As we turn the corner towards the end of the year, many pool owners are looking to extend their days swimming. However, those cool days and nights late in the pool season inevitably have owners looking for ways to minimize their heating bills. If that describes you, you’re in luck. There are a number of steps you can take to make your pool more energy efficient.
Top 10 Tips for Cutting Pool Energy Consumption
As you design your new pool or make plans to upgrade your existing one, keep these 10 strategies in mind:
- Pick the right finish. Darker colored pool finishes absorb the sun’s rays, and that energy helps heat your pool. While not everyone wants a dark finish, if you’re on the fence and want to keep heating costs down, it’s the way to go.
- Create a natural windbreak. For many people, pool landscaping is often an afterthought. However, planting a hedge, building a berm, or creating some other form of windbreak can help lower heat loss, which in turn lowers energy costs. It also helps decrease the evaporation of water that you’ve already heated, here again providing savings.
- 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.
- Optimize your pool’s plumbing. It’s surprising how often pipes that are too narrow or plumbing runs that include too many tight turns are designed into a pool’s core systems, causing the pump to work harder than it has to.
- Use advanced heating technology. From high-efficiency heaters to options like solar hot water panels to the concept of “deep heating” (i.e. designing systems to heat from the bottom up), there are a number of new technologies available for heating pool water more energy efficiently.
- Install an automatic pool cover. Not only does an automatic pool cover make your pool significantly safer, it helps prevent heat loss and evaporation even better than a windbreak.
- Use larger pool filters. Larger filters have a bigger surface area through which water can flow, which means your pump doesn’t have to work as hard to move the same volume of water. Not only does this lower the pump’s energy consumption, it can extend the life of the pump which saves you money as well.
- 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 definitely something you should consider. A happy and clean cleaning system makes for a happy and clean swimming experience.
- 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.
- 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.
Insights on Energy Innovation
For more than 65 years, we’ve been pioneers and innovators in the field of pool products. If you have questions about the latest approaches for improving energy efficiency, or other areas related to pool ownership be sure to browse our pool maintenance section.
Editor’s note: Originally posted 1/2017. Updated for relevance and clarity.