6 Best Ways to Cool Your Pool Water

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Is your pool water temperature starting to rise as summer air temperature increases? Does the water in your swimming pool not feel refreshing when you get in because the pool water is too warm? Does your pool water feel like bathtub water temperature?


We experience this every summer in our pool, which is a common problem for many pool owners in the summer, leading to the question: how can I get my pool cooler?


Luckily there are some tried and true ways to drop the temperature of your pool water, and we detail those below.


So read below to learn how to keep your pool at a great temperature through the hottest summer days!

What is a Comfortable Pool Temperature?

The comfortable temperature for a pool varies from person to person. But in general, most people feel comfortable swimming in a pool with water temperatures between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.


Some people still opt for temperatures below 80 degrees, and others can tolerate water over 90 degrees depending on the air temperature outside. However, going way above 90 degrees will diminish the refreshing feeling, and you will feel like you’re swimming in hot water.

Not Recommended: Add Ice to Get Cool Pool Water

People often add ice to their drinks to cool them down, so adding ice to your pool water should, in theory, do the same thing, right? Unfortunately, adding ice to your pool is not an effective way of cooling the water.


Slate has a formula for how many pounds of ice and the associated cost it takes to cool a pool. We have synthesized this method into six steps:

  1. Find the pool’s volume in gallons of water

  2. Divide volume by 1,000

  3. Multiply by Fahrenheit degree change in pool water temperature

  4. Multiply by 43.75 to find lbs of ice needed to cool the pool

  5. Divide by 10 to find the number of 10lbs bags of ice needed

  6. Multiply by the price of a 10lbs bag to find the cost of ice

Let’s say your pool has a capacity of 15,000 gallons, you want to lower your pool temperature by 5 degrees, and the average price of a 10lbs bag of ice is $3. Following the steps above:

  1. 15,000

  2. 15,000 / 1,000 = 15

  3. 15 x 5 = 75

  4. 75 x 43.75 = 3,281.25 lbs of ice!

  5. 3,281.25 / 10 = 328.13

  6. 328.13 x 3 = $984!

That’s nearly $1,000 to cool your pool, and it won’t last longer than a day! Then you’ll need to repeat the process all over again. Using ice will take a lot of time, money, and effort to achieve the desired temperature.


We think there are much better methods to lower your pool water temperature.

Not Recommended: Drain and Refill Your Pool

Another solution that some people opt for is to completely drain the water from their pool and then refill it with fresh, cold water from your house. While this method may be effective, it is also very time-consuming and costly. 


Imagine having to drain your swimming pool water daily in hot months. This is a short-term solution and not a practical one. Plus, this can make your pool maintenance more difficult as you will have to rebalance your pool chemicals to account for the large amount of fresh new water.

6 Best Ways to Cool Your Pool Water

Cooling your pool during the hottest months of the year doesn’t have to be difficult. There are a variety of ways that you can keep your pool water cool and comfortable for swimming. 

#1 Add Shade

Introducing a shade to your pool is one of the simplest and most effective ways to cool the water. Adding a shade will keep the sun from heating your water and will cool the water cool. Plus, the added umbrellas or other shade options can give your pool a more inviting look. 


If you have a pool already in the shade, then you are in luck. If not, there are a few different options that you can explore.


1. In-Pool Umbrella

If you have an installed umbrella holder in your pool or pool deck, putting your umbrella up is an easy way to add shade.


It would be best if you had an umbrella that can withstand the elements. Sunbrella fabric offers perfect UV protection, is fade-resistant, and comes with a 5-year warranty.


California Umbrella Aluminum Market Umbrella


2. Cantilever umbrella


You can overhang this umbrella from your deck or patio, giving your pool the perfect amount of shade without being too close to the house.


To use a cantilever umbrella, make sure that you buy an umbrella base that is heavy enough to keep the entire structure steady in windy weather.


You also need to consider how much wind is in your area when choosing the size of your umbrella. A 10-foot umbrella may be too big to keep steady in a windy climate.

PURPLE LEAF Cantilever Umbrella


3. Shade Sail


A sail shade will give you the most coverage for your pool as these can be hung up to cover large parts of your pool. Additionally, these can be hung when you want to swim, then easily taken down when you are done swimming.


You can also get creative with the shape and size of your sail shade. Some people opt for a square or rectangle, while others prefer a more triangular shape.

ColourTree Sun Shade Sail Canopy


#2 Run Your Pool's Fountains and Water Features

Another you may want to consider is running your pool’s water features overnight. Running the water through your water features exposes more water to air, allowing more heat in the water to escape through evaporation.


The more surface area of water exposed to air, the more evaporation will occur. Thus, running more water through your fountains, waterfalls, and other water features can help you drop your pool water temperature a few degrees.


How much the temperature will decrease depends on the size of your pool, how many features you have, and how long you can run your water features before using your pool. Additionally, this process works better in drier climates than in humid climates, as humidity can hinder evaporation.


In the end, you will lose a small portion of your pool’s water to evaporation, but this is a small price to pay for comfort on hot summer days and nights.

#3 Add a Fountain / Waterfall to Your Pool

Does your pool not have a water feature or waterfall? No worries, you can still add one to help to circulate the water in your pool to bring down the water temperature. There are many water fountain/waterfall options that you can connect to the water return jets, creating a waterfall that cools the pool through evaporation.


These water features also add aesthetic appeal to your pool area. Some come equipped with LED pool light features that can add an extra bit of ambiance to your pool at night.


If you don’t have a water feature, consider adding one. It’s a great way to improve the look and function of your pool. If you already have built-in waterfalls or water features to your pool, you can still add these to help cool your pool.

ZCONIEY Waterfall Fountain w/ Colorful LED-Lights


#4 Add a Pool Chiller

A pool chiller is a piece of equipment designed to lower the temperature of the water as water is pumped through the chiller. It does this by evaporating some of the water, which takes heat away from the rest of the water.


This is a great way to lower the temperature of your pool if you are looking for more of a ‘push-button’ approach. You simply turn on the chiller and let it do the work.


A pool chiller can be a great option in hot climates. They tend to work well despite the high heat and humidity levels. Depending on the size of your pool, a pool chiller can cost at least $2,000.


However, you must make sure you get the right size chiller for your pool. If you get one too small, it may take too long to cool your pool, or you may not notice a difference at all.

#5 Add a Heater/Cooler Combo (Reverse Cycle Heat Pump)

There are several options on the market for a piece of equipment that can heat and cool your pool. These go by the names like heater/cooler combo, reversal cycle heat pump, reversible heat pump, etc.


The heater/cooler pump combo works by heating up water if it’s too cool, allowing you to use the pool comfortably in colder months. In the hotter months, it does the reverse and takes the heat out of the pool water to cool it down. In some cases, getting this combo may be cheaper than having two separate pieces of equipment.


This is a very efficient way to heat and cool your pool because you only use one piece of equipment. The only downside is that these can be quite expensive.

#6 Use Reflective Covers

The final way to keep your pool cool is to use reflective covers. You may be familiar with pool solar covers to keep pool water warm, but there are options to keep your pool cool. One such product is called Lily Chillers.


Reflective covers work by reflecting the sun’s rays away from your pool. This prevents the sun from heating your pool water. They also save you from buying chemicals because they block light from burning down your chemicals before they have a chance to work.


As you can see, the above options for cooling your pool work better to provide long-term solutions for keeping your pool cool rather than a short-term solution that will only work for a day or two to most. By using one or more of the options above, you can be sure to enjoy your pool all summer long without having to worry about the water being too hot on the hottest days of summer.

Hi, I’m Ashley!

I started Live Your Best Backyard to share my hands-on experience and countless hours of research on all things backyard to help you find the best products, ideas, tips, and information for your backyard!

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