Human beings; whether young or old, rich or poor are all creatures of comfort. We crave luxury, relaxation and the finer things in life. Some say necessity is the mother of all invention. Well, we have transcended that in many ways. A good number of innovations and technology cropping up today came into existence due to the need to be more comfortable. Of course, one of the most common ways through which we relax as humans are by swimming.
Our ancestors swam in rivers and streams. We have only built upon that by swimming in pools at home, in the gym or at relaxation centers. These days, however, many American homes boast swimming pools. A very efficient and enjoyable way to cool off and relax on hot days, the presence of a pool in your home has many other benefits.
Most people view a pool as a social amusement platform. It is a good way to have fun with a large group consisting of friends and family. A Sunday cookout suddenly becomes more interesting with a pool. In fact, most parents prefer their children splashing around in the pool than playing video games every minute of the day.
For many, however, a pool is not a necessity used only during the hot summer days. For many who don’t the have time to go to the gym, swimming in a backyard pool is a substitute for daily gym sessions. It is an open secret that swimming is an ideal cardiovascular workout. It benefits the muscles, heart, and joints.
What then do you do during the cold winter months when the water in the pool is too cold to use? In many countries, winter lasts for as many as four months in a year. That practically means that you don’t get to swim in your pool for as many as four months in a year. For a person who likes to keep fit with a lap or two a day, this can be a dilemma. The easy and obvious solution to this is to find some ways to keep your pool heated — Not necessarily scalding hot as this isn’t a hot tub; just warm enough that you can swim in it without chattering and shivering.
There are many different ways to keep the water in your pool warm and toasty. Some are low tech while others involve the brilliance of technology at its finest. For good measure, we will be talking about a few of the most efficient ways to keep your pool heated.
The most obvious method of keeping your pool heated is to cover your pool. Many people favor this method because it is both cheap and effective. However, it is not all about covering your pool with a tarpaulin cover. That is why there are items such as solar pool covers to help you in your quest to stay swimming every day of the year.
Solar covers are usually custom made. Although if your pool is of a standard size, you can easily get a ready-made one perfect for your heating needs. All you have to do is cover every inch of your swimming pool. Solar covers work by soaking up the reflected heat from the sun. The heat is then trapped below the covers and inside the pool. Your pool might not be scalding hot but it will definitely be warm enough for use.
In case your pool does not have the traditional rectangular shape, you can opt for heating rings. They are also called solar rings. Heating rings are large, inflatable rings which will float atop the pool. Depending on the pool size and length, you might need as many as six or seven rings. They work using the same theory as solar covers and are very easy to store.
Another way through which you can keep your pool heated is with a heating system. Of course, they are more expensive but they are highly efficient. There are two major forms of heating systems based on how they are powered. We have gas and solar heating systems.
Solar heating systems use the energy derived from the sun itself to heat your pool. The system consists of solar collectors, a filter, a pump and a valve that controls flow. With the pump, water from your pool is pumped and passed through the filters. The pool water is then diverted to the collectors. Using heat from the sun, the solar collectors heat the water before it is pumped back to the pool, warm and toasty for your use.
Some systems even incorporate a sensor that stops the work of the collector when the pool temperature is the same as that of the collector. One major advantage of solar heating systems is that the process can be reversed and used to cool your pool. They typically cost between $3,000 and $4,000. Although they are quite pricey, remember that you don’t need electricity or fuel to power these babies. They are entirely solar powered systems.
Gas pool heaters are some of the most common heating systems for swimming pools. Gas heaters are powered by propane or natural gas. Just like the solar-powered heating system, it uses a pump. The pump moves pool water to the heater. The heater is powered and heated up in a combustion chamber. The heater then heats up the pool water quickly before it is returned to the pool by the pump.
A major advantage of gas pool heaters is that it can heat your pool up to high temperatures without any help from the climate or the weather. It also works quickly and is perfect for heating over a short period of time. Retailing between $1500 and $2500, its only drawback is the amount of money that would be spent on the gas used as a source of fuel.
Finally, we have heat pumps. As you might have guessed, heat pumps are powered by electricity. Unlike gas and solar systems, however, it doesn’t produce its own heat. Heat pumps utilize electricity to trap heat and then move the trapped heat from one point to the other. It works like a refrigerator in reverse, using a liquid refrigerant, a compressor, and a condenser to heat up your pool.
Heat pumps are actually very cost effective and will last for a very long time with proper maintenance. Although they don’t work as fast as gas heating systems, they will heat your pool adequately.
With the above-listed methods, using your pool during the cold winter months becomes more than just a pipe dream. It becomes reality.