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Swimming Pool Conservation
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Swimming Pool Conservation

Since the swimming pool and its equipment are major users of water and energy at your home, you have a unique conservation opportunity. By reducing the pool's energy and water use, you will benefit the environment, as well as receive substantial savings on your utility bill.

Filter Pumps - Length of Operation

A pool filter pump is often one of the largest users of electrical energy at a home. You can save energy and money by reducing the operating time of the filter pump.

Time requirements for pool filtering vary from home to home due to differences in pool volume and equipment, the amount of use and environmental factors. As a general rule, one complete water turnover every 24 hours will provide adequate filtering for a non-solar, single family residential swimming pool.

After you have determined the number of filtering hours required for your pool, compare that figure with the actual filtering time shown on your filter pump time clock. If the filter pump is operating the same amount or fewer hours than you computed, you are already practicing good energy management. However, if you find that you are operating the filter pump more hours than necessary, you have an excellent opportunity to save energy and money by resetting the filter pump time clock tripper devices to the reduced hours of operation.

Automatic Pool Cleaners

Usually 3 to 4 hours of daily operation during the summer and 2 to 3 hours daily in the winter are sufficient. Start the pool sweep 15 minutes or more after the filter pump is running and stop the sweep 15 or more minutes before the filter pump. On unusually dusty days, increase cleaning time in half hour increments until the pool is clean. Use a wall brush and leaf skimmer frequently to help the cleaner along.

Decorative Lighting

Turn off or reduce the use of decorative lighting in and around pool areas when you are not using the pool. However, one light in the pool is a good security and safety measure.

Pool Heating - Water Temperature

Maintain a 78F or lower temperature. Be certain that you are using an accurate pool thermometer.

For pools which have only weekend use, water temperature should be reduced by 8 to 10 degrees during the week. The thermostat should be reset to the 78F level before use. Heat pool only during the summer swimming season. Shelter the pool where possible from the prevailing winds by using well trimmed hedges or other landscaping, cabanas or fencing as windbreaks.

Solar Pool Heating

Swimming pool heating is the most popular and cost-effective application of solar energy. As conventional fuels become more expensive, solar energy becomes a more attractive way to provide heat for your pool. If your pool is in direct sunlight now, it is already using and storing solar heat.

In an active solar pool heating system, filtered pool water is pumped into the tubing of the collector panels. The sun's heat is transferred from the panels to the water, and the heated water is returned to the pool. Automatic controls are available to turn on the system when there is enough sun to heat the pool water and off when no heat is needed.

In many cases, the existing pool filter pump and plumbing can be used to circulate water through an added-on solar system. Solar pool heating systems are especially effective during the summer months and can assist a regular pool heater in the spring and fall.

A solar pool heating system can be a significant investment. However, with the cost of conventional fuels on the rise, the long-range cost effectiveness is becoming more and more attractive. The savings from energy not purchased may more than pay for buying the solar equipment over its useful life.

If you are considering the installation of a solar pool heating system, compare price estimates. Ask for references and investigate the quality of the systems. Be sure you understand the performance guarantee.