I personally can’t stand warm pool water, so I recently did research on a few different ways to cool down water to an ideal temperature of about 83 degrees. At the time of this post, I’m experiencing record breaking heat where I live so I figured it would be the perfect time to talk about what you can do cool things off.
You have two obvious ways to cool pool water: Add shade or add colder water; keep in mind some methods are more effective (and easier) than others.
In this post, I’ll start with the most affordable way to cool down pool water, followed by more expensive and sophisticated solutions. It really doesn’t matter if you have an in-ground or above-ground pool, most of these solutions should be applicable.
Use shade to your advantage to cool down pool water
Shade can reduce pool temperatures by a few degrees on a hot summer day if your pool is in a totally shaded area. Many people opt for shade sails. Shade sails are essentially large triangles that you cover your pool so long as you have a place to anchor these.
Some people tie these off between a few posts or a pergola, but you can also find shade sails with stands.
Even though shade sails can reduce pool temperatures to an extent, I personally don’t like the aesthetic of sails covering my pool. It’s simply a matter of preference.
You can also use trees to your advantage to shade your pool quite a bit. While not a perfect solution, be sure to plant trees in a location that will block the most sunlight throughout the day. Large palms or oaks are ideal; just be sure to plant them far enough away that they won’t damage your concrete deck.
Install a pool waterfall, fountain, or aerator
Installing a pool waterfall or aerator is one of the most popular and easiest solutions to cool off pool water. Many people create their own aerator mechanisms by attaching PVC pipe to a couple of their pool returns, which allows you to shoot water in the air and cool it off.
This video is an excellent solution that can cool your pool water using the cooler morning air temperatures. Aerators screw into the side of your pool returns, and generally take up less space than a fountain.
How pool fountains cool water
If you run a pool fountain at night, the cooler air temperature will cool off warm pool water shooting up in the air before it returns to the pool. It’s more effective to run your pool fountains and aerators in the early morning hours while the air temperature is still below 80 degrees.
The stronger your pool’s pump, the higher your water will shoot, and the greater the cooling effect. It’s best to create a thin stream of water if you can; this will make it easier to cool off the water mid-air.
Keep in mind, for extremely hot desert climates where temperatures reach 100 degrees, pool fountains are less effective and can cause water to evaporate quicker.
You can also add a fountain for about $20, which will attach to your pool return as well.
Install a heat pump with a cooling option
If you prefer swimming in the fall or spring months, I highly recommend getting a heat pump that also contains a cooling option. These units cost anywhere from $4,000 – $10,0000 depending on the model, but definitely worth the cost if you want to maintain a certain water temperature year-round.
Add a standalone pool chillers
A standalone pool chiller is the most effective solution to cool pool water; you can pick up a dedicated pool chiller for a few thousand bucks if you don’t need a heater. If you already have a heat pump installed (without a cooling function), you’re better off swapping units entirely to add one with a heat and cooling function.
However, if you don’t have a heat pump to begin with, a pool chiller may be all you need–especially if you live in the southern United States.
Consider a deeper pool
Warm pool water is more of a problem in shallow pools with less than 6 feet of water. If you have a fiberglass pool and are looking to upgrade, ask your local pool installer if they carry any models like the Savannah, a fiberglass pool that has an 8-foot deep end.
Otherwise, the alternative is to dig your pool deeper, which may or may not be worth it.
One last note
There are other methods to cool pool water that aren’t as common, like running pool water through solar panels at night, when the temperature is cooler on the roof. Although many people use solar panels to warm water, this method can also cool your water.
If your pool water is low, adding water from a garden hose can also lower your pool water temperature; if you attempt the hose method, be sure to check your chemical levels.
I’d love to hear what works best for you! If you also need to cool off your pool deck, check out this post where I cover a few effective methods for any pool surround or deck surface.