Swim into Energy-Savings: 7 Pool Energy-Efficiency Tips
A swimming pool is a wonderful addition to any home. It's a healthy outlet for exercise and the perfect setting for friendly gatherings and get-togethers.
Swimming pools and hot tubs use a great deal of energy, resulting in higher utility bills. Pool pumps, for example, can use more energy and cost more to run than all your home appliances combined.
Here are 7 energy-efficiency tips for your pool:
1. Install a variable-speed pool pump. ENERGY STAR-certified pumps can deliver savings of $300 or more over single-speed pumps, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Using a variable-speed pump also helps cut greenhouse gas emissions.
2. Install LED lighting. LED lights can save 80% or more over incandescent lights and last three times as long. You may also qualify for rebates from your utility company or other entities for switching to LEDs.
3. Maintain your cleaning system. Many people don't think about it even your cleaning system needs to be cleaned once in a while. Most pool builders offer maintenance plans to check your system and keep it in proper working order. This is something you should consider. A happy and clean cleaning system makes for a comfortable and clean swimming experience.
4. Turn down the heater. Maintain the most comfortable temperature you can without overheating. The Red Cross advises that swimming's healthiest temperature is 78 degrees, although many pools are kept much warmer. Most recreational swimming happens in 82- to 84-degree water, but keep in mind that raising your pool's temperature one-degree can cost an extra 10 to 30% in heating bills. If you must keep your pool heated above 80 degrees, do so for peak swimming times and promptly lower the heat. Better yet, experiment to see at which degree is just comfortable for swimming and keep recreational swimming temps at that point. Choosing a high-efficiency heater is another good move. High-efficiency heaters can reach 90% efficiency, which means substantial savings on energy bills.
5. Do a little preventative maintenance. Daily pool maintenance might sound tedious, but it certainly adds up to less overall money spent in the end. So, keep drain systems clear through periodic backwashing, reduce that pool temperature when no one is swimming, and clean your filter regularly. All of these tasks will keep your pool running efficiently and keep energy costs at bay. You might also consider the timing for some of these maintenance items. For instance, running the pool's filtration system at off-peak hours – when electricity demand is lower – can help reduce costs. Check with your utility for these off-peak times, which generally are between 8 PM and 10 AM.
6. Install an automatic pool cover. Not only does an automatic pool cover make your pool significantly safer, but it also helps prevent heat loss and evaporation even better than a windbreak.
7. Automate your pool operations. There is now technology that can automatically run your pool systems when energy costs are lower to help you optimize your energy use.