Backyard pools are great for having a splash in summer, but how much does your pool add to your energy bills throughout the year? There are a number of simple ways to make a pool more energy efficient.
Covering your pool when it’s not in regular use saves energy in a couple of different ways. It keeps leaves and other debris out, meaning the water stays cleaner and there’s less work to be done by an energy-intensive pump. It also limits the amount of heat loss from a heated pool, saving on energy needed to keep the temperature up.
If your pool is unheated, a cover will have the added benefit of increasing water temperature when exposed to the sun and extending your swimming season into the colder months. Bubble covers increase this effect by letting the sun’s rays in through a transparent material.
Choose a star-rated pump
Although it keeps the water clear and refreshing, a pool pump could be adding up to 16 per cent to your household energy bill , so it’s worth considering upgrading to a more efficient model.
Luckily, many pump manufactures display an Energy Rating on their products – similar to those commonly found on washing machines and TVs – so you can easily choose the best option.
Go to energyrating.gov.au to view rated pumps; the more stars, the more efficient.
Reduce pump running time
Even if you have a very efficient pump installed, the factory settings might be set to filter overkill – pumping up your energy bills.
Many pumps are programmed to clean the entire volume of your pool several times a day, but when once is all you are likely to need for clear water. While the correct run-time depends on your pump’s capacity and how much use the pool gets, you probably only need it to run for four to six hours a day in summer and two to four hours in winter.
Try cutting the current run-time by half an hour – if the water clarity is fine after a week, experiment with another half-hour reduction.
If your swimming pool is still increasing your energy bills, it might be time to reassess your plan. Try EnergyAustralia’s online energy calculator to make sure you’re on the right one.