On a sweltering summer day, swimming pools offer an oasis of soothing relief from the blazing sun and soup-like humidity. If you’re taking a dip in someone else’s pool, there’s very little downside (assuming you’re comfortable in a bathing suit). If you own a pool, though, you know there are costs involved that can sometimes make you wonder whether the relief is worth the trouble. Here are a few tips to help you save on swimming pool costs:
- Think safety first. Drowning is the fifth-leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States. Homeowners’ insurance might cover certain costs associated with pool mishaps, but it won’t protect you against negligence (and other) lawsuits, let alone the emotional fallout that such events cause. Ensure that your pool area is as safe as possible by, among other things, keeping:
– adult supervision on hand to monitor all pool activities;
– flotation devices and a first-aid kit handy;
– pool drains and suction covers in good working order; and
– a four-foot, locked fence around the pool area.
- Cover up. Not only can a pool cover prevent accidents and deter pool-hoppers, it also saves money by warming your pool and reducing evaporation loss. An uncovered pool can lose up to a quarter-inch of water (and its chlorine and other chemicals) a day, draining your wallet with replacement costs. A cover also cuts the time you’ll spend clearing debris from your pool.
- Cut the breeze. Installing a windbreak around the pool, perhaps in tandem with your safety fence, will decrease both the evaporation rate and your heating costs (a seven-mile-an-hour wind across your pool’s surface can increase its heat loss by 300%).
- Stay cool. Warming your pool above the natural temperature can make it more enjoyable on cooler days, but it also drives up expenses. Lowering your thermostat by even one degree can cut energy costs by 10-30%, depending on where you live. If your pool won’t be used for several days, turn the heater off; it’s cheaper to reheat it than to maintain your desired temperature.
- Pump it up. Multi-speed and variable-speed pool pumps have a higher upfront cost than single-speed pumps, but they can save pool owners up to 83% in energy costs over their lifetimes, more than covering your initial outlay.
- Save on pool equipment. FreeShipping.com members can cash back and get instant free shipping on orders placed via the Free Shipping & Cash Back network —and claim shipping and return-shipping rebates on purchases at top retailers.
Few things are as refreshing as a dip in the pool during a summer scorcher, but finding ways to save money on swimming pool costs can help invigorate your household budget. Best of luck beating the heat (and pool maintenance fees) this summer!