5 Tips for Energy Efficient Swimming Pool
By Tanya Turner
When installing a swimming pool, most people don't realize that its initial cost is only a small part of the money they have to invest in it. No-one would dispute that owning a swimming pool is great, but running it can be quite costly. Discover how to make your pool more energy efficient, so you can enjoy it and not worry about the cost too much.
1 Invest into energy efficient pumps and motors
Choosing the right pump for your swimming pool is very important. You will probably be surprised to know that in the first year of operation a swimming pool pump and motor can consume more energy than their initial cost. Bear in mind that you expect your pump to work for several years and it becomes obvious that buying a cheaper model that is not energy efficient will cost you much more in the long term.
So if your pumps are several years old, replace them with new, more energy efficient ones. And if you only start building your pool, invest in a good pump from the beginning.
2 Use pool covers
When we think of pool covers, most people assume that their main function is to prevent fallen leaves and debris from getting into the pool. Covers do that, of course. But what is more important, they prevent your pool from loosing its temperature.
If you use a pool heater in colder months, most of your energy loss will be because water evaporates from your pool taking the heat away. Just cover your pool when it's not in use and that alone will save you up to 50 percent of heating costs.
3 Don't let the wind steal your heat
Pool covers are great when the pool is not in use, but how do you prevent water evaporation when you are actually swimming? One way is to reduce wind around the pool. You can plant shrubs or build a fence to block wind. One thing to consider when installing windbreakers is that they have to be close enough to your pool to keep the wind out, but they shouldn't block the sunlight.
4 Set the right water temperature
If you use a gas pool heater, it consumes considerably more energy when you make your water warmer. Add about 10 percent of energy cost for each degree. So by keeping your temperature low, you can save significantly. Of course, if you don't fancy swimming in cold water, you can install an energy efficient heater.
5 Consider installing a solar swimming pool heater
The best thing about a solar heater is that apart from the initial cost of buying and installing one, it costs nothing to operate, the energy source is free. Solar heaters are ideal for heating swimming pools, especially if your pool is not very large.
There are two general types - glazed and unglazed solar collectors for heating outdoor pools. Unglazed solar heaters are actually inexpensive and work quite well in most cases. These units are simple, made from black plastic or rubber. There is no need for a water tank - water runs directly through the collector. Glazed collectors are more sophisticated and include a heat exchanger. They provide better faster heating, but they also cost more to install.
You can also use a combination of solar and gas heaters. Use a gas heater to heat up your pool quickly, but then you can switch it off and let the solar unit keep the water temperature pleasantly warm.
Tanya Turner is a publisher of Swimming Pool Supply and Accessories where you can find information about all types of pools, and price comparisons of swimming pool supply and accessories
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