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    How to Extend your Backyard / Swim Season

    August 20, 2012
    annr

    extend your pool season

    It’s hard to believe that summer is winding down – but it’s true. Soon, the sound of laughing & splashing in your backyard pool will be replaced with school buses and football whistles. But just because the calendar says it’s getting close to Fall doesn’t mean you have to close down your pool and retreat indoors. There’s a whole host of products that can help you extend your swim season - and get more fun time out of your poolside environment as well.

    FOR WARMER POOL WATER

    Choose from these options, and enjoy warmer pool water long after Labor Day weekend has passed.

    Solar Blankets

    A solar blanket lets you enjoy warmer pool water without costly utility bills. It’s a wise investment at any time during the swim season – but it really pays to have a solar blanket at work on your pool as the weather turns cooler. Solar blanket covers work by trapping free heating energy from the sun and transferring it from the air pockets in the blanket material to your pool water. When your pool is not in use and you cover it with a solar blanket, you can increase the temperature by 10-15 degrees – a BIG difference when air temps turn cooler. Plus, a solar pool cover dramatically reduces heat loss, and you’ll use less chemicals too – due to reduced evaporation. Some pool owners pair a solar blanket with another heating device – like a pool heater, heat pump or solar heating system. And in areas of the country with lots of sun exposure, it’s all you need.

    Gas Heaters / Heat Pumps

    There’s no better, easier way to get warmer pool water than with a pool heater or heat pump. Gas pool heaters have been the most common pool heating equipment - because they’ve been around the longest, and they are the fastest method of heating your pool water. Modern pool heaters are cheaper than ever, and more energy-efficient than earlier models. There’s a size of gas heaters for every size aboveground and inground pool.

    Pool Heat Pumps offer another option for pool water heating. They’re great for pool owners in areas with low NOx or environmental mandates, as well as people looking for energy-efficiency that gas pool heaters just can’t provide. Heat pumps are quiet, easy to operate and very low maintenance. They’ll cost more up-front, but with the savings in your utility bill, they can more than pay for themselves in just a few seasons. They just don't heat very well in temperatures below 50 degrees, but should add at least another month or more on each end of your pool season, depending on where you live.

    Solar Heating System

    Like a solar blanket, a solar pool heater also absorbs free heating energy from the sun to warm your pool water. But unlike a solar blanket, which only works when the pool is covered and not in use, a solar pool heater works whenever the filter system is running and the sun is shining. A solar heating system can be installed on inground & aboveground pools, and can raise your water temperature by 15°-25°, without costly surges in your utility bill. Solar pool heaters work well in all parts of the country (the more sun exposure, the better) and are sold as easy-to-install, DIY friendly kits. Used in conjunction with a Solar Blanket, Solar Pool Heaters provide a cost-efficient, eco-friendly way to enjoy warmer water, early in the spring and late into autumn.

    Pool Enclosures

    Extend your swim season with warmer air - up to 40 degrees & warmer pool water- up 20 degrees! Swimming pool domes protect your pool from bugs, debris & rain, and reduce evaporation & use of chemicals, too. Sun Domes offer durable construction, and easy set-up, remove & storage. There’s a variety of options available for inground & aboveground pools (and spas, too!). The AquaFlex SuperSpan dome will allow you to swim all winter long, regardless of the weather outside! Shop the selection, and don’t let a little cold weather interrupt your swimming routine this Fall.

    FOR A WARMER PATIO / POOLSIDE

    Here’s a few good options for a warmer pool patio environment, too.

    Outdoor Spa

    When the evenings turn crisp, imagine a soothing soak in a warm, bubbling Hot Tub! If you haven’t discovered the relaxation, rejuvenation and health benefits of a spa or hot tub, now’s the time to check into it. Adding a portable spa to your patio or poolside area is a great way to increase the enjoyment from your backyard. Today’s models are value-priced, feature-rich and super-easy to set up. It’s certainly not the same as using your pool, but it does give you a great reason to continue enjoying your outdoor space – even year-round. And, you may even find that you like this seasonal change of pace!

    Outdoor Patio Heatersswimming pool patio heaters

    Even after the bathing suit’s been replaced with jeans & a long-sleeved T-shirt, there’s no reason to retreat indoors - a well-placed patio heater may be all you need to get another season’s worth of fun out of your backyard / pool patio area. Enjoy dining, reading & relaxing with friends and family even longer this season, without breaking your budget. Today’s models include electric & propane options in both full and compact size. Some are portable, others can be permanently installed - and all offer targeted, high-efficiency heating that’s quick & inexpensive to use.  

    Outdoor Fire Pits

    There’s nothing like the crackle of a warm fire on a cool day or evening! An outdoor fire pit can bring the same warmth to your backyard oasis as a patio heater, but with added atmosphere & ambiance. There’s lots of sizes & styles available, to match your outdoor décor, and most include a fire screen & tending tool. For safety’s sake, be sure to consider where you plan to use your fire pit. For example, you’ll need a heat-proof base to protect most deck (and some patio) surfaces.

    The moral of the story is that you should certainly celebrate the change of seasons, but shouldn’t let the weather dictate how you enjoy your pool and patio area. With a few well-chosen accessories, you can take control of Mother Nature – at least for a little while.  

    Ann Rasmussen
    SPP Pool Enthusiast

    Blog Author
    annr
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