Having a swimming pool is a true blast. The only problem is that it can also bite off a big chunk of your budget every month. After all, you need to spend a great deal of energy on heating and filtering the water. Well, it does not have to be that way, not if you are prepared to invest a bit of time and money up front in order to save much more later on. The initial outlay pays for itself many times over down the road. This is your chance to champion smart energy use, cut your ownership costs, and do something good for Mother Nature.
First off, you have to carefully select technology for your backyard oasis. Various equipment pieces and components make a big difference in terms of power consumption. The key pieces to keep an eye on are the heater, pump and filter. Let us start with the pump, the heart and soul of the pool. It needs an adequate supply of power to circulate the water. What many people do not know is that it can operate on lower pressure for a number of hours and still get the job done.
So, take your time figuring out whether you should go for a single-speed, two-speed, or variable speed pump. I would advise the latter option: it offers the most flexibility, user-friendliness, and is a must consider. That being said, the gains depend on the type of pool. For instance, high grade fibreglass pools have smooth finishes that resist algae and mildew. That means shorter pump run times compared to granite and other counterparts.
Furthermore, the choice of filter makes a difference because it impacts the demand on your pump. For residential pools, three main solutions are sand, Diatomaceous Earth (DE), and cartridge. You should steer away from sand filters as they are the biggest energy consumers. DE products are a bit less wasteful, but they require a lot of maintenance. Hence, from an energy-efficiency standpoint, cartridge is the way to go.
A type of pool heating system can make or break your efforts. Three primary categories are heat pumps, solar systems and gas heaters. They all have their pros and cons, but solar systems take the prize in the area of energy-efficiency. They are basically a no-brainer in areas that receive a lot of sunshine or in countries with high electricity prices. The only drawback is that you could struggle to satisfy major pool and spa heating requirements.
Another element that plays a pivotal role is insulation. It determines the pool’s thermal efficiency, the amount of heat retention and loss. Therefore, you should consider insulating the walls and ground surface. You would need tools such as aluminum tape, pipe insulation, reflective bubble, tape measure, etc. On the other hand, in case you have a self-insulated fiberglass construction, you probably do not have to invest in the pool’s envelope.
At last, bear in mind that your habits also matter. So, mind how often you run your pump, maintain your filter regularly, and check skimmer & pump baskets every now and then. Make sure there are no performance hogs like filters jammed with debris and leaves. Accept nothing less than peak efficiency. You will also be able to boost the lifespan of your water sanctuary and main components in the process.
A pool is a perfect outlet for get-togethers, personal pastime and exercise. And if you want to have an environmentally friendly pool with lower energy consumption, you need to make informed, conscious buying decisions. Opt for components and accessories that make the softest hit on your budget. The upfront investment might be high, but the benefits in the long run are too great to miss. At the same time, commit to doing regular maintenance. That way, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits in your yard without overpaying for the privilege.