Some customers can’t or won’t pay the extra cost to insulate their pools or spas. The price depends on the size of the waterscape, the material, method, region and builder. Some professionals quoted here do it for less than $2,000, while others charge more than $3,000.
But there are ways to make a smaller difference without actually installing insulation.
- Direct moisture away: When groundwater collects around the shell, it serves as a quick conductor for heat.
To help maintain temperatures in pools and spas, make sure the vessel is surrounded by a relatively dry material that is well-drained to carry groundwater away. When working in clay, drains are crucial — merely backfilling or lining the excavation with sand won’t be sufficient.
- The clay won’t absorb water, and all the water will run into the sand and be trapped in and around the pool if you don’t get a perforated pipe to drain it away,” says Mike Giovanone, owner of Concord Pools in Latham, N.Y.
- Focus on one key place: While not a substitute for complete insulation, it can be helpful to wrap some pipe insulation around the return line going into the pool from the heater.
- That would be kind of a no-brainer, because [that line] is going to drop the most amount of heat quickly,” says Barry Justus, president of Poolscape Inc. in Burlington, Ontario, Canada.
- Keep things smooth: Heat loss and evaporation increase as surface-to-air exposure goes up. That’s why pools with vanishing edges and waterfeatures tend to experience the most water and heat loss.
But it’s not only falling water that increases surface-to-air exposure — any turbulence in the vessel can create this problem. Builders can take a small step toward reducing this by placing pool inlets lower than they normally would.
- Instead of 18 inches below the coping, I might drive those returns down to 30 inches below the coping, so the pool remains in a placid state,” Giovanone says.