BY GARRETT KEISER
After working in the backyard, a swimming pool provides the perfect summer retreat. But who wants it to be a wallet drain? Soak up these pool efficiency tips to save money while maintaining your personal, pristine oasis.
Each pool is equipped with an energy guzzler: the pump. The bigger the pump, the higher the power bill. Make sure your pool uses the smallest pump possible. New products like variable-speed pumps offer a good way to save. A knowledgable pool supply or service firm can help choose a proper pump for your pool, taking into consideration its size, filter, and piping.
Don’t forget that if you are looking into a variable-speed pump there is a $250.00 rebate provided by Power Moves. You can find a link to the Power Moves rebate form on the rebate page of our website.
Greater savings can come from decreasing pump operation time, no matter the pump size. Keep drains clear of debris, or your pump will work harder to circulate water. Also, find a proper balance for backwashing the filter. Too much backwashing—the process of filtering and disposing of dirty water—wastes water, while too little strains the pump.
Here are some common myths that lead to extra pump time (and wasted energy):
My pool will be dirty if I don’t run my pump to constantly clean debris.
FALSETry running your pump for six hours or less a day, as suggested by the U.S. Department of Energy’s EnergySavers.gov. If the cleanliness is not to your liking, increase filtration time by 30-minute increments until you are satisfied. If six hours works well, try decreasing filtration time to find a balance with energy efficiency. To keep debris down without running your pump overtime, use a skimmer to manually clean the water. Also, try using a timer to run your filter for several short periods during the day rather than allowing debris to pile up after one long continuous filteration.
I need my pump to run continuously to keep algae at bay.
FALSE. Proper chemical balance and brushing down pool walls are the best algae fighters.
Make sure your pool isn’t draining energy dollars needlessly by adjusting pump time and investing a little legwork. You’ll have a prime poolside spot to relax in, and the relief you’ll see on your power bill will be well worth the effort.
GARRETT KEISER is the energy advisor at Heartland REMC in Markle and Wabash, Indiana.