Energy Efficient Swimming Pools Can Save You and the Environment
Having a swimming pool is one of those luxuries you dream about, but you think that it could never happen. You think, “Even if I save enough money for the initial installation, I’ll never be able to afford to keep it clean and running.” Traditionally, you might have been right; swimming pools are notorious energy wasters. However, that doesn’t have to be the case anymore.
With advances in pump sizes and efficiency, attention to more efficient modes of heat transfer, and evaporation control, more and more people are building and maintaining energy efficient swimming pools that don’t wreak havoc on the environment or drive the power bill through the roof.
Heating Without Draining the Grid
Having an energy efficient swimming pool doesn’t mean losing the luxury amenities you associate with the best pools you’ve ever dipped your toes in. Instead, it means picking the best heat pump.
When shopping for a heat pump for your pool, think small and efficient. Pool heat pumps are rated by their coefficient of performance (COP) on a scale of about 3-6. Look for a pump with a COP of 5 or more, and you’ll be looking at a more efficient pump that will save you money on your electric bill. According to a study in Florida, installing an energy efficient pump saved pool owners up to 75% on their bills associated with pumping heat into their pools.
Evaporation is another huge energy waster for pools. For both indoor and outdoor pools, an estimated 70% of water loss is due to evaporation. You can decrease your water consumption and energy use and make your swimming pool a lot more energy efficient simply by covering it when it’s not in use.
In fact, if you have an outdoor pool, you can even go a step further with this and choose a cover that also acts as a solar collector. While the pool is covered, the solar collector will trap heat, reducing the need to use the heat pump when you uncover the pool and go for a swim. If you have an indoor pool, using a pool cover when the pool is not in use will greatly decrease your dehumidification and exhaust needs, which will lower your power bill significantly.
Whether you have an indoor or outdoor pool, limiting evaporation greatly reduces your water usage and your need to purchase pool chemicals to treat the water. And it’s a one-time cost. Once you’ve purchased the cover, it will start paying you back immediately.
Heat pumps aren’t the only pumps causing your electric bill heartaches. Even if you don’t have a heating system for your pool, the pump that pushes water through your filtration system can eat a lot of power every month. While you should look at a more energy efficient pump, the key here is your filtration system.
Your pool’s “turnover” refers to how often the entire volume of pool water has to be pumped through the filtration system. Using a larger, more efficient filter in combination with a properly sized, energy efficient pump and motor can make your pool a lot friendlier to your bank account.
So, if you have a pool that’s sending your energy bills through the roof, or if you want a pool but are afraid of the energy costs, have no fear. Existing pools can be upgraded and/or covered to increase energy efficiency, and all of these techniques – and more – can be applied to new pools when they’re installed. You can have the pool of your dreams, swim in it every day, and enjoy savings when you choose an energy efficient swimming pool.