaning and maintenance are the most straightforward ways to save on pool costs and keep your pool ready at all times. Although routine cleaning is usually not anyone’s favorite part of owning a pool, it will help you enjoy your pool for years to come. ProTuff has designed its pool rake and tools to be durable and efficient to make pool cleaning less tedious. With our lifetime guarantee, you can be assured that we stand behind our products. If you have questions about pool maintenance or ProTuff products, contact us today.
Disclaimer: Pool ownership and maintenance is very complicated, and we know every situation is unique. While we’ve done our best to cover the best practices here, we encourage you to reach out to ProTuff directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any specific questions you may have.