What are the most popular options for an in-ground fiberglass pool according to Southern Scapes Pools of the Outer Banks? Having installed hundreds of fiberglass pools in Northeastern NC and Southeastern VA in just the last few years, we have found that salt water chlorinators, underwater pool lights, and heaters are the most popular options. Here’s a closer look at these pool options.
Hands down, salt water chlorinators are the number one option our clients add to their pool. We use the Hayward® Aqua Rite Electronic Chlorine Generators, which is the number one selling salt water chlorinator in the world. It is both simple to use and offers a 3 year warranty. This system naturally produces chlorine as the pool runs and distributes it via the pool jets. They offer superior water quality in comparison to in-line chlorinators. The pool does not taste salty; the system naturally converts the salt into chlorine, which is better for your skin, hair and eyes than chemical chlorine.
Salt water chlorinators are also extremely low maintenance. This system costs about $1000 upfront, but over the life of your pool will save you money in maintenance. To maintain chlorine levels, you simply dump in bags of salt. These bags of salt for your pool cost about $8-$12, and you will typically only use a few bags each season. A salt water chlorinator is easily added to existing swimming pools as well. For more information, check out our previous blog on salt chlorinators.
Underwater Pool Lights
If you will be swimming or entertaining around your pool at night, underwater lighting is an option you most definitely should consider. Most people choose this option for the sheer beauty it offers to their pool in the evening. When considering options to your beautify your pool like colored or stamped concrete, an underwater pool light certainly is one of the most cost effective ways to beautify your pool. Color LED lights allow you to pick a constant color or a “color show”. They are low voltage, and there is no direct current to your pool. However, unlike heat pumps and salt chlorinators, this option should be considered during the initial installation as it will be more costly and difficult to add after the pool is installed.
Pool heaters let you use your pool longer, period! The three main types of heating systems are solar, heat pump, and natural gas or propane. Your pool can be outfitted with a pool heating system at any time. Below, we outlined some of the benefits and drawbacks of each type.
Propane/Natural Gas: This type of system is the least expensive unit to buy (typically less than $2K). However, with the ever-increasing cost of fuel – it is one of the most expensive to operate. It literally can easily cost you $400 or more a month to run this system. Propane or natural gas systems are the most efficient in heating your pool. It will heat the pool quicker than other options. You can heat your pool within hours even in the middle of winter. Yet, again, the costs of the fuel must be a consideration. Within 10-15 years, you could spend up to 5 times more on this system than with the other heating systems because of the price of fuel.
Solar Heating: The use of solar heating is on the rise among pool owners. The price is comparable to an electric heat pump ($4-5K). It is the most environmentally friendly option and the cheapest to operate. Solar collectors capture energy from the sun – which is free! There is virtually no maintenance or cost associated with this system beyond the initial purchase of the system. The reliability of heating is equivalent to the amount of available energy – or sun. Obviously, this type of system would be less efficient when it is cloudy or rainy for an extended period because the system is unable to capture the required energy to heat your pool. Solar systems typically add about 4-6 weeks on either side of the swimming pool season in this area. In other words, it increases the use of your pool by approximately 10 weeks a year on average.
Heat Pumps: Heat Pumps are the most popular system in this area. We use Hayward Electric Heat Pumps. As a Totally Hayward Partner, this extends your equipment warranty to 3 years on this unit. Heat Pumps typically cost around $4K and are much more economical to operate – about $50-100 a month – than natural gas or propane pumps. Heat pumps use surrounding air to heat your pool; they operate in reverse of your home heat pump. They are more consistent in heating your pool than a solar heat pump because of their consistent access to energy. Heat pumps typically extend your swimming season by about 12-14 weeks a year. Heat pumps are simple to use and more durable than the other types of pumps when subjected to weather conditions.
Whether you want to install a fiberglass pool in Dare, Camden, Currituck or elsewhere in Northeastern NC or Southeastern VA, Southern Scapes Pool and Landscape Design will assist you in deciding which of these popular pool options are right for you!