Tuesday, June 15

Passive Heating for Above Ground Pools

Cooling off in the pool is fun, but freezing your big toe to test the water definitely isn't. Fortunately, there are many great ways to heat an above ground pool without adding to the electric bill.

Liquid pool covers are one of the hottest trends. These products release an invisible film that floats the surface of the pool and seals in the heat. Liquid pool covers are an inexpensive alternative to permanent heating methods, but they need to be replaced every few months. The latest technology uses a computer chip to release the heat sealing liquid in small increments over approximately 60 days. One package usually works for above ground pools up to 21 feet in diameter.

Solar blankets are a great way to retain heat. Unlike inground pools with natural insulation, above ground pools tend to lose more heat overnight. Solar blankets look like blue bubble wrap with a smooth side and a layer of plastic air bubbles that enables the blanket to float on the surface. There are pre-cut sizes available for most above ground pools. Solar blankets are very reasonable investments that can increase the water temperature by five to 10 degrees.

Passive solar systems are a great way to harness the sun's energy to heat the pool. Solar systems can be as simple as a long black hose snaked along the ground. Although the technology seems more complex, passive solar panels work on the same principal. Solar panels are a network of black pipes mounted on a frame that can be installed on the roof or on the ground near the pool where it is angled to get the most sun. Adding a solar blanket to your passive heating system increases its overall efficiency. Using a simple solar blanket can raise the water temperature of an above ground pool from a frigid 72 to a very peasant 80 degrees.

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