How to Heat a Swimming Pool without a Heater

Michael Keenan


Pool Maintenance

Today I’m going to cover how you can heat a swimming pool without a heater. I know, sounds a bit far fetched. Stick with me and you’ll learn some ways that actually make a difference.

Jumping into a pool only to realize that the water is cold is not quite the experience one would want. But pool heaters are not so affordable to have at your home, even though heated pools are the ultimate way to relax during a nice, pleasant day.

Installing and maintaining pool heaters is quite expensive, but heating a pool does not have to be. By using the right tools to heat your pool or to retain the heated water, here are a few options you can consider.

how to heat a swimming pool without a heater

Dark-Colored Tiles

It is well known that darker colors absorb more heat from the sun. This principle can be used to heat the swimming pool by using dark-colored tiles for the swimming pool floor and walls.

This is a one-time investment that is essentially a free, built-in heater. The only maintenance is the regular pool maintenance that has to be done.

How It Works

Based on the direction of the sun’s rays relative to the pool and the darkness of the tiles, the dark tiles can absorb up to 100% of the sun’s energy, while light colors reflect most of this. With black tiles, you can achieve the highest increase in temperature of the pool.

Black Hose

Black hoses are very inexpensive to install and quite easy to use. They are very thin walled, which allows for quick heat transfer. By placing it in areas that receive a lot of sunlight, the efficiency increases.

How It Works

Black hoses tend to absorb heat from the sun, which can be used to heat your pool. Attach the hose to your pipe and let water get circulated through it to the pool. The more hose you use, the faster the water gets heated.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are devices that convert sunlight to electricity. Heating a pool with solar panels is very easy and also quite affordable. Once installed, they do not need any switching on or off mechanisms as the process happens automatically.

How It Works

Solar panels have a lot of solar cells that generate energy when catching the sunlight. This energy can be circulated to the collector that has water circulating from the pump. This water is heated and circulated back to the pool consistently.

Dome-shaped Connectors

Dome shaped connectors work in a similar way to solar panels. The advantage here is that they take a lot less space as they are dome shaped, and have more surface area to absorb solar energy.

How It Works

The piping that circulates the water is rolled up in the shape of the domes, thus absorbing heat from the sun more efficiently.

Solar Rings

A solar ring is a pool heating device that uses solar energy to heat the pool. It is made of two sheets of vinyl, a transparent one on top and a blue one on the bottom. The rings act as insulators that trap air and heat. Solar rings also have six magnets which help to improve the water quality.

How It Works

Solar rings are circular and you would need to buy enough rings to cover your entire pool surface, ignoring the spaces between the rings. Each ring is about 5 feet wide and should be laid side by side on the pool surface.

In the daytime, the upper layer traps the air and dissipates sunlight onto the lower layer. 50% of this sunlight passes through to the water to heat the water directly and the remaining heat is trapped within the two layers.

At night, the heat from the insulation retains the heat in the pool.

Solar Cover

Solar covers are large sheets of bubble wrap-style plastic. They come in many colors, thicknesses and sizes. The price of a solar cover mainly depends on the thickness and size.

If used regularly, they deteriorate over time and the bubbles start to pop. Their performance deteriorates with the popping of the bubbles and thus, they have to be replaced frequently.

How It Works

Solar covers have to be measured and cut to the size and shape of your pool. You can use it as a regular pool cover to cover your pool. As it covers the entire water surface, it prevents the water from evaporating.

It also acts as a barrier between the pool and the outside air, thus keeping the water warm.

Liquid Solar Cover

A liquid solar cover is a fatty alcohol that is available in bottled form. It is to be poured into the pool, which then forms a very thin layer on the pool’s surface.

The surface is very thin and invisible, so you cannot feel it when you get into the pool. The fatty alcohol is also biodegradable, making liquid solar covers safe for the environment.

How It Works

When poured into the water, the liquid rises to the surface and covers the entire pool. Alcohol has a lower density than water and automatically rises to the top even if you get in for a swim and agitate the surface.

This cover acts as a shield that prevents the evaporation of the water, thus retaining heat in the pool.

Pool Heat Pump

Heat pumps are integrated with the pool pump and directly heat the water circulating through the pump. The water drawn into the pump is cold, while the water that is sent out of the pump is warmer.

How It Works

Heat pumps draw in the heat from the surroundings and circulate it through the pump. This heats the pool water circulating through the pump, thus heating the water in the pool. The warm water also gets compressed, thus increasing its temperature.

If you live in an area that endures cold winters you might want to consider winterizing your intex pool to stay safe. Check out my guide.

To Conclude

As you can see, there are various ways to heat your pool without installing heaters. With the solar ones, not only are you efficiently using solar energy, but you also reduce the cost of running any electrical machines.

Also, you can pair these with existing pool heaters to retain the heat in the pool. Stay warm and enjoy a great swim in your heated pool!

michael keenan author

Author - Michael Keenan

I'm Michael Keenan the owner and creator of the Outdoor Care Guide. I'm a trained horticulturist with over 30 years of experience in pool care, plant care, and landscape care! Seemed like a good idea to share - I think I can make your life easier and save you some time and money!