Save energy with proper swimming pool equipment

| by Rebecca Flanigan
Save energy with proper swimming pool equipment

When the kids are in the pool splashing around, it’s easy to smile and be glad that you bought a house that already had a swimming pool. But you’re conscious of making that pool run efficiently, and wonder how you can make that pool more eco-friendly by using less energy. Depending on the budget, it may take some time to make the necessary changes, but here are some great directions:

Energy efficient pump. The purpose of the pump is to circulate water and keep it fresh, and send water through the filtration system to clean it. The question to evaluate is – how big a pump do we need for the pool we own? Many times the pump is bigger than it needs to be. Have a professional calculate the dimensions of the pool, and determine the right sized pump that is needed. When the pump needs to be replaced, don’t just swap it out for the same model – install a more energy efficient pump of the proper size. That way you’ll circulate the water, but with energy savings.

Pump timer. It’s not necessary to run a pool pump all the time. Many pools can be properly circulated in about 8 hours, and that’s where a timer can prove really handy. Find out the recommended settings for a pool your size, to determine how long the pump needs to run in order to properly circulate the water. Set the timer for that length of time. Now you can tweak the settings and experiment with shortening the pump cycle with the timer, to see how long is needed for the water to circulates well. Once you determine that, your pump work will run the most efficiently. If there are energy price breaks for off peak usage, you can set the pump to run during that time, for additional energy savings.

Solar heating. A solar heating system will cut down enormously on the energy needed to heat the pool. A big factor to consider when considering a solar system – where to put the panels. They will need maximum exposure to the sun to work properly. If there is a roof area that can support the weight, and is near enough to the pool, that’s an ideal solution. The use of solar eliminates the need for more energy intensive heating solutions like gas or heat pump pool heaters.

Solar heating for your pool

Solar pool cover. Once of the biggest losses of heat from a swimming pool is through evaporation. The pool heating system brings the water to the proper temperature, and if it evaporates, you’ve lost not only the water, but the energy used to heat that water. There are many types of pool covers that can resolve this problem. The simplest is a cover that unfolds just like a sheet of bubble wrap to lay on top of the pool. The more expensive and sophisticated models can include custom designed covers which can roll out by pushing a button.

A windbreak. The wind blowing across your pool can greatly increase evaporation. A windbreak can greatly reduce that loss. Similar to the netting on the fences around tennis courts, this mesh is semitransparent, and can be installed on the fence around a pool. This minimal one time expenditure can greatly reduce energy usage over time.

There are some great resources which give more information about swimming pools and energy efficiency. Here is one article with practical tips about making the pool more efficient, another on operating an eco-friendly pool, and a third with some great explanations about heat transfer and evaporation. As you work to improve the energy efficiency of your pool, you can feel great satisfaction at trending in a more eco-friendly direction.

Becky Flanigandoesn’t like to be bored, so she maintains a busy schedule. She spends mornings writing articles for, then gets out to play tennis, or has a rowdy and laugh filled lunch with “the girls.” Her evenings are spent going to the movies, or sports events.

Topics: Water Saving Devices

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