The Eco-Conscious Pool Owner’s Guide to Utility Conservation

Utility conservation tips for pool owners.
Utility conservation is rarely a leading consideration when purchasing a pool. At least, not when compared to design, construction, and cost. And therein lies the rub. Pool buyers, like entrepreneurs, must think in terms of ongoing operating costs in addition to startup costs. Homeowners can minimize their pool ownership costs in several ways.

Utility Conservation is a Manageable Expense

No one likes seeing an increase in the cost of utilities. However, when you buy a pool, you make the conscious, unilateral choice to accept a bit of a higher utility bill. The good news is that utility conservation is a manageable expense. Although your monthly utility bill is variable, it is, nonetheless, manageable. An eco-conscious worldview embraces the concept of energy conservation and there are several ways to make that possible.

Utility Conservation is Straightforward for Pool Owners

The utility costs of operating a swimming pool are primarily dependent on two main factors:
  • Water circulation
  • Water temperature
  • Circulation management for utility conservation
Pool owners can begin by asking themselves, or your local Fronheiser pool expert and utility company, the following questions:
  • How many hours per day should I run my pool pump?
  • What size pump is the most efficient pump for my pool?
  • Should I consider a variable-speed pump?
  • Should I have my pump on a timer?
  There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to the first two questions. Each of these is dependent on a combination of factors that your pool designer, installer, or service will gladly review with you. The answer to the third and fourth questions is “Yes” in both cases. The less time that pump is running unnecessarily, the less energy the pool requires and the more the pool owner contributes to energy conservation.

Water Temperature for Utility Conservation

A pool heater ensures that the swimming temperature meets your ideal specification for relaxation. It also extends the swimming season from earlier in the spring to later in the fall. Nonetheless, your utility expenses continue to rise as long as your heater is operating. Be conscious of your ideal water temp and how it may affect your utility conservation. The United States Department of Energy also recommends installing a pool cover to control “The Culprit Who Snatches Heat from the Swimming Pool.” They state: Evaporation accounts for almost 70% of the energy lost in both indoor and outdoor pools. The reason that evaporation has such an impact is that evaporating water requires tremendous amounts of energy. Raising 1 pound of water 1°F takes 1 Btu (raising .45 kilograms of water 1.7°C takes .3 Watt-hours). However, each pound of 80°F (27°C) water that evaporates removes 1048 Btu (307 Watt-hours) of heat from the pool. The Reduce Swimming Pool Energy Costs! (RSPEC!) program suggests using pool covers . . . to decrease evaporation when the pool is closed. Covering pools when they’re not in use can reduce heating costs by 50% to 70%. Pool covers provide other benefits. They reduce chemical use and cut cleaning time by preventing dirt and debris from falling into the pool.

A Final Thought

Solar energy is always a part of the conversation when it comes to conservation. Solar heating can provide assistance by reducing the total dependence on a gas or electric pool heater. However, the practicality and cost-saving potential for solar heating are better in southern climates than in the more temperate region of southern Pennsylvania. Utility conservation is a part of responsible pool ownership. From an expense perspective, it just makes sense. The friendly Fronheiser staff at our Bally and Sinking Spring offices would be delighted to discuss the best ways for you to conserve energy while operating your pool. Being an eco-friendly owner will help you enjoy your pool to the fullest.
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