The Waters Edge
- January 29th, 2008
- in Yachting
Comforting Aquatic Experiences – Are you happy that the Christmas winds have gone, and life outside on your deck has taken a quieter turn? The 20 knot winds that got us somewhat chilly have been replaced by trade winds that “gently” flow across the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Owners and visitors to homes in the upper regions of our hills are especially happy as the average wind speed is almost 5 to10 knots higher at 1250 feet above the shimmering waters.
As most of our living and entertainment takes place outside we are especially grateful for the soothing breezes that keep our decks pleasant and the mosquitoes away.
These Christmas winds may have “wreaked havoc” on our otherwise perfect temperatures, water temperatures that is. For the hilltop dweller these winds are especially challenging, making it difficult to keep your swimming pool at a comfortable level. Ouch- I would tend to agree we are wimps here and the collective thinning of our blood has made us very susceptible to the smallest changes in temperature.
When submerged in water however our body is even more prone to heat loss and swimming pools, which are just a couple of degrees cooler, will rapidly drain the heat out of our body, making the whole submersion thing pleasant only in the noon time hours. Even though the trade winds are a far cry from the Christmas winds, the fact remains that it is still the chief factor in cooling your pool water as well as yourself when you get out of the pool.
If you’re an active swimmer you may not be phased by such cooling effects so much. However, as most swimming pools are actually designed for play and relaxation as opposed to exercise, most will benefit from some temperature rise.
Since the clear winter skies bring us a healthy dose of sun, solar heating is probably the greenest way of achieving this, and if you have a good size area available for the installation of these panels it is the best way to raise your temperature by a few degrees. Even spas can be heated without the use of fossil fuels; however the amount of panel area increases as the desired temperature increases.
If you don’t have the space or don’t care to look at a few hundred square feet of solar panels then you most likely have to go back and install a heat pump. These units function like an inverted air conditioning unit. They extract the heat from the atmosphere and put it into the pool water. Sure at a cost, however thinking that you will probably only need to run these units for a few month it may be worth extending your swimming season. After all soon, in the summer the water will probably be too warm to swim… That’s when you flip the switch on the heat pump and your pool becomes a chiller.
Decadent, well perhaps, however today’s swimming pools and spas, sport water features that are therapeutic in more than one sense of the word. The soothing sound and massaging effects of running water can easily change your whole experience and enjoyment; all your senses are nurtured by creating these areas of total immersion. Given that the temperature would be right.