It is no secret that the swimming season in Canada is short. Owners of traditional above ground or in-ground pools are lucky to be able to swim for 4 months of the year without having to spend an arm and a leg to heat their pools. Fortunately for those wanting a longer swim season, many hot tub manufacturers have also begun producing all season pools.
WHAT ARE ALL SEASON POOLS?
All season pools (also known as “swim spas”) are simply small pools that are made specially to be used all year long. In this article, we will explore the differences between all season pools and traditional pools to highlight a few key differences that make all season pools the right choice for anyone looking to extend their swimming season.
HOW ARE ALL SEASON POOLS BUILT FOR WINTER?
Built In Heaters
Most all season pools come equipped with built-in heaters. These heaters allow all season pools to maintain a set temperature, regardless of the outside temperature. While you can purchase a heater for any traditional pool, a pool heater can very easily cost $4000-$5000 by the time it’s installed.
One of the major advantages that all season pools have over traditional pools is insulation. Without insulation, the heat generated by the heater is quickly lost, especially as outside temperatures start to drop. This can lead to massive energy bills as the heater has to work harder and harder to maintain a proper swimming temperature.
The insulation in all season pools not only greatly reduces the energy costs of the pool, it also helps to keep the pipes and equipment safe from the elements. When the winter arrives, pools without insulation are forced run constantly to prevent water in the pipes from freezing.
Pool pipes are generally pretty small (2″ wide or less). In sub zero temperatures, that small amount of water can freeze in as little as a couple of hours if it is not kept heated. By surrounding their pipes in insulation, all season pools keep the pipes from freezing, without the need to run the heaters.
Some all weather pools, like Hydropool’s Self-Cleaning Swim Spas, take this one step further and add additional insulation to the cabinet of the swim spa. The added insulation keeps the air in the cabinet of the pool warm; adding further protection against freezing.
This insulation also increases the energy efficiency of the pool. It does this by trapping the waste heat generated by the pumps and heater and using it to further heat the water in the pipes.
Insulation is not the only reason why all weather pools are so much more energy efficient than traditional pools, however. Another is the energy efficiency of their pumps and heater.
Since traditional pools are so much larger than all weather pools, they require much larger pumps and heaters to run properly. These larger pumps and heaters come with equally high running costs. In fact, a standard pool pump will generally cost between $2-3 per day to run.
All season pools are different, however. Their relatively small size means that they can run effectively using much smaller pumps and heaters. A typical all season pool pump, for example, will generally cost around $1 per day to run, with some ultra efficient systems, like those found in Hydropool Swim Spas, only costing around $0.33 per day.
Another advantage that all season pools have over traditional pools is their lack of required maintenance. While traditional pools need to be brushed, vacuumed and skimmed at least once per week, all season pools can generally be maintained in only a few minutes per week. There are three reasons for this:
- Their small size greatly reduces the amount of time they take to clean.
- They are typically covered, which keeps leaves and other debris from getting into the water.
- All season pools are made with an anti microbial acrylic shell, rather than with a vinyl liner. Unlike liners, acrylic shells do not allow algae to grow on them and therefore do not need to be brushed.
Some all weather pools, like Self-Cleaning Hydropool Swim Spas, go further and add floor vacuums and pressurized filtration to greatly increase the efficiency of the filtration system, and further reduce the amount of maintenance needed to keep the water clean and clear.
This lack of maintenance is especially useful in the winter. The last thing that you want to do when it is -10 outside is to go outside and clean your pool for 1/2 an hour.
OTHER ADVANTAGES OF HYDROPOOL ALL WEATHER POOLS
While all weather pools are designed specifically to be the ideal pool for colder climates, they have some other advantages that are just as useful in the summer! These include:
- Current Systems. Many all season pools come with strong jet systems that create a current for you to swim against.
- Jetted Seats. Most all season pools also include 2 or more seats with massage jets that provide soothing relaxation you just can’t get in a traditional pool.
- Aqua Fitness. Along with their current systems, all season pools include many other aqua fitness options, including built-in steps, resistance bands and exercise bars.
- Easy Installations. Unlike traditional pools, all weather pools can be installed in only a few hours and without tearing apart your entire backyard.
- Portability. If you ever decide to move, your all weather pool can move with you! Since they are built as one self-contained unit, all weather pools can easily craned out of your backyard and transported on the back of a flat bed truck.
All season pools are the perfect pool for colder climates. Their combination of insulation, energy efficiency and low maintenance make them ideal for anyone looking to extend the short Canadian swimming season. All season pools also have many other advantages over traditional pools that make them great pools even if you’re not planning on swimming in the winter.