Energy Conservation at the Pool
Are you a Spender or a Saver?
Everyone is doing what they can to reduce their carbon footprint. Recycling, reusable shopping bags, and personal refillable water bottles are common everyday practices now. But how can we save at the pool? Pools utilize a lot of energy in their operation, and we can do things to help us conserve and save some of that energy to reduce costs.
To Heat or Not To Heat?
If you have a pool heater, you may want to be vigilant in limiting its usage if you are trying to save money. Utilizing a pool heater costs a lot of money. You want to turn down the pool heater when the pool is not in use and maintain appropriate water temperatures when in use. Industry standard recommends to maintain temperatures at 78°-80° for active swimming and 82.5° for recreational use. Did you know that lowering the water temperature just 1°F can save between 10-30 percent depending upon where you live and how much a BTU costs in that area? It is a good idea to keep a thermometer in the pool to help figure out the temperature that is best for you. You can then control your heater thermostat to avoid wasteful overheating.
I Got it Covered!
And what happens once we heat the pool water, and then night comes and air temperatures lower? Did you know that about 95 percent of energy losses occur at the pool’s surface through evaporation, radiation, and convection? You may want to consider a pool blanket or solar cover to keep all that energy in the pool and usage. These covers not only maintain water temperature, but prevent against evaporation and radiation, keeps debris out of the pool when it is not in use, and helps with chemical consumption. There was a pool study prepared for the National Plasterer’s Council that showed some covers are 95 percent effective at conserving energy in the pool!
Never Enough Time in the Day!
A pool timer can help you maintain daily pool operation of your system. While commercial pools in NJ are mandated to run their systems 24 hours a day, a residential pool typically operates between 8-12 hours a day. Depending upon the size of your pool, you may be able to even run it less. You want to make sure you are maintaining adequate operational time to ensure that the pool does not develop algae though. It is best to discuss timer management with a pool professional instead of experimenting with this yourself.
- Some other energy efficient ideas you may want to consider include:
- Using barriers around the pool, which can include bushes and solid fencing to prevent convection
- Maintain lower heater temperature during the week versus the weekend
- Turn off the pool heater when you go on vacation
- Consider energy efficient pool parts including variable speed pump and new heaters
- Run your pump and heater during off peak hours
- Do not backwash excessively