Pool owners don’t realize it but pool pumps waste lots of energy. The energy used to operate the cleaning and filtering equipment can easily equal the energy used to power an average home for the same period of time. On an annual basis, the typical in-ground pool can account for one-quarter of a household’s energy bill.
One reason pool pumps may use so much energy is because they run much longer than actually needed. Circulating a pool’s water does keep the chemicals mixed and the debris removed but as long as the water circulates while the chemicals are added, they should remain mixed. This makes it unnecessary to re-circulate the water each day. Most debris can be removed with a skimmer or vacuum instead of a pump. Using chemicals in the water and scrubbing pool walls are the best methods to remove algae. Here are some other pool pump tips to help conserve energy and save:
- Reduce pump run time to just 5 to 8 hours each day to lower energy usage without sacrificing water quality.
- Use a timer to run the pool’s filtration system during off-peak hours when electricity demand is lower, generally between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m.
- Consider installing a variable speed pump with permanent magnet motors and digital controls. These can save as much as 90 percent in utility costs compared to one- or two-speed pumps with induction motors.
- Make sure the pump is sized to your pool’s requirements. The larger the pool pump, the greater the pumping costs. Use the smallest size pump possible for your pool.
- Maintain efficient operations daily. Backwash pool filters only as necessary to avoid wasting water and energy. Keep all drains clear to allow the free flow of water.
- Keep the water properly balanced – it will ensure that it’s clean and clear. The cleaner the pool, the longer the chemicals will last and the less energy your pump and filter will demand.
- Turn the pool heater down when it isn’t in use and maintain water temps when it is in use. Seventy-eight to eighty degrees is recommended for active swimming. Raising the water temp just one degree can cost an additional 10-30 percent.
- Keeping a thermometer in the pool can also help determine what temp is best for your pool and is most comfortable for your family.
- Consider installing a pool cover. Swimming pools can lose energy in many ways. Evaporation is the largest source of this energy loss – it requires large amounts of energy. A pool cover will help reduce this evaporation rate and save energy. It will conserve water by reducing the amount of make-up water needed by 30-50 percent. Covers can also reduce the pool’s chemical consumption by 35-60 percent and reduce cleaning time by keeping dirt and debris out of the pool.
If you’re a pool owner in our area, keep these energy-saving tips in mind. You can save money and still enjoy fun in the sun.