Temperatures are up throughout the country, and with higher temperatures comes the need to cool off. Many people head to nearby lakes and rivers, but some are fortunate enough to have their own pool at home.
Although a pool is a great convenience and certainly a welcome relief in the hot summer months, maintaining your pool can be costly – in more ways than one. It can also be a lot of work, since you have to prevent and treat algae and check the chemical balance of the water. There's also a safety issue, not only for your own children, but for children in your neighborhood.
There's also an increased cost that you don't think about – until you get your first electric bill after your pool is up and running. Pool pumps use a lot of electricity and can cause a spike in your energy bill. After your air conditioning, pool pumps use the most electricity out of all household appliances. But you can purchase an energy-efficient model, which will help save up to 30 percent of your energy costs.
Pool maintenance is also more than just checking the chemicals. If you have a concrete pool, you'll have to resurface it at some point, which can cost somewhere around $6 to $10 per square foot.
Maintenance of your pool, whether you do it yourself or hire someone else, can also be costly. If you do it yourself, you'll need to plan to spend about $60 on pool chemicals and about $100 for a professional cleaning.
You can hire a pool service to take care of your pool, and experts suggest that you have your pool serviced weekly. But you shouldn't choose a service on price alone. Cheaper doesn't always mean better. Look carefully at what's offered, and ask for references.
Safety concerns should be at the top of your list as a pool owner, particularly if you have small children of your own or as neighbors. Make sure your own children know how to swim. Purchase and install a safety fence, and do not allow your pool to be used by children without adult supervision. Keep lifesaving equipment, like a life ring and first aid kit, nearby.
It may be hot outside, but consider all these costs when deciding whether to install a pool, whether above- or in-ground. Make sure you can afford it so that this luxury doesn't turn into heartache.