Summertime temperatures can find many pool owners jumping in for what they think will be a cooling dip. Instead, they end up in a less than refreshing bath-like water experience. Not only can this be an unwelcome surprise, but warm pool water can actually be bad for the pool and for swimmers.

Warm water provides a much more productive environment for things like algae and bacteria to grow and proliferate in and can exacerbate issues quicker. The common rule of thumb is that a recreational pool should never exceed 82 degrees Fahrenheit in order to maintain a safe swimming environment. For any pool located in full sun in warm climates, it is always a good idea to have a floating thermometer in your skimmer basket to keep you informed on your pool’s temperature.

Now let’s say you jump in, get hit by the warm bath, check the thermometer, and see that you are floating in an 86-degree cesspool. No need to panic, here are a few ways to cool down your pool and get it back to a safe operating temp:

Run the Filter at Night

Night-time filtration can help you control pool temperature because it will promote evaporation as a cooling mechanism (think of it as similar to sweating). Running your filter at night also has environmental benefits as using an electrically-powered equipment in the evening is a great way to conserve energy usage during peak hours.

Add Shade

If your pool is located in full sun and is regularly exceeding safe temperatures, consider installing shading features to help block some of that direct exposure. Trees and shrubs are great natural shade structures but they can produce leaves and other organic matter that can cause problems for your pool. Shade sails, pergolas, and umbrellas are some other great mechanisms for shading your pool and these options do not require watering, pruning, or cleaning up after messes.

Remove Wind Breaks

While shade is definitely a positive in terms of combatting warm pool water, you want to be careful that you are not creating a circulation issue by blocking out any wind that helps cooling down water through the circulation of air. High fences and tall hedgerows are great for privacy but if they are impeding the wind from sweeping across the top of your pool water, then you could be creating the conditions for warm pool water without meaning to.

Now that you know how to prevent unsafe water temperatures, get out there and test that pool water. Swimming is a great way to pass the time each summer but it is critical that water safety and water quality always come first.