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Tips for improving the energy efficiency of your pool

There are millions of pools in homes around the world, but these swimming pools require a lot of energy and water to keep them running and well maintained. This not only increases your operational costs but also is a detriment to the environment. So how can you combine the enjoyment of a dip in a cooling, refreshing swimming pool on a hot day with energy-efficiency?

Why should you create an energy efficient pool?

Optimising your pool to make it more energy efficient means that you’ll be requiring less energy to heat your pool, which brings your carbon footprint and your energy bills down. When you consistently heat your pool using traditional methods, you’ll either be releasing harmful gasses into the environment or you’ll be a contributor to the depletion of non-renewable resources, as well as releasing more heat into the atmosphere.

But making small tweaks to how you maintain and operate your pool can have a big impact in reducing the impact your pool has on the environment. From renewable energy to eco-friendly swaps, heating your swimming pool doesn’t have to come at the expense of the environment.

Choose your material carefully

The material your pool is made from can also enhance its green credentials, so if you’re serious about conserving energy, think carefully about the material you choose. A ceramic pool is easier and quicker to heat, as the insulator is only 1.5mm from the water, so you’ll not only save money on heating costs but it will also require less energy to reach the right temperature.

Go natural with your pool

Natural Swimming Pools

A natural pool is a highly effective way to make your swimming experience more eco-friendly and energy efficient. Natural pools blend seamlessly into the environment and use their own ecosystem to clean the water, so there are no chemicals or filters required. The filtration system happens naturally and uses far smaller pumps as a result, so they’re much more energy efficient and can also be powered by solar panels to make them even more environmentally friendly.

Use renewable heating sources

If you use a traditional heating source to heat your outdoor swimming pool, it can be costly. But making use of renewable energy sources, whether it’s solar panels, ground source heat pumps or air source heat pumps, reduces the cost of your energy bills and brings down the environmental impact of your pool. You can also heat an indoor pool in the same way. Renewable energy sources mean you can enjoy using your pool year-round, keeping the pool at a consistent, comfortable temperature without running up high energy bills.

Cover the pool with a solar blanket

If renewable energy isn’t an option for you or your budget, a solar blanket can be an effective compromise. Also referred to as a pool blanket, solar blankets do more than standard pool covers. They prevent evaporation and keep out debris, in the same way that a regular pool cover does, but they also help to heat the water of the pool which extends your swimming season by retaining heat. A solar blanket can reduce your pool heating costs by as much as 50-70% in some cases.

Optimise the plumbing

You might be surprised how often pipes are too narrow for the size of the pool, or the plumbing includes too many tight turns, making the pump work harder than it would normally have to. To ease the burden on your pump system, optimise the plumbing to ease the stress on the pool and reduce how much energy is required to keep your pool functioning.

Use larger pool filters

Larger filters provide a bigger surface area for the water to flow through, so the pool pump doesn’t need to work as hard to remove the same volume of water. It lowers the energy consumption of the pump, but it also helps the pump last longer which saves you money. Another option is to choose a ‘cyclonic pre-filter’ which is a two-stage filtration system that doesn’t have any moving parts to replace and no electrical components. It uses a cyclone water flow to spin debris out of the pool, saving huge amounts of water that are often lost from filter cleanings. Pre-filters mean that you don’t need to clean out your main filter as often, but it can be a really effective way of making your pool more energy efficient.

Add in natural windbreaks with clever landscaping

If you have a larger outdoor pool, or your swimming pool is set in an open area that’s fully exposed to the elements, the wind will blow across the surface which increases water evaporation and can speed up heat loss. Even a light breeze can increase energy consumption considerably. A windbreak can take the form of a fence or you can get creative with the landscaping by planting trees, a border of hedges and shrubs or taller plants that will look striking and enhance the peaceful atmosphere but guard against the wind to prevent heat loss. It also has the added benefit of increasing privacy for anyone using the pool.

Update the lighting

Lighting is one of the most popular additions to a pool, enabling you to use it for longer and enjoy evening or early morning swims. But by using LED lighting instead of incandescent lights saves around 80% energy and lasts up to three times as long. An LED light with an output equivalent to a 60w bulb only uses 9 watts on average – when you multiply that by the number of lights in your pool and the weeks you’ll be using the pool, the output is significantly different. They’re far more efficient and long-lasting, and significantly reduce the energy consumption of your swimming pool.

Choose darker finishes

The finish you choose for your pool is something you may have only considered from an aesthetic perspective, but it can actually help to save energy too. Darker coloured pool finishes absorb the heat from the sun which heats the water in the pool naturally so you don’t need to rely as heavily on heaters. While not everyone wants a dark finish for their pool, if you’re keen to conserve energy and lower the carbon footprint of your swimming pool, it can be a very effective option that requires no added expense or maintenance at all once it’s in place.

When it comes to creating an energy efficient pool that saves you time and money in the future, there are various options you can choose from. Many of these tips can be combined to improve the energy efficiency of your pool overall. At Compass Pools, we’re specialists in swimming pool design and installation, so we can help you create a pool that’s as energy efficient as possible – contact us today for further advice.

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To learn more about our services, we will send you a free copy of our latest brochure.