Swimming Pool Heating – doubling your season

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In Bulgaria and most of Southern Europe the outdoor swimming pool season last from the end of May till the middle of September. That’s around four months.

With a heating system the outdoor pool season can be double to eight months, from the end of March until early November.

But is it worth it? The answer to this question has two parts. First you need to look at what the addition of a heating system will cost compared to the overall cost of the swimming pool. Typically a good heating system add 10 to 20 % to the overall cost of a swimming pool. For this additional investment you get to use the pool for nearly twice a long. Effectively this means that on a ‘per month of use’ basis you actually spend less on your pool.

The second part of the ‘is it worth it’ question, is the cost of heating the pool rather than the heating system. Technically you could heat your pool with an electric heater or a gas heater. But while these heating systems are cheap, the amount of money you would spend on electricity or gas make this a very bad choice. The much more cost effective alternative is to use solar heating for your pool. With a correctly dimensioned solar heating system, you can begin enjoying your warm outdoor pool just after the last snow has melted. Here’s a diagram of what a solar heating system for a pool looks like technically:


And here is what a very simple system looks like in practice. This is a solar heating system and the pool it goes with that we photographed in Kenya last week.

KE018 site visit (55) KE018 site visit (58)

And then finally, no matter whether you decide to opt for a heating system or not, we recommend getting a cover for your pool. Why? Because a swimming pool loses most of its heat through evaporation from the surface (and not through conduction to through the walls to the soil). That means adding a cover can keep your pool warmer for longer, even if it’s not heated.