Here in North Texas, our winter weather is unpredictable to say the least. We may only get a few weeks of truly cold weather, sprinkled in among long stretches of pleasantly sunny days. Then again, we could be facing a handful of hard freezes that keep everyone bundled for days at a time!
For some pool owners, especially those whose pools have a heater, these mild winters are no reason to shut down the pool altogether. In fact, there are definitely some pluses to keeping it open.
If you prefer to close up shop for the season, How to Winterize Inground Pools in Texas has got you covered (literally).
Winter Pool Care
The Benefits of Keeping Your Pool Open
Clean Water- Your pool actually uses significantly fewer chemicals in the winter, due to decreased heat, sunlight, and debris. Of course you’ll need to continue checking the chemical balance and adjusting as needed, but you’ll find that it’s far less intensive than in the spring and summer.
Additionally, you won’t be faced with a build-up of algae come springtime, like you do when you leave the water untreated all winter. Just keep in mind that salt-based filtration systems won’t function below a certain temperature. Check your owner’s manual, shut it off if necessary, and take heart in the fact that the system isn’t really needed at low temperatures anyhow.
Pumps- With water flowing through them all season long, your pumps are far less likely to freeze. This is even true for pools without heaters, as the movement of water reduces the amount of ice that forms in the pipes.
If you do have a heater, you want to check and see what its temperature limit is, just like with salt filters. Some can continue running as low as 20* Fahrenheit, but many need to be shut off if the water temperature drops below 50*.
The Cost of Keeping Your Pool Open
Chemicals- Like we mentioned, you’ll use substantially less in the wintertime, but you still want to make sure there’s room in your budget to keep the levels healthy. This is especially true if you’re actually using the pool on occasion, because the oil from our bodies breaks down the chemicals, causing them to deplete more quickly.
Utilities- It goes without saying that keeping your pool running all winter will amount to more water and electricity usage than otherwise. Again, you need to check your budget to be sure you can absorb the increase in your utility bills. The usage will be less so than in the summer, but obviously a bit more than if you shut the pool down.
Pool Cover- Even if you plan on using your pool on nicer days, you still need a pool cover on stand-by for the occasional storm. Excess precipitation can offset your pool’s chemical levels, so be ready to put the cover in place if you know that a winter storm is coming.
Robotic Pool Cleaner– While most of the foliage has already fallen by the time winter sets in, you still want to keep your pool vacuum going to scoop up any debris that blows into the water. Just like the heater and the filtration system, most don’t function below a certain temperature, so check and see what your machine requires.