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What Size Pool Chiller Do I Need?

  • 7 min read

You’re ready to harness the cooling power of a pool chiller to make your swimming pool comfortable once again. But in order to truly beat the heat, proper sizing cannot be overlooked.

So, what size pool chiller do I need? We’re here to help you find out. There are quite a few factors to consider along the way, though, like the size of your pool, your climate, and usage patterns. 

That’s why your best bet is to get in touch with us for a personalized recommendation or use this sizing chart below. 

As the #1 choice for swimming pool chillers for sale, we’re here to help you make the right choice with confidence. Take all the stress out of cooling your pool today!

Why Invest in a Pool Chiller?

Investing in a pool chiller is one of the best decisions you can make to enhance your swimming experience if you live in a hot region where your pool rises above the optimal temperature. 

Without one of these, your pool would be a larger hot tub without the jets! 

Or, maybe you’re looking to create a cold plunge pool for all the health benefits it has to offer. 

Whatever the case, if you’re still on the fence about adding a pool cooler to your home, here’s why it’s worth every penny:

  • Enhanced Swimming Comfort: A pool chiller maintains an optimal temperature to keep your pool inviting and enjoyable even during the hottest days. Whether you use your pool for relaxation, exercise, or entertaining guests, it prevents the water from becoming uncomfortably warm so every swim is refreshing.
  • Prolonged Swimming Season: Most of the models we carry here at Outdoor Direct are actually pool heater chiller combos, which allow you to maintain a consistent and comfortable temperature year-round. You can start using your pool earlier in the spring and continue enjoying it well into the fall. This means more time for fun, exercise, and relaxation!
  • Protection of Pool Equipment: High water temperatures accelerate the wear and tear on your pool equipment. Pumps, filters, and other components can suffer from increased strain, leading to more frequent maintenance and a shorter lifespan. A pool chiller helps protect your investment and eliminates the frustration of downtime.

This is a smart investment that pays off in comfort, longevity, and efficiency. There’s no question you need one for your home. It’s just a matter of sizing your pool chiller and placing your order.

What Size Pool Chiller Do I Need?

So, what size pool chiller do I need? We’ll help you pinpoint the ideal size for your specific pool and climate below - but first, let’s quickly explain why size matters so much.

The Importance of Proper Swimming Pool Chiller Sizing

Just like with pool heat pump sizing, there’s no worse mistake you can make than picking a pool chiller that’s too small. 

You’ll end up paying thousands when it’s all said and done only to discover that it’s not actually bringing your pool down to the temperature you want. The unit won’t last nearly as long, either, as it has to work overtime to even try and maintain the ideal conditions in your pool.

That’s not to say that the answer is as simple as picking the biggest unit possible, though. This leads to unnecessary energy consumption and costs. 

Meanwhile, the Goldilocks zone of pool chiller sizing is where you unlock all the benefits a cooler has to offer at the lowest price possible. It ensures consistency and longevity. So, here’s how to size your pool chiller.

How to Size Your Pool Chiller to Perfection

The two most important things to consider are the size of your pool and your climate. With these two factors in mind, it’s just a matter of picking the solution that gets your pool to the optimal temperature. 

Calculating Pool Volume

You may already know exactly how much water is in your pool. If not, you’ll need to calculate the volume of water you’re trying to cool. Here’s the formula for a rectangular pool:

Volume (gallons) = Length (ft) × Width (ft) × Average Depth (ft) ×7.5

For circular pools, the formula is:

Volume (gallons) = Radius (ft)2 Average Depth (ft) × 5.9

Determining Cooling Requirements

Once you have the pool volume, the next step is to determine the cooling requirements. This involves understanding the desired temperature drop and the heat load, which is influenced by factors like sunlight exposure, pool cover usage, and ambient temperatures.

A general rule of thumb is that a pool chiller needs to provide 1 ton of cooling (12,000 BTUs) for every 20,000 gallons of water for a temperature drop of about 10 degrees Fahrenheit. 

However, this can vary based on specific conditions and preferences. Again, use our size guide on the product page of any cooler for guidance on this.

Climate Considerations

As you can imagine, the local climate significantly impacts the chiller size you need. In hotter climates, a larger capacity chiller may be required to achieve and maintain the desired pool temperature. 

It’s not just about the temperature, though. Humidity plays an important role too. A mild climate will always need a smaller chiller than a hot, humid environment.

So, What Size Pool Chiller Do I Need?

Still not sure which pool cooler size you need? Here’s a recommendation for the three different AquaCal chiller models we carry based on pool size and desired ambient temperature:

Like we said from the start, though, you don’t have to play the guessing game in sizing your pool. Professional guidance is just a click or call away at Outdoor Direct!

Other Things to Consider Before Making Your Decision

We hope you have a clear understanding of what size pool chiller you need at this point. But before you actually place your purchase, there are a few other things you should consider to make sure you’re getting the perfect solution.

Initial and Ongoing Costs

Pool chiller prices vary widely based on their capacity, brand, and features. While it might be tempting to opt for a less expensive model, consider the long-term energy efficiency and reliability of the unit. 

Higher-end models may have a larger upfront cost but can save money over time through lower energy consumption and fewer maintenance issues. This is something we talk about more extensively in our guide on pool chiller cost.

Ongoing costs include energy usage, maintenance, and potential repairs. Energy-efficient models, though possibly more expensive initially, tend to have lower operational costs. It's also important to account for regular maintenance expenses to keep the chiller running efficiently and to extend its lifespan. 

Installation Requirements

Some pool chillers are easier to install than others, potentially allowing for DIY installation if you have some technical know-how. 

But like we said in our guide to pool heat pump installation, we rarely suggest DIY as it can affect performance and longevity while being downright dangerous in some cases. Thus, you should have a budget in place to get the unit installed professionally, too.

Beyond the cost of installation, you need to account for where you’re going to install the unit you choose as well. Chillers need adequate airflow to function efficiently. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation space to ensure the location you have in mind aligns. 

Other Features 

Size is just one piece of the puzzle. Some chillers have intuitive, unique features that enhance their functionality and ease of use.

Control features, for instance, allow you to easily adjust settings and monitor performance. Many modern chillers come with digital control panels, remote controls, or smartphone connectivity.

Heating capabilities are another feature to consider. Some pool chillers also offer heating functions, providing a dual-purpose solution that can maintain your pool at a comfortable temperature year-round. 

This is beneficial in regions that experience harsh winters and summers, as it eliminates the need for separate pool heat pumps and chillers. It essentially extends your swimming season so you can start earlier and end later.

Other features might include noise reduction technologies, which ensure the unit operates quietly, and corrosion-resistant components that extend the life of the chiller. 

Take your time shopping around and figure out what matters most to you in a chiller, follow our sizing guidelines, and then, discover the perfect chiller at Outdoor Direct!

The Perfect Size Pool Chiller is a Few Clicks Away at Outdoor Direct!

We’re your one-stop shop for all things outdoor enjoyment, whether you need an AquaCal pool heater or chiller. This is our most popular manufacturer with more than 40 years of experience producing the finest equipment in the industry. 

The TropiCool series makes it easier and more affordable than ever to maintain a refreshing, enjoyable swimming temperature year-round. These units work consistently across climates and can chill as low as 40°F!

All the while they conserve water and electricity, costing approximately $0.75 an hour. They’re equipped with a titanium heat exchanger that won’t fall victim to harsh water chemistry. You’ll also love the SMART control panel and PoolSync features that put you in complete control.

We also have chiller heat combos from AquaCal along with other brands like Gulfstream or Madmiack if you’re looking for something more budget-friendly. 

Across our entire catalog, you’ll gain access to the lowest prices online through our price-matching policy. We even cover the shipping charges and sales tax (exclusions apply).

All of this is backed by world-class customer service every step of the way, from helping you choose the right model and sizing your pool chiller to perfection to helping you troubleshoot issues, navigating warranty claims, and more. 

So, shop now and invest in the pool cooler you need for maximum outdoor enjoyment, or get in touch for one-on-one assistance picking your chiller today!

Final Thoughts on Pool Cooler Sizing

So, what size pool chiller do I need? Pairing our intuitive size guide with your unique pool specifications and climate considerations makes it easy to confidently size your unit.

But still, there’s no need to play the guessing game with a purchase this big. Just get in touch with our experts here at Outdoor Direct and we’ll point you in the right direction so you don’t have to deal with the frustration of improper sizing.

Take the first step toward making your outdoor oasis the most comfortable, refreshing experience in the neighborhood today!