Energy Efficient Swimming Pools - Green Pool
Make your Pool Go GREEN - In a good way!
We all are hearing more and more about living ‘Green' by developing environmentally friendly living routines. Everyday more options and alternative building methods come to the foreground. Swimming in a "Green" pool is definitely within reach. Both existing and newly built pools can be environmentally friendly with just a few tweaks.
There are also many things you can do that reduce your energy impact and also save you money. Here are the most important ones to look at.
- Your Pump - make sure it is on a timer. Reduce your run time in the winter to save on your power bill. You might run your pump 8 hours a day if it is a gunite pool and 4 hours a day if it is a fiberglass pool.
- Your Pump Part II - look into a variable speed pump. This pump runs at a lower speed to circulate, sanitize and filter your water. The pump can be ‘kicked up' to a higher speed to run your water features. California and many other states are mandating the use of two-speed pumps. Spend a little bit now to save for years to come. You'd be amazed at the potential savings. Check out a calculation of the savings (http://www.pentairpool.com/pool_pump_calc/index.htm)
- Pool Heating - There are three main ways to heat your pool.
Gas can be used to heat a spa quickly but it is not recommended for a pool - it would be too expensive in many parts of the country
Electric heat pumps are very efficient for heating your pool. States now are requiring pool heat pumps have a higher C.O.P rating. A C.O.P. is the coefficient of performance which is analogous to the SEER ratings of air conditioning units. The higher the C.O.P. the better. Of course, there needs to be heat in the air for the heat pump to 'steal' to heat the pool. If you are in a cold climate, the heat pump might not make sense.
Finally, solar heating is used to heat pools. There is nothing like the virtually free cost of operation for you to really love the warmth of a solar heated pool.
Regardless of the method of heating you may use - remember that a pool cover is essential for keeping the heat in your pool during the night as temperatures dip. Also, if you are having a pool built, consider skipping the screen altogether and going with fencing. Not only do you save some money on the construction, but you have a pool that is 2-3 degrees warmer. In much of the country 2-3 degrees means weeks to your swim season.
As an aside, we should also all be looking at solar water heaters for our in-house consumption. Saving money in the pool or at the shower is still money saved. Visit our website www.mymermaidpool.com for more ideas on pool projects.
- Chlorine Generators (Salt Systems) - If you have a gunite pool, a chlorine generator is a must. These devices take salt and through electrolysis, make sodium and chloride which is what sanitizes the water. Because of the great demand for chlorine in a gunite pool, this investment will pay off in several years. For fiberglass pools, because they use far less chlorine, this added expense is not required (but if you don't like chlorine tablets.............)
- Piping - If you are building a pool, make sure your builder understands hydraulics. In our studies of drain-free pools (http://www.allbusiness.com/environment-natural-resources/ecology/5471798-1.html) we have learned how to efficiently circulate water in a way that reduces the wear and tear on your pump AND the length of the runtime on your pump system too. A pool with properly sized piping is one of the many small things that show the difference between pool builders.
Finally, cleaning your skimmer and filter are also helpful so that your pool can accomplish the filtration and sanitization without straining the pump. While you are at it, go change your AC filter in your house (and your car too).
Taken together, these small steps can help you save money and reduce your energy consumption for your pool. Aside from the pool itself, what could be more fun?