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Pool Cooler: How to Keep Cool at the Pool

Pool Cooler: How to Keep Cool at the Pool
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Diving into the swimming pool is fun and therapeutic, especially on a hot afternoon. Unfortunately, the hot summer temperature sometimes makes the pool feel like a warm bath, ruining the fun. If you’ve experienced the baking Texas heat, you know what we mean.

So, when you get into the pool, you find it already heated up and uncomfortable to swim in, which can be frustrating! The good news is, you don’t have to stress over it when you can cool the inground pool water back to the correct range of 78°F-86°F.

With so many inground pool chillers out there, settling on the right one can be a hurdle. However, when you have a complete guide to follow, shopping for one shouldn’t be overwhelming. That said, the best pool chillers should be efficient and don’t cost an arm and leg to acquire.

We show you in this comprehensive guide what to consider when shopping for pool chillers. You’ll also discover some of the best pool chiller options to try out. So, let’s jump right in!

What Is a Pool Cooler?

A pool cooler, also known as a pool chiller, is an energy-efficient machine used to cool pools by sucking heat out of them. There are two ways to cool pool water. You can use a standalone pool chiller unit or a dual-function pool heat pump. The heat pump serves two functions. So, you can use it to heat and cool the water by up to 10 degrees.

Standalone pool coolers are the best. They’re simple to use and are a cost-efficient way to chill your swimming pool when the outside air temperature rises above normal. Pool coolers come in different sizes at different costs.

Pool chiller work to keep pools refreshed. They can also be used to create cold plunge pools for therapy. Finding one that suits your pool cooling needs according to your budget and pool size shouldn’t be a hassle.

How Do Pool Coolers Work?

How does a pool cooler work, you ask? Usually, the swimming pool has two types of water when the air temperature rises. The top surface water is warmer and lighter. On the other hand, the water on the pool floor is relatively cool and heavy.

As the hot pool water circulates through a pool chiller system, it goes through a set of cooling fans that remove the heat. Then, the cool water is quickly discharged back to the pool and settles at the bottom because it’s relatively heavier.

This process continues until all the hot surface water in the pool is restored to the correct temperature range of 78°F-86°F. The average pool chiller lowers pool water temperature by between 5 and 10 degrees. The cooling process usually lasts between 1-2 days, depending on the pool chiller efficiency and the size of the swimming pool.

Pool Cooler Options

Which one should you use with so many pool cooler options, like using an ice block or removing the automatic cover? Your goal is to cool the water and make it comfortable to swim in. You can use any pool cooling system as long as it helps get the job done. Below are the different ways to cool your swimming pool apart from using an ice block.

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SolarPoolSupply Highest Performing Design - DIY Solar Pool Heater System Kit - 15-20 Year Life Expectancy (4-4x10 / 1.5" I.D....
Active Aqua AACH100HP Hydroponic Water Chiller Cooling System, 1 HP, Rated per hour:10,050 BTU, User-Friendly
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1. Run Swimming Pool Pump and Solar Heating System Overnight

Running a swimming pool pump overnight is one of the ways to cool down the pool. But how does it help? Running the swimming pump at night helps reduce the temperature by a few degrees, helping cool down the pool.

Running the swimming pool pump at night is a simple yet effective way to cool down the pool. However, the main downside is extending the pump runtime, which can potentially wear out your pump faster. Besides that, it also increases your utility bills.

Running the solar heating system at night is another incredible way to cool the pool. While the hot swimming water goes through the solar panels, the heat is radiated to the atmosphere, decreasing the temperatures significantly.

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2. Mechanical Evaporative Cooler

Mechanical evaporative coolers operate on the evaporative cooling effect principle. Installing them helps lower the swimming pool water temperature. The coolers are installed as part of the pool’s plumbing system. Moreover, they have fans that cool swimming pool water as it passes through the evaporative cooler system.

It’s best to run the pump at night as the water passes through the mechanical evaporative cooler system. By doing this, the pool temperature can be reduced by 6°F. Installing a mechanical evaporative cooler is a great pool chiller option. However, it has some downsides that make it costly.

This system only works when the pool pump is on. The problem with this is that an extended pump run time can be costly in the long run. Also, mechanical evaporative coolers only lower the temperature for a short duration.

This cooling option leads to loss of pool water through evaporation. Thus, you’ll need to increase the water flow rate by pumping more water to refill the pool.

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3. Reverse Cycle Swimming Pool Heater

Installing a reverse cycle swimming pool heater is one of the best ways to regulate the pool water temperature. This pool cooling system has a refrigerant for maintaining specified pool water temperature. It’s usually installed as part of the pool plumbing system after the pool pump and filter. 

It’s versatile and can cool or heat the pool water, depending on the need. You’ll find this system useful throughout the year in winter and hot summer months. Overall, the reverse cycle swimming pool heat pump is reliable and helps cool down the water on demand as the water is pumped back. You need to switch on the system to start the cooling process and wait for the temperature to fall.

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4. Cooling Mister

Cooling misters help cool the pool water by facilitating evaporation and creating a mist curtain. You can install them on the pool wall returns, then allow them to do their magic. Cooling misters help move the needle. However, you’ll need to prepare for an excessive pool water loss problem.

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5. Cooling Fountain

You can also speed up the cooling process at night by running water features like pool jets, fountains, or waterfalls. However, you should ensure the pool return jets are set correctly. A pool return jet speeds up water circulation and determines how fast the cold and hot water in the pool mix.

The main downside to running water features is the rapid evaporation rate. So, you may need to pump in more water to the pool to cover up for what’s lost through evaporation.

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Considerations When Purchasing a Pool Cooler

There are plenty of pool water cooling options to consider. Nonetheless, not all of them may be worth it in the long run. That’s why you only want to go for efficient and reliable pool cooling systems.

What should you consider when purchasing the best pool chiller? You’re probably asking. We walk you through the crucial considerations to help you make an informed purchase decision.

Price of Purchase

Price is one of the most important considerations when buying the right swimming pool chiller. Pool cooling systems vary in price depending on factors like size and type of cooler. Therefore, an in-ground pool chiller and heater combo option will cost you between $6,100 and $6,500.

Standalone in-ground pool coolers are more affordable, so they fall on the lower end of the price spectrum. Acquiring one will cost between $2,500 and $4,000.

That said, a major pitfall many people fall into is associating price with quality. The truth is, a high price tag shouldn’t equate to top-quality. Likewise, a low price tag shouldn’t equate to low quality. So how can you avoid this pitfall?

The best way to handle this is to check what past users say about the swimming pool chiller. You should evaluate customer reviews and testimonials then match them with the price tag. When it comes to determining quality, this is a more reliable way to make an informed buying decision.

Most importantly, you should develop a budget based on the price range of $2,500 and $6,500, then stick to it. You also want to be sure you want a standalone swimming pool cooler or a combo pool cooling and heating system. This way, developing the budget becomes less of a hurdle.

Cost to Run

The cost of running pool cooling systems can be high or low, depending on the type of cooler. You want to avoid the high operating cost unless you’re comfortable with it. The best pool cooler system should be low maintenance yet highly effective.

Some coolers are efficient but have a high cost of operation. For example, running some coolers requires pumping more water into the swimming pool to cover up for what’s lost through evaporation. Other prices include utility, especially when you have to let the pool pump run overnight.

Lastly, the cooler will need servicing and maintenance from time to time. It would be best if you could find access to free or subsidized cooling system equipment servicing. You, therefore, want to inquire from the dealers and manufacturers if they offer after-sale maintenance services.

However, if this option isn’t feasible and you have to use the services of a pool equipment installer, be clear they won’t charge an arm and a leg to repair or service the cooler.

Efficiency

When assessing the efficiency of a pool cooler, you want to look at how fast it can cool the pool water and how well it fits into the inner pool wall adapter. Besides that, you want to check how many degrees the pool water temperature falls when running the system. An efficient pool chiller should lower the temperature by about 5 to 10 degrees. It should also be easy to use.

Can you handle the pool cooler by yourself without expert input? This is one question you should ask yourself before making a purchase decision. The last thing you want is to buy the equipment only to find out operating it is a hassle.

That said, the best pool cooler should be easy to use, even by non-technical guys. Also, you want one that takes the shortest time possible to lower the temperature by a more considerable margin. Lastly, the cooler should help keep the pool cool for a longer time.

Size

The size of your pond should determine the cooler size you buy. Large-sized ponds hold colossal water volumes, so it may take longer to cool them. In such cases, having a powerful, more efficient, and big-sized cooler goes a long way.

Pool owners should buy and install a swimming pool chiller according to the size of the pool, pool wall adapter, and the volume it can hold. It can be frustrating to buy a small-sized cooler when what you need is a bigger cooler.

To be on the safe side, ask the dealers the best cooler size for your pool based on the water volume it holds. This way, you’ll see the value for your money by avoiding poor sizing choices that can be costly down the road.

Product Lifespan

You also want to check the pool cooler’s lifespan. How long can you use the system before planning a complete reinstallation? This is one crucial question to ask yourself. That said, you only want to settle for a durable pool cooler.

The best swimming pool chillers are made of sturdy materials for longevity. The cooler should last at least 12 months before thinking of major repairs or replacement. However, you can only verify the durability by checking customer reviews and testimonials.

You should avoid coolers with poor reviews at all costs, especially those that break down after a few weeks of use. This will help you save money that you’d use on repairs and buying a new pool cooling system.

Benefits of a Purchasing a Pool Cooler

Lastly, you want to compare the pros and cons of purchasing a pool cooler. The benefits of a pool cooler system outweigh the disadvantages by far. For example, swimming in a heated pool can be uncomfortable. However, you can use a cooler to make it comfortable, fun, and exciting.

The cost of buying the cooler may be frightening. Nonetheless, you’ll reap the benefits several years down the line to cover up for the cost of acquiring the cooler. For example, if you run a commercial swimming pool, you’ll always have customers using your facility regardless of the weather.

The best part is that pool cooler benefits go beyond refreshing water and making it comfortable for swimming. Algae thrive in uncomfortably warm water more than cool water. So by cooling the water, you reduce the chances of dealing with an algae problem.

Eventually, this saves you the cost of buying pool chemicals to handle algae, water conditioning, and treatment. You can use this money for other pool businesses or for your own needs.

Pool Cooler FAQ

Is a Pool Water Chiller Worth It?

A pool chiller is worth it in every way when you’re a pool owner. Swimming in a heated pool is uncomfortable and not fun. This can negatively affect your bottom line if you run a commercial pool business. But even if you use your pool for non-commercial purposes, an overly heated pool can ruin the fun, especially when looking to cool your body on a hot afternoon.

The good news is, installing a pool chiller can help lower the water temperature back to the acceptable range of 78°F-86°F. During the summer, this makes swimming in the pool more comfortable. Besides that, a pool chiller keeps algae away, enabling you to cut down on the high cost of purchasing pool chemicals.

Do You Need to Have a Pool Heater if You Have a Pool Cooler?

Pool heaters and pool coolers serve different roles in regulating pool temperature. For example, pool heaters help warm the water when the temperatures fall below 78°F. Likewise, pool coolers help cool down the water when the temperatures rise above 86°F.

That said, you can have both pool equipment if you live in an area that experiences extreme weather. Alternatively, you can opt for a pool heater-pool cooler combo to save the cost of buying standalone equipment.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Pool Cooler?

Standalone pool coolers cost between $2,500 and $3,500 or more. On the other hand, installing a pool heater and cooler combo will cost between $6,100 and $6,500.

What Types of Swimming Pools Need a Pool Cooler?

A pool chiller can be used in any pool. However, some swimming pools need it more than others. The swimming pools that require a pool chiller are often located in areas that experience high temperatures of more than 90°F.

Relatively shallow and dark bottom pools retain heat when it’s hot, making the pools warmer. So, ground pools with a dark finish and not more than 6.5 feet deep can use a ground pool chiller. Also, pools with tile or pebble finish heat up quickly and should have a ground pool chiller to regulate the temperatures.

The Bottom Line

Cooling the pool goes a long way to regulate the temperatures, making the swimming pool more comfortable to swim in. Besides that, it helps keep algae away, increases the life of pool liners, balances pool water chemistry, and helps cut down the cost of buying pool chemicals by lowering chemical consumption.

If you’ve been wondering how to make your pool chiller and fully functional, or how to cool the pool in the summer months, we believe you found this guide helpful.

Pricing on this page was last updated on 2022-05-26