With fall upon us, we know there are tasks that need to be done to prepare our backyards for the winter season. But where to begin? Do you start with the pool? Is this the time to update your equipment? Do you plan to use your hot tub? What about all that patio furniture? It may seem overwhelming, but Fronheiser Pools is here to help. Unquestionably, with this handy checklist to refer to, the answer to the question “Is your backyard winter ready?, will be a resounding “Yes”!
Updating EquipmentFall is a good time to update your pool equipment. If you have been having issues with cloudy water, high utility bills, or would like to extend your pool season, an upgrade in equipment could be the answer. Tackling these issues when it is not the height of pool season will mean that come spring, your pool will be in its best shape and ready to enjoy.
- Pool Heater: Would you like to extend your pool season, and get more use out of your investment? Consider putting in a pool heater. Start swimming in April and go right through October. You can do that when you have a pool heater that maintains your water temperature at a comfortable level. Also, extending your swimming season for up to two additional months means you could be more successful at maintaining your fitness goals.
- Pool Pump: Have your utility bills been climbing higher and higher? If you were to upgrade to a variable speed pool pump, you could save 40-80% on your energy bill. Also, variable speed pumps are quieter, programmable, and may help your filter perform better.
- Pool Filter: Issues with cloudy water? It may be that your pool filter could stand to be updated. If you are still using the original filter that came with your pool, it may not be working as effectively as it used to. You could have better water quality, use fewer chemicals, and not have to clean your pool as often if you switch your filter.
Winterizing Your PoolThe first thing to understand about winterizing your pool is knowing when to close it for the season. The key criteria are that daytime temperatures be consistently below 65 degrees, and nighttime temperatures still above freezing. In our area of Pennsylvania, this can be anytime from the end of September through October. There are a number of steps involved in closing your pool for the winter season. If these steps seem complicated or even overwhelming, you should not hesitate to call in professionals to close your pool for you. Fronheiser Pools offers pool closing services where our expert team will get your pool winter-ready and leave you with complete peace of mind. If you do decide to tackle the job yourself, read on to see the basic steps.
- Remove pool accessories: diving boards, rails, ladders, skimmer baskets need to be removed and stored away.
- Clean the pool: skim, scrub the sides and waterline, and thoroughly vacuum the pool.
- Test the water balance and adjust accordingly. If you are using a winter closing kit, add the chemicals according to directions.
- Drain the pool water to just below the skimmers.
- Backwash and clean your filter and pump.
- The water needs to be drained out of the plumbing lines. These lines can be blown out with an air compressor or shop vac.
- Cover the pool with your winter cover. Air pillows keep the cover from resting directly on top of the water.
Prepping Your Hot Tub for Winter UseThe fall and winter seasons are just the best times of the year to use your hot tub. Despite the cooler temperatures, there are so many excellent reasons to enjoy your spa at this time of the year. It is well worth your time to get your hot tub winter-ready. This is a simple matter of cleaning it as you typically would, maintaining your usual chemical balance, using the “No Freeze” mode (if your model has it), and utilizing a good cover. The money you put into a good cover will pay you back with energy savings, lower heating bills, and a longer life for your hot tub. How can you benefit from your hot tub by using it during the fall and winter?
- Spice up your date nights. Warm robes, fluffy towels, fall scented candles, and spiced apple cider or mulled wine set the mood for enjoying the autumn color or doing some winter star-gazing.
- Keep up with your fitness routine. Get stronger and more flexible by using your hot tub for some resistance and stretching routines. Practice yoga for better balance and mental well-being.
- Get over the common cold quicker. With the colder temperatures, getting the sniffles seems inevitable. Banish those aches and pains and clear your sinuses with the heat and steam of your hot tub.
- Ease holiday stress. The winter holidays are a time of stress for many of us. Taking a hot tub break can be a relaxing way to unwind, eliminate anxiety, sleep better, and escape from the holiday hubbub.
Tips for Storing Patio FurnitureYour outdoor furniture was a big investment. You and your family spent many pleasant hours enjoying it during the warmer months while you made use of your pool. Now that colder, wetter weather is looming, it is time to store and protect those pieces so they will be just as great to use again next spring and summer. It is well worth the effort to protect your outdoor furniture. Are you wondering what that entails?
- Clean wicker, metal, and wood pieces with a mild water and liquid detergent solution.
- Clean patio umbrellas with a water and liquid detergent mixture. Rinse with a garden hose and allow to dry in an open position.
- If furniture cushions are removable, launder them. If not, wash gently with a brush and mild liquid detergent solution.
- Store what pieces you can indoors (garage, shed, outbuilding). Rugs, umbrellas, and cushions should all be protected from the elements.
- Cover securely all pieces that must remain outside. Invest in durable covers for your outside furniture and secure them well.