Gîtes in France  – How to rent a gîte

Swimming Pools – Heating

I must have a swimming pool that is heated – I feel the cold.

Heated pools are a frequent request from Guests enquiring to HL Holidays. For bookings starting after early June and before mid September we don’t believe pool heating is necessary.

Let us explain…..

The climate is such that the water temperature will be over 21C (70F) certainly by the third week in May, and up to around 25C (77F) by the second week in June – all from the sun, and may exceed 30C without any supplementary heating during the hot days of July and August.

This is generally speaking… A few cold days will see the pool temperature drop by a few degrees.

Pools with Roman steps (steps built in) with the water circulating over them will heat quite quickly in the sun – The experience of our team during our May visits in such a pool was that the temperature would rise 4-5C during the day on a sunny day, with the pool uncovered at night.

Pools left uncovered at night will lose heat, but soon recover it as soon as the sun gets going again. Pools with either hard covers or Abri shelter covers will retain heat well, and lose very little heat overnight.

Warm skin…. Cold water vs Hot skin…. Warm water

poolThe other factor that leads people to think the pool is cold is the difference between the air temperature and the water temperature.

With air temperatures often up into the mid 30s C in July and August, a water temperature of around 25C will feel cold on the body initially….. but the body will soon acclimatise and you will be able to spend as long as you like in the pool.

So when is a pool heated?

Pools usually start opening from around Mid April, and the water will initially be around 15 – 17C:  This is swimmable for the hardy – but probably best described as ‘bracing’!
Likewise, as the sun loses its power towards the end of September, the water temperature will steadily drop until the pool is closed.

Our opinion is that only for bookings before the end of May and after mid September is pool heating necessary if Guests can put mind over matter for a few brief seconds after entering the water.

Pool Heating explained….

For a heated pool, there will be heater elements within the pumping system that heat the water as it circulates: However, the heat also has to get into the underwater parts of the pool surroundings, and this takes time – to get a pool to rise say 7 degrees to a consistent temperature may take 4-5 days: It does not happen immediately.  It is thus important that if you do want the pool heated, you arrange this well in advance of your arrival, but please read on…..

The costs involved….

Running the heater for 4-5 days before Guests arrive plus the time that the Guests are in residence is not cheap, and most Owners need to charge around €170/ £150 (2024) to cover the cost of the additional electricity to heat the pool for a week’s stay: As heating is necessary for so few weeks of the year, this is the reason that so few pools have heating installed.

We hope that you now understand a little more about pool heating – Please remember that IF a pool has heating, and you wish the pool to be heated, it will be a chargeable extra unless clearly indicated on the property information – although the weekly rates may be a little higher if it is not mentioned.

Read more about Pool Safety  and Pool Descriptions

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