7 Tips for Energy Efficient Pool Maintenance

By Vernon Trollinger, June 30, 2014, Energy Efficiency, Green, Save Money

7 Tips for Energy Efficient Pool Maintenance

The average pool owner knows all-too-well the challenge of keeping their pools (and spas) clean. Many, however, are just beginning to learn how difficult and expensive that can be due to the amount of energy they’re using.  The two biggest energy-using components effecting cleanliness are the filter pump and the pool heater. In some pools, these are left on almost continuously, eating up 1-2 thousand watts per hour. That can get expensive very quickly.

So, to help keep your head above a rising tide of energy bills this summer, here’s 7 tips for energy efficient pool maintenance. Remember, when it comes to maintenance, it’s sometimes doing the little things that can be a real lifesaver.

  1. Don’t skip daily skimming. Prevent debris from clogging your filter  to keep the pump running smoothly and effectively.
  2. Do regular preventive maintenance. Change filters regularly: regularly swapping out dirty filters helps your filter pump work easier. If you use a sand filter, remember to back-flush it regularly.
  3. Run the pumping system less often. Keep it off until no one is using the pool. Typically, this can be late at night and will give you a good 6 hours of filtration, plus it will circulate the water more efficiently. Alternatively, if there’s a problem with too much debris, set up a timer to run the filter in shorter cycles through out the day.
  4. Invest in an EnergyStar Pool pump. EnergyStar qualified pool pumps average 30–72% more energy-efficient than regular pumps.These pumps must be capable of operating at (a minimum) of two speeds and rated between .5 to 4 HP. Reducing pump speed by one-half uses just 1/8 as much energy.
  5. Use  the sun for heat.  If you prefer a heated pool, invest in a solar-heating pool cover that warms the pool water when its not in use. Covering your pool also helps it retain heat, slows evaporation, and keeps out debris.
  6. Use your pool lights sparingly — they attract insects. Pool lights might look really cool but they might waste energy and attract bugs —which means you’ll need to clean them out of the pool and filter. If you use lights in your pool at night, connect them to a timer and /or motion sensor so that they are not always on when the pool is not in use late at night.
  7. Pool cleaning robots use less energy. Pool cleaning robots use low power motors to clean a pool automatically. Pool vacuums rely pool’s filtration pump — which is a high voltage system— uses lots of electricity; about 1,600 kWh/year . Switching to a re-chargeable pool robot to clean the pool 3 times a day uses about 200kWh/year. That means a robot can save you around $400/year PLUS save you the time and physical labor.

With any luck, these 7 tips will help you and your family make great strides toward energy efficient pool maintenance this summer and for years to come. If you have a favorite tip for lowering usage with your pool, please share it in the comments!

Pool image courtesy of Morguefile.com.

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About 

A native of Wyomissing Hills, PA, Vernon Trollinger studied writing and film at the University of Iowa, later earning his MA in writing there as well. Following a decade of digging in CRM archaeology, he now writes about green energy technology, home energy efficiency, DIY projects, the natural gas industry, and the electrical grid.

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