Does Pool Temp Really Matter?
by Bill Henry and Buz Whelan
For several years it has been argued that the Emerald Lakes Association could save a significant amount of money by lowering the temperature of the indoor pool. It was said that reducing the temperature from 84 degrees to 80 would save on both fuel and chlorine. Some of these arguments occurring during monthly open board meetings became quite heated. What are the facts? Here we present a comparison of the first four months of this fiscal year with the same period last year.
May thru August 2011 2012
Water Temperature (in degrees) 84 80
Com Ctr Heating Oil (in dollars) 6,242 7,124
Pool Maintenance (chlorine) 1,875 2,340
Totals $8,117 $9,464
These numbers seem to indicate that pool temperature has a negligible effect on costs. While the higher number for the lower temperature may be the result of some intervening variables, there is little evidence that any important savings can be had by reducing the temperature by 4 degrees. Yet those who use the pool for such activities as Adult Water Aerobics say the difference in comfort level is significant in a negative way. Simply put, 84 feels comfortable, 80 feels uncomfortable.
The United States Water Fitness Association recommends a water temperature of from 84 to 86 degrees for multi-purpose indoor pools. It’s hard to explain to pool users who complain of the colder temperature that they must endure it to save the association money. Perhaps it’s time to return to the higher temperature rather than aggravating a significant number of users for no defensible reason.