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4 Best Ways to Make Your Pool Energy Efficient and Eco-Friendly


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4 Best Ways to Make Your Pool Energy Efficient and Eco-Friendly

Whether you’re concerned about the environmental impact of maintaining your pool or just looking to save some money on your monthly energy bill, there are more options than ever when designing an energy efficient pool. Here are the reasons why you should strive to be eco-friendly and the best methods and products to achieve your goal:

Why Go Energy Efficient?

Reduce Costs

You’ll save money. Energy-efficient pool appliances always pay for themselves in reduced electric bills, and then continue to save money for years to come. By choosing pool equipment such a variable speed pump or pool cover, and by establishing good habits like lowering the pool heater when not in use and proper preventative maintenance, costs to a pool owner can be greatly decreased.

Cut Down on Energy Waste and Save Water

Almost all of a pool’s heat loss—about 95 percent—occurs at the surface, mostly through evaporation to the air and radiation to the sky. By using a pool cover to prevent heat and water loss, the amount of chemical water treatment will also be reduced. A multispeed or energy efficient pool pump can also significantly reduce the power consumption of a swimming pool by over 65%.

Tax Incentives and Rebates

Did you know that some states offer tax incentives and rebates for homeowners that purchase energy efficient pool appliances? Check to see what incentives and rebates are available in your state.

4 Main Steps to an Energy Efficient Pool

You can save money and the environment with an energy-efficient pool—the choice is obvious. Here are the 4 best ways to make your pool eco-friendly:

Prevent Water Evaporation – The U. S. Department of Energy has found that water evaporation is overwhelming the single largest source of energy over consumption, accounting for 70% of total energy lost in both outdoor and indoor pools. With evaporating water goes much of a swimming pool’s heat. For every gallon of water that evaporates it takes with it over 8,500 BTUs, and a typical pool loses 1 to 1 ½ inches of water a week.

Use an Efficient Pump, Heater, and Filter – Upgrading to a variable speed pool pump is one of the best ways to make your pool energy efficient because it slows down the speed the pump motor must work. This means your pump is not only eco-friendlier, it’s also quieter! You’ll also want to make sure your pool heater BTUs aren’t overmatched for your pool and your filter is big enough that the pump doesn’t have to work extra hard.

Install Windbreaks – Outdoor swimming pool owners and operators should consider the appropriateness of installing windbreaks as even modest winds increase evaporation rates. A mere 7mph wind on the swimming pool surface can increase energy consumption by 300%! Windbreaks should be tall enough and close enough to the pool to limit air turbulence over the pool surface. A wall, a screen, a solid fence, or a fence with plant cover should do the trick.

Solar Technology – Another way to save energy is to harness the power of the sun. Solar heaters and solar covers (also called solar blankets) absorb thermal energy from the sun to warm your pool water. Solar Heaters use energy collecting panels and are good for heating your pool during the day. And at night, solar covers will keep your pool warm by trapping the sun’s rays with their bubble wrap-like air pockets.

Other Ways to Make Your Pool Efficient

  • 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 you can keep heating costs down that way.
  • If you use your pool only on weekends, reduce your heater or heat pump thermostat settings by 8-10º during the week.
  • When leaving for vacation for more than a week, unless freezing temperatures are expected, turn off the pool heater or heat pump.
  • According to the American Red Cross, the most healthful swimming temperature is 78º F. Reducing your heater or heat pump thermostat to maintain a 78º or lower temperature will also help conserve energy.
  • Reduce pump speed to reduce energy use. A slower pump reduces power consumption.
  • Run your pool’s filtration system during off-peak hours when electricity demand is lower – generally between 8pm and 10am. Variable Speed Pool Pumps will save energy and reduce noise so they can be ran comfortably at night.
  • Keep intake grates clear of debris. Clogged drains require the pump to work harder.
  • 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.
  • LED Lightning. LED lights are not only a stylish trend in pools and landscaping, they can save you around $100 dollars a year compared to the incandescent versions. The customizable colors and effects are just a plus!
  • Pool Timers. While automatic pool times won’t save you money directly, they will make it easier to manage your pump and filter usage by setting a schedule. The timer will turn off the power going to your filter system at specific intervals and turn it back on later.

Efficient Pool Equipment

Looking for the best in energy-efficient equipment? Here are our suggestions for eco-friendly products:

Pumps

Pentair Intellibrite

Pentair Intelliflo

When Pentair first introduced IntelliFlo variable speed technology, it set off a marketplace revolution with its energy efficiency, near-silent operation, and long service life.

Hayward EcoStar

Hayward Ecostar

EcoStar has earned an Energy Star rating and is the industry’s most energy efficient variable-speed pump, thanks to a super-efficient permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan-cooled (TEFC) motor and industry-leading hydraulic design.

Lights

Pentair Intellibrite

Pentair IntelliBrite

Pentair’s most energy-efficient offering. Can be controlled remotely; compatible with smart devices.

Hayward ColorLogic

Hayward ColorLogic

Includes 10 color options and 11 pre-programmed light shows. Very bright.

Jandy HydroCool

Jandy HydroCool

Designed to run cooler and last longer. These lights are a little smaller and come with optional accessories such as rim covers in shapes like quarter-moons and half-moons.

Heaters

Eti 400 Heater

Eti 400 Heater

This heat exchanger is the "longest lasting heat exchanger ever built" (the longer it lasts, the less resources that are needed over-time to replace). It’s 96% thermal efficient, so more heat gets into pool water faster. It’s able to use natural or propane gas which is better than energy from power grids that can be coal-fired (less emissions).

Filters

Clean & Clear Plus Filters

These filters have a corrosion-resistant, injection-molded, fiberglass-reinforced, polypropylene filter tank featuring superior strength and reliability. The cartridge assembly uses four, nonwoven, polyester cartridges. There is no need for backwashing. Simply remove the cartridges and rinse with a garden hose, reducing water consumption.

Energy Efficiency – Not just for pools!

It is also possible to make your hot tub energy efficient. Portable hot tubs are more energy efficient than in-the-ground hot tubs because they are better insulated and usually have covers. If you have a typical portable hot tub, your heater will heat water 10 degrees in about 8 hours. If you use your hot tub once a week, lowering the temperature 3 degrees when not in use will save you approximately 5-10% of your hot tub heating costs; if you use the hot tub less often, your savings could be even greater. Don't run the jets unless you are using your hot tub. The mixture of water and air is great for relaxing the muscles, but it cools the water quickly. Hot tub covers are important. Be sure to leave the cover on until you are ready to use your hot tub and replace when you're finished. Remember that the heat that escapes is the heat you must pay to replace.