It doesn’t matter if the inground pool liners are warming in the Southern sun or protected under a snow-blanketed safety cover, winter pool maintenance is a must. Taking proper care of your pool during the off-season can save you time and money once it’s time to open it come spring. Here are some steps you can take now to guarantee a stress-free spring opening!

Cover the pool. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you may be surprised at the number of pool owners that don’t cover their pools. A safety pool cover is a must to not only safeguard people, pets, and animals when the pool is not in use, but also to protect the pool liner from dirt and debris.

Maintain a consistent water level. The water level in your pool should remain consistent throughout the winter months, which is usually to the middle of the skimmer. It is important to maintain it because if too much ground water enters the pool, the liner could potentially wrinkle.

Add the proper chemicals. The amount of chemicals needed to maintain your pool during the winter depends on the climate where you live. Monitor your levels every month or two when the pool is not in use, adding chlorine and algaecide as needed. Bacteria and algae thrive in improperly balanced water. Taking the time to do these tasks now will result in a much smoother pool opening come spring!

Inspect the pool’s parts regularly. Perhaps your pool equipment is “out of sight, out of mind” when you are not using your pool, but you should still pay them some attention periodically to ensure that they remain in proper working order—particularly the filter, pump, and heater. Make sure any extra water has been removed, as frozen water can cause cracked pipes. If you are unsure about how to maintain your pool parts and equipment, contact a local pool dealer.

Monitor weather freeze alerts. If you live in an area of the country where your pool water could freeze, consider purchasing a digital timer with a temperature sensor that can alert you to dangerous temperatures. You can also get an app on your smartphone for quick access to all the latest weather updates. It can also alert you when the temperature falls below freezing.

If you live in a climate that allows you to keep the pool open year-round, you can reduce the amount of time you run the pump to reduce energy costs. A good rule of thumb is six to eight hours at a time. You should also test the water regularly. Ideally, winter pool pH levels should be between 7.4 and 7.6. It is essential to keep the water clean so that pool surfaces and equipment are not damaged, and remove debris immediately so it does not stain or damage the liner.

No matter whether you decide to close your pool for the winter or keep it open if the weather permits, maintain the pool and the water regularly. Come spring, you will be thankful that you did!