How To Heat Your Swimming Pool Without Increasing Your Carbon Footprint

How To Heat Your Swimming Pool Without Increasing Your Carbon Footprint

Many people who dream of owning their own swimming pool worry about the cost of heating the water. That is not surprising. Think about how much it costs to heat up a bath and multiply it by several hundred. If you are handy at DIY and are willing to make some minor alterations, you could reduce the cost of keeping it at a comfortable temperature.

Do you find the prospect attractive? I thought so; you would be a fool if you didn’t. Here are a couple of ideas to heat your pool from Michele English Pool World, without increasing your carbon footprint.

Solar Heating

For this heater you will need:

  • Old central heating radiators (painted black)
  • Wood (various sizes)
  • 15mm copper pipe
  • 12v water pump
  • Solar panel
  • One roll of loft insulation
  • Glass


  1. Build a wooden box big enough to house the radiators.
  2. Insulate the back and sides of the box.
  3. Fit the radiators in the box and connect them together with 15mm pipe.
  4. Cut some glass and attach it to the front of the housing.
  5. Run two 15mm pipes from the other ends of the radiators to the pool. One should reach the bottom of the pool, and the other should end just below the surface.
  6. Cut the pipe that goes to the bottom of the pool and fit the pump in it.
  7. Install a solar panel where it will get the most sun and connect it to the pump. When it operates, it should draw water from the bottom of the pool. The water runs through the radiators and returns to the top of the pool.

The radiators will soak up the solar radiation and heat the water. You must wash them out well before you use them and at the start of every season because they rust inside, and it will make your pool water dirty. You should also fit extra filtration. I will show you how to build an efficient filter using sand, in another article.

Log Burning Heater

This heater will warm the water using logs from a sustainable source. That is an essential part of being green. It uses an old barrel as a furnace, and some copper pipe. Use hot water pipe with a diameter of 22mm. Here is a guide. These are not detailed instructions because every pool and landscape are different.

You must position the barrel lower than the pool for it to work for this to work. A terraced garden is ideal.

  • Run a pipe from near the bottom of the pool to the barrel.
  • Make coils in the pipe, within the furnace, using a bender.
  • Run another pipe from the coil to just below the water level of the pool.

You can adapt those instructions to suit yourself. maybe you have an old log burner that has a heat exchanger built into it. That is an ideal solution. The pipes will fill with water. When you light a fire under them, convection currents will make the water flow. Hot liquid will exit the top pipe, and cold water will go in through the bottom one. What could be easier? Be careful, the water will reach a high temperature. You may be wise to put a cage around the hot pipe to prevent scalds.

As you can see, with a little innovation you can keep your pool warm without breaking the bank. The inventions may be a little ‘Heath Robinson’ but they work. I hope you found my ideas interesting; I enjoyed passing on the knowledge.


Brian Cantoni

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