3 Tips To “Winterizing” South Florida Pools

While most of the country’s pool owners have long “closed” their pools for the winter, we here in South Florida don’t have to worry about opening or closing of swimming pools.  There are, however, a series of differences between heavy bathing summer seasons and the winter.  Here are 3 tips to remember when caring for your swimming pool in South Florida.

1.  Less Sun = Less Hours
Pools are sanitized, mostly, with some form of chlorine.  Free chlorine in the pool, or chlorine that’s ready to sanitize, is killed however but UV light emitted from the sun.  In the summer time, on top of heavy user-load, hot temperatures, and heavy rain, it’s actually long sunlight hours that plays a key role in the depletion of free chlorine in the pool.
In the winter, however, we experience significantly less sunlight hours.  This is important because, coupled with cooler temperatures, the run time that’s required for you pool pump to run also takes a drop.  Most 15,000 gal swimming pools require about 8 hours of sunlight in the summer.  That same pool can run as little as 4 hours in the winter, saving you and your electric bill!
2.  High Winds, No Rain = Low Water Levels 

Every winter we receive a lot of phone calls from customers worried their pool might be leaking water.  Florida winters call for lots of wind and very little rain.  Wind speeds up the evaporation process and combined with no replenishing rain from mother nature, one can imagine how quickly water recedes.  It’s not atypical to lose an inch of water each week so have the hose ready to refill the pool.
3.  More Algae?
Most customers are surprised to hear that algae is quite prevalent in the winter time.  Granted, cold water makes it difficult for algae to blossom, the high winds mentioned previously bring a lot of debris into the pool.  In the summer, debris is rare as winds are virtually non-existent.  The debris that wind carries into the pool also carries a lot of bacteria, dirt and other impurities that are likely to deplete the chlorine levels in your pool so don’t be surprised to see some algae pop up in your pool.  Brushing all the pool walls, steps, and floors is paramount this time of year so be sure your pool technician is doing just that each week.
As Floridians, we have the beauty of enjoying pool weather virtually 12 months of the year.  The rules of the enjoyment and care of the pool, however, are different so be sure to apply these three easy steps to insure a healthy pool this winter!