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Energy Efficient Pools

Make Your Pool Green!

Pool owners LOVE green pools. Crazy statement if the “green” you’re thinking about is unclean, algae-filled water. But when “green” means eco-friendly, a “green” pool is something homeowners should aspire to have in their yards.

Why should I build or upgrade to an energy efficient pool?

Reduce Costs

You’ll save money. Energy-efficient pool appliances always pay for themselves in reduced electric bills, and then continue to save money for years to come. By choosing pool equipment such a variable speed pump or pool cover, and by establishing good habits like lowering the pool heater when not in use and proper preventative maintenance, costs to a pool owner can be greatly decreased.

Cuts down on energy waste and saves water

Almost all of a pool’s heat loss—about 95 percent—occurs at the surface, mostly through evaporation to the air and radiation to the sky. By using a pool cover to prevent heat and water loss, the amount of chemical water treatment will also be reduced. A multi-speed or energy efficient pool pump can also significantly reduce the power consumption of a swimming pool by over 65%.

Energy Efficiency – How?

With a combination of pool products and good preventative maintenance habits, you can improve the heating and energy efficiency of your swimming pool. Variable drive pool pumps reduce utility costs.

Pump Efficiency

You can save energy and maintain a comfortable swimming pool temperature by using a smaller, higher efficiency pump and by operating it less. On average, an energy efficient pump will use 30-45% less energy than that of a standard pump. The difference over a season can be immense. Pumps now come in two-speed, four-speed, and variable-speed models, so you can turn the speed down for regular daily use saving a lot of energy, and use higher settings for more thorough, less frequent cleanings. New energy-efficient pumps also move the water more efficiently for further savings. Since pumps circulate the water to keep it clean, the better they work, the less a filter has to work

  • Pentair Water Pool and Spa® was the first to introduce variable speed technology with their IntelliFlo® pumps over 5 years ago. Today, IntelliFlo continues to lead the way, out-selling all other variable speed brands combined. Their ultra-efficient permanent magnet motor design reduces noise and vibration for greater efficiency and longer pump life. 8 programmable speed settings ensure minimum flow requirements are being used for every pool task – filtering, heating, cleaning, spa-jets and more – to optimize performance and minimize energy use. In fact, with IntelliFlo technology, pool owners can save $620 to $1,360 each year compared to other pumps.
  • With the Hayward EcoStar family of pumps, money flows back into your pocket. EcoStar is the industry’s most energy efficient variable speed pump, thanks to a super-efficient permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor and industry leading hydraulic design. Tests prove that EcoStar can save you up to 90% on energy costs compared to ordinary single speed pumps. EcoStar matches pump flow to a pool’s needs, versus running at full power 100% of the time. It’s fully programmable with a self-contained 24-hour clock and up to 8 custom speed and timer functions that allow EcoStar to manage flow throughout the day. Whether used in new construction or aftermarket applications, EcoStar is the perfect choice.pump-conservation-savings

Solar Covers

Round-Above-Ground-Cover_0A solar swimming pool cover, also known as a “solar blanket” or “pool blanket,” does more than a standard pool cover. Not only does it keep evaporation to a minimum, keep out debris, and reduce chemical consumption; it also helps heat the water of your pool. You can swim in warmer water and extend your swimming season if you use a solar pool cover.

Solar pool covers can reduce pool heating costs 50 to 70 percent. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, they can also reduce the amount of water that needs to be added to a pool by 30 to 50 percent. They can reduce the pool’s chemical use by 35 to 60 percent, and reduce the time and effort needed to keep a pool clean.

The POOLSTYLE solar cover is specifically designed to extend your swimming season while retaining heat and reducing chemical and water evaporation. They are available in multiple shapes and sizes to fit every type of swimming pool and most are backed with either a 4 or 6-year warranty.

Water temperature efficiency

In addition to a pool cover, there are other ways to help keep the cost of heating your pool to a minimum while you still enjoy a comfortable water temperature. Make use of solar energy by locating your pool in the sunniest part of your yard. If possible, screen it from the cooling, prevailing wind with existing structures such as the house or garage, or add a solidly built fence as a windbreak. The water temperature you desire for your swimming pool not only affects the size of the pool’s heater, but also your heating costs if use a gas or heat pump pool heater. Heating your pool with solar energy is by far the most energy-efficient method. If you buy a gas or electric heater, check the yellow-and-black Energy Guide label on the appliance. It shows relative energy-efficiency according to tests by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Pool water temperatures typically range from 78ºF to 82ºF. The energy consumption for each degree rise in temperature will cost 10%–30% more in energy costs, depending on your location. In warmer climates, this percentage is higher because of the relatively low cost of heating a pool at 78ºF.


Buy automatic timers for both your pool heater and pump. This will allow you to run them in several short cycles during the day, which is more effective than running them once continuously for several hours a day.

Preventative Maintenance

Maintain efficient daily operations. Turn down the pool heater when the pool is not in use and maintain appropriate water temperatures when in use (78°-80° for active swimming, 82°-84° for recreational use). Raising the water temperature just 1°F can costs an additional 10 – 30%, depending on your location. Keep a thermometer in the pool to help determine the temperature that is best for your pool and mark the “comfort settings” on the thermostat dial to avoid accidental overheating. Backwash the pool filter only as much as necessary to avoid wasting water and energy and be sure to keep drain systems clear to allow the free flow of water. By far, the most energy efficient lights you can get for the pool are LED or solar powered.

Energy Efficiency – Not just for pools!

spa-cover It is also possible to make your hot tub energy efficient. Portable hot tubs are more energy efficient than in-the-ground hot tubs because they are better insulated and usually have covers. If you have a typical portable hot tub, your heater will heat water 10 degrees in about 8 hours. If you use your hot tub once a week, lowering the temperature 3 degrees when not in use will save you approximately 5-10% of your hot tub heating costs; if you use the hot tub less often, your savings could be even greater. Don’t run the jets unless you are using your hot tub. The mixture of water and air is great for relaxing the muscles, but it cools the water quickly. hot tub covers are important. Be sure to leave the cover on until you are ready to use your hot tub and replace when you’re finished. Remember that the heat that escapes is the heat you must pay to replace.

Energy Efficiency Quick Tips

To support your efforts to make your pool and hot tub as economical and eco-friendly as possible, below are some changes you can make that help conserve energy and water while reducing your operating costs.

  • Reduce heat loss by using a pool cover. Your energy savings can be 50-70%.
  • Fencing, hedges and landscaping that shelter your pool from prevailing winds will further reduce heat loss.
  • If you use your pool only on weekends, reduce your heater or heat pump thermostat settings by 8-10º during the week.
  • When leaving for vacation for more than a week, unless freezing temperatures are expected, turn off the pool heater or heat pump.
  • According to the American Red Cross, the most healthful swimming temperature is 78º F. Reducing your heater or heat pump thermostat to maintain a 78º or lower temperature will also help conserve energy.
  • Reduce pump speed to reduce energy use. A slower pump reduces power consumption.
  • For good water maintenance, circulate water through a filter only once per day. Additional cycles tend to waste energy.
  • Run your pool’s filtration system during off-peak hours when electricity demand is lower – generally between 8pm and 10am.
  • Keep intake grates clear of debris. Clogged drains require the pump to work harder.
  • To obtain maximum filtration and energy efficiency, clean your filter regularly.
  • New variable drive pool pumps slash utility costs.
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