Spring is Here, Plan At-Home Pool and Hot Tub Fun

After a long winter, spring is finally here! Whether your hot tub is already open or you’re starting to plan your pool opening, here are some ways to get ahead on fun and relaxation this season from the pHin team:

Choose your Opening Date

Pick a date to open your pool or hot tub and start a fun countdown. Memorial Day weekend is popular for those in the North, but pool owners who already have warm weather may be enjoying their water already.

Make sure you have all the necessary tools to make for a smooth opening. Have a spot to store your pool cover and let it dry completely before folding it to avoid mold from forming. The water level may be low, so use a garden hose to fill it back up to a normal level. Once your water level is adjusted, you need to make sure that the water is safe and ready for swimming. If you need help adjusting the chemicals, see how pHin can help in our three-step guide.

Add Fun with Floaties

Stock up on some new pool floats! You can play games like pool noodle races or use floats that have built-in cupholders for extra relaxation to take lounging to the next level. It’s also time to resurrect and clean any pool toys you have like dive sticks and beach balls – and don’t forget to brush off your outdoor chairs, umbrellas, and lounges.

Plan Water Games

Marco Polo is a classic but it may be time to find some new favorites this year.  Why not Bet on candy or household chores using an inflatable poker table with your family, or challenge them to aqua golf? Good Housekeeping shares a list of summer pool games for inspiration!

Let the Music Play

No poolside or hot tub lounge is complete without a great playlist. Come up with some options for whatever mood you may be in that day! Relaxing in the hot tub after a long day? Throwing a poolside party? The pHin team also has a few go-to playlists you can check out now.

To get the maximum fun, relaxation, and de-stressing that you need from your pool or hot tub, make sure the water’s safe. Chemistry can be confusing, but pHin is here to remove the guesswork. pHin floats in the water and constantly measures the water’s balance. If it goes out of balance pHin sends an alert straight to your smartphone for easy maintenance.

Pros and Cons of Natural Gas Heaters

A natural gas heater is an efficient way to heat your pool or hot tub all year round. Even during the summer, outdoor temperatures might not stay high enough for long enough to keep your pool’s water warm without the help of a heater. Ideal for cooler climates and those that want their pool or hot tub heated quickly, natural gas heaters also work well when paired with solar heating or pools that don’t need to be heated often. While a natural gas heater is always a viable option, there are some disadvantages, so you should consult a pool professional before making any final decisions. A professional can help you determine what size and type of heater will work best for you.

How Natural Gas Heaters Work

As the pump circulates water from the pool, the water it draws from the pool. Next, it passes through the filter and makes its way to the heater. Gas burns in the heater’s combustion chamber. The water heats as it passes over this chamber and the hot water returns to the pool.

Natural gas heaters are ideal for heating pools for a short period of time and work great when you want to heat a pool quickly. These heaters are ideal for pools that are not used regularly, as gas pool heaters can help to maintain any desired temperature regardless of weather or climate conditions.

Pros of a Natural Gas Heater

  • Convenience: If you have access to a natural gas service, then getting the fuel to your heater is far easier than if you chose propane. Natural gas enters through a permanently fixed line and there is always more available.
  • Speed: If quick heating is what you need, then look no further than a natural gas heater. Unlike electric, solar, or heat pumps, natural gas burns quickly, making it a faster way to heat up your water. Gas heaters are especially effective if you don’t use your pool on a regular basis (since it heats the water quickly there is less need for prep time) or if you are trying to heat a smaller body of water, like a spa or hot tub.
  • Maintenance: Natural gas heaters generate enough heat to warm your pool in a short amount of time, so they don’t have to run as often or as long as some other heating methods, resulting in fewer problems due to wear and tear or consistent use. If you want a heater that requires little maintenance, then a natural gas heater is perfect for you.
  • Cost: While an electric heater or a heat pump may need to be turned on aseveral hours in advance, a natural gas heater only needs about 30 minutes for a typical hot tub or to simply raise the temperature a few degrees in a typical backyard swimming pool. This saves a considerable amount of money through reduced energy usage.

Cons of a Natural Gas Heater

  • Energy Efficiency: While natural gas heaters are more efficient than electric heaters, this does not mean that they are the most efficient way to heat your pool or spa. Solar heaters and heat pumps use the sun and recirculated warm air respectively to heat your pool or spa, making them the more energy efficient options when it comes to heaters. That does not mean you cannot get an energy efficient natural gas heater. Look for one with an efficiency rating of 89 to 95 percent according to energy.gov.
  • Purchase and Install Price: Gas heaters are incredibly efficient when it comes to heating your pool or spa and so might seem like the perfect choice for you, but there are some expenses to running a natural gas heater. In addition to installation and any initial purchase costs, you need to run pipe underground to provide a natural gas source for the heater’s furnace. If a natural gas source or pipe is not close to the pool equipment pad area itself, the cost can be prohibitive.
  • Rising Fuel Prices: Oil and gas prices fluctuate, meaning that operating your natural gas heater will not always cost the same. In the colder months, when oil and gas prices are usually at their highest, the cost of heating your pool can increase as much as 30 to 40 percent.
  • Repair and Replacement: Natural gas heaters are more susceptible to corrosion if your pool water is unbalanced. The amount of use your natural gas heater gets, in addition to outdoor temperatures and desired water temperature, determines how long the heater will last. Most natural gas heaters last about five years before requiring service or maintenance.

To ensure the water in your pool or hot tub stays balanced year round, consider pHin. It constantly monitors your water and tells your smartphone what you need to do to keep the water in your pool and hot tub healthy. Use it with your own chemicals for flexibility or get our single-dose, pre-measured chemicals delivered to your door. If you need someone to service your equipment, Pool Service on Demand connects you to local, qualified pool techs.