Who doesn’t love a home swimming pool? On hot days, a pool provides a cooling dip that is sure to ward away the summer heat. Pools can bring friends and family together for outdoor activities, too. Unfortunately, many pools are inefficient when it comes to energy uses. According to several studies, homes with pools use as much as 49% more electricity than homes without pools. Those extra electricity costs can add up to over $500 every year. Pumps, heaters, filters and circulation equipment can all suck up a serious amount of electricity. Thankfully, pool equipment manufacturers have introduced energy-efficient products that help lower utility costs, giving homeowners the ability to enjoy their pools without the guilt (or expense). Read on for tips on lowering pool energy costs and tips for an energy-efficient pool.
New Equipment to Save Energy
There have been incredible advances in pool equipment over the past decade. Manufacturers have developed pumps and heaters that use a fraction of the energy of older units, saving homeowners a lot of money.
High-efficiency pool pumps and solar pool heaters are a great way to reduce the utility costs associated with pool operation. An added bonus is that some of these energy-efficient upgrades can be financed through PACE lending. PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy, a program to provide low-cost financing for energy- and water-saving home improvements. Several lenders in California like YGrene and the HERO Program, provide this financing to homeowners for pool efficiency upgrades.
Low- or No-Cost Energy Saving Tips
New pool equipment can be expensive, even with innovative financing options made available to homeowners through PACE legislation. Luckily, there are ways you can save on utility costs, giving you the peace of mind that your pool isn’t wasting electricity.
The very best way to reduce energy is by using a pool cover when the pool is not in use. Pool covers have several benefits, including:
- Keeping the water warmer, reducing the need for expensive heating
- Keeping pool water cleaner and free of debris, reducing electricity costs of constant pumping and filtering
- Reducing evaporation into the atmosphere, which saves water
Pool Pump Tips
Another feature that may cost a bit of money but pays off quickly is to install a pump with variable speeds. Homeowners can reduce the pump speed when the pool is not in use, reducing electricity costs as well as wear and tear on the pool equipment. Pumps with timers can also reduce costs. Homeowners can set the pump timer to come on at different intervals throughout the day, reducing constant electricity costs and keeping the pool water fresh and clean.
It is also important to size pumps correctly. Most residential pools only need a pump with ¾ horsepower to operate efficiently. Installing a bigger pump is overkill and only wastes electricity; there is no real benefit to a big pump.