5 Simple Ways To Make Your Pool More Energy Efficient
To make a home swimming pool more energy efficient doesn’t take a big renovation process. There are a number of cost effective steps which can make the pool work better and use less energy. Here are 5 great ways to make a pool more economical when it comes to energy:
1) A pool cover. One of the biggest energy savings for a home pool is to install some kind of pool cover. There are a range of choices, from a simple solar cover which looks like a big sheet of bubble wrap, to a more sophisticated model that unfolds with a push of the button. The main purpose of the cover is to cut down on evaporation, which is one of the biggest sources of energy use – water which has been through the filtration and heating systems has already consumed a lot of energy to prepare it for the pool. When that water flies into the air through evaporation, energy expenditure has just been wasted. When the pool is not in use, the cover will greatly reduce the evaporation loss, thus allowing the pool systems to use less energy.
2) A windbreak. Wind blowing over a swimming pool accelerates evaporation. A windbreak cuts down on the loss of water which has used energy to prepare it for use in the pool. If there is a fence around the pool, which is a good idea for safety reasons, installing a windbreak can be a minimal investment. Typically a windbreak will look like the screen that surrounds a tennis court, and is not a solid wall, but a semitransparent material that blends in with the background nicely.
3) An energy efficient pool pump. Research for PoolCenter.com revealed that many times the pump installed – especially on older pools – might be larger than it needs to be, and less efficient as well. Checking with an expert can determine how large a pump is needed for the size of the pool. Installing a smaller, more energy efficient pump, can still circulate the water properly, while using less energy. If the pump on a pool is older and it’s about time to replace it anyway, taking the time to find the proper pump size can result in substantial energy savings.
4) Pool pump timer. The purpose of a pool pump is to circulate the water. The goal is to accomplish that task while using as little energy use as possible. By installing a timer, the pump can be set to run just as long as is needed to completely circulate the water, and then shut off. It may take some experimentation to determine just how long is needed, by adjusting the amount of time the pump runs, then watching to see if the water is still circulated well and looks clean. As well, if there are rate differentials for off hours use of electricity, the pump can be scheduled to run during those hours, for additional energy savings.
5) Be regular about maintenance. Just like a car with a clogged air filter doesn’t run as smoothly, a pool with a filter jammed with leaves and debris doesn’t work as well. This translates to more energy needed to run the pool pump and the filter system. Keeping this from happening can start with the simple step of taking a skimmer to clean leaves out of the pool. Regularly washing down the sides and bottom of the pool will free debris to more easily be cleaned by the filtration system. Setting up a schedule to backwash the system, which involves reversing the water system, will clean out debris that has built up in the filter. Manually cleaning debris from the pool pump will assure that it works less to keep the water clean.
While being mindful of the pocketbook, there are still simple and effective ways to cut down on energy use at the family swimming pool. Taking time to evaluate the pool area and look for the places where energy is lost, which can be saved with a small change like a windbreak, can be a rewarding experience in the long run.
/ Becky Flanigan was an English major in college, and now uses those skills when writing freelance articles for PoolCenter.com. Becky enjoys spending time and travelling with her husband, three kids, and two golden retrievers. She spends many happy hours at the family swimming pool, watching the kids and dogs splash and play. She is also an avid gardener and even helps friends landscape and decorate their yards.