Greening your Swimming Pool

Funny little girl swims in a pool in an yellow life preserver
If your pool is an energy hog, it may be time to make a few changes that can reduce your summer energy consumption and save money. Your pool pump is potentially using more energy than any other home appliance with over 2,000 watts or more for a 1.5- or 2-horse motor. There are ways to mitigate unnecessary pool energy consumption and small investments now can save you tons of money in the long run.

Variable Speed Pumps

Buying the right pump for the job is essential when conserving energy and a variable-speed pump can save you up to 55% of your energy costs. From the US energy Department guidelines: “The two-speed pump uses an induction motor and is basically two motors in one with a standard 3,450 rpm (full-speed) motor and a 1,725 rpm (half-speed) option. Ideally these motors may enable significant energy savings for the homeowner; however, if the half-speed motor is unable to complete the required water circulation task, the larger motor will operate exclusively. Because there is are only two speed choices it is much more difficult to fine-tune the flow rates required for maximum energy savings.”
Variable speed pumps use the least amount of energy required to pump water through the filter, run your waterfall or power your spa jets.

Your pool pump should be on a timer which you can adjust to allow for the minimum amount of filtration required to keep your pool clean. For smaller pools or pools that are not used often, the pump can efficiently clean your pool in as little as six hours a day.

Solar Heating

Using a solar pool heating system will reduce your energy costs and is kinder to the environment. Use an insulated cover to keep the heat in when you are not using the pool. You should also consider solar panel arrays as a renewable energy source to power your pool pump.

Saltwater and Wetland Pools

If you are considering installing a pool, these options are better for the environment and the health of your family as saltwater and wetland pools negate the use of harmful chemicals. Saltwater pools do need constant testing and maintenance to keep the chemical balance in check.

The greenest option for a pool is a natural wetland pool. This requires extra space and design, but means no chemicals. Water from the pool is pumped into a natural wetland area set above the level of the pool. As the water flows down through the wetland, the soils and plants filter the water and remove impurities to return clean water back into the pool. Natural wetlands also make for attractive landscaping features.

Keeping filters clean and all valves and other equipment in good working order will ensure that your pool system is working as efficiently as possible.


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