Easy steps to avoid pool maintenance costs\u00a0 There\u2019s nothing much better than spending a hot summer\u2019s day in your own backyard pool. But there\u2019s nothing worse than going outside on a hot summer\u2019s day to find your pool neglected, the dirty water uninviting and the pool itself deteriorating from lack of care. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn\u2019t take much to maintain your swimming pool. A regular cleaning routine can be the difference between having a healthier, longer-lasting pool or one that\u2019s damaged from neglect and requires hefty maintenance costs to get it back up to scratch. Here at Australian Outdoor Living, we\u2019ve devised five easy steps to reduce maintenance costs for your swimming pool. Step 1. Install the proper equipment at the outset. You may find it appealing to cut costs when you\u2019re just installing your pool. It can be a big financial commitment (although the benefits are endless!). But before you decide to skimp on the extras, beware! Skipping out on some important essentials can lead to future costly blowouts. Really, the choice is yours to add extras to your basic pool model. But the benefits of better quality will make all the difference if you want your pool to last, hassle-free. Choosing fibreglass pools over concrete is one sure-fire way of ensuring durability. Fibreglass flexes as the earth moves, meaning that it is resistant to cracking and leaking, unlike concrete. Voila, no need to call in the expensive repairman to fix any structural problems! In that scorching Aussie sun, it\u2019s also important to get materials that are going to withstand the heat and harmful UV rays. For example, our range of Barrier Reef Pools comes with a smooth gel-coat finish made to hold out against the sun. Plus the layer of Derakane epoxy vinyl ester resin in pools protects against attack by chemical agents and corrosion, which means no need for repainting! It may also be worth your while buying a pool with an in-ground cleaning and circulation system. It keeps the bottom of the pool almost entirely clean with very little effort from you, so you have more time to enjoy in the water. Another extra you may want to have for your pool is a pool cover. Simple as it sounds and looks, a pool cover can dramatically cut down on both maintenance costs and the time you spend just cleaning your pool. Pool covers save water and electricity, because you don\u2019t have to heat up the pool every time you want to go in it. They also reduce the amount of dirt and debris that gets into the water, easing up undue stress on the filter system (and again, saving you time manually removing debris). Step 2. Maintain the correct water chemical balance Most recurring problems with pools come from not maintaining the correct balance of water chemicals. We know, it sounds and looks like complex science, which is the last thing you want to be involved in when all you actually want to do is enjoy a splash in the summer sun! But keeping your chemical balance right is possibly the most important thing you can do with your pool \u2013 and doing it consistently means fewer problems later. For example, you need the right amount of chlorine in your pool to kill off any lingering bacteria, algae, viruses and microorganisms. It also eliminates grease and oil, which can damage your pool system. The right chemical balance \u2013 including pH levels and chlorine \u2013 means your water stays cleaner. And cleaner water means less time and expense scrubbing off dirt and algae accrued on the sides and bottom and in the pool\u2019s filter. Keeping on top of your chemical balance will reduce your overall cost for pool chemicals. Today maintaining chemical balance is easy; you just need chemical composition test strips from your local pool supply store. The instructions spell out in detail how you can correct any imbalance based on the colour codes on your strip. Less work for you and at less expense \u2013 sounds like a win-win! Step 3. Keep your pool at the right temperature We\u2019ve already mentioned above the benefit of having a pool cover. It keeps the heat in so that you don\u2019t have to blow out electricity bills just to heat your pool up. It\u2019s amazing the costs you can save if you can keep your pool at the right temperature all the time. That includes turning it down in winter when it won\u2019t be used (unless you\u2019re one of the lucky ones living in the Aussie tropics!). Even if you decrease your pool temperature by just a few degrees, that translates as substantial savings on the electricity bill. Step 4. Clean, clean, clean! Cleaning your pool regularly is perhaps the best thing you can do to keep your pool maintenance costs down. If you skim debris out of your pool daily, you\u2019re keeping it out of the filter. And keeping the filter clean can prevent a host of costly problems from happening. You can backwash or remove and hose off your filter system about every two weeks or so to remove anything that could otherwise clog the system and need costly repairs. Most pool jobs are relatively simple. Use a hand-held pool skimmer or leaf net to remove leaves and bugs floating on top of the water. Invest in a pool cleaner or vacuum to catch the grime you can\u2019t reach and sweep around the pool area so leaves and twigs don\u2019t blow back into the water. It\u2019s even worth considering your surroundings. If you find you have trees or bushes nearby that continually shed pollen, blossoms, petals and leaves in the water, consider trimming them regularly. Better yet, you may want to replace them with tidier species or perhaps even landscape around the pool with a deck or tiles to minimize the amount of work you need to do. Step 5. Be consistent It doesn\u2019t mean much if you practice any of these steps whenever you fancy. Most costly pool problems come from poor maintenance practices, of which neglect is pretty high up on the list. Your pool is an investment as well as a luxury in your home. Just as your need to attend to your car with oil refills and a regular wash, so too do you need to care for your pool on a regular basis. If you don\u2019t fill your car with petrol, it stalls. If you don\u2019t balance the chemicals in your pool and consistently remove excess debris, your pool will likely suffer. But the good news is it doesn\u2019t take much to appease your pool \u2013 and in the long run a little bit of care goes a long, long way. Look after your pool today and you\u2019ll save money later. And that knowledge will give you the peace of mind to relax and recline in the Aussie summer sun! Want to know more? Australian Outdoor Living\u00a0is passionate about helping people love their life outdoors. We offer a range of products, including: \tOutdoor blinds \tArtificial grass \tRoller shutters \tConcrete\u00a0and\u00a0fibreglass\u00a0swimming pools \tCarports \tTimber decking \tPergolas, verandah and patios Have you been thinking about renovating your home? Fill out the free measure and quote form at the top of this article and a member of our dedicated sales team will be in touch.