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Energy Efficient Swimming Pools - Green Pool

Updated on September 19, 2013

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 (

  1. 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 for more ideas on pool projects.

  1. 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.............)

  1. Piping - If you are building a pool, make sure your builder understands hydraulics. In our studies of drain-free pools ( 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?


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    • profile image

      Scooter 7 years ago

      The use of variable spped pumps can dramatically cut energy usage. I have seen some estimates of up to 90% less electricity usage, and even though that was by the pump manufacturer, most people at least agree that it fosters significant savings.

    • profile image

      Kenny  7 years ago

      There are a lot of great options for pool heating out there. The heaters are becoming more and more energy efficient. has a bunch at wholesale price. They also offer free shipping and I've heard a lot of great things.

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 8 years ago from Holly, MI

      Very helpful hub!!

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      Maria 8 years ago


      If you run your pump all day, the skimmer should be able to handle the tree debris for the most part, but if it's a great deal of debris, you'll just have to skim it out the old fashioned way. By hand. We don't skim our pool by hand unless we're tidying up the pool or want to swim in it. Pool is 9 years old so the newness of skimming has worn off! :) In the winter time we get more leaves from trees, but nothing major. It's basically like vacuuming your carpets. Some people vacuum all the time, and others on special occasions...we fall somewhere in between, closer to the special occasion!

      Hope that answered your question.

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      Karen Reader 8 years ago

      How many times a day do you guys have to skim your pool? I'm fine with twice but my neighbor's tree has him skimming 3-4 times daily.

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      Maria Slaby 8 years ago

      Thank you! Congratulations on building a pool. You'll love it!

      Make sure you check out this link concerning main drains. If you already have only a single drain or even dual drains, you need to be extremely diligent in upkeep of those drain covers. Make sure to have a pool professional inspect those covers every year. The plastic gradually deteriorates and screws become loose. You can also reverse those drains and turn them into inlets (returns) or cap them off entirely. Just need your pool pro to do a simple hydraulics calculation to determine adequate water flow rate and turnover. It's not difficult. Most residential pools never needed a drain in the first place. As well as spas. No need. And extremely dangerous in spas because they're so shallow and kids love to explore! Skimmers can supply the pump with all it needs.

      Enjoy your pool!!

    • profile image

      Casey Ollson 8 years ago

      Although your hub is a few years old, it's still timely today. I recently installed a pool and am looking for a way to save money and respect the environment.

    • profile image

      Maria Slaby 8 years ago

      Thank you for your kind words!

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      swimming pool designs 8 years ago

      Nice Tips and nicely cited too. And for having a luxury swimming pool at home, you always need to keep greenery around the pool. Then its looks awesome.

      Cheers to your post. Keep it up.-

    • profile image

      Alex V 9 years ago

      Great information! Very good tips on how we all can make our swimming pools go "Green" and save us some money on the electric bill. If you get a chance check out my <a href="">Intex swimming pools</a> site.