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To Swim…Or Not To Swim?

There is much to consider when tinkering with your outdoor pool’s temperature. Many elements contribute to a swimming pool’s perfect temperature – dimensions, location, and weather conditions.

One must also consider what the pool is being used for. While there is no strict set of rules for recreational pools, these are factors to consider.

Pool Dimensions

A bigger pool will take a bit more work to keep regulated, as there is more surface area from which heat can escape. In-ground pools may take more time to heat than above ground pools, especially when air temperatures are warmer than ground temperatures. Also, consider any features, such as a slide, that take water in and out of the pool.

Pool Use

Who’s going to be using the pool most often – kids, adults, pregnant women or elderly adults? Younger children and the elderly should swim in warmer water (around 84-86 degrees), while pregnant women ought to swim in cooler water (as low as 78 degrees).

Will they be swimming laps or working on their tans? If pool users are sunning themselves, temperature is not terribly important. However, if the pool is being used for intensive lap swimming, water should be cooler (around 80). High-intensity exercise in water that is too warm can lead to hyperthermia, as the body is not able to cool itself. Just because you can’t feel yourself sweating, doesn’t mean you’re not getting a good workout!

Done using your pool for the evening? Slip the pool cover back on, and retain the heat built up during the day–and have a pool that’s a little more energy-efficient and ready for swimming the next day.

Weather Conditions

For most Midwesterners, once the weather is hitting the 70s, it’s time to start taking advantage of the pool and sunshine. The air’s temperature will also affect your water temperature. Consider your region; what’s the average temperature?

Don’t forget about wind and humidity. Shade can also be lumped into weather. Are any parts of your pool covered by shade at any point during the day?

Comfort is Key

What is comfortable for you and your family? Many post suggest rather large windows of temperature for various conditions, and they tend to overlap. On average, many consider 80 to 84 degree water to be comfortable for casual swimming.

When it comes to jumping straight into your pool, its temperature is really your call. It seems obvious, but if you genuinely think the water is too cold (not just a teasing, toe-dipping cold), do not get in. Water below 50 degrees can send your body into a cold shock. Swimming can require quite a bit of energy to begin with; combining that with super cold water will draw your body heat out fast.

If the weather and humidity are too high, remember to take breaks to cool off indoors, as well as to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. During triple-digit temperatures, it can even be tough to stay cool while you’re in the pool! On these days, consider swimming during the less-scorching hours of the morning or evening.