One of the best things about summertime is taking a refreshing dip in a swimming pool. But between keeping your pool filled, purchasing chemicals, and electricity usage, the cost of owning and maintaining your pool can quickly add up.
Fortunately, there are several ways to save energy this summer and still enjoy some relaxing time in your pool. Here are our top energy-efficient pool tips.
1. Use a Pool Cover
You should cover your pool any time you’re not using it. This ensures that the water stays clean and keeps the pump from having to work too hard to filter out debris. Pool covers also prevent evaporation, which means that you won’t have to keep refilling your pool, reducing your water usage.
A pool cover can also trap heat, limiting the amount of energy you need to heat the water, which may lower your electric pool heater monthly cost. Covering your pool can also keep the pool from overheating during hot days.
When it comes to electricity usage, pool pumps are one of the biggest culprits of swallowing up energy. Simply covering your pool could help decrease your heating expenses by as much as 50%-70%.
2. Purchase a Smaller, Energy-Efficient Pool Pump
The larger your pool pump, the more energy it consumes. It’s essential to choose the smallest possible pump that will work for your pool’s size to limit your pool pump electricity cost and maintain an energy-efficient pool. Review the manufacturer recommendations or consult the company where you purchased your pool to determine the right size pump you need.
A study from Florida Atlantic University found pool owners were able to reduce their average pool pump energy consumption up to 40 percent by switching to a smaller, high-efficiency pump. Even better, the pool owners were still satisfied with their water quality.
In addition to purchasing a smaller pump, there are several other ways you can conserve energy with your pool pump:
- Set your pump on a timer so it only works for short periods of time
- Reduce the circulation system’s hydraulic resistance by making upgrades to your pool system
- Clean the intake grates regularly
- Manually remove debris with a skimmer
- Use solar panels at night to leverage nocturnal cooling (Learn about Gexa Energy’s solar power plans.)
3. Know Your Heating Options
Most residential swimming pools are kept at a temperature between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. If you primarily use your pool for exercise, such as swimming laps, you may want to keep the water cooler. However, if your pool is for relaxing, or if you have young children or older adults in your home, you may want to keep the water slightly warmer.
Raising the temperature of your pool by just 1 degree Fahrenheit can increase your energy costs by as much as 10%-30%. To conserve energy and save money on your electricity bill, keep your pool temperature as close to 78 degrees as possible and consider shutting off the heater entirely if you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time.
Here are some other tips for lowering your pool’s temperature:
- Position your pool in the shade
- Invest in a pool chiller or evaporative cooler
- Avoid running the filter during the daytime
- Upgrade to a more energy-efficient pool heater
4. Check the Math
The amount of electricity that your swimming pool consumes can have a significant impact on your expenses. It’s a good idea to review your electricity bills, do a little math, and determine how much it costs to heat your pool.
In Dallas, for example, keeping a 1,000-square-foot outdoor pool at 78 degrees from April 1 through October 31 would cost an average of $760 for the season. However, keeping it at 82 degrees will cost $1,240 for that same amount of time.
5. Choose the Right Heater
If your pool already gets a lot of sunlight, you may want to consider an electric heater instead of a gas one. While electric heaters cost more upfront than gas heaters, they have lower annual operating costs because of their higher efficiencies. An electric pool heater also lasts longer than a gas pool heater on average.
The most energy-efficient pool heater is a solar-powered model. These heaters have the highest initial purchase price, but they have the lowest annual operating costs, so you can save quite a bit of money over time and ensure that you have a more energy-efficient home.
6. Invest in Automated Features
These days, there are a variety of features you can add to your pool that automate many of the filtration and maintenance tasks, allowing you to save energy all year round. From automatic pool covers that close with the push of a button to robotic pool cleaners, you can take care of your pool more efficiently and reduce your summertime energy consumption.
7. Upgrade Your Outdoor Lighting
The area around your pool can also contribute to higher electric bills. By switching to energy-efficient outdoor lighting, like LED lights, you can easily and cost-effectively reduce your energy consumption while keeping your pool lit at night.
8. Work with a Professional
As with any upgrades to your home, it’s always a good idea to work with a professional. If you’re considering upgrading your pool’s heater or pump, schedule an on-site consultation before having it installed.