One of the most important factors while maintaining your pool is to keep a check at the swimming pool temperature.

While it may seem like a trivial and secondary task, the wrong pool temperature can lead to severe consequences for your health.

On the other hand, maintaining the pool water temperature at just the right levels according to your desired use brings with it many health benefits, which include weight loss (to a lesser extent than is usually thought).  

Without further ado, let’s dive into the world of pool temperature!

What causes changes in pool temperature?

Before you understand how to maintain a particular temperature, you have to understand what causes the change in those temperatures.

Pool temperature is affected by factors such as evaporation, sky radiation, and ground losses. These factors are the largest contributors to pool heat loss. Evaporation itself counts for around 70 percent of heat losses!  

Talking about heat gains, the biggest natural contributor to your pool heat is of course, solar heat. The temperature of your area can bump up the average swimming temperature by approximately 6 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit.

What happens if my pool temperatures are too high?

Here, we deal with the situations which can arise if your pool temperature goes too high.

While a warm pool temperature is associated with lesser difficulty in swimming, if the difference is too radical, it can cause huge problems. Case in point, the death of a swimmer of the US National swim team while swimming at a pool temperature of 86 degrees. Three others had to be hospitalized.  

Further, due to the high temperature, it is much more likely that your pool will become infested with algae. It also makes the pool ideal for bacteria growth, which can lead to a number of diseases.  

What happens if my pool temperatures are too low?

If the pool temperatures are too low, your body risks going into shock.

Our body has a fight-or-flight stimuli response to a sudden temperature change, and since you cannot escape a pool right when you enter it, your heart rhythm becomes irregular.

For patients of cardiac diseases, this can lead to life-threatening conditions.

Further, the correlation of low pool temperatures with fat burns stands null, since those are calculated on the assumption that the calories burned due to temperature difference cause an equivalent calorie loss in our body. This also operates by assuming “burnt” calories equate to fat losses.

Which pool temperatures are perfect to swim in?  

Now that we know which pool temperatures are too high and too low to swim in, the question arises, which pool temperature is the ideal pool temperature?

The answer to that question isn’t as straightforward as a simple number or a range. Depending upon how your pool is used, there are many possibilities.

1. If your pool is being used primarily as a recreational pool, you’re looking at an ideal temperature of around 83 degrees Fahrenheit.

You might be inclined towards warmer water because of lesser resistance. However, pool water that creeps up too high can cause dehydration, muscle cramps and body overheating.

2. If your pool finds use as a competitive or fitness pool, such as an olympic pool, a temperature of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.

In case you were wondering, the answer to the question “is 70 degrees too cold for an olympic pool?” is a resounding “yes”.

3. If it’s a baby pool, or generally has small children, you’re best off with a pool operating at 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The chief reason behind this is because small children retain less body heat due to their smaller physical size.

4. Lastly, hydrotherapy pools find use as a form of healing method, hence the temperature goes much higher. You’ll have to maintain the temperature at nearly 95 degrees Fahrenheit.   

Be careful about the growth of algae or harmful bacteria, however. Make sure your pool stays chlorinated at these high temperatures.

These temperatures are again assuming average room temperatures. If you live in area where temperatures go lower, these numbers will have to go a notch higher proportionately.

By the same analogy, for warmer climates, the swimming pool temperature needs to go a little lower to maintain the effect of those.

How to mitigate pool temperature problems

Your best bet to increase your pool temperature is to go in for a pool heater. Pool heaters come in a number of varieties, such as gas heaters, solar heaters and heat pumps (electric heaters).

All of these pool heaters come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to check those out before going in for a pool heater.  

To reduce heat losses, however, we recommend going in for pool covers. These eliminate most of your pool evaporation losses, and are the best value-for-money addition to your pool maintenance toolkit.

There are a variety of pool covers on the market, and each brings a different value proposition to the table.  

To reduce pool temperature, you can go in for heat pumps which can do both heating and cooling. This is the best long-term cooling alternative.

Pool fountains can also work in drier climates, but aren’t of much use in humid ones.

Alternatively, you can follow these small steps:

  • Adding Shade over the pool to block the sun.
  • Adding Water to the pool before swims. As a rule, 2 inches of water can lower water temperature by 1-2 degrees.
  • Run the pump at night, and aim the jets towards the surface to increase circulation.
  • Open the main drain or run the pool cleaner, to equalize thermal layers.


Pool temperature is often seen as an unimportant factor when it comes to pool maintenance.

However, it becomes extremely important to maintain the average pool temperature to ensure that the pool remains swimmable and the swimmers remain fit.

Whether your pool temperatures are too high or too low, maintaining it at just the right amount according to your intended use of the pool becomes crucial and makes sure you and every swimmer have the best pool experience.

Happy maintenance!