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7 Cheap Ways To Heat Your Pool

Looking for cheap ways to heat your pool?
Keep reading, you’ve found them.

Maybe you installed your pool recently and haven’t chosen a pool heater yet. Or maybe you’re just looking for some cost-effective ways to heat your swimming pool. Regardless of your situation, you’ll find plenty of solutions in the next few paragraphs.

In this post, we show you a few cheap ways to heat your pool that keep your wallet much happier come swim season. And who can resist the opportunity to lower their pool heating costs?


You’ll learn a few different ways to warm up your pool, as well as the causes of heat loss and what you can do to prevent it.

With that said, as long as you put these proven tips into practice, you’ll notice a major difference in your monthly pool heating bills.

So here are 7 cheap ways to heat your pool. Let the savings begin.

[Want to lower your pool bills too? Check out: 7 Ways To Lower Your Swimming Pool Bills By 50%]


7 Cheap Ways To Heat Your Pool


How To Heat A Swimming Pool For Free

These next five cheap ways to heat your pool use the power of solar energy and heat retention. Aside from their initial purchase cost, these heating methods help produce completely FREE heat for your pool.



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Image via The Self Sufficient Living

Black hose

This little hack takes advantage of solar energy in a simple, but clever way. Since darker colors absorb the most heat,  using a black hose can help warm up your water naturally.

Here’s how it goes:

Purchase a black garden hose long enough to travel the distance from your pool pump to an area where it will get direct sunlight.  Most pool owners designate a spot on their deck or up on the roofs of their home or backyard shed.

With wherever you choose to put the hose, make sure you have at least a  50 – 100 ft of remaining hose to spare.  A total hose length of 400 – 500 ft is usually enough to cover this distance.

Unravel the hose and connect it to your pool pump’s return via a faucet connection (this may have to be installed).

From there, run the hose to the top of a nearby roof (house or shed), or a spot where it will get the most direct sunlight.

Wrap the hose in a coil formation as seen in the image above, then run the remaining hose back down, feeding the end of the hose directly into the pool. The coil formation improves the hose’s ability to retain heat, which means warmer water for you.

Cost: $80 – $150 


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Image via Backyard Vision

Solar Cover

Solar covers are one of the most cost-effective methods for retaining heat in a swimming pool.


Because they tackle the root cause of heat loss head-on: Evaporation

Most heat loss occurs during the day, while your water is directly exposed to the elements. From the fierce rays of the sun to the sporadic gusts of wind, each force of nature contributes to your water’s inevitable heat loss. That is unless you use a shield.

And what better a shield than a solar cover?

A solar cover not only acts as a protective lid for your pool but is specially designed to absorb solar heat while doing so. This feature gives it the ability to reduce evaporation while improving heat retention.

And with evaporation being responsible for 75% of heat loss, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take a load off your heating bills with this simple tip.

Cost: $50 – $200

Learn about solar pool covers:

Related: How To Use A Solar Cover


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Image via Solar Sun Rings

Solar Rings for Pool

If you’re not quite ready to purchase a solar cover, but still want to take advantage of solar powered heat retention, then solar rings are an excellent alternative. Think of them as a solar cover broken up into smaller connectable circles, or rings. They’re relatively cheap and easy to use.

Toss a few in your pool, and use as many as needed to cover your water’s surface area. From there, they’ll do the rest, floating on the surface while harvesting solar heat.

Opt for solar rings that contain small magnets inside, these help them retain a good connection to nearby rings.

Quick Fact: Solar rings can generate up to 21,000 BTUs of heat per day

Cost: $50 – $250


Solar Cover vs Solar Rings | Cost & Convenience

When looking for cheap ways to heat your pool, using anything that takes advantage of solar energy (or heat) is a good place to start.

With that said, between solar covers and solar rings, solar covers are usually the cheaper option. But, a bit more planning goes into purchasing a solar cover, as they need to be fit/cut to your exact swimming pool dimensions.

Solar rings offer a simpler “drop it and go” convenience, where pool owners simply purchase what’s need to cover their water. Of course, the trade-off is that purchasing multiple solar rings typically ends up being more expensive than a single solar cover. So really, it comes down to cost vs convenience.


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Liquid Solar Cover

Much like physical pool covers, liquid solar covers create a barrier that reduces evaporation. But with liquid solar covers, that barrier is completely invisible to the human eye.

These light-weight solar shields create a thin, eco-safe and non-toxic chemical barrier that reduces heat loss and improves heat retention. Of course, as revolutionary as liquid solar covers are, they aren’t as effective as traditional covers and rings.

Cost: $20 – $50


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Windproof Pool Enclosure

When you get a cup of cocoa but it’s too hot to drink, what do you usually do?

You take off the lid and blow on it, right? That usually seems to do the trick after a while.

Nearly everyone is familiar with this quick and simple cooling method. But what’s interesting is understanding how the same concept relates to your pool, the wind, and heat loss.

When your water is still and calm, its surface area is proportionate to your pool’s physical dimensions. But when the wind blows, and small waves start rippling across the surface of the water, everything changes. This is because the water’s surface area alters whenever it goes from a still to moving state.

So that means that even a single gust of wind can affect your pool’s surface area. Which is why using a pool enclosure as a barrier is so advantageous.

Many pool owners have physical enclosures built around their pools to protect against the elements. It’s an addition that makes pool maintenance easier, and your pool more accessible — regardless of weather.

[Learn more: 21 Pool Care Hacks That Make Pool Maintenance Easier]

And since an enclosure shields against the wind, it also serves as an excellent method for retaining your pool’s heat.

Cost: Dependent on size of pool deck and material used


Cheap Ways To Heat Your Pool | How To Heat a Pool Fast

If you’re looking for speedier pool heating methods that can still accommodate your monthly budget, look no further than pool heat pumps and solar pool heaters.


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Use a Pool Heat Pump

Instead of using a heating element or gas, pool heat pumps draw in warm air from the atmosphere. Then, they use a low energy process for magnifying the harvested heat and transferring it to your pool water.

But what’s great about this kind of pool heater is that it produces heat for your pool regardless of the sun. In fact, heat pumps are entirely dependent on temperature as opposed to the sunshine.

So, as long as the weather is warm, pool heat pumps can provide all the heat you need. And they do it much faster than any of the other methods in this post, which makes them great for extending your pool season.

Related: 9 Ways Owning a Pool Heat Pump Improves Your Health & Your Life

Cost: $50 – $150 (monthly)


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Use a Solar Heater & Pool Heat Pump together to maximize savings

Of course, there’s one method that can’t be beaten when it comes to cost-effectiveness and performance. And that’s because it involves using two of the most energy-efficient heating solutions available: solar pool heaters and pool heat pumps.

In this scenario, a pool owner uses the pool heat pump to achieve desired temperatures when necessary, mainly using the solar heater to sustain the temperature. But what’s great about this combination is that it greatly reduces how often you need to run your heat pump.

Working together, the two heating systems can easily keep the pool warm around the clock. While the pool heat pump covers the cloudy days and nights, the solar heater steps in on sunnier days to maintain the pool heat pump’s hard work.

You can learn more about using these two pool heaters together in this post.

Cost: $25 – $100 (monthly)


Closing Thoughts

So there you have it, 7 cheap ways to heat your pool.  As you may have noticed, nearly all of these methods rely on natural heat energy in one form or another — from absorbing and locking in solar energy to harvesting warmth straight from the air.

But of course, the best way to heat your pool is to reduce heat loss. And to do that, just choose a few methods from this post and let nature do the rest.

Have some questions about heating your pool? Talk to a pool heating specialist today

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