Pool Equipment

Pool Heating and Covers

Swim all year round, or just extend your swim season, with a pool pump and pool cover. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various types of pool heaters and pool covers available, and how they can contribute to enhancing your swimming experience.

Short Summary

  • There is an extensive range of pool heating options, so it is essential to understand the features and benefits of each type in order to select the best for specific needs and preferences.
  • Pool covers are an important feature that also offer benefits such as water conservation and temperature regulation.
  • Choosing the right heater and cover for your new pool will allow you to control your swim season, and get more use from you investment.

Swimming Pool Heaters

Most swimming pools only reach desirable swimming temperatures for 3-4 months per year, and some, due to wind chill or shade factors, never reach comfortable temperatures.

Swimming pool heating is a great way to maintain ideal water temperatures for extended swimming or year-round swimming, allowing for a comfortable and extended swimming season. There are 3 common types of pool heaters, they are, solar heating, electric heat pumps and gas heaters.

It is also possible to do a combination of some or all.In the following subsections, we will explore the differences between heating options and pool covers available. This information will aid in determining the most suitable pool heating system for your needs.

Heating Provisions

Heating provisions is simply putting in the pipe work for future heating into the pool at the time of your pool installation. This allows you to easily and cost effectively add any form of heating in the future. This is great for people who want to try a season first without heating, or who don't have the budget at the same time as the pool build for heating. Even if you never intend to heat your pool in the future, it is recommended to put provisions in, as you may change your mind or for future resale.

Solar Heating

Solar heating is the most cost effective way to heat your pool. it uses solar collectors to be mounted on a roof or suitable area that allows at least 6 hours per day of good sunlight.

The pool water is pump through these collectors at a specific flow rates, the sun heats the water inside the collectors and return back to the swimming pool, a digital thermostat control when the heating pump activates and stops to prevent the solar heater over heats the pool water. As the sun is doing all the "heating", you are only paying for the pump to move the water. It is great as a season extender, to give 8-9 months of the years at mid summer temperatures

In warmer climates, solar can also be used to cool the water in summer, by circulating your pool water to the roof at night and allowing it to cool.

Solar heating is limited, in that the sun controls the temperature, not you. If you don’t have enough space on your roof, solar pool heating can be installed on a large unused areas as well, typically, you will require the same area of the pool in solar collector area.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps in pools operate on the same principle as an airconditioning unit, only in reverse. They extract heat from the air and transfer it to the pool water through a heat exchanger, providing an efficient means of heating. And like your hear aircon, you pay for convenience.

The benefits of a heat pump are that you are the boss. Not the sun. And with an adequately sized unit for your pool and climate, you can achieve all year swimming. The downside is, they use far more energy than solar.

Heat pumps are the perfect option for people that want to be in total control of the water temperature, or have house solar to off set some of the running costs. For maximum energy efficiency and to abide with BCA law, they should be used in conjunction with a pool cover.

Gas Heaters

Gas heating is the fastest way to heat your pool. It is also the most expensive, by far. Due to the ongoing cost, most people will opt for a gas heater for their spa (if they have natural gas or large gas bottles) as it offers maximum convenience, and another method for their pool.

If you have natural gas and are not concerned with ongoing costs, gas heating is worth considering.

For maximum energy efficiency and to abide with BCA law, they should be used in conjunction with a pool cover.


For maximum energy efficiency and temperature control, a combination of two or three of the above heating options might suit you best. Your pool heating specialist can work with you to help you achieve the desired temperatures, year round, with the lowest ongoing running costs.

Heater Care and Inspection

Regular care and inspection of pool heaters is essential to guarantee efficient performance, avert damage, and prolong the life of the heater. It is recommended to schedule regular maintenance appointments by a professional at least once a year, during which the pool heater will be cleaned, lubricated, adjusted, and tested for safety and optimal performance.

Safety and performance testing confirm that the unit is functioning correctly and safely, ensuring a comfortable and worry-free swimming experience. By investing in regular heater care and inspection, pool owners can enjoy a warm, clean, and comfortable pool environment year-round.

Pool Covers

Pool covers are a versatile and essential addition to any pool, offering numerous benefits such as reducing water evaporation, maintaining water temperature, limiting debris in the pool, and decreasing UV light exposure, thus saving on chlorine usage.

In addition, pool covers are the most effective solution for reducing energy consumption in a pool, as they can help trap the pool heat.

By utilising a pool cover, pool owners can enjoy increased energy efficiency, reduced maintenance and cleaning, and a more comfortable swimming experience. With a variety of styles and designs available, pool covers can be tailored to suit any pool and meet the specific needs of the owner.

Choosing the Right Pool Cover

Selecting the right pool cover is essential for maximising efficiency. There are various types of pool covers available, including mesh, solar, thermal and hard slatted. Each type has different warranties and brands, so it's important to understand the features and benefits of each before making a decision. This will help you choose the best pool cover for your specific needs and preferences.

Mesh Covers

Mesh pool covers are crafted from a lightweight and durable mesh material, designed to be easy to install and remove and provide a layer of protection against dirt and debris entering the pool.  Mesh covers allow rain to pass through into the pool and many mesh covers are treated to block out sunlight, which helps inhibit algae growth.

Mesh covers do not offer any insulating properties. Regular inspection and cleaning of mesh pool covers should be conducted to identify any signs of wear and tear and remove any debris or dirt that has been collected.

Solar Covers

Swimming pool solar covers look like thick bubble wrap, are cost effective, and use the sun to assist in heating the pool. They can increase the water temperature by up to 8 degrees in full sun positions. They also insulate the pool temperature, and reduce evaporation by up to 90%.

Thermal Covers

Unlike solar covers, thermal covers do not use the sun to increase the water temperature, however they have twice the R value than bubble covers, therefore work well with pool heaters to insulate against heat loss . They are great for indoor and outdoor shaded use. Or for those wanting a more stylish look than the solar covers. They insulate the pool temperature, and reduce evaporation by up to 90%.

Hard Slatted Covers

Slatted pool covers consist of interconnected slats that can be opened and closed either manually or with a motorised system, providing a safe barrier between the pool and its environment. They are widely regarded as the most secure option available and can enhance the protection of your pool for both young ones and pets. Slatted pool covers can be tailored to the form and curves of your pool, reducing convection heat loss and negating the need for an additional safety cover.

They can be hidden in the pool in multiple ways, or on a roller outside of the pool.

Slatted pool covers are significantly costlier than other cover options and require more upkeep than other types of pool covers. Proper installation and maintenance, including regular inspections and cleaning, are crucial for ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of slatted pool covers.

Pool Cover Warranties and Brands

The warranties for pool covers vary depending on the brand and type of cover. Some brands provide up to 3 years replacement warranty, while others offer a pro-rata warranty or a full replacement warranty for a period of 12 months.

When selecting a pool cover, it's crucial to consider warranties and research the various brands available. By researching and comparing different warranties and brands, you can ensure that you choose a high-quality and durable pool cover that fits your needs and budget.

Pool Cover Operation & Storage

Proper pool cover operation and storage are essential for maintaining the effectiveness and longevity of your pool cover. Options such as rollers, motorised,in deck and hidden rollers, offer various methods for easy operation and storage.

Proper Storage and Maintenance

Correct storage and maintenance of pool covers can extend their life expectancy, decrease maintenance time and costs, conserve water, minimise chemical usage, reduce heating costs, and maintain the pool water cleaner.

To ensure the longevity of your pool cover, inspect it regularly for signs of wear and tear, and replace it if necessary. Cleaning the cover on a regular basis can help prevent the buildup of dirt and debris. Proper storage is essential, so when not in use, store the cover in a cool, dry place to prolong its life and effectiveness.

Environmental Benefits of Pool Covers

Australian Building Codes has mandated the use of pool covers where the heating source is from fossil fuel heaters, ie Heat pump or Gas. The use of a pool covers is the biggest money saving device a swimming pool can have

By conserving pool water and saving energy with solar pool covers, you can create a more eco-friendly swimming experience.

Let's explore how pool covers contribute to water conservation and energy savings.

Conserving Pool Water

Conserving pool water is critical for decreasing water waste, cutting down on water bills, reducing the need for make-up water, and protecting the environment by diminishing the need for water treatment and distribution. Pool covers help conserve pool water by minimizing evaporation and curtailing water loss.

Strategies for conserving pool water include utilising a pool cover and installing a pool pump timer. By implementing these measures, you can ensure a more eco-friendly and cost-effective pool experience.

Energy Savings with Solar Pool Covers

Solar pool covers offer numerous benefits in terms of energy efficiency, such as reducing water evaporation, retaining heat, and obviating the need for a pool heater, leading to a reduction in energy costs. They provide a protective layer between the pool and the atmosphere, decreasing the rate of evaporation. By trapping heat in the pool and inhibiting its escape, solar pool covers help maintain warm pool water, reducing the need for a pool heater and resulting in cost savings on energy.

By utilising solar pool covers, you can enjoy a more energy-efficient and eco-friendly swimming experience, ultimately contributing to a greener planet.


In conclusion, discovering the right heating and cover options for your pool can have you swimming all year round. With a wide variety of heating and cover options to choose from, your heating specialist is sure to help you find the perfect mix for your new pool.

Frequently asked questions

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What is the best thing to cover a pool with?
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Automatic safety covers. Automatic safety covers are the best option when it comes to convenience and safety, as they require very little maintenance and provide a barrier between users and the pool. They are also beneficial in terms of keeping the water warm during colder months.

What are the safety rules around a pool?
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It's important to stay safe around the pool. Be sure to always keep a close eye on children in the vicinity, never swim alone, know your limits when it comes to swimming and avoid diving into shallow water.

Additionally, use the appropriate safety equipment and ensure any pool covers or gates are securely fastened.

Are pool covers just tarps?
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No, pool covers are not just tarps. While a tarp can be used to cover a swimming pool, it is typically less durable and may not provide the same protection as a pool safety cover. Cost-effectiveness and ease of setup can be appealing factors when using a tarp, but in general, pool safety covers are considered more reliable.

How can I cover my pool cheaply?
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For a cost-effective way to cover your pool, consider an evaporation cover like solar rings or bubble covers. These are designed to reduce evaporation, rather than support weight or prevent debris, but can still help save money in the long run.

Additionally, you can opt for a tarp, heavy-duty canvas tarp, or vinyl for a more durable option.

Is it better to keep a pool covered or uncovered?
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Overall, it is beneficial to keep your pool covered when not in use. It will help maintain the water temperature and reduce evaporation, saving you time, energy, and money.

Additionally, covers protect pools from dirt, leaves, and other debris.

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