How Long Does It Take for a Pool to Heat Up by the Sun

Nothing quite beats the perks of having a heated pool you can sink into after a particularly tough week at work or when you’re through a small get-together for friends. Of course, what makes having a nice, heated swimming pool even better to have is that, in some cases, it can even increase the value of your home!

All of that said, how long does it take for a pool to heat up by the sun?

If you’ll be heating your pool with nothing but the direct rays of the sun, you can expect this to take as long as 8 to 12 hours, on average. However, this timeframe may get shorter or longer depending on the presence or absence of certain variables.

How Long Does It Take for a Pool to Heat Up by the Sun

Without further ado, we’ll be delving into what those are concisely now!

Major Factors That Influence Pool Sun-Heating

Before delving into greater detail on this, please keep in mind that the presence and intensity of many of these factors aren’t universal. As such, they will often have varying effects, depending on your particular situation.

With this in mind, here are the most important factors directly responsible for how fast the sun can directly warm your swimming pool.

Current Weather Conditions

The immediate climate or weather condition of the region you are in (and by extension, where your pool is situated) plays an important role here. What’s more, when this factor is combined with the time the heating process is carried out; its effects become even more pronounced.

For example, let’s say you decide to heat your pool on a very bright and sunny day. The effect of this is that your pool is likely to warm up much faster, all things being equal. However, if you were to carry out the exact same activity, on a cloudy day, it will take much longer for your pool to warm up.

The Size of the Swimming Pool

Another factor that comes into play strongly here is how large or small your swimming pool is. Here, it all comes down to physics. When you have a large pool, by inference, you have a large surface area. Consequently, direct sunlight will be trying to heat this large space all at once. The result of which is that it will take longer for the pool to be suitably warm.

On the flip side, if you have a smaller pool, this means that the surface area that the sun has to warm up will be smaller. And so, it’ll be able to do so much faster.

Also, keep in mind that larger pools will logically contain more gallons of water compared to smaller pools. So, it stands to reason that it’ll take a little longer to heat water of larger quantity than it will to do the same for a small body of water.

The Angle of Sunlight

Yet another variable you need to account for properly here is the angle at which the sunlight hits your pool. In a nutshell, the more direct the angle of sunlight, the faster your pool will heat up. But, if the sun falls at a sort of wide-angle to your pool, you can expect this process to take longer.

Also, this is another factor that is influenced by the time of the heating process. This is so because, even if the sunlight hits your pool at a direct angle, this position isn’t stationary. So, as the sun gets higher and lower during the day, the effects of this factor change as well.

The Temperature of the Swimming Pool

You may be surprised to learn that your pool has its own temperature as well. In addition to this, that temperature is also very important as it can significantly influence how quickly the sun can warm your pool.

As an example, if the starting temperature of your pool is 10ºF it’ll take longer for it to heat as opposed to if it was at 25ºF and so on. As such, the lower your pool temperature is, the more time the sun would need to warm it up.

Rate of Heat Loss

Just as your pool has an internal temperature is the same way it can also readily lose heat. The rate at which it does so is ultimately dependent on things like if you have a solar cover, the type of interior lining you use, and numerous other variables.

So, if your pool doesn’t experience a high rate of heat loss, it will be able to warm up much faster.

Benefits of a Heated Pool

So far, we’ve talked extensively about the variables that influence the heating of your pool by direct sunlight. But what exactly do you gain with a heated pool?

Here are only a few perks of having access to a warm pool!

  1. It helps you make better use of your pool. Because you won’t have to worry about temperature, you’ll be able to enjoy your pool more often!
  2. It keeps your pool in better condition for longer. Not warming your pool puts the structure at risk of damage from freezing. So, when you warm it constantly, there’ll be minimal structural damage.
  3. It serves as a good way to improve your health. It is an open secret that warm water has a lot of soothing properties that you can leverage for a better and healthier life.
  4. It helps you get more comfort and bliss out of your swimming pool.
  5. In many cases, if you can easily warm your pool in direct sunlight or you’ve installed equipment that can easily help you with pool heating, you can use this to directly increase the resale value of your home! Homes that have this capability are always in high demand in the real estate world.

Other Great Ways to Heat Your Pool

While heating your pool via direct sunlight is great, the fact is that it has its limitations. For one, you have no control over the heating process itself so you can’t determine how hot your pool gets. Also, the waiting can be time-consuming.

Knowing this, some ways you can avoid this problem include;

Using a Pool Heat Pump

This method is a great way to speed up the heating process of your pool. The best part of the deal is that it’s something that you can easily set up yourself. The method works through heat transfer and so, to an extent, is reliant on the surrounding temperature of the pool.

Using a Solar-Powered Heater

Another alternative open to you is to use solar-powered heaters. These follow the same operating principle observed in solar blankets and covers. Once installed in your water circulation system, they go to work, helping you ensure that your water is always at the ideal temperature for you.

Using a Gas Pool Heater

The last and most expensive option on our list is getting a gas pool heater. The most obvious perk of this particular choice is that it removes the need for you to rely on the environment when heating your pool.

All you need is a good electrical source and a gas line and you can install and use this tool to warm up your swimming pool as you please!


Having a warm pool is practical. And, when it’s all said and done, using direct sunlight to heat your pool will always be the most cost-efficient way to heat your pool. However, if you’re looking for a bit more control and consistency during the heating process, you’re better served exploring any one of the alternatives we mentioned.

The first and perhaps most important thing they will do for you is reduce the heating time from 8-12 hours to something you’ll find a lot more acceptable! With that said, have a fun time using your pool this year!

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