It's that time of year again when you will need Orlando villa pool heating if you want to swim. As the nightly temperatures drop so does the water temperature in your vacation rentals pool. From October to March we recommend all guests staying in one of our Orlando villas has pool heating as the daily temperature can be anything from there mid 70's to mid 80's with nightly temperatures in the 50's & 60's.
Anytime the air temperature is below your pool heater water temperature you are losing heat so you need to make sure you do as much as you can to retain that heat.
There are generally three types of pool heating the first is gas which is the fastest as it doesn't rely on the ambient air temperature to heat the water. But it is also not that common in Florida due to the lack of gas pipes and infrastructure, there are some communities that have gas but not many. The next is solar but again believe it or not solar is still not that common in Florida even though it's the sunshine state!!
The main type of pool heater that we see is electric and is known as a heat exchanger, now I am not an engineer so please leave a comment below if my understanding of how these work is wrong. But basically they take the heat from the ambient air and apply it to the water so the higher the ambient air temperature the quicker the water heats up.
This is why you should never have a pool heater running at night in the colder months as there is not enough heat in the air to actually do anything. If the heater is turned on at night it will come on and run all night but it's not actually doing anything unless the ambient air temperature is generally above 55-60F. This is why most pool heaters are set to run from 8-9am to 5-6pm so basically when the sun is up and the air is warm.
Most pool heater are set between 85-87F so again anytime the air temperature is below this you are losing heat. If your Orlando villa has an in ground spa / hot tub then these are generally set to 100F and will take longer to heat up especially if the air temperature is cold.
When you pay for pool heating it is normally turned on the day you arrive or maybe the day before so unless it's a very cold day the pool should be up to temp when you arrive. Other factors that can effect how warm your pool is are rain, if there is a heavy rain storm of cold water this will change the temp. Another factor could be that your pool water level was low and had to be topped up so hundreds of gallons of cold water have been added.
The hotter the pool water is the more it evaporates so you have to keep it topped up. In the coldest months when the pool heater is being used a pool can lose 2-3 inches of water per week if you have no rain. Most pools have a vent just below the deck which is part of the filter system and it sucks in small bugs, leaves etc and also circulates the water. Generally it is recommended that the water level is about half way up this vent so the circulation can work properly. If you ever see a "low flow" error on the pool heater it could be because the pool water level is below this vent so needs topping up.
Sometime people ask for the pool heater to be set higher than 85-87F and most owners or management companies will say no. The reason is the pool is only serviced once a week. A pool service is when the pool is cleaned and the water is tested. Chemicals are added to make sure the water is clean and safe to swim in as often the PH levels can change due to pool use, rain etc. If the temperature is set too high then the pool chemicals burn off too quickly and won't last 7 days until the next service. This is when the pool water can become cloudy or start to turn green. Generally the water should look crystal clear at all times unless the pool guy has just been and added some chemicals to the water. They normally leave a note to say not to swim for a few hours if this is the case.
Now the best way to keep your pool nice and warm in the winter months is to keep the cover on it. Most homes will have a pool cover or blanket, sometimes on a roller and sometimes just loose folded up in the corner. We recommend that anytime you are not swimming for a long period of time you keep the blanket on. These do a great job of retaining the heat and actually also add heat to the water.
If you are laying by the pool during the day and the air temp is in the mid 80's then it's fine to leave the cover off while you drip in and out. But if it's one of the cold January days and yes is does get cold in Florida then we recommend you keep the cover on. There will be times especially in January and February where you get a cold North wind blowing. If you are sat out of the wind the sun will still be very strong and feel lovely and warm to you but the air temperature is cold and maybe in the 60's. This is when the pool will lose a lot of heat so we recommend you keep the blanket on all the time except for when you are swimming.
I can't stress enough how good these blankets are at retaining the heat. I know you will be tempted not to put it on as you can't be bothered. It only takes a few minutes especially if there are two of you and it will make the pool so much more comfortable when you want to go in.
If your Orlando villa has a pool blanket on a roller then you have no excuse not to use it, just make sure when you unroll it you don't pull it too hard and rip the cover. They can get brittle around the edges due to being in the water all the time. If the cover is crumbling and falling apart then it's probably seen better days so let the owner or management company know so they can get it replaced. The are not overly expensive, most will be between $100-$200 to replace and just need to be cut to fit the pool which is a fun job!!!
I have been told about chemical pool covers which is a solution that is added to the water and it acts like a pool blanket. I have not personally tried this so can't comment on how effective it is but owners have said it works well.
Hopefully I have explained how the pool heaters work and why you need to use the cover. If you have any comments, suggestion or if I have got something wrong please feel free to leave a comment below and I will update this post.
I hope this information helps you get the most out of using your Orlando villa pool in the colder winter months. Fingers crossed it will be a mild winter, regardless it will still be a lot warmer than the UK and most of North America!!!