HomeExteriorHow to Heat a Swimming Pool For Free (or at a Low Cost)

How to Heat a Swimming Pool For Free (or at a Low Cost)

Solar pool heater

You have installed a swimming pool recently but didn’t choose a pool heater. Maybe you are looking for cost-effective solutions. Or, you want something to heat your pool at a low cost or for free. So, what do you do next? 

If you are thinking about heating your swimming pool, there are certain inexpensive ways of doing that without investing a lot of money. Or, you can say it almost for free. You can use a solar cover, black hose, solar panels, solar rings, or a floating blanket. Read on to find out more on how to heat a swimming pool for free.

How to keep your swimming pool heated for free

During autumn when there is no summer heat left, it is challenging to stay in the swimming pool for a longer time. So, if you need more time in the pool, you have to make a decent investment. And, it can be anywhere between $300 and $1000 per month. 

Also, the amount depends on the size of your swimming pool. Hence, if you don’t have enough budget to make significant modifications around the swimming pool to keep it warm, there are several ways to do so. 

Here are some of the innovative ways to keep your pool heated for extended hours without spending a lot of money. These are the cheapest ways, or you can say almost free, to keep your pool heated.

1. Use a solar cover

If you are thinking about an inexpensive way to heat your swimming pool, you can get started by using a solar cover. It is one of the best methods and a cost-effective one to retain heat in the swimming pool so that you can enjoy the warmth for a long time. 

However, you should know how solar covers work to keep the pool warm. The main reason why the swimming pool loses much heat is because of evaporation. Water evaporates fast during the daytime. Because of heat, the warm water rises to the top portion of the pool.

And, then it is evaporated into thin air. The phenomenon continues when the sun is up and shining. So, you need to prevent evaporation from happening. This is where a solar cover comes to the scene. A solar cover is designed to absorb heat and reduce evaporation to a great extent. 

So, when you reduce evaporation, it is likely that you can prevent a major portion of heat from escaping the pool. However, the cost of buying a solar cover depends on the size of the swimming pool. But the amount is nowhere near spending a lot of fortune.

2. Use a garden black hose

It might surprise you, but a garden black hose can do a remarkable job when it comes to heating a swimming pool. You can use the hose to capture the heat of the sun to warm your swimming pool. It works on a simple philosophy. Because black matter absorbs a lot of heat, you can use the same to heat your pool.

However, to make the process an effective one, you should follow a certain procedure. The first step involves buying a black garden hose. The length should be the distance between the pool pump and the spot that receives much sunlight. To keep the pool warm, choose a spot on the roof of your house or the deck.

A hose length of not more than 300 feet should be enough to cover the said distance. Connect the hose to the pool pump through a faucet. Run the garden hose from the roof or where it gets enough sunlight. 

Wrap all the spare hose into a coil so that it retains the heat and keeps the water warm. Next, direct the end of the hose into the pool. Warm water circulates through this heated coil to the swimming pool. The formation of the coil improves the ability of the hose to retain heat. And, it means warmer water for you.

3. Use solar panels

As you know, solar panels tend to convert sunlight into energy. Besides, they are an environmentally friendly and inexpensive solution that you can use to heat the swimming pool. Moreover, you can combine it with an electric heater that will help to add more warmth to the pool. 

If you want to quickly heat the swimming pool, the best option that you can choose is to use solar panels. And, combining them with an electric heating system can give you better results. However, the cost of installing the heater will depend on the size of your pool and the number of solar panels that you need.

Also, it is wise to calculate the capacity of the solar panels that you should install. If your pool is big and you have a large family, you may need more solar panels. For installing the panels, you need adequate space and it should be sunny as well. However, the initial cost of installing solar panels is quite high. 

But you will get benefits thereafter and it will make you think that the pool is getting heat for free. And, the advantages of using solar panels are many. A controller can be used to monitor the temperature of the water in the pool. It is like a thermostat that a geyser has. 

Also, the controller adjusts the flow of water into the panels so that your pool has the right temperature. The controller detects the temperature outside and inside the pool so that it can heat the pool whenever necessary. 

4. Solar ring heaters for your pool

Solar rings are very much similar to that of a solar cover used in swimming pools. The only difference is that they are made of smaller rings. The best part of solar rings is that anyone can use them on their pool and an inexpensive heating solution. 

Besides, all you have to do is throw the rings on the pool and the job gets done. However, if you are wondering about the number of rings that you need, don’t worry. It will depend on the size of the swimming pool and your personal choice. 

The solar rings absorb heat as they float. Besides, they are connected and work together so that they can lockdown heat to the pool. Solar rings work in the same way as solar cover works. The rings prevent evaporation and warm through solar heat. 

Moreover, the solar rings can be placed on top of the swimming pool. Furthermore, it is easy to use solar rings to cover an entire pool instead of finding a solar cover that takes a bigger size to cover the pool. It is assumed that solar rings generate about 21,000 BTU of heat every day. 

5. Use a solar dome to heat the pool

A solar dome accumulates the sunlight and circulates the pool water through warming channels before redirecting it to the pool. They can raise the temperature of the pool by up to 10 degrees. And, you can observe that, especially on sunny days. 

However, they can be challenging to install and need extra connectors if you intend to position them where sunlight is maximum. But they are not cheap. And, the good news is that apart from the initial purchase, it runs on solar. It means you get free heat completely for your swimming pool. 

Besides, if you feel that a solar dome might be out of your budget, you can use a black garden hose and pool pump to heat your swimming pool. Moreover, the dome works similarly to that of solar mats. The piping is rolled up into the dome-shaped structure. 

And, heating the pool takes place within this space. Also, solar domes take less space compared to solar mats. A 1.5 m deep pool having dimensions 8X4 meter will need 10 domes. 

It is good to use solar domes if you have a small pool. As said, domes use sunlight like solar mats. To push water in and out of the domes, you need plenty of energy. Furthermore, domes are a much cheaper solution compared to solar mats.

6. Use a floating blanket

Another great way of heating your swimming pool is to use a floating blanket to protect water from evaporating. The air bubbles help it to float. Besides, the floating blanket is made of vinyl. Using the blanket will help the swimming pool to retain much heat. 

While it does a superb job of retaining heat in the pool, it is not safe for children. Because the blanket floats free in the water, it can wrap around a person who gets around it. That way, it poses a hazard. Although it is another cost-effective solution, it isn’t great for families with little kids.


So, those were some of the ways to heat your swimming pool without spending a lot of money. The amount you need to spend when using the methods mentioned above is very minimal. Rather, you can say that it’s almost free. When you incorporate these techniques, you can keep the pool heated for a longer period. Now that you know how to keep the swimming pool heated, you can extend your swimming time.

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