Is the pool heatable? All about heatable pools!

Is the pool at a specific place heatable?

Sometimes! We have a limited number of homes that have heatable pools. These homes WILL NOTE THIS in the listing. If it does not say anything about a heatable pool, then the homes’ pool is NOT heatable. Heatable pools are VERY rare along the Gulf Coast as they are very expensive to operate and maintain. However, we opted to add some as a trial at some of our homes.

Specifically, with the exception of Seafoam, ALL BEACHFRONT stand-alone homes currently have heatable pools.

Additionally, the Pearl and Wits End duplexes have heatable pools, as does East 11 Cottage G.

This can change at any time, with sand and salt (and bad guest behavior) wreaking havoc on the heaters….

How warm will it be?

The pool temperature will be set at 82 degrees. This is at the high side of recommended recreational pool temperatures. How “warm” this is, depends on a whole lot of circumstances, including ambient air temperature, age of the swimmers, and what folks are used to. I (one of the owners) have even gone from feeling cold one day to “my goodness, is the pool set too high” the next, even though it read 82 on both occasions (I got out to check!). These are heatable pools, not hot tubs, so you should expect that it will take the edge off, but depending on the outside temperatures, your personal preferences and what you are doing (playing? or trying to lounge with a beverage while wind whistles across the surface!?), it may feel anywhere from warm, luke warm, or luke cold. Most people love when it is heated–and off season it is truly unusable when it is not — except for stout psychopaths like myself….  There are the occasional folks who do not like it regardless, as its just not “warm enough” for them. Very young children will likely find it cold if it is cold outside. It can also feel ‘cold’ if it is VERY hot, since the pool will likely be cooler in summer than the beach and the gulf, but again MANY people also think the cooler pool (yet not COLD) in the summer is a perfect respite. Of note for this, the sheltered pools (under homes) are great in this regard, but definitely benefit from the heaters being on. Older kids. btw, in all cases, will likely spend all day in it at the set temp. But of course YMMV.

How do I add pool heating?

Pool heating is by request in advance and includes a market-based nightly surcharge. This surcharge is priced at the time that the heating is added not at the time the reservation is made. If you add it later, it may be more or less than an originally quoted amount. All the heaters are propane based and cost a significant amount to run. For the past year, this surcharge has varied from $35 (prior to all the crazy inflation) to $75 per night, and does vary somewhat by home and pool size as well.

When can I add pool heating?

Pool heating MUST be added at least 1 week prior to the stay. If you wait this long, however, you increase the risk that a pool heater may be down for service, as we schedule repairs whenever possible to coincide with times when the pool heat is NOT requested.

Can I add it last minute? Can I add it after we arrive?

While you CAN make the request right before arrival, or even during the stay, there are a couple things to keep in mind. First, it is VERY unlikely it will be able to be turned on immediately, or even over the weekend, if it is a weekend start. We make the request of the the third-party pool people to turn it on, and they are not usually available last minute. Second, regardless of when you add it, you will still be charged the nightly surcharge per day for the length of stay. Why? Because it still costs us to turn it on last minute, and often there is an additional trip charge cost too. Please just plan ahead. The bonus of planning ahead? We schedule it to be on before you arrive, so that it is up to temperature at the start of your stay. Note, once turned on, unless it is extremely cold, the pool should reach temperature in a few hours, or overnight.

Can I add pool heating for a portion of my stay?

Pool heating must be requested and paid for the length of stay. The only potential exception to this is for stays greater than 28 days where a guest would like to turn it on for a one week minimum subset of the overall stay, when perhaps other guests (grands?!) will arrive for a visit. If you have such a specific special situation, please inquire. In NO case will a stay of less than 10 days be permitted a shorter heated pool duration.

I am coming as a 28+ day stay, can I have it on the whole time?

Yes. However, as with any other stay, it is subject to the nightly surcharge. Month long runs for last year were over $1500 in gas costs alone for long term stays. And that was before gas prices spiked ever further! Additionally, while we do our best to keep them running, winter months can be very hard on the pool heaters when run 24/7 for long periods, so operation is not guaranteed.

What if it doesn’t feel “warm enough.” Can you set it higher? Can I get a refund?

No, and no. However, the first thing we will want to do is ensure that the pool heater is actually on and working and that the temp is reaching the target. While rare, it is possible it was not turned on or is having a problem (electrical surges, guests, all sorts of things can cause them to stop). Many pools will have a thermometer you can check. It also, for most seasons, is truly apparent when it is not on at all. If you can get in, it is no doubt working. Off season it is truly polar plunge. I do it, the rest of my family not so much…  Note, it is not unusual for there to be a 1-2 degree various high or low during the stay as a pool heater works like your home HVAC and will come on at trigger points and turn off. But if its set at the target, and reads at the target on the heater, its functioning per spec.

What if the pool heater is NOT working during my stay? Is pool heating guaranteed? Do I get a refund?

Pool heating is not guaranteed. However, if you requested and paid for the pool to be heated well ahead of time, and the pool heater is confirmed to be inoperable for whatever reason, you will be provided a pro-rata refund of the pool heating surcharge for days it was not working, or a full refund of those fees if it was for length of stay. Salt and sand, external weather conditions, and bad guest behavior (tampering), can all cause unforeseeable loss of operation of this amenity, sadly. Refund of the pool heating fees are the guests’ sole remedy for any such loss of access to the pool heating.

Can I adjust the pool heater or other pool equipment?

NO. Tampering with the pool heater or other pool equipment is explicitly noted as a breach of contract in your rental agreement (and on signage on the equipment itself) and modification is blocked on the heaters. It is subject to a penalty and to expenses for damages. We have had guests mess with the devices and burn out the heaters or at best run the propane tanks out (each pool heater is gas, and runs off a tank, with deliveries based on expected usage but if the heaters are messed with and set at increased temperatures, the tanks will run dry). As above, if the pool is very cold, reach out and we can have someone check it for you.

Is pool heating worth it?

This of course is very specific to YOU and your guests. But for my family, for what its worth, we use the pool when it is heated, and all but but would not do so otherwise during off season. Even I only do the polar plunge a few times in a week when staying at one of our places without one, or when it is offline. During summer, and warm spring and fall days, its still worth it to us, especially at the homes with pools fully or partially sheltered underneath, as it is a small price to pay for significantly warmer water temperatures (those pools will almost always be easily under 75, and over under 70, even 60 or more depending on the ambient temps!). So, 82 is a big jump. Is it ‘warm enough’ for you? That is a personal decision, and, as noted above, quite subject to personal preferences and external conditions. However, I can safely say even with those folks: if you don’t like it at the heated temp, you absolutely wouldn’t be able t dip a toe in at the ‘natural’ temp!

Send us a note on any of your reservation messaging to inquire about adding it to your stay. We can quote the current cost, and get it added no problem!

Thank you, and have a great stay!