How to boost your pool’s energy efficiency this offseason

| April 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, pool opening can be considered the most important thing you do all pool season. Like breakfast, opening the pool is the equivalent of refreshing the body after a long sleep. And like breakfast, too many pool owners try to skimp on this all important action, only to have it come back to haunt them later when they have to shut down the pool for repair in the midst of the summer heat. That’s especially a risk this season after unusually harsh winter weather hit much of the nation.

pool with leaves

Now’s the time to think about money-saving pool refurbishments. From Khamis Hammoudeh.

Here’s a handy checklist to get your pool ready for the summer and help avoid that scenario. There are also plenty of videos to help you out.

But along with the usual routine, this is a great year to make your pool opening the breakfast of champions.

Pool pumps: take advantage of government incentives

There’s never been a better time to invest in preventative maintenance, help save the planet and reduce your energy bills all at the same time. Utility companies in Arizona, Nevada and California have adopted incentives that can help defray the cost of upgrading worn out or inefficient pumps. State and federal governments often can sweeten the pot.

Replacing outdated pumps with more energy efficient versions will not only save money in the short term, but also the long term. In fact, the average homeowner can save $300 a year with an Energy Star rated pump. On a broader scale that really adds up:

“If all pool pumps sold in the United States were ENERGY STAR certified, we would save about $113 million per year and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 140,000 cars,” according to the Energy Star website.

But there’s plenty of less altruistic reasons to upgrade to more efficient pumps. Think of the pump as the heart of the pool. If it’s not working properly, your entire water quality will be off. That in turn causes common problems such as cloudy or green water and water loss.

Not sure if your state offers incentives? Check out this handy map to find out.

Spend less on heating

Pool pumps are just one example of where homeowners can find incentives for upgrading to more energy efficient equipment. Pool heaters, which typically eat up the most energy, are also a good place to look for savings. Upgrading to a solar heater can save thousands, and incentives are in place in many states to defray the cost.

This may also be the year to invest in a quality pool cover. Over the course of a single summer a cover can save 7,000 gallons of water in reduced evaporation. The U.S. Department of Energy also says pool owners can save 50 to 70 percent in heating costs.

Taken together, these upgrades, along with routine opening maintenance, will get  your pool off to a healthy start for the first day of the swimming — and throughout the year.

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Category: Maintenance, Pools, Sustainability

About the Author

Gary Thill is the former editor of Aquatics International, an award-winning magazine for the commercial pool and waterpark markets. He is a nationally recognized writer and editor with an extensive communications background that includes print, online and social media.