June 1, 2021

Your Guide to Pool Heat

Make a splash on vacation! Southern Shores Realty properties have excellent amenities – from pet-friendly, to waterfront, to community amenities, to private hot tubs and pools. Who wouldn’t love to have their own private pool for their much-anticipated OBX vacation? Pool games, night swims, and spontaneous splashin’ are all a part of what makes this amenity just one of the most sought-after features of a vacation home.

Did you know that the awesomeness of this amenity doesn’t stop there? There’s another perk. Since we know that sometimes the weather isn’t always conducive for swimming, we have an option that enables our spring, fall, and “cold-blooded” guests to get their fix.

Pool heaters are an amazing bonus add-on that is offered at a number of properties. At the time of this posting, there are roughly 50 homes in our program with pool heat. While opting in for this luxury won’t turn the pool into a massive Jacuzzi, it certainly will ease the chill, ensuring a much more enjoyable experience for all. Let’s be real, a pool-turned-Jacuzzi sounds pretty neat, but to be candid, it’s just not realistic or attainable; pool heaters and hot tub heaters are simply designed differently.

The good news is that one can generally expect heated pools to be up to 10 degrees warmer than ambient air temps. This makes a huge difference in comfortability, especially considering what the original water temperature may have been originally.

Southern Shores Realty wants to ensure your comfort during your stay with us. We also understand that for some, opting into this enhancement can be pricy, so it makes sense that we field many questions concerning this amenity. This blog is here to help folks understand more about what this luxury entails.

There are several factors that play into the heating of a pool. This includes, but is not limited to: air temperature, pool size, amount of direct sunlight, duration of shade, wind speed and direction, etc.


  • There are a variety of heating elements: solar, propane/natural gas, and electrical pumps.
  • Generally, one can expect a heated pool to heat up to 10°F warmer than ambient air temperature.
  • Please allow 24-72 hours for pools to reach 10°F above air temperature (this varies greatly, depending on size of pool, weather, and amount of direct sunlight, for example)
  • 58 is the significant number regarding pool heaters, most of what follows will be regarding this number, as it’s the minimum temp in which pool heaters will work.
    • Since air temperature must consistently be around 58°F +/- or above for the water heater to work, wintertime use of heated pools may not be possible.
    • Fortunately, the average temperature in April, when our pools open for the season, have an average daily high of 67°F so this is a great time to opt in for heat (Source: National Climatic Data Center)
    • If the air temperature dips enough below 58°F +/-, the heater may automatically stop. Do not be alarmed; as nothing is broken, and the pool heater will resume normal function once the air temperature is back up to operational temperatures. This is a permanent feature built into the system at manufacturing, so this cannot be adjusted or altered.
  • Since water has a high heat retention capacity, if the heat pump shuts off for a short time, the temp won’t immediately plummet and the pool can still be used. However, should the pump turn off for a significant duration of time, the temperature will slowly drop and may take some time to heat back up again. This may take several hours or more, but bare in mind, again, that this varies depending on the aforementioned factors (i.e. pool size, weather) so pool temperature recovery time will vary.
  • Excessive use of dense sunscreens coupled with heavy use of the pool may cause pool filters to clog and thus render the pool pump and heating system temporarily out of service. Be mindful of excessive, heavy, greasy sun care, and sandy feet/swimsuits when entering the pool to ensure proper pool heat functionality.

We hope this was informational and helped clear up any questions or concerns one may have. If you have any further questions or would like to book a rental with a pool, feel free to give us a call at 800-334-1000 or 252-261-2000