I'm in TX, so the pool is open year 'round. Not sure I'd mess with it otherwise.
I have a chlorine puck feeder, but keep it fairly low, as I primarily use bleach (liquid chlorine), since the pucks leave cyanuric acid in the pool and the bleach doesn't.
We just switched to a robotic cleaner this year after our Polaris 280 blew a wheel. I like the robot, but I haven't seen a big increase in effectiveness.